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DIANA ATHILL

 

RELIGION

Well really, you know, if God were to exist, I think he would be rather foolish. Naturally, there would probably be people who wished to console themselves with what he had to say, but I should not be among them. Of course, the poor sillies would be perfectly entitled to do this.

 

SEX

I have never been able to appreciate the tremendous fuss that is made about sexual fidelity. When a man betrays his wife, or vice-versa, why can he not follow the admirable Gallic model and commit adultery properly? I remember that when my boyfriend Barry succumbed to the attractions of a much younger woman – darling Sally, who has since become one of my dearest friends – I at once invited her into our house, made sure that a space was available for her toothbrush at the bathroom sink, and went so far as to design the two of them matching embroidered ‘his’ and ‘hers’ pillow cases using a crochet stitch taught to me by my mother. At the time it seemed the only civilised thing to do.

 

THE YOUNG

To meet young people, as I am lucky enough to do from time to time, is always a very illuminating experience. Given how busy they are, with their Greek dancing lessons and their interest in Mr Lonnie Donegan’s ‘Skiffle’ music, it is extremely kind of them to take the trouble with us old fogies, and I am grateful. But we must not expect this attention as a right. I once sat at dinner next to a lively man in his late sixties or seventies who announced that he got on very well with young people and seemed to feel that he was the same age as them. What a silly man he was!

 

ON LATE-FLOWERING SUCCESS

I was, of course, extremely flattered that the memoir of my early years, Tea with Mrs Fothergill, and the account of my time in publishing, Dinner at André’s, should have found so many enthusiastic readers. Equally I was highly flattered to be asked to appear on the radiogram with Miss Sue Lawley. But really, you know, enjoyable as all this was, I can’t think why I wrote the books at all, and would prefer them not to be mentioned . . .

 

 

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