Archive for October, 2004


Turkey was splendid and full of stories and will be treated at length in future. Air France poisoned me on the way to Toulouse, so Villerouge is a bit of a blur, but I recovered in time for a couple of excellent meals: quails with juniper berries, a good salmon steak, a fine meringue.

The weather in London is perfect, sunny and cool and autumnal. Claire loves Hyde Park more than ever. She calls the squirrels “gato” and the horses “eh-heh-heh-heh.” We’ve been eating very well here too, and not just Indian; nice Thai and a fabulous pub lunch yesterday in Greenwich, roast lamb with parsnips and carrots and cabbage and Yorkshire pud. Lots and lots of catching up: David, Sophie, Sam, Theo, Grant, Kirsty, Mia, Jo, Helene, Becca, Marcus, Julian, Donna, Nick, Christine, Mark, Jess. Much talk of houses and lovers and babies and software and movies and conferences and books.

and now, words

Last night I dreamed I went to Manderley again. No, as a matter of fact I dreamed Jeremy was John Kerry’s running mate. We were backstage at the Democratic National Convention and I was trying to suck up to Kerry’s womenfolk. Sexy Alexandra and I were getting on well enough, but Teresa kept giving me snide glares a la Cruella de Vil.

Even so, I was pleased and proud. In spite of his manifest lack of, let’s see: experience; qualifications; appropriate attire; ability to suffer fools without rolling his eyes and sighing audibly; and indeed shred of interest in being vice-president; the Democratic Party had recognized that Jeremy was by far the best man for the job.

Vote Kerry-Fitzhardinge 04!

I’m reading VS Naipaul’s Among the Believers. His prose style is exquisite, cool and dry and precise. This doesn’t quite obscure the fact that his politics are deeply unsettling. Wikipedia puts it very well: “Edward Said has argued that he “allowed himself quite consciously to be turned into a witness for the Western prosecution”, promoting “colonial mythologies about wogs and darkies”. However, his works are considered plausible, even by many in the third world…”

There’s a great scene where Naipaul goes to Qom to meet Khomeini’s hanging judge, the Ayatollah Khalkhalli. He’s built up as this mythical, severe Wahhabist, and then he arrives, short and portly and jolly, cracking jokes about how he ordered the execution of the Shah’s Prime Minister. Santa Claus with an assault rifle and a copy of the Koran.

Sometimes the most frightening thing about monotheists is how merry they are.


Worth a thousand words.