Never too old

russiagranniesAh Agatha dear heart.  Lovely to see you.  Come in and taste Ethel’s delectable meringues.

Mary dear, sounds delightful, and I am somewhat peckish after my morning pointing and sorting papers at our local polling station, you could say that we got into quite an Eton Mess with it all!

Well, we do have some cream and some of our lovely raspberries from the greenhouse to go with them.  I’d quite forgotten about that voting malarkey, which is a tad remiss of me considering all those wonderful women who suffered so that we could have the vote in the first place.

You are absolutely right dear friend, one has to try at least, even when it all looks rather like an uphill struggle.

I agree Agatha.  I say – you do seem a tad discombobulated today.  Perhaps you should stay off the gin until mid afternoon dear.

Mary!  I haven’t touched a drop.  But the Doctor advised I should try some new fangled pill and the side effects make me feel quite peculiar.  My mouth feels drier than the humour in the House of Lords.

Well, I prescribe some strong tea then.  I’ll ring for Ethel.

Thankyou dear.  Anyway, the voting started with quite a solid flow of suited and booted arriving early before going off to work, then mums with pushchairs and by 11am the geriatric brigade with their sticks and walking frames; I do believe they enjoy the trip out.


And you are older than most of them dear.

As indeed we both are dear…but I must admit I’ve been particularly lucky to remain mobile and not to succumb to the family condition like poor Uncle Fortesque.  His ankles became quite the talk of society you know.  But I digress, shall you vote later?

Well, I’m sure Ethel’s tea and meringues will perk me right up and then I can toddle off down to the local village hall and put my mark on the paper.   But, dear, I have no idea who I’d currently vote for as I’ve not seen anything convincing from any party.

I know what you mean Mary dear, it’s as though Theresa had a new haircut to divert attention from the importance of the local elections.

Well, one must keep in mind the big one in June of course.  And despite the evidence that the result is a foregone conclusion, the pollsters have got it wrong before. It’s never over until the fat lady sings as they say.  Which reminds me.  You didn’t manage to hear Madelaine Cauli-Floret sing at the parish council event the other evening?

Oh yes, Mary dear, what an experience.  I had quite forgotten how …. individual….. a singer she is.  Some of the ladies went quite into a swoon at her rendition of Fairies at the Bottom of the Garden.  Fortunately she was prevented from completing an encore of ‘Three Little Maids’ by Bernard Snubbings.  He’s not a man I care to associate with, following that nasty incident with the mustard at the Little Milford Church Benevolent Fund Summer Feast last year.  It quite put me off my sausages.

It sounds eventful dear, and I am sorry that I missed it. I’ve been up to my eyes in all my sorting out and packing for our trip to Bangkok.  All my summer outfits seem to have unaccountably shrunk since last year.   I will be forced to purchase some news items which is such a bore.  

Oh a trip up to town might be just the tonic we need dear.  I can ask Snetter to drop us at the station.

Yes, of course that would be splendid.  But I can’t help worrying about people like the tuneful Madelaine, and my dear Count, who could be made to leave England if we experience a hard Brexit.

Oh Mary dear, don’t upset yourself I’m sure that it won’t come to that, we’ve been over this before if you recall.  You know our economy can’t survive without all our European colleagues and besides dear one, it is the Eurovision song contest this weekend.

Agatha, goodness you don’t still follow that do you?

Indeed I do dear one and I must say it is a tonic.  My darling Algie is coming over with his lovely partner Daniel Blyth-Williamson and we shall be decorating the house entirely in glitter balls.  I do believe Martha is going for quite a European themed buffet too.  You and the Count must come over.  I think it will cheer your spirits entirely.


Do you believe we’ll get any points this year?

Well, it’s a long time certainly since we lifted the trophy dear one, but never say never. At least we can be thankful that that is one thing European that we will continue to support. And, between you and me, the rumour from Minnie Piersflight is that Prince Philip has retired precisely so he can watch the events from Thursday onwards.

Really dear, I didn’t know that he was a fan?

Oh absolutely, I would trust my crocheted hats to Minnie – whatever she says can be totally and discreetly relied upon.  Apparently it’s not a side of the Duke’s persona that he likes to publicise.  I do believe he even wrote a line or two for our dear Terry Wogan when he was compering the show!

Goodness me Agatha, that does explain a lot.  I do think he’s been an amazing ambassador though, despite some of his gaffes.  Of course it’s a shame that we won’t witness what he might have said to President Trump when he visits later this year.

Quite dear.  Perhaps it’s best Philip is retiring, given that the President appears rather quick to anger, and somewhat trigger-happy.

Perish the thought, Agatha.  More tea and another meringue?


High Heels and Crumpets

SYg1yDz8TcASo Mary dear, did you hear all that nonsense about the young gal who turned up for work in the wrong shoes?

No Agatha, I don’t think so.

Oh, but darling, it’s caused quite a sensation.  It’s all about a dress code which has probably been created by some pompous old codger who has absolutely no idea about all the running around the poor gal had to do.

You’re probably right Agatha dear, although of course in my day we didn’t work, so we could wear what we liked.  But, I must say that I’m not sure my maid, Jenny, would survive all day in heels no matter whether they’re Manolo Blahniks or Clarks.

So, what’s the real issue here then Mary?  Is it to do with an out of date dress code, or are we talking about women not being treated the same as men?

Well of course dear, what is sauce for the goose is certainly not sauce for the gander.  Don’t you remember when poor Ethel got arrested and then force fed?

Oh my goodness yes Mary, but we don’t really want to talk about all that unpleasantness over a plate of cucumber sandwiches do we?

Maybe not darling, but it does just put things in perspective and although the Suffragettes achieved vast amounts, we’ve still got a long way to go.

So Mary dear, forgive me as I think I’ve had a senior moment, but does this mean that this shoe furore is more about freedom of choice and equality then?

Of course, dear heart.  But if  this dress code also applied to men, then we wouldn’t be getting into such a lather.  Quite frankly, I love a man in heels – Louis XIV for instance, he started it all and realised that the extra height gave him authority over his subjects.  Then of course there were all those lovely young men in the ‘70’s in their high heels and Ossie Clark outfits, David Bowie, Elton John. Nowadays we’ve got Eddie Izzard, he looks wicked in a pair of courts.


Oh, but I absolutely agree darling, with the right outfit any man can look good in a pair of Jimmy Choo’s.  Although, apparently, a pair of high heels like those young fillies wear today puts you in a virtual corset. Young Emily tells me you have to have a strong core and lean slightly backwards when you wear them.

It sounds dreadfully painful Agatha, I’d rather stick with the whale-bone corsets than hobble about in towering heels; I should imagine they make your bottom look like pigs fighting in a blanket!

You are so right, but do you remember when I needed an extra confidence boost? I had to meet that dreadful chap from the Golf Club, Muirfield I think it was.  Anyway, I wore my four inch Bally Patents, it did the trick; although I stopped short of agreeing to marry him just to become a member!

So, Agatha, are you saying that heels give you authority?

Yes, Mary, but they are also symbols of subjugation and sexualisation, exploitation and that seedy world of pornographic films that we don’t talk about.

Those are terribly long words.  Have a sip of tea dear!  So, let’s just clarify that when we talk about high heels the subject is so steeped in different meanings, many of which go back hundreds of years, that it turns into a colossal ding-dong!

Quite.  Another crumpet Mary?

Oh yes, lovely, with lashings of butter too.  

So really we just need a dress code that treats gender equally?

I think so Agatha dear, we should get rid of all that stuffiness and those dreadful dress code policy things and just let people be adult about it; after all we’re not in the school playground any more.

Oh that reminds me Mary, young Algie needs to be picked up from rehearsal at four.  I’ll get John to bring the car round, and we can drop you off on the way.

Super idea Agatha.  Next time you must come to me – cook makes a wonderful Angel cake, you’ll love it, simply divine.