Sharp Pen

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In the style of boots...

It was about twelve hours, darling, before I could instruct my solicitor.

It would have been a damn sight quicker, if the dirty little minx hadn't been off somewhere with that disgusting trader. Yes, the one with the gold rims. His glasses, dear, not the Imprezza. Peckham, yes, I believe so. Ugh. Don't remind me.

Anyway, I was trying to reach her almost from the moment they handed me the mirror. I was devastated, darling. And, would you believe it, the surgeon wouldn't even listen to me! Penelope was such a sweetie, though, and gave him a talking-to on my behalf. She's so good at dealing with these people, don't you think? Do you remember that restaurant in Nice? No, hold on a minute, it must have been Megeve. That's right, they objected to the pink snow-boots. Anyway, when she screamed, he nearly forgot his fake Swiss accent. The surgeon, dear. Who else would I be talking about?

And then it was about a week after that that Rupert simply caved in. Sometimes I could hit that man. I was completely distraught when I telephoned Pen. I said to her 'You're going to be so ashamed of your father'. She was a tower of strength, though. She told me that if I hated it, it didn't matter what Daddy thought. I felt I could begin to cope by the end of that call, even if the last hour was a bit rushed. That bloody governess kept telling Hen-Pen to come and finish off her homework.

You do see it, don't you, darling? Only you said something about looking years younger, and I do rather resent that. Months at most, pur-lease. And, anyway, that's the botox, nothing to do with the knife-wielding maniac. It's the stupid grin he put on my face, you see, dear. When I relax my mouth, it curls up at the ends, for God's sake. No, it is not a bloody smile. You're as bad as Rupert. No, sorry, I didn't mean that, darling. I'm very upset; that's why I said it. There now. Still, let's get back to my tribulations, shall we? The face-lift, yes. It makes me look as if I'm permanently half-cut. I said the same thing to Rupert, incidentally, and do you know what he said? No, I absolutely refuse to repeat it. The idiot.

Anyway, even if it is a 'faintly beatific smile' or whatever he calls it, it's ruining my life. Yes, it is, dear, really it is. He wants sex all the time for a start. And little old ladies talk to me in Harrods. Can you imagine it? I mean, I must look as if I want to be friendly with just anybody. What could possibly be worse than that?
And then I got the phone-call from the little hussy with the Peckham trader, and that's when I simply had to meet you, dear. I was so angry, you understand? No, I couldn't possibly manage another bottle of the Montrachet. Not a full one, at any rate. Just order another, and we'll leave half of it. Dear God, not a half-bottle, no. That's Antonia Sandham-Bankes from the tennis club behind you, darling. Think. You simply must consider these things.

Where was I? Oh yes, the solicitor. I don't want to talk about it. Well, she began by trying to persuade me that I didn't have a case, and then... no, I can't go on. No, sit down, dear; you've dragged it out of me. It turned out she'd been to see some woman from the Bench. That horrible LibDem woman, the same one, yes. The one with the bad breath who monopolised the quenelles at Belinda's do. Honestly, it doesn't bear thinking about.

After that, I'm not very sure that I've got the story straight, darling. It was hard to follow what she was saying, you see. It wasn't a very good line, and she kept stopping in mid-sentence and making wheezing noises. She said it was hay-fever. Yes, I thought that was a little unusual in January too.

Anyway, she showed the LibDem woman the photographs. The before-and-after ones, that's right. It was an 'acid test', whatever that means. Some kind of legal-speak, I shouldn't wonder. At any rate the bench-woman was quite shocked and said I definitely had a case, but apparently she then turned the photograph over and read what it said on the back. The significance of that went clean over my head, darling. And then she had what sounded like an asthma attack and for some reason we lost the line completely. Not very professional for her not to have called back, don't you agree?

Oh, did you want some more, dear? I seem to have drained the bottle again...

The Pinniped Portfolio


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