Well, your mama heard about my trip to Australia and turned up in such a tizz convinced that I was going to see you so I said that as well as Mrs Cumberledge I was going out to see Lucy Anstruthers in Malaya you know the wife of Colonel Anstruthers who was seconded to help the Malayan air force after independence or is it called something else now look at Rhodesia which has a new name and they stayed on after independence. And I told her I was also going to see my dear friend Eleanor Cumberledge since it was such a long way and she said suspiciously that I'd never mentioned her before and I was annoyed why does she have to vet my friends I ask you. So I asked her if her memory was going and was she very stressed in a polite way I assure you so she said of course she was stressed and there was no ingratitude sharper than a serpent's tooth which is a misquote from the Bible you know the verse I mean but she meant you and how you'd mistreated her. I saw red and decided to be sharp with her and gave her my mind about you and Brent and how selfish she had been and I think I've burnt my bridges which is a pity because she is family but really to try and say it was all your fault and why didn't you just find a nice girlfriend? She said more but I shan't repeat it because she is your mother after all but really she can be more offensive than anyone I know and that includes Betty Whistlethorp who made a fine art of being rude and offensive but that was at school so I don't think you met her tiresome creature.
So I will be spending a few days with Lucy whom I haven't seen for 20 years since she came over to England with Hugh the colonel I mean only he's dead now poor man from heart attack men are such fragile creatures we women have to endure childbirth and children and men so we are strong so Lucy is quite alone but she has faithful servants who have been with for 30 years or more. I had to change my flight but British Airways was very kind about it though what was wrong with B.O.A.C. I don't know but I suppose I should have got used to the new name now but when I went overseas with your grandfather we always flew B.O.A.C. I think except once we went with TWA which was dreadful and another time when we flew Air France with the Concorde. So I won't get there on Friday after all but on next Wednesday and I know I said Thursday before but I forgot the time difference anyway Parker checked the details and I gave her your email I hope you don't mind just in case and she will probably want Mrs Cumberledge's and Lucy's phone numbers so if you can send me Mrs Cumberledge's that would be useful.
|La Grande Odalisque, by Ingres|
And my passport arrived. How they will believe that's me I don't know I'm sure I really do look like a Chinese Madam with hordes of odalisques at my beck and call and lots of hidden power and mystique which is quite untrue. Janet Fitstone was quite put out that I had the temerity to go travelling all the way across the world by myself as if I was a dotard which is a bit much really since it is she who has got all dithery but I think she wanted to come with me which is quite out of the question imagine having her all quavery and irritable and she always hated to go exploring and do different things and I do intend to enjoy myself. By the way I want to go and see Sydney Harbour Bridge because I saw pictures of it as a girl and I've always wanted to as long as it's not too far from Melbourne.
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Episodes 1 to 180 (without pictures, 10 episodes per chapter)