All I want is a dustbin to call my own

`I had to pick my way through Puy lentils and woodcock carcasses to reach my doorstep'

THIS TIME last week, looking down on to the King's Road from my bedroom window, I could see Michael Portillo and Jeffrey Archer standing by the No 11 bus stop handing out blue balloons and "Vote Tory" stickers to passers-by.

Well, at least that's all over, and with any luck I shall never see either of them again. The chances of Mr Portillo setting foot in his new constituency this side of the new millennium are as thin as the smile of the woman at the exit door of the polling station last night when I told her that I had just voted for Lisa Lovebucket, People's Net Dream Ticket Party. In retrospect I rather wish I had. Who knows, we might have shared the same dreams, Miss Lovebucket and I.

My current dream, I may as well tell you, is to have my very own dustbin. It's not much to ask, but if you live in a flat in Chelsea it's like crying for the moon. Looking down from my bedroom window this morning, all I can see is the mountain of putrefying rubbish outside my front door.

Be warned, Mr Portillo, should you ever think of paying us a fleeting visit in between your ministerial duties, that's the way it works in your new constituency. You put your dustbin bag outside your front door on the appropriate day, and within seconds 50 other people have dumped theirs alongside it. Being Chelsea, it's superior rubbish, of course - you can see this when the dogs have split the bags open and the rats have had their pick. Many's the night I have had to pick my way through empty jars of Estee Lauder energising cream, vintage Dom Perignon bottles, Puy lentils and woodcock carcasses to reach my doorstep.

In the old days we put our rubbish in dustbins in the back yard, having lowered it on a hoist from the kitchen. It was an ingenious arrangement, albeit time-consuming because we live on the fifth floor. If you operated the winch too vigorously, all the rubbish fell off. Then the landlord declared the back yard out of bounds, and we had to put our rubbish on the pavement. I suppose he has plans for developing the yard into a gym or a shopping mall or a multi-storey car park. That's the sort of thing you do if you own a back yard in Chelsea. It's like sitting on a goldmine.

Oh, Miss Lovebucket, if only you and your People's Net Dream Ticket Party had got in, and your dreams had come true. Why, Chelsea might even have reverted to being a pleasant place in which to live. For ordinary people to live, I mean, not visiting American bankers on short-term contracts with Goldman Sachs, prepared to pay pounds 2,000 a week for a tarted-up workman's cottage. I can't honestly see Mr Portillo bothering his head about fair rents for his constituents. Maybe the new mayor will do something about it.

Talking of mayors, Lord Archer was supposed to be running the auction at the charity ball I went to last Saturday night. It was the same day I had seen him at the bus stop with his balloons. Owing to unforeseen circumstances Lord Archer would be unable to attend that evening, said the toastmaster - would we please give a round of applause for his stand- in. "Pity," said a granite-faced woman in purple who clearly knew the charity ball circuit well. (I don't.) "Jeffrey is absolutely brilliant at doing charity auctions. He does at least three a week, raises millions for all sorts of good causes. I do hope this little difficulty he's having doesn't mean he won't be doing them any more."

I never thought I'd say this, but five hours later I agreed with her. I shall probably never go to another charity ball, but if I do, please God Jeffrey Archer runs the auction; apparently he is not only good at it, he's also nippy - and if there is one quality that this particular art form requires, it is speed.

"The wonderful thing about Jeffrey," mused the woman in purple, "was that if the lots didn't reach the price he thought they should, he didn't hang around - he just bought them himself. He's terribly decent that way." That at least should cheer him up a little.

Arts and Entertainment

Great British Bake Off
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Arts and Entertainment

ebooksNow available in paperback
Arts and Entertainment

ebooks
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
SPONSORED FEATURES

ES Rentals

    Independent Dating
    and  

    By clicking 'Search' you
    are agreeing to our
    Terms of Use.

    The long walk west: they fled war in Syria, only to get held up in Hungary – now hundreds of refugees have set off on foot for Austria

    They fled war in Syria...

    ...only to get stuck and sidetracked in Hungary
    From The Prisoner to Mad Men, elaborate title sequences are one of the keys to a great TV series

    Title sequences: From The Prisoner to Mad Men

    Elaborate title sequences are one of the keys to a great TV series. But why does the art form have such a chequered history?
    Giorgio Armani Beauty's fabric-inspired foundations: Get back to basics this autumn

    Giorgio Armani Beauty's foundations

    Sumptuous fabrics meet luscious cosmetics for this elegant look
    From stowaways to Operation Stack: Life in a transcontinental lorry cab

    Life from the inside of a trucker's cab

    From stowaways to Operation Stack, it's a challenging time to be a trucker heading to and from the Continent
    Kelis interview: The songwriter and sauce-maker on cooking for Pharrell and crying over potatoes

    Kelis interview

    The singer and sauce-maker on cooking for Pharrell
    Refugee crisis: David Cameron lowered the flag for the dead king of Saudi Arabia - will he do the same honour for little Aylan Kurdi?

    Cameron lowered the flag for the dead king of Saudi Arabia...

    But will he do the same honour for little Aylan Kurdi, asks Robert Fisk
    Our leaders lack courage in this refugee crisis. We are shamed by our European neighbours

    Our leaders lack courage in this refugee crisis. We are shamed by our European neighbours

    Humanity must be at the heart of politics, says Jeremy Corbyn
    Joe Biden's 'tease tour': Could the US Vice-President be testing the water for a presidential run?

    Joe Biden's 'tease tour'

    Could the US Vice-President be testing the water for a presidential run?
    Britain's 24-hour culture: With the 'leisured society' a distant dream we're working longer and less regular hours than ever

    Britain's 24-hour culture

    With the 'leisured society' a distant dream we're working longer and less regular hours than ever
    Diplomacy board game: Treachery is the way to win - which makes it just like the real thing

    The addictive nature of Diplomacy

    Bullying, betrayal, aggression – it may be just a board game, but the family that plays Diplomacy may never look at each other in the same way again
    Lady Chatterley's Lover: Racy underwear for fans of DH Lawrence's equally racy tome

    Fashion: Ooh, Lady Chatterley!

    Take inspiration from DH Lawrence's racy tome with equally racy underwear
    8 best children's clocks

    Tick-tock: 8 best children's clocks

    Whether you’re teaching them to tell the time or putting the finishing touches to a nursery, there’s a ticker for that
    Charlie Austin: Queens Park Rangers striker says ‘If the move is not right, I’m not going’

    Charlie Austin: ‘If the move is not right, I’m not going’

    After hitting 18 goals in the Premier League last season, the QPR striker was the great non-deal of transfer deadline day. But he says he'd preferred another shot at promotion
    Isis profits from destruction of antiquities by selling relics to dealers - and then blowing up the buildings they come from to conceal the evidence of looting

    How Isis profits from destruction of antiquities

    Robert Fisk on the terrorist group's manipulation of the market to increase the price of artefacts
    Labour leadership: Andy Burnham urges Jeremy Corbyn voters to think again in last-minute plea

    'If we lose touch we’ll end up with two decades of the Tories'

    In an exclusive interview, Andy Burnham urges Jeremy Corbyn voters to think again in last-minute plea