Monday, 21 May 2012

No Frida


I’m sitting in a Starbucks, where I’ve just been handed a free cheese and Marmite heated panino! It wasn’t meant to be free, of course, and if I hadn’t been potentially ripping off a multi-national company, I'd have instantly told the lady behind the counter that she’d made a mistake. To tell you the truth, I was so horrified by the choice of savoury snacks for vegetarians on the counter that they only have themselves to blame that I didn’t end up paying. Besides, I simultaneously got charged the best part of two pounds for a tea bag and some water, so I reckon they’re doing just fine.

Today I heard that Frida from ABBA has graciously declined our offer for her to sing in the requiem. That’ll teach me! I even said a little token prayer last night, you know, just in case anyone was interested. That was obviously my mistake; using up my annual prayer on something so utterly self-serving. That said, my Dad had a cousin, a devout born-again Christian, who used to pray for parking spaces, and he reckoned it worked a treat! Anyway, Frida’s presence on the recording was always going to be a long shot, so I gave myself about five minutes to mope around and feel valueless, and then dusted myself off again. We haven’t yet had a no from the other singer I’m desperate to have on the recording, so I'll direct my optimism elsewhere.

Fiona sent me a text today. Her mother, Barbara, is in hospital for a few days and is sharing a ward with a rather confused elderly lady called Mary who keeps shouting that there’s “somebody in my vagina!” Barbara is apparently being sent into regular fits of hysterics. I hope when I’m old and senile – ‘cus God knows the writing’s on the wall – my insanity will make a few people laugh! That’s all you can hope for, isn’t it, when you’ve been a life-long entertainer!?

Wednesday 21st May, 1662 was all about Pepys’ pin up, the King's mistress, Lady Castlemayne, who was said to be pregnant with the child of Charles II. In those days, pregnancy was often only detectable after someone had been weighed. Good job I’m not in the 17th Century. My uncontrollable weight gain of late would have had me in dungarees within seconds! Anyway, Lady C didn't seem to be taking the arrival of Queen Catherine de Breganza from Portugal particularly well. When everyone lit bonfires in front of their houses to celebrate Breganza's arrival in England, Lady Castlemayne's front garden was noticeably empty. She walked around London looking disconsolate and surly and Jo public no longer treated her with the respect she'd started to expect. That's the problem with being the mistress, Lady C. You think you're in control until the wife arrives, at which point you come back down to earth with a heavy bang!

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