'Dahling Alice, this is all very well my deah, but is this really the right time to swan about off your face on morphine, seducing all the neighbours, banging away at your ukelele, swathed in jewels and keeping a black panther when the country doesn't even have a Prime Minister?'
Loyal readers will remember the obsession I have with the mystery surrounding the murder of Lord Erroll in Kenya in the first half of the last century and how unspeakably dull and hectoring I can become on the subject at the drop of a pith helmet. Well, it would appear it was Alice de Janze wot done it - portrayed with glazed and dirty elegance by Sarah Mills in White Mischief. For the past week or so, I have been glued to this book every waking minute. She was riddled with madness and style, abandoning her sons and adopting a baby leopard. The writing is a little wooden, but her fascinating story is gripping and well overdue.
Which is a shame, because while I have been hiding in Happy Valley, we have elected a schizophrenic Government, Greece is in economic and civil meltdown and Freddie's school swimming trunks are now budgie smugglers. He told Edward 'Mummy bought them three years ago and they're so small now. I'm worried I might hurt myself.'
So I need to get my maternal finger out and save his manhood, my professional finger out and go to Wales for two days and organise training on some hijusly dull bit of obscure legislation then my culinary finger out for two lovely weekend houseguests.
Then I am shoving my cloche hat on, parking my arse on the verandah, under a leopard, shouting at the houseboy to bring me gin and opium and shooting dead anyone that annoys me.
No changes there, then.