I have worn some gorgeous ensembles during this period of grief, and have made some other mourners quite giddy with envy and desire. A black leather dress by PPQ, Daybirger & Mikkelsen gloves and a Sergio Rossi python-skin clutch set the standard at the crematorium. Some dowdy old retainers and a so-called Practice Manager looked surly, but I swept past with a scowl. The Probate Office saw me in a perfectly plain silk jersey dress by Britt Lintner, a pair of Kenneth Cole Broken Hearts in parma violet and a Theo Fennell serpent. Every day for a month I have worn a beautiful diamond and yellow sapphire pin in the shape of a sorceress holding a crystal ball by Van Cleef & Arpels. It was given to me by my father to mark the birth of my first baby. Yesterday Numb presented me with a bottle of Ange ou Demon and a David Morris bracelet. On the packaging was written: David Morris - London - Palm Beach - Moscow - Doha -Dubai. Could anything be nastier than that despicable itinerary? I nearly refused to accept the trinket, but I am nothing if not gracious. Some baser women have rolled their eyes and said The Wages of Sin, but I despise their envy and turn the other cheek.
Clearing my dear father's belongings has been a painful trial, and quite boring. He owned seven identical suits and shoes of almost comical antiquity. I am keeping his clinical equipment for posterity, or to use in hospital role play should Numb be excited by memories of Emergency Ward 10. In a heap of Wincarnis crates, I found my father's old cameras. What memories! He dealt with several companies, all linked in some way with my dear old Opa: Silber of Lambs Conduit Street, Komlosy of Dunstable, Steinhardt of Islington, Pearlman of Harrow, Engert of the Strand and, of course, Max Spielmann of Liverpool. In one box, I found his ex-Air Ministry Gaumont British Projector, for which he paid £60. He was a keen and clever photographer and won the Daily Herald competition in 1963 for a black and white portrait of my mother. The prize was £300 and the challenge trophy. He called the portrait "Hannelore", which is my mother's middle name. I wish you could see it. She is 28 years old but looks like a schoolgirl.
Another year, he won a prize for a picture of a bee in flight. We had a hive at home and kept a swarm until it was stricken with Isle of Wight's Disease. People shouldn't be scared of bees. The worker's sting is quite straight and can be easily pulled, but the sting of the Queen is like a scimitar. Workers sometimes sting bees from other hives, and such a sting is always fatal, but a Queen never stings anything other than a rival Queen. The drone has no sting, and is therefore quite defenceless.