It has been a horribly stressful week all round, I'm afraid, as I had no alternative but to sack Day Nanny. I do not quite know what she was suffering from, but believe it might have been some kind of nervous trouble, as she kept weeping all over the place, and selfishly persisted in doing so even after I had kindly informed her that hot, salty tears are quite the worst thing for one's soft furnishings and hand-reared, hand-finished solid timber worktops, so could she at least try to cry over the sink and not splash? Also, such was the state of her nerves that she was being quite sick in the mornings and would serve the children dry toast (can you believe it?) for breakfast, even though she knows that they love my spinach flakes soaked overnight in IQ-boosting wheatgrass and algae. Yum, yum, as the children would say, if only they weren't going through this annoying, childish phase of making silly and un-called-for retching sounds all the time.
As you can imagine, this whole business has proved most unpleasant for everybody, including poor, sensitive Keith, whose yin-yang balance was thrown so off-kilter that I'd never seen him so pale and quiet and on edge.
"Day Nanny," I had to say to her, "I am most sympathetic to your troubles, and will - over the sink, over the sink! - certainly try to put in a little chant for you next time I come over all mystical at cabbala with that very famous Jewish lady, Madonna, but this just cannot go on."
"Mrs Brown..." she started to say.
"Oh, God," said poor Keith, going even whiter, a sure sign that his ying had ascended dangerously at the expense of his yang.
"Day Nanny," I said, "there is just no excuse."
"The thing is..." said Day Nanny, as Keith, as thoughtful as ever, moved to put a comforting arm across her mouth so that if she was sick (again!) it would not mark the Christopher Farr rug.
At this point, I took out my blue folder marked "Day Nanny", in which I had, of course, kept a record of her various lapses since the onset of her psychological problems, and which, most shockingly, included failing to adhere to the Montessori approach to fun. This, as is famously known, dictates one toy at a time for a limited period before it is sterilised and put back into the alphabetised toy-drawers. As evidence, I produced the incredibly sad, deceased body of Keithleen's pony, Baron Ayurvedic IV, who had been negligently misfiled and thus not attended to for some time. True, Baron Ayurvedic I, II and III didn't take well to the boilings in two-parts Dettol to one-part Domestos but, as I made plain to Day Nanny, they died of entirely natural causes nonetheless and will live on forever both in all our minds as well as in the several pairs of shoes and the utterly divine, one-off handbag I got out of them. Certainly, the very famous Jewish lady is always very jealous whenever I take it to cabbala.
To cut a long story short, Day Nanny left first thing this morning with, I think, a job interview to go to with what must be quite an important family, as I noted her clutching a letter with a Harley Street address on it. Of course, Keith being Keith, he offered to run her over there, and, on their way out, I heard him muttering all manner of reassuring things like, "It'll be fine". And, because the suspension in his Mercedes is known to be top class, "You won't feel a thing". He's such a softie. Honestly, if I find he has given her some kind of lump sum, I will not be surprised. Cross, but not surprised, as he has always been overly generous with our nannies in this way. Naturally, I've been on to the emergency hotline at Kensington & Chelsea Nannies, and am being sent a number of possibles directly. Meanwhile, Mae is standing in and has just given the children their usual, nutritious breakfast prior to taking them off for a delightfully full day of private Montessori education followed by media-training classes. "I just wait for chil'ren stop being the sick," she says. I'm afraid that Day Nanny might have left us with something of a bug.
ThereÃ¿s no such thing as a free fish supper
I've discovered that a number of readers have written to the editor of this newspaper, probably because they do not have my home address, which I can not reveal for fear of fans camping outside and ruining the line of the house. As it is, we have fans driving past quite often who will, knowing me to be the celebrity hostess that I am, try their luck with regard to a free fish supper. "Trout!" they will often call out. Sometimes, it is even "Old trout!", proving that, despite all I have said on this subject over the years, it hasn't sunk in with some people that trout must be eaten only when it is absolutely fresh, preferably moments after it is caught.
Back to the letters, and the one reader who writes asking why this column isn't simply subtitled: "I am just so much richer, classier and more fashionable than you." Why, indeed. All I can say is that, tragically, I did not think of it at the time, and would kick myself if only I weren't dictating all this to Bettina while being measured for a pair of lovely Baron Ayurvedic IV kitten-heeled mules. Actually, it has been a rather good week for feedback. Indeed, my lovely American PR and personal coat-handler - remember Todd? - has just dropped me a line to say: "Please, please, please, don't call us. We'll call you." Dear, dear Todd, so concerned about saving me every conceivable expense and trouble. See you next week!Reuse content