Monday, 12 October 2020


Quite a few people I know say if only we could be like Scotland where strict Nicola is playing a blinder and seems to know exactly where she’s going. But does she really?

Bossy Nicola’s figures are getting worse and she’s now about to close the pubs. I got delight from Quentin Lett’s observation that Nicola was the sort of person who’d sweep your pint glass from your hand when there were two good sized gulps left, saying:

“You have quite enough of that.”

We need delights. We need that purple ‘Roses’ Hazel-in-Caramel-cased-in-milk-chocolate’ joy. We need “aha” moments.

I watched Ruth Davidson debating in the Scottish Parliament with Sturgeon. Ruth is shortly going to House of Lords (what a waste). She was one of the Tories who had “bottom” (if she’ll forgive the expression). Which means depth, roots and grounding. She’s also fun and eloquent. In short, she delights me.

Donald is not delightful just frightful Nor is Joe Biden (leader of the Free World? Surely not) or Mike Pence whose expression seems to suggest something bad is going to happen soon . But I saw the promise of a ray of sunshine last week in Kamala Harris in her debate with Pence. He rebuked her saying that she was entitled to have her own opinions but not her own facts. Kamala chuckled and said “nice line”. She could be a special one I thought.

Eating out…remember that? Closing restaurants at 10pm is for restaurateurs a bit like telling an ‘A’ Level student the 3 hour exam has been reduced to 2 hours but they must still answer the same number of questions. These restaurateurs are despairing and trying new survival strategies. Most of them will fail. Yet the delight of a beautiful meal in a buzzy restaurant is profound and does as much for your morale as for your appetite. 

Thus it was at Wild Flor in Hove , by some distance the best food around here, eminent chef Chris Trundle, ex-Manfred’s Copenhagen, delivering eye-opening dishes. It was our wedding anniversary. It was a celebration. It was wonderful. We used to eat out and gaze at each other a lot. This was just our second time eating-out this year. Who was that very pretty woman opposite me?

Films you’ve forgotten but which delight…Cary Grant in North by North West with memorable action scenes, notably the drunken drive down a mountain road and the crop spraying plane trying to kill Grant in the flat, empty middle of nowhere in mid America. 

Grant playing Roger Thornhill an Advertising Executive in a pre-digital age walks from hotel to cab dictating letters to his secretary whose feet are hurting her. 

They approach a cab which he hijacks from a man about to get in it saying he has to have the cab to rush the ill lady to hospital. His secretary rebukes him for lying as they settle back in the cab and he says:

“In the world of advertising, there's no such thing as a lie. There's only expedient exaggeration.”  

 Yes. What fun advertising was. Once upon a time.

Outside my office the Robinia is still in full, glorious, golden leaf. No wonder they call it the “Sunshine Tree”. Who could be grumpy when that’s cheering me on as I work?

We’ll have more pleasure over the next months if we always try and look – as Monty Python put it – “on the bright side of life”. 

That’s sometimes hard to do but use a bit of expedient exaggeration, tell yourself all is fine  and treat yourself to some delights.

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