Saturday, January 13, 2007

A day in Brighton and my camp grandfather ...

My, how like the home life of our own dear Queen - a day in Brighton, Philip? Ooh, yes, let's, ma'am. So that is what Lord H and I have done today. And goodness me, it was windy on the pier. Very exciting too. I took two pictures of gulls and looked at the stormy brown waters. Very Wuthering Heights. Or it would have been, if there'd been a Height. We also stared longingly at the diamond shops in the Lanes, and wondered if we'll ever be able to afford an eternity ring. My heart is set on an emerald and diamond one, but hey it can wait another year. Or so.

But the real excitement of the day came when we popped into one of Brighton's second hand bookshops and I came across a copy of Paul Delany's "The Neo-Pagans: Friendship and Love in the Rupert Brooke Circle". No, no, the great poet is no relation to me, I'm afraid (more's the pity ...), but I have to admit to the fact that my grandfather, Justin Brooke, was one of the RB circle at King's, and is always described, rather charmingly, in any of the Rupert B biographies as a man "with an entirely superficial nature." Shame I never actually met him - I'm sure we'd have got on like the proverbial. I like to think that I'm keeping up the family standards of superficiality and ... um ... rather big noses. Interestingly, the photo of JB which looks horrifyingly more and more like me as the years go by is also in the Delany book, so I bought it on the grounds of family loyalty. And on flicking through, I found another, younger photo of my grandfather, which looked completely like my father, so that was quite scary, as my father's been dead for years. However, I'm distinctly not mentioning the photo of my grandfather in drag playing Miss Hardcastle in "She Stoops to Conquer" purely because of his apparently legendary 22 inch waist. Which is right next to the photo of Rupert Brooke playing a very camp Stingo in the same production. The Flower of English Youth, eh? It's astonishing we won the war at all.

Other good news - on my trawl round Godalming yesterday, I found a glorious half-price calendar of half-naked firemen, so snapped one up at once. We in the Lord H household do so enjoy our naked calendars - and aren't too bothered which sex they happen to be. So I am now gazing adoringly at Andy from Norfolk, who is interested in motorcycling, gym and socialising. And is the proud owner of a very fine chest. Yummy.

Today's nice things:

1. Finding a photo of my grandfather in drag
2. The fireman calendar
3. Brighton pier.

Anne Brooke

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