Roz Kaveney (rozk) wrote,
Roz Kaveney

No real excuse, just indolence and housecleaning

I've just been watching the first fifty scariest moments, which sensibly included things like the Protect and Survive animated public service announcement about what to do in the even of an atomic war, as well as bits of Night of the Living Dead and the Stuck in the Middle with You bit from Reservoir Dogs.

On the other hand, Paul Burrell provided the scariest moment of my week... which is the revelation that one of the nine people Princess Diana shagged was a famous novelist. I find myself running through the possibilities with mounting horror. Surely not Martin Amis - too short, and still bad teeth at the time - surely not Salman Rushdie - the Asian thing going for him, but even she would have noticed the tendency to monomania and egocentricity and going on and on and on. Will Self - definitely a possibility, but I can't believe he could have kept schtumm about it. Sebastian Faulks - now there's a possibility, right sort of middle-brow and I suppose that creates a possible area of Ondaatje and de Boton and de Bernieres. And omigod, the Laureate is awfully plausible given he is a shagmonster and was even when we shared an office.

I'd like it to be funny - but I can't think who would be funniest - Clive James would be amusing, but not really a novelist. And the way he goes on about her, wailing and sobbing, I can't imagine he actually had to spend vast amounts of time with her.

Of course, there is always the old reliable, the one novelist absolutely obsessed with seducing married women, and with the amazing record of success, whom I do not propose to name lest she come round to my flat and shout at my dinner guests. On the other hand,there is the exercise obsession in common, and friendship with Emma Thompson. Again, I can't imagine her keeping quiet about it - there would at least have been a short story that dropped heavy hints.

Meanwhile, housecleaning goes on apace and I have now thrown out the leather fitting from my broken Bauhaus chair - why did I keep that for a decade and more, why? - and the alas!motheaten purple paisley bibbed hotpants from my younger days, the waist band of which these days would not fir around my thigh. And bits of carpet, and planks of wood, and all the things which go on top of a wardrobe when you think they might be useful someday.

And I would have a cold anyway, but there is also dust in my lungs...

And Intolerable Cruelty was wonderful, too wonderful to spoil, except to say that it has the best sick slapstick joke since forever. Zatoich is pretty good too, if you like samurai flicks with lots of red stuff and blind swordspersons and drag geishas and a grand finale that starts with koto drums and ends with tapdancing to the rhythm of Buffalo Gals Go Round the Outside. Definitely a top tip...

And I would be listening to Cecilia Bartoli singing Salieri Arias, which is fab, except that somehow my headphones are picking up a lot of interference which periodically resolves itself into the local minicab's phone service. And someone is waiting a long time on Pritchard's Row and they are not happy about it, and I really do not want to know this.

Conservatives go into meltdown and we realize that they still have not got how much we still hate them, because they are seriously talking about a Michael Howard leadership bid. True, as evil bastards go, he now almost look a liberal beside Blunkett on some issues, but only because he never had the nerve to do some of those things. The 'Something of the Night' tag stays with him, because he does look like a cross between Nosferatu and a sinister lawyer in Dickens; Anne Widdecombe knew what she was doing when she handed out that tag. And let us consider, a man whom Anne chain-pregnant-prisoners-to-bed-during-labout Widdecombe could attack from the Left. Also, a man who will lose his seat at the next election if the Tories have another disaster.

Tony Blair is a sold-out smoothy piece of work, but the Tories dominated the best years of my life and made them unpleasant. I was fascinated to see the tombstone AIDs ad again, on the scary moments, of course, and reflect on just how crass that was. If I recall, Michael Howard was one of the Tory Ministers who had to have explained to him what oral sex was. Boy, that must have been a fun Cabinet meeting.

'Well, Margaret,' Michael Portillo must have had to pipe up, 'I've heard a distorted rumour that sometimes men....and women...'

No, it is too appalling to contemplate.

Like Oliver Letwin, the Shadow Home Secretary so dumb that he opened his front door, in South London, at four in the morning, to two men who asked to use his lavatory and was surprised when he got robbed. That is one of those stories you make sure to tell cabbies, because, though true, it deserves to be an urban legend.

I made the aubergine, pine-nut and bulgar wheat pilaf this evening, but it was a bit too wet. Must use less water.
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