Party Lines

Ladies who lunch deplore looting, but when in Rome...

Daisy Waugh

Ooh I say! Get you, darling! Have you been out looting?

I beg your pardon?

New boots! New coat! New sweater! New bag, if I’m not mistaken…

You’re very sharp this morning, Annie.

Looking scrumpt-elicous, if I may say so. Why, why, why methinks! Got a new lover?

Not funny, Annie. And, no, I haven’t got a new lover. And no! Thank you very much. I have certainly not been “looting”. I’ve been “shopping”. Remember that…quaint little old custom? When there’s a sales assistant and a till…And everything…Call me old-fashioned, but everything you see before you, I paid for, with my own fair hand.

Yeah, yeah…that’s what they’re all saying!

Again. Not funny. And actually, sweetie, can I correct you? It’s what the looters would be saying if such “people” actually knew how to talk. Which they don’t,  because they’re animals. Nothing more and nothing less. And if anyone else comes up to me and starts telling it’s the “fault of society” I swear I shall skin them alive!

Oh. I’m with you there, Lucy. Skin the rioters too, while you’re at it. You’d be doing us all a favour.

It’s the lack of respect — isn’t it? — the absolute lack of respect. A friend of mine was actually in the Ledbury —

When it happened?

No! God no — thank God. The night before. But even so. You know. It sort of brings it home, doesn’t it?

Absolutely it does! You just don’t expect…

Well no. One tends to expect to find animals in the farmyard, doesn’t one?

Hahaha! Touché!

I wish I could laugh about  it…But I keep thinking of all the public money we pour down their  good-for-nothing throats…Like geese — almost, when they’re making the foie gras…Nothing seems to be enough…

…It’s too depressing…Enough politics, Lucy! What are you up to today?

Ah. Well — I imagine I’ll be spending most of the morning on the phone with some idiot at British Airways. Again. They lost all our luggage, can you believe? Flying out.

No!…Did you get it back?

Not before we’d shelled out on a whole lot of kit…

What sort of kit?

Well, the children didn’t have any clothes! None of us did! Two whole days! More or less. Very nearly. Anyway…needless to say, they’re being incredibly difficult. Quibbling about everything…

How much did you put in for?

They lost our luggage, Annie! They are legally obliged to reimburse us for everything we felt we required in the intervening period. And I mean everything. What was I meant to do?

So, how much?

We were staying in a  frightfully smart hotel in the middle of Rome — we couldn’t go around looking like tramps, could we?

No, Juicy-Luce! No, of course you couldn’t!

In any case…

How much?

Well, I’m not sure of the exact sum…If I’m honest, I might have gone a teeny bit crazy.

Ooh, you naughty girl!

Couldn’t resist! There I was, middle of la bella Roma!…Boots and bags and super-looking sweaters as far as the eye could see…

Good for you!…Anyway, what do they care? It’s a drop in the ocean for them. Isn’t it? It serves them right.

Well, that was my feeling, rather…So, that’s what I’m doing this morning…Fighting it out with BA…And then I’m having a nice lunch with a girlfriend.

What? All glammed up in your gladrags di Roma!? I don’t think so!…Juicy-Luce, I wasn’t born yesterday. Spill the beans! Who’s the secret man? Do I know him? Do I? Is it my hubby?

Once again. Unfunny. I am not having a secret affair with your hubby. Yuk.

Someone else’s hubby then? If it’s mine, you’re welcome to him, by the way. I’m bored to death with him.

No thanks.

But don’t go getting any funny ideas, you old sex kitten, you!

Seriously, Annie —

Seriously. The money stays with me.

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