I have said some terrible things to people at parties for the simple reason that I was tanked up. Just getting Tiggy's name correct when you've had a couple of Babychams is in itself a bit of a triumph, I would imagine. Now the hangovers have well and truly cleared up, perhaps they should all grow up.
Marrying off your daughter, aged 13, to a Turkish waiter seems to me a very medieval thing to do, not to mention the fact that Enid Blyton must be revolving at the speed of light in a mausoleum somewhere. Everyone is throwing their hands up in despair and asking how the parents could possibly have given their blessing. Because they are stupid, one would imagine. I often think that because anyone with the correct equipment can have a baby, there are always going to be parents who are hopeless at parenting, at which point we call upon social workers to step into the human relations equivalent of Catch 22. If they don't do something, they're criticised, and if they do, nobody gives them any credit anyway - all the job satisfaction of a punch-bag, I'd say. The father of the bride touted his story round the papers, like they do, and sold it to the highest bidder. Unlikely to be the Financial Times, wasn't it? It was rumoured he got paid 20 grand. Is that the going rate for a dowry? Must tell my dad. Meanwhile, in Turkey, our waiter has been accused of rape and the Cook bride has been made a ward of court back here. Surely they must all be in some way related to the Mitchell family in EastEnders. Truth is stranger than fiction - and a lot sadder.
My brother is currently languishing at home in Germany having had his arm broken in two places after an accident during a friendly game of football. It's funny how "friendly" games always seem to produce more injuries. This particular game involved my brother's firm and a team of Croatians from a sports club. My poor brother took the full force of a shot at goal on his arm as he tried to save it. ''They all take the game so seriously,'' he told me. Perhaps we could have guessed that.
Poor old Madonna is getting it in the neck from the Argentinians at the moment because she has taken on the role of Eva Pern in the film of Evita. The Catholic bishop of Buenos Aires has called her ''Satan in drag." (He sounds like a laugh. Perhaps they should get him on Have I Got News For You). Maybe they should offer Margaret Thatcher the part. That would really be interesting.
The most popular television show in Moscow at the moment is a live action crime programme hosted by someone blonde, pretty and aged 20, so we can reassure ourselves that they are cottoning on fast to Western democratic values. Aforementioned presenter rushes attractively all over Moscow covering the most gruesome murders, sparing the viewers nothing as a cavalcade of purple bloated bodies are served up for their delectation. Just in case people are having their dinners, light relief is supplied by a parade of crime suspects handcuffed to policemen. And very difficult it is to tell which is which. This type of programme seems to be closing in on us from all sides. We do have Crimewatch UK, but that all tends to be in the best possible taste and leaves out the blood and guts. The only educational aspect of these sort of in-yer-face crime shows is that they make you realise how much more of an attractive prospect it is dying on Hollywood celluloid than it is in real life. Apart from that, they are pointless.
On the whole, I get quite nice letters from viewers when the television series is on. This may well be because my agent tends to chuck out all the horrible ones threatening unmentionable things and berating me. However, the occasional poison missive slips through, particularly if it has gone to the BBC by mistake.
One such charming and eloquent sonnet plopped onto my mat the other day and I recognised the writing immediately, as I have received several items from this person in the past. The content isn't imaginative particularly and combines the nouns "slut" and "slag" with a Roget's Thesaurus-worth of adjectives for fat. As per usual, the name and address were completely unintelligible, not even allowing me the satisfaction of sending the person in question a thank-you letter. What a shame. I bet a poison pen pal could be loads of fun.
Sometimes it's quite hard to get good reception on Teletext, so consequently I am presented with what looks like a half-finished crossword in which I have to fill in the missing letters by guesswork. Having missed the news the other day, I turned it on to see the headline, Blair -acks Har- iet Harman. Well done, old son, I thought, you've sacked her. A quick twiddle of the aerial revealed it was a "b'', not the "s'' I surmised. I don't suppose she's going to -esign either.
It seems Belgium has privatised deportation. A recent investigation showed the Belgian government employs a firm called Budd, (wouldn't a "y" on the end have been great?) to do it. The journalist who did the story said: "The government uses methods advocated some years ago by the extreme right." Without the eclectic mix that different ethnic groups bring to a country, no wonder Belgium is such a tedious place. I always liked that joke that goes: Why did the Belgian chicken cross the road? Because there's nowt else to do in Belgium, of course.Reuse content