Diary

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We will remember them, on our own

TIME, sadly, has failed to heal the old enmities between British veterans of the great battle of Monte Cassino and their former German adversaries. Indeed, so deep is the British veterans' continued distaste for all things German that they have boycotted next May's official 50th anniversary commemoration because the Italians insisted that they march alongside their former enemy.

Instead, the 500 British survivors of the five-month battle, many accompanied by their wives, are planning an alternative commemoration in the seaside town of Gaeta, 30 miles from the main event.

Only once will they be anywhere near the main proceedings - when they take part in the official Royal British Legion remembrance service, held in Monte Cassino's British cemetery, where, they feel, the Germans are unlikely to stray.

A dispute has been brewing over the ceremony since the formation of an organisation called the Federation of Monte Cassino Veterans, which includes veterans of both sides of the conflict.

The British, led by the former Black Watch sergeant John Clarke, feel the Federation has hijacked control of the proceedings - and agreed to march with the Germans on the big day without consulting everyone concerned.

'We don't want any unpleasantness but my people just do not want the Germans there,' says Mr Clarke. 'We want to be together in comradeship when we remember the 9,000 comrades we lost in that battle.'

A FRISSON is likely to ripple through the gentle carrot-juice and muesli world of health-food publishing with the news that Healthy Eating magazine will appear on the stands next month sporting a nude on its cover.

In an unlikely departure, the magazine's publisher, Mary Kennedy, has employed her step- daughter, Emma Kennedy, to pose wearing nothing but paint.

There are strawberries painted on her arms and shoulders, cherries on her navel and, on her breasts, two big red apples; all perfectly decent one might think - as did Ms Kennedy Snr - until, on closer inspection, she realised that the 'near arctic conditions' in the studio had affected the prominence of her stepdaughter's nipples.

Mindful that a ban on her magazine for grounds of 'offensiveness' might cost as much as pounds 100,000, Ms Kennedy acted quickly. Taking the advice of W H Smith, she treated the picture to a 'touch-up': a compromise that appears to suit everyone. 'After all,' as one of her colleagues put it, 'it hardly seems appropriate for a food magazine to appear tasteless.'

Thin-skinned

A TENSE moment in the Paris studios of the television channel France 2 the other night, where Paul McCartney was due to take part in a two-hour Ovation to the Beatles programme. Just as the great man's limo drew up outside, someone realised that the sofa he was to sit on for an interview was covered in fake panther skin and the interviewer, known as Nagui, was wearing leather shoes.

McCartney, ardent vegetarian and anti-vivisectionist, was diverted to the Salle Verte while a rug was thrown over the sofa and the interviewer was prised into a pair of borrowed canvas plimsolls.

A NEW Cambridge title - 'the fruitcake fellowship' - has been awarded by undergraduates to Trinity College's new junior bursar, Brigadier Paul Simm. His crime? He has tried, apparently, to impose certain military-style values on his college.

Students say that on the second day of last term - just after they had finished organising their rooms - he banned Blu- tak, blankets, pianos, harpsichords and, more bizarrely, cats.

Simms, whose spokeswoman says he is a little offended by the award, may take consolation in the fact that he only won the award by a whisker - runner-up was an Emmanuel fellow who banned four specific ducks from the college pond.

A DAY LIKE THIS

17 December 1825 The Irish poet Thomas Moore writes in his journal: 'Walked down to Abbey Street (Dublin), and found that all was over; my dear father had died at seven in the morning. Consulted about the funeral, which it was the wish of all to have as simple and private as possible. Dined at Abbot's, and returned to my mother in the evening. Our conversation deeply interesting: found that neither my mother nor Kate had been very anxious to press upon him the presence of a clergyman; but on mentioning it to him at Corry's suggestion, he himself expressed a wish for it. The subject of religion was, indeed, the only one, it seems, upon which his mind was not gone. When the priest was taking his confession, and put the necesary questions for that purpose to him, he called my mother and said, 'Auty, my dear, you can tell this gentleman all he requires to know quite as well as I' This was very true, as she knew his every action and thought, and was a most touching trait of him.'

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