Diary

Share
NEIL'S SEND-OFF BASH HIT BY INFLATION

After a little arm-twisting, members of the Shadow Cabinet agreed a few weeks ago to part with pounds 100 each to fund a send-off meal for Neil Kinnock and Roy Hattersley including 'presentations'. It will be held a week today. That was painful enough. But now the party organiser, Jack Cunningham, (his last organising job, you'll remember, was the 1992 election campaign) has had to write a difficult letter to the partygoers. 'I regret to have to tell you that the original 'quotes' of the likely cost of the meal and presentations were a considerable underestimate.' All suitable venues in the House of Commons were booked up, he explains, and so a private room at the Savoy Hotel has been taken. 'This,' writes Cunningham, 'has increased the expense . . .' It has also, we gather, increased the collective Shadow Cabinet blood pressure. Cunningham concludes by requesting that his colleagues accept his apologies and send a further cheque for pounds 50. Smartish.

'WAS IT YOU,' asks a paragraph in the Sun's sports pages, 'who blew Jeremy Bates away?' They're referring, of course, to the sneezer who let rip at the Wimbledon audience on Monday afternoon, causing Bates to fluff the crucial serve that might have beaten Guy Forget and made old England great again. 'If you can throw any light on the big tishoo, give Sunsport a call,' the item goes on innocently enough. Advice: if it was you, don't call - just jump. It'll be easier that way.

HOWE IT HAPPENED

Geoffrey Howe, who follows Baroness Thatcher to the Lords today, has an autobiography on the way. Its publisher, Macmillan, promises 'a detailed account of the circumstances leading to his resignation speech and its explosive effect upon the power dynamics of his party' - also known as The Juicy Bit. But we must wait until 1994 before we can read how Geoffrey fell out with Maggie - and felled her. On the subject of the Baroness, you may have read that staff at Middlesex University have called for the banning of nouns ending in '-ess', like stewardess or mistress, because, they say, the suffix 'stereotypes females as wicked'. Hmmm. Baronette isn't quite right. It'll have to be Baron Thatcher.

MIKHAIL MALEY, defence adviser to Boris Yeltsin, has a good wheeze. He proposes replacing the nuclear warheads in the nose cones of SS-18 Intercontinental Ballistic Missiles with up to seven tons of food, blankets and tents. Whenever an emergency occurs the idea would be to lob an SS-18 at the trouble- spot and bomb it with sustenance.

A PUFF OF SMOKE

Spontaneous human combustion is not taken seriously enough, says Jenny Randles. She and Peter Hough have spent seven years working on their book, Spontaneous Human Combustion, to be published later this month. 'It took us a long time building up contacts. When we first asked around everyone denied being interested, but after a while we found a number of scientists who were carrying out related experiments and who would admit to us that they knew it happened.' And it happens a lot - Randles estimates that 10 to 100 people in Britain burst into flames each year. So how do you avoid it? There are, confesses Randles, 'freak combinations of gases and food which could result in combustion. A combination of hydrocarbons from eating too many eggs and medicine to control bowel movements which consists of liquid paraffin could, according to some scientists, be a flammable combination.' You have been warned.

AMANDA de Cadenet, whom you might call a television presenter, talks in Hello magazine of her new baby daughter, Atlanta. 'She'll stop me spending so much money in Sloane Street] It's a bit of an effort (having a baby) so I haven't bought so many clothes since she came around.' There's more. 'It's great to have a girl because I can show her all my Chanel jewellery and she'll inherit a great wardrobe.' And: 'She is going to be my friend, well, she is already. I'm pleased there isn't a generation gap.' Amanda is 20.

A DAY LIKE THIS

1 July 1929 Dora Carrington writes to Julia Strachey from The Hague: 'The Dutch are extremely plain, slow and lacking in sensibility (to my way of thinking). In their favour: the coffee is good, some of the architecture very beautiful and lovely pictures in the galleries. We've had one grand dinner so far, enormous varieties of hors d'oeuvres: literally 20 dishes. All the time a band of Javanese coffee-coloured musicians played passionate passages from the greater Italian operas dressed in cherry red uniforms with gold frogs. The Dutch under the influence of food and drink lapse back (even in the grand restaurants) into amorous scenes by Rubens, loll in their chairs, burst into coarse laughter and tinkle glasses together. So far I have seen no interesting cats.'

React Now

  • Get to the point
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Recruitment Genius: Senior Digital Marketing Consultant

£28000 - £45000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A Senior Digital Marketing Cons...

Recruitment Genius: Assistant Stores Keeper

£16640 - £18500 per annum: Recruitment Genius: An Assistant Stores Keeper is r...

Recruitment Genius: Claims Administrator

£16000 - £18500 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This is an excellent opportunit...

Recruitment Genius: Software Developer - C# / ASP.NET / SQL

£17000 - £30000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Developer required to join a bu...

Day In a Page

Read Next
Mosul falls: Talk of Iraq retaking the town, held by IS since June, is unconvincing  

Isis on the run? The US portrayal is very far from the truth

Patrick Cockburn
Photo match: Nicola Sturgeon on the balance beam on 27 April. Just like that other overnight sensation, Russian Olympian Olga Korbut, in 1972  

Election catch-up: SNP surge, Ed Balls’s giraffe noises, and Cameron’s gaffe

John Rentoul
'It was first time I had ever tasted chocolate. I kept a piece, and when Amsterdam was liberated, I gave it to the first Allied soldier I saw'

Bread from heaven

Dutch survivors thank RAF for World War II drop that saved millions
Britain will be 'run for the wealthy and powerful' if Tories retain power - Labour

How 'the Axe' helped Labour

UK will be 'run for the wealthy and powerful' if Tories retain power
Rare and exclusive video shows the horrific price paid by activists for challenging the rule of jihadist extremists in Syria

The price to be paid for challenging the rule of extremists

A revolution now 'consuming its own children'
Welcome to the world of Megagames

Welcome to the world of Megagames

300 players take part in Watch the Skies! board game in London
'Nymphomaniac' actress reveals what it was really like to star in one of the most explicit films ever

Charlotte Gainsbourg on 'Nymphomaniac'

Starring in one of the most explicit films ever
Robert Fisk in Abu Dhabi: The Emirates' out-of-sight migrant workers helping to build the dream projects of its rulers

Robert Fisk in Abu Dhabi

The Emirates' out-of-sight migrant workers helping to build the dream projects of its rulers
Vince Cable interview: Charging fees for employment tribunals was 'a very bad move'

Vince Cable exclusive interview

Charging fees for employment tribunals was 'a very bad move'
Iwan Rheon interview: Game of Thrones star returns to his Welsh roots to record debut album

Iwan Rheon is returning to his Welsh roots

Rheon is best known for his role as the Bastard of Bolton. It's gruelling playing a sadistic torturer, he tells Craig McLean, but it hasn't stopped him recording an album of Welsh psychedelia
Russell Brand's interview with Ed Miliband has got everyone talking about The Trews

Everyone is talking about The Trews

Russell Brand's 'true news' videos attract millions of viewers. But today's 'Milibrand' interview introduced his resolutely amateurish style to a whole new crowd
Morne Hardenberg interview: Cameraman for BBC's upcoming show Shark on filming the ocean's most dangerous predator

It's time for my close-up

Meet the man who films great whites for a living
Increasing numbers of homeless people in America keep their mobile phones on the streets

Homeless people keep mobile phones

A homeless person with a smartphone is a common sight in the US. And that's creating a network where the 'hobo' community can share information - and fight stigma - like never before
'Queer saint' Peter Watson left his mark on British culture by bankrolling artworld giants

'Queer saint' who bankrolled artworld giants

British culture owes a huge debt to Peter Watson, says Michael Prodger
Pushkin Prizes: Unusual exchange programme aims to bring countries together through culture

Pushkin Prizes brings countries together

Ten Scottish schoolchildren and their Russian peers attended a creative writing workshop in the Highlands this week
14 best kids' hoodies

14 best kids' hoodies

Don't get caught out by that wind on the beach. Zip them up in a lightweight top to see them through summer to autumn
Robert Fisk in Abu Dhabi: The acceptable face of the Emirates

The acceptable face of the Emirates

Has Abu Dhabi found a way to blend petrodollars with principles, asks Robert Fisk