ET IN ARCADIA EGO (SIC.)
In the spring a young man's fancy lightly turns to thoughts of Love. Or so the poet tells us. Alas, mine was a May-December romance and, with the sap rising, my elderly inamorata’s fancy turned inexorably to…..caravanning. Having failed to convert me to the pleasures of rural camping (shudder!), he suddenly pronounced the humble caravan as the antidote for my aversion to the Great Outdoors.
ET* was – still is, for all I know – what in our politically correct age one would call “follically challenged”. Bald as a coot, to use the vernacular.
Follicle deficiency has always been something of an erotic flashpoint for me. This was not because of any populist connection between hair loss and a high testosterone count.
THE CLINTON YEARS
There is currently a craze for adult colouring-in and painting-by-numbers (puts a whole new complexion on Fifty Shades of Grey!). Apparently, this derives from our misty-eyed reversion to the stress-free pleasures of a (prehistoric) age when children were children and Titty from Swallows and Amazons did not need to be rechristened Tatty to avert a chorus of knowing sniggers from the non-PC brigade. Ah, truly nostalgia ain’t what it used to be!
MIND THE (GENERATION) GAP!
HRH The Prince of Wails once memorably whinged to one of his more sympathetic correspondents: “How awful incompatability is, and how dreadfully destructive it can be for the players in this (his and Diana’s) extraordinary drama. It has all the elements of a Greek Tragedy.” I’m with HRH on this, although my own creepy idyll owed more to Feydeau than Euripides!
TIS THE SEASON TO BE THRIFTY
Christmas with ET* was stressful to put it mildly. The festive season brought him out in such a rash of skinflintery and vegetarian self-righteousness as to make Scrooge appear a right raver.
Matters were made worse when my concerned relatives sent emergency ‘food drops’ of the sort guaranteed to inflame ET’s Inner Socialist. The delivery of boxes crammed with crested delicacies from Fortnum and Mason – definitely my kind of corner shop – not only dented his credentials with the local cloth cap brigade but awakened his darkest suspicions of my affiliation to Toffdom.
THE PROOF OF THE PUDDING
The Napoleonic saying has it that “An army marches on its stomach.”
That being the case, I was honour bound to mutiny!
My elderly inamorata ET* had a bizarre range of hang-ups around alimentary issues.
Afflicted with, ahem, a mid-life inability to recognise that my pin-up was in fact an elderly anorectic – think Jeremy Corbyn crossed with St Jerome – I also entirely failed to realise that this fifties raver was as morbidly obsessed with the idea of the ‘body beautiful’ as any teenage babe.