A woman’s favourite destination is a cosy little spot that goes by the name of “G.” But, Europe comes a close second. The Continent haemorrhages history. There’s a host of ghosts in every nook and cranny. The whole place is casually strewn with medieval citadels, grand chateaus and Roman ruins, which is great because being photographed in front of ancient monuments makes a girl look soooo much younger!
I’ve lived partly in London for 30 years. The biggest benefit of living in England is its proximity to Europe. Every spare weekend, I’ve ricocheted across the channel for some close encounters of the continental kind. As a social climber, I have a head for heights, which is why I’ve yodelled my way around the Swiss Alps and done a little light Julie Andrew type twirling in Austria. I’ve patted the Lippizan horses which are one of Vienna’s um, mane attractions and enjoyed concerts by locals boys– Haydn, Beethoven, Mahler, Liszt, Bruckner, Schubert, Schuman, Strauss, Mozart, Freud (okay, he didn’t play an instrument, but he did deal with highly strung people.)
Bayreuth is where I go for Wagner and Berlin, for cabaret. Yes, the German language is grating and the food is boring – every time I eat in Germany I want to scream, “You people occupied France and Italy! Did you learn nothing?!” – but their musical menu is scrumptious.
I’ve done laps in the silky, shark-free Med and clambered over Greece’s ancient mosaics, amphitheatres and smashed marble pedestals. In Delos I became a columnist, literally, when photographed atop a plinth…. I always knew One Day My Plinth Would Come. I’ve cycled the Algarve, flamenco danced in Cordoba and been introduced as ‘Café Latte’ on Italian book tours. Dubrovnik, Prague, Amsterdam, Barcelona, Venice – I’ve been lucky enough to sample the whole geographical minestrone.
But my favourite place by far, is France. When initially visiting Paris, my first thought was – isn’t a bidet really too small a bathtub in which to wash your whole body? I really didn’t understand much about the French, except that they have a proud tradition of hating absolutely everyone. I also knew you can tell a French film by the amount of talking which goes on in it. The French don’t really need a traditional army; they could simply bore their enemies to death with a crack team of existentialist philosophers spreading ennui. The opponents they don’t succeed in smugging to death, they could just wipe out with passive smoke inhalation from Gitane fumes.
Obviously, I wasn’t in any danger of breaking the savoir-faire barrier. Arriving at Gare du Nord, I was worried I’d be arrested by the Chic Police and told to “Never darken our Dior again.”…Well, I couldn’t have been more wrong. It was love at first bite. The gateaus, the chateaus, the glamour, the art galleries, the vintage vino, the flirtation… A day or two in Paris and you realise that it’s not that the French are arrogant; it’s just that the rest of the world suffers from delusions of adequacy.
Of course, post Brexit, these easy, breezy excursions will become much harder. There’ll be visas and passport queues. I’m not sure Johnson and the other pinstripe-under-panted Tory pterodactyls have properly thought through a Europe-ectomy. Scotland will have a referendum and remain in Europe. Ireland will reunite and remain in Europe. Then Wales will realise they can’t cope without funding from Brussels and skedaddle back to the EU. And all that will be left of Great Britain will be a shrunken little England – a museum of Morris dancers and spotted-dick digesters.
Not so much Rule Britannia, as Fool Britannia. Okay, gotta go. Must pop to Rome for a risotto and Poland for a polka, while I still bloody well can.
What do women really want in bed? Breakfast. Oh, and a good book. If you’re looking for a funny, frivolous yet feisty new read, do slip between my covers. Satisfaction guaranteed.
Here’s a selection of scribblings in which I peel down to my emotional underwear – a psychological striptease that occasionally reveals all.
I think women are each other’s human Wonderbras – uplifting, supportive and making each other look bigger and better.
If he wants breakfast, tell him to sleep in the kitchen.
Men think monogamy is something you make dining tables out of.
Many marriages break up for religious reasons – he thinks he’s a god and she doesn’t.
Love prepares you for marriage the way needlepoint prepares you for round-the-world solo yachting.
Boys will be boys, and so will a load of middle-aged boys who should know better.
Ladies who lynch.
No wife ever shot a husband while he was vacuuming.
I think therefore I’m divorced.
All husbands think they’re Gods. If only their wives weren’t atheists.
Happy wife = happy life.
I couldn’t ask for a better husband… as much as I’d bloody well like to.
Statistically, 100% of divorces begin with marriage.
Marriage is nature’s way of promoting masturbation.
Marriage is a fun-packed, frivolous activity – only occasionally resulting in death.
It’ll be an amicable split. You’ll both get 50 % of the acrimony.
A new invention is required. The monogamous husband. Patent Pending.
How Do I Hate Thee? Let me Count the Ways.
My wedding vows didn’t say To Love, Hoover and Obey.
I’m Having my period so can therefore legally kill you.
You are going to enjoy this marriage, even if I have to divorce you to do so.
A happy marriage is like an orgasm – many of them are faked.
All this emphasis on women faking orgasms, but what about men faking foreplay?
Why do men like intelligent women? Because opposites attract.
Why don’t women tell jokes? Because we marry them.
What does a woman really want in bed? Breakfast.
For women, life is full of lies – I mean doctors maintain that wrinkles don’t hurt.
Legal aid cuts prove that the Tories believe a person is innocent until proven destitute.
Sexist men are so stupid it makes you want to take the ‘men’ out of Mensa.
If a man ever tells you that women fall at his feet – it’s only because he gets them drunk first.
A woman must always fight back. Never just lie back and think of Canberra.
The best cure for menopause is the toy boy diet. A case of having Your Beefcake and Eating It Too.
I don’t fake orgasms. I’m faking being six foot one and seven stone.
Trophy wives tarnish quickly and then get left on the shelf.
Lawyers work 24/7. The partners of lawyers suffer from a bad case of subpoena envy.
Most shrinks should book an appointment with themselves.
The question on the minds of most women is – why doesn’t chocolate go straight to your boobs?
Don’t fall for a man’s puppy dog look… Just get him wormed.
It’s been so long since a man has touched me, not even medical science will want my body.
My top tip for keeping your youth? Lock him in the pool house.