Magazine article The Spectator

Loving a Loser

Magazine article The Spectator

Loving a Loser

Article excerpt

Search as I may I'm finding it difficult to find any good news in the new year. The mice that eat my new suede cushions are now out of the house but into the Range Rover, where they breakfast on the wires under the bonnet. The pig farm is losing money and Sara is leaving me. I always felt her looks were unfortunate. I loved her for her mind, which is very organised, but men were attracted to her beauty like bees to a honeypot. Now, at last, one of them has seduced her away from me and I must spend the whole of this week interviewing people to replace her as housekeeper.

The omens thus far have not been good. The first person to apply for the job was a man. I thought it was possible that I could get my head around the idea of having a member of his gender handling my laundry, but he informed me that he couldn't iron and was practically blind. Did that matter? Well, at this early stage in the selection process, yes it does. However I appreciate that his offer may look more attractive after I have seen the other interviewees. I may even, like the Conservatives, come to regard incapacity in an old man as a reason to rejoice. I wouldn't want an active General Pinochet managing the house. There is only room for one dictator here - myself.

Not that I suspect it was General Pinochet who applied to become my housekeeper. As a former soldier he must know how to iron. But he should consider the job. It may be safer for him to be here now than in Chile and we have Chilean chickens to make him feel at home, a few of which need to be quietly dealt with by someone who knows how to be ruthless. Furthermore, I wouldn't mind if he was visited by some of his old friends in the Conservative party. I have, in fact, determined to join the Conservative party myself. Not because they made his fate such a cause celebre, although it might seem that way. …

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