Party Lines

Daisy Waugh

It’s a scandal, really. Isn’t it? I do feel for them.


Don’t you?


They’ll never be able to buy their own house or anything.

Mind you—it’s hardly surprising. Really. I know we’re not supposed to say…But…Would you employ a young British kid? If you could possibly help it?

Well—I did. As a sort of sub-nanny “Mother’s Help”. Briefly.

You see? “Briefly”! She was hopeless, wasn’t she? I bet.

…She was a bit.

Did she take “duvet days”?


Of course she did! These kids simply don’t understand the meaning of the words “hard work”.

Actually — poor little mite — she left because she was missing her boyfriend.

Well then! You see? I  rest my case! These kids can’t read. They can’t write. They don’t want to learn. They roam around the streets, rioting — or “missing their boyfriends”. It’s hopeless! They think the world owes them a living.

But you can’t really blame the kids…

Meanwhile — it’s us, isn’t it? — the “Squeezed Middle” — who go to the trouble and expense of actually trying to educate our children—teaching them about the value of hard work… And all that…We’re left footing the bill.

Ooh. Steady on! I don’t think that’s quite fair. Is it?


Some…of these folk…work awfully hard… Mummy’s old gardener. For example. My goodness, he was a terrific old character! He would be out in that garden, come rain or shine, digging away!

Oh, absolutely. No — of course. You do still get a few…I’m talking about the Younger Generation, Tilly. We’ve got companies actually having to be bribed by the government just to employ them! That’s the situation. And you’ve got to ask yourself, “Why? What’s gone wrong?”

…Well, the recession…

Yes. I know “the recession”. Crikey! I’m not living on Mars, Till! I’m simply saying…If you had a choice: would you employ a nice, hardworking, well-mannered girl from Poland. For example. Or one of ours, fresh from looting Argos on Tooting High Street. Or whatever —

Hmmm. When you put it like that…

It’s a no-brainer, right?

Mmm…Mmm…So what’s Orlando up to?

Oh! Well, Orlando…is having a whale of a time at Leeds!

Super! He’s at Leeds, is he?

Modern Languages.

That’s nice.

He was actually working in our local pub at the start of the hols.

Good for him! Getting his hands “dirty”! As it were…

This is it. As I say. He was staying in the nanny flat. So he had his privacy.

It’s important at that age.

So he’s put some money aside from that. We think. Fingers gently crossed!

They do get through it, don’t they?

And since then — well, Orlando’s always been fascinated by film…so he called up his godfather. If you please. Off his own bat! And he’s  been cadging off his old school pals, sleeping on the floor in some pad in Beverly Hills for the last month, working Every Hour God Sends — on godfather’s film set!


…He gets a bit frustrated. Because he longs to get more involved in the creative aspect. And he’s just a sort of dogsbody really. Fetching cups of tea. Which is…well, he says he feels like he’s being slightly exploited…


Because he’s working SO hard! Twelve hours on set — and then painting the town red…He met Colin Firth last night!

Oh, I say!

He was going to stay for six weeks but then…I did sort of “hint” that if he came home a teeny bit early there might be a free week’s skiing in it for him…

That’s nice!

And poor love, he’s been working SO hard. So he’s coming home a week early, and we’re all off skiing! And then it’s off to Leeds again.

Nose back to the grindstone!

Exactement! No duvet days for him!

Underrated: Abroad

The ravenous longing for the infinite possibilities of “otherwhere”

The king of cakes

"Yuletide revels were designed to see you through the dark days — and how dark they seem today"