Please forgive two postings on one day; but I am aware that I've been a bit dilatory in bringing you scenes from Unmitigated England recently. This melancholy dull afternoon in Leicestershire gives me the perfect opportunity to catch up. Sunday lunch has been, and I hope for everybody still is, a very worthwhile institution. Right from childhood (Father: How much did you pay per pound for these bones mother?) and through all the very memorable lunchtimes with the beautiful women and children who have shared my life since, Sunday Lunch has always been very special. Particularly for the wine-fuelled interchanges that have taken place. So, I just have to share two snippets of conversation that have just taken place over the refectory table here. (Lord Ashley at one end, two of my heirs crouched at the other.) Me to the elder of the two (12): "Will you do this for me when I'm old and you've learnt to do a roast pig as good as this?" Son: "Yes of course, if we can remember who you are". Five minutes of quiet eating and then Son the Youngest (6) puts down his knife and fork and says: "I've got a cure for the Black Death". Me: " Bit late, but what is it?" Youngest Son: "Lemons". Me: "That was to prevent scurvy on ships". Reply: "Oh yes", followed by silence and the passing round of the gravy jug.
Marylebone Road, London
22 hours ago