Oh goodness Tory you aren't fat you silly girl! I always think of you as Reubenesque, your figure would have been all the rage a few hundred years ago, and you know you still fill out a ballgown beautifully! That's the trouble with us skinny minnies, we need a bit of help to look really good in strapless numbers. Thank goodness for that marvellous man in Devonshire Place that Sophie Stuttridge tipped me the nod about, Rupert was so impressed by his birthday presents that he didn't say a word about the invoice. Do you know, for the first time in the 20 years I've known him, he was absolutely speechless. Definitely worth the discomfort.
Well, the new man from the Rectory came around earlier, as I said. Quite a surprise, really. I was expecting the usual - you know - refugee from some ghastly little terraced house in Wandsworth or Fulham, schooled at Gresham's or Oundle or somewhere that he calls "public school", shirt from Thomas Pink, married to a girl called Lucy who reads Country Living and thinks she's married well. Well of course you know, there are hundreds of people like them littering the countryside, so tedious.
Anyway, he was quite different. American, for a start, which I always find dreadfully confusing. And not a banker from New York or anything recognisable, one knows how to deal with them. He was from Chicago or Cincinatti or one of those places you hear about on the telly but never meet anyone from, I can't remember exactly. In fact, thinking about it now, I barely found out anything about him at all, and I made conversation with the man for 20 minutes, even gave him a cup of tea for goodness sake. How extraordinary. He wasn't angling for a shooting invite - I don't think he was angling for anything actually, just came over to introduce himself - I even mentioned that we had a marvellous shoot and he just laughed and said it wasn't for him. I also found myself inviting his wife over for coffee one of my Thursday mornings (Lord knows why, the last thing Milly and the girls want is some strident American boring us about her children at our weekly goss session) and he laughed again and said he didn't think she would be available on Thursday mornings. Jolly rude, actually. But quite intriguing.
Oh damn, Ruperts bloody bitch is on heat and has jumped the gate. Probably going after that revolting border collie in the farm cottages. Must dash!