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

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

Recruitment Genius: PPC Executive / Manager

£22000 - £28000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A PPC Executive/Manager is requ...

Ashdown Group: Service Delivery Manager - Retail / FMCG / WMS Operations

£55000 per annum: Ashdown Group: Service Delivery Manager - Retail / FMCG / WM...

Recruitment Genius: Fundraising and Campaigns Officer

£28000 - £32000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A Fundraising and Campaigns Off...

Recruitment Genius: Domestic Appliance Service Engineer

£21000 - £24000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This centre seeks an experience...

Day In a Page

Read Next
The Independent journalist James Moore pictured outside Mile End underground station in east London  

From ‘coloured’ to ‘cripple’ - some words just don't belong in everyday language

James Moore
Marina Litvinenko, the widow of former KGB agent Alexander Litvinenko, leaves the High Court after the opening of the inquiry into his death  

Laying the blame for Litvinenko’s death at Putin’s door is an orthodoxy that needs challenging

Mary Dejevsky
Isis hostage crisis: Militant group stands strong as its numerous enemies fail to find a common plan to defeat it

Isis stands strong as its numerous enemies fail to find a common plan to defeat it

The jihadis are being squeezed militarily and economically, but there is no sign of an implosion, says Patrick Cockburn
Virtual reality thrusts viewers into the frontline of global events - and puts film-goers at the heart of the action

Virtual reality: Seeing is believing

Virtual reality thrusts viewers into the frontline of global events - and puts film-goers at the heart of the action
Homeless Veterans appeal: MP says Coalition ‘not doing enough’

Homeless Veterans appeal

MP says Coalition ‘not doing enough’ to help
Larry David, Steve Coogan and other comedians share stories of depression in new documentary

Comedians share stories of depression

The director of the new documentary, Kevin Pollak, tells Jessica Barrett how he got them to talk
Has The Archers lost the plot with it's spicy storylines?

Has The Archers lost the plot?

A growing number of listeners are voicing their discontent over the rural soap's spicy storylines; so loudly that even the BBC's director-general seems worried, says Simon Kelner
English Heritage adds 14 post-war office buildings to its protected lists

14 office buildings added to protected lists

Christopher Beanland explores the underrated appeal of these palaces of pen-pushing
Human skull discovery in Israel proves humans lived side-by-side with Neanderthals

Human skull discovery in Israel proves humans lived side-by-side with Neanderthals

Scientists unearthed the cranial fragments from Manot Cave in West Galilee
World War Z author Max Brooks honours WW1's Harlem Hellfighters in new graphic novel

Max Brooks honours Harlem Hellfighters

The author talks about race, legacy and his Will Smith film option to Tim Walker
Why the league system no longer measures up

League system no longer measures up

Jon Coles, former head of standards at the Department of Education, used to be in charge of school performance rankings. He explains how he would reform the system
Valentine's Day cards: 5 best online card shops

Don't leave it to the petrol station: The best online card shops for Valentine's Day

Can't find a card you like on the high street? Try one of these sites for individual, personalised options, whatever your taste
Diego Costa: Devil in blue who upsets defences is a reminder of what Liverpool have lost

Devil in blue Costa is a reminder of what Liverpool have lost

The Reds are desperately missing Luis Suarez, says Ian Herbert
Ashley Giles: 'I'll watch England – but not as a fan'

Ashley Giles: 'I'll watch England – but not as a fan'

Former one-day coach says he will ‘observe’ their World Cup games – but ‘won’t be jumping up and down’
Greece elections: In times like these, the EU has far more dangerous adversaries than Syriza

Greece elections

In times like these, the EU has far more dangerous adversaries than Syriza, says Patrick Cockburn
Holocaust Memorial Day: Nazi victims remembered as spectre of prejudice reappears

Holocaust Memorial Day

Nazi victims remembered as spectre of prejudice reappears over Europe
Fortitude and the Arctic attraction: Our fascination with the last great wilderness

Magnetic north

The Arctic has always exerted a pull, from Greek myth to new thriller Fortitude. Gerard Gilbert considers what's behind our fascination with the last great wilderness