Robert Nevil Outrage

Thursday 3rd December 2015

Two art shows to cover for Dainty Lady TV – Artist and Empire  at Tate Britain (Val attended: ‘What I want to see is a portrait of ME by D’Laszlo’. Because there was a lovely one of two Indians by D’Lasz.  But Val was so up in all those old Afghan battles of the C19th – and massacres. It was his idea to cover it. While there we bumped into a Ghanian friend of Reggie Cresswell’s who said the exhib was like someone’s not very good essay on the subject of Artist and Empire. But in the end I found it valuable that they’d got out all those hoary old Victorian story paintings. Fab one of Queen Vic conferring a Bible on a black person called ‘The Secret of England’s Greatness.’ ) The second show was ‘The Story of Charles and Ray Eames.’ They were husband and wife who designed modern chairs (very good if you like modern – either ply-wood or fibreglass – and they were amongst the first to mass produce). Their bonkers side less interesting. They had an idea to educate India who involved producing pictures of nice doorways and so on in India that had been designed.

Otherwise last week was quiet. On Tuesday I attended a table quiz in Wanita (that’s Wandsworth) for the charity Homestart. I love to go for the experience and this rare unknown part of London. The blond mulit’s uni friend, Arabella von Gardendoor, resident of Wandsworth, is a supporter of Homestart. Thousands of middle class in couples or families were packed into the Town Hall and a chilli con carne supper was served made by family ladies in their homes. All the raffle prizes, as every year, came from this or that boutique in Northcote Terrace. I have never seen Northcote Terrace but can imagine it and crave it. It must be Wanita’s golden heart.

Friday was the big day. I gave a Thanksgiving Dinner (couldn’t think of any other menu) for Princess Irina Hersov and Prince Dmitri Hersov, as well as Robert Nevil, Sebastian Archer and Guy Mann, Princess Irina’s new man, who’s getting keen on his garden which is nice. Of course Princess Irina lives next door to Sid Id and Muriel McGlorian. Robert Nevil was exceptionally perky. I did a capon, quite a revelation, 4 kilos, cooked for less than two hours, then rested for one hour. For once I didn’t loathe the menu. I didn’t break down and crash into blind panic. It really was quite a nice dinner. A lot of Nigella – for instance sweet potato with marshmallow crisp top, beans with lemon.  Of course, her avo on toast as a pre-main in the drawing room. But Robert Nevil was up to no good. ‘The gravy was a bit lacking,’ he chirruped during the re-liver pudding (rhubarb). I banged the jug with the gravy remains down in front of him. There was plenty left. ‘I held back,’ he sniggered. ‘Pull his nose,’ I should have said to Princess Irina who was sat next to the horror. She would have too, for she is a formidable woman. Her office is a trial when she has to sit in a corridor with people who scrape the bottoms of their yoghurt pots. Sebastian Archer, along with Robert Nevil when not causing outrage, were very anecdotal and entertaining: Sebastian said that in New York a duck was born in a class room for a school project and now the teacher has to carry it back and forth from her home every day. Robert Nevil described vegans calling for the end of pets. Sebastian said that at the beginning of the War, there was a patriotic surge of people having their pets put down. I never knew that. But Prince Dmitri’s cleaning woman is being troublesome. She wants to give excessive service, even as far as luncheon devotion on a Saturday.  Poor Prince Dmitri – for he is one of the very few Poor Little Rich Gays with any serious moral purpose. She’s been with for 20 years. We made unhelpful suggestions of how she might become live-in and eventually he could scoop up her fortune (if any), but really it is agony for the Prince and she will have to be paid off. One tries and tries with staff.

Posted Thursday, December 3, 2015 under Adrian Edge day by day.

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