I recently had the pleasure and privilege of interviewing Fay Weldon. The Grande Dame of contemporary women’s fiction-with-an-edge – with whom I spent an hour on stage at the Chipping Norton Literary Festival (Jeremy Clarkson did not attend) – can count among her achievements not just 34 novels and several volumes of short stories, radio plays, stage plays, essays, TV scripts, a CBE, FRSL, a couple of professorships, three husbands and four children but – let us never forget – a significant contribution to the success of the 1960s campaign: Go to Work on an Egg.
As the author of a ground-breaking diet book in which the eating of eggs for breakfast is fundamental (studies show you will eat four hundred fewer calories for the rest of the day) and self-appointed connoisseur of the egg mayonnaise sandwich (should I ever be careless enough to end up on death row it will be my last meal along with decent crisps and a bottle of champagne) I have always been an advocate of the humble egg as staple food item.
Of course the health brigade, in their usual joyless fashion, have been delivering dire warnings about the perils of eating more than three yolked delights per week, for some time. A diktat, I hardly need say, I have roundly ignored. And Yay! One is vindicated. Last week saw the death, at age 116, of Susannah Mushatt Jones, the oldest woman in the world, leaving that position open. The new incumbent, one Emma Morano, also aged 116, an Italian living near Swiss border, attributes her great age to eating… yes, eggs.
Three of them to be precise – a DAY! (Two of them she takes raw.) And lo – a small dig into the culinary habits of her predecessor – reveals that Ms Mushatt Jones too, liked her oval pleasures.
For her this came in the form of bacon with scrambled eggs which she also used to consume daily. In the interests of fairness, however, and before you rush out to stock up, I should add that Emma Morano additionally swears by staying single as a key to longevity, explaining that after her marriage ended in 1938 she remained solo because she “didn’t want to be dominated by anyone.”.
This does fly in the face of other research studies so if it sounds a bit drastic – and you’ve grown fond of your special him or her – I think you can safely take a chance. And make an omelette.
DONALD Trump has been looking ahead (over-optimistically, we pray) to a time when he might be president of the United States. Speaking of his future interactions with David Cameron, he has declared: “It looks like we’re not going to have a very good relationship”.
Well of course not. How could anyone with more than five brain cells interact well with a man who, every time he opens his mouth. spills out the sort of bile that the PM quite rightly described as “divisive, stupid and wrong.”
But these latest comments highlight his unsuitability even further. The grown-up, dignified, and above all, political, response would have been to demonstrate he could accept criticism, by refusing to be drawn on Mr Cameron’s opinions while murmuring soothingly about how he trusted that the “special relationship” would prevail. But no. Trump is an even greater chump than we feared.
THE CHURCH of England is investing millions of pounds in Google we learn, and has paid one of its executive commissioners a staggering £465,000.
Who knew – I didn’t – that these commissioners manage assets worth seven billion pounds?
Leaving aside the knotty questions of whether the church should be investing in companies with a less than glowing record of coughing up on the tax front, and whether it is right for individuals in the church’s employ to earn so much when so many of its parishioners live in poverty, I can only wonder this: If the Church of England has so much dosh, why is St Peter’s Church in Broadstairs having to scrabble around, begging for funds, for a few new pews and repairs to the clock tower?