NARY a front page does not carry a snap of Prince Harry and his latest squeeze, Cressida Bonas, a dancer and a socialite.
Isn't it amazing how you can be both! I am indebted to the Daily Drivel, which tells us that Ms Bonas is "related to British wartime Prime Minister Sir Winston Churchill" (she's his first cousin three times removed). She may also, it would appear, be about to join Queen Tupperware at Balmoral where - the ultimate sign of acceptance - she will allowed to take the corgis for a hike in the glens.
By chance, I had elevenses with my dear amigo, Duncan Thomson, art expert extraordinaire, who spends his leisure hours reading Chaucer and the like. He wonders if, perchance, Prince Harry has read Chaucer's Troilus and Criseyde or, even better, Robert Henryson's The Testament Of Cresseid, in which Cresseid/Cressida is depicted as faithless and sins against Venus and Cupid, the fleshly gods to whom she has devoted her life. Eventually, the poor lass is blighted by leprosy and loses her looks, becoming so unrecognisable that Troilus passes without her realising who she is. Thereafter, remarks Henryson, her life "endit wretchitlie".
Needless to add, none of this appears in the Daily Drivel.
IF Ukip is Carry On Politics, who would play Nigel Farrago? Not, I fear, the misanthrope Kenneth Williams or the deliciously camp Charles Hawtrey. Surely, it would have to be Sid James, the Everyman who is ever on the lookout to pull a fast one.
Kirsten Farrago, Nige's wife, would be played by Joan Sims who would never have allowed her bikini top to fly off, as did Barbara Windsor, the pneumatic EastEnder. Mrs Farrago - bless her! - says Ukip's Mayfair HQ is "a freak show", like the Carry On movies. Countless others agree.
One former party employee tells the North British Times: "You see the most extraordinary things … There are animals in the office, people taking their clothes off … People are used to doing their own things." Another compared the office to a 1970s golf club, which - trust me! - is not a compliment. Like in those golf clubs, sexism is rife. One former Ukip MEP said that women who did not clean behind the fridge were sluts, while a spin doctor explained: "People don't know the difference between a slag and a slut and it's down to the demise of grammar school education."
Meanwhile, a senior aide to Mr Nige brings her cat to work and another occasionally sits with an "orgasmatron" wire massage device on her head. And a notice board had a list of "people we want to shag" on it, among whom was Mr Nige. Lest we forget, Ingerland may soon have a majority of Ukip MEPs. Yikes!
TALKING of orgasmatrons, who now reads the work of Wilhelm Reich? In another life I used to spend lunch hours in the staff canteen - remember them! - in the company of a young woman who was immersed in Mr Reich's The Function Of The Orgasm. Where's your When Harry Met Sally noo! It was in the 1940s that Mr Reich began building "orgone accumulators", in which patients sat in the hope of making them feel better and which some rags described as sex boxes.
It was in the sex-mad 1960s, however, that Mr Reich fully came into his own, and his theories were brilliantly spoofed by Woody Allen, whose orgasmatron in Sleeper was obviously based on the orgone accumulator. Wandering through John Lewis the other day, and pausing at the beguiling gadgets on display, I thought about asking if they had orgasmatrons for sale and if there were would it be possible to try one out before purchase. Such are the things one does when bored.
VARIOUS readers have gently suggested that by calling the Home Secretary the Home Secretary I have opened myself to accusations of sexism. Which, of course, mortifies moi. I think it is the term "home" that troubles them. Be that as it may, I have been considering a Cabinet reshuffle and could move the HS to the Foreign Office, though she has told me in no uncertain terms she will not consider visiting anywhere that can remotely be described as "iffy".
Meanwhile, allow me to give praise where it is due. As HS, she has been in peerless form lately, especially in her handling of our temperamental boiler which, when it is not happy, grumbles like an empty stomach. A boiler man was duly summoned and, after taking one look at your diarist, addressed all his remarks to the HS. The grumbling, he opined, is symptomatic of boilers of a certain age. It's their way of communicating dissatisfaction. What they need is pampering.
Apparently, the new generation of boilers have the technology in-built to tell us what's wrong with them. I asked the HS to translate boilerspeak into everyday English. The difference between the old and new boilers, she explained, is similar to that between a vet and a doctor. Animals can't tell the former how they're feeling, while we humans can inform the latter that we've got a sair heid or whatever. I think I know what she's getting at …
WOY Jenkins of blessed memory may or may not have had a homosexual adventure with Anthony Crosland. So speculates a new book, which suggests the pair had an "intense" relationship in the 1930s. Who, I humbly ask, didn't? I had the pleasure of meeting Mr Jenkins, who once upon a time was MP for Glasgow Hillhead. We did a gig at Glasgow Concert Hall which was due to start at noon. The organiser asked Mr Woy if he'd like something to drink, suggesting tea or coffee. Mr Woy requested claret, a bottle of which was duly brought and a couple of cheering glasses poured. The organiser then made to remove the bottle whereupon Mr Woy pointed out that he should leave it be. "I'm sure we can finish it between us," he said, and we did.
WALES v Scotia at rugger; another afternoon spent hiding behind the sofa.