Magazine article The Spectator

United in Greed

Magazine article The Spectator

United in Greed

Article excerpt

I can smell fruit on your breath,' Peter announced crossly as he stood over my desk. I get through a lot of apples when I'm working. But they haven't been fermenting in my stomach. I don't wander through the house like a drunken wasp. Since there is not usually any opprobrium attached to a large intake of vitamin c, I think it's Peter who is the nut in this fruitcake.

Unfortunately, my husband has not restricted himself to strange views on fruit. When I got up this morning and slipped on my elastic Russell and Bromley, wedge-- heeled ankle boots, he said to me, `You know, when you shop for clothes you should always ask yourself, "Would Anna Wintour wear this?"' Anna Wintour being that famous country person, `Nuclear Wintour', the editor of American Vogue. A woman who is so slim she may well subsist on apples alone. Not something either Peter or I could be accused of.

Peter's appetite is certainly more than healthy. He gets very angry if he's deprived of a substantial share of the family meal. But I must admit I am his main protagonist. It distresses us both that my eldest son regards all food as guilty until proven innocent (something that can only be achieved after he has poked, sniffed and even listened to it, since food can, apparently, make terrifying squelching or even rustling noises, before it has been cooked). We parents are united in our greed and this must explain our identical reaction on discovering that we had been stood up for dinner last night.

I've stood up other people, so I bear no grudges about being forgotten. (I stood up Peter on our first date.) But we weren't merely stoical. We were quite thrilled. I had bought a filet of beef, Palma ham and porcini mushrooms in order to make a Naked Chef roast. …

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