Sometimes, what the country needs in a crisis is a good burst of old-fashioned common sense. And it came this week in the form of straight-talking, 83-year-old great-grandmother Maureen Eames.
Refusing to be shielded and hide away at home, she told anyone who would listen — including millions of TV viewers — that she ‘didn’t give a sod’ about the new restrictions imposed on her and her husband Michael at their home in Yorkshire.
‘In my lifetime, I never thought I would feel like I was in a country when Germany invaded,’ she said. ‘This is a free country for God’s sake, or I thought it was.’
She spoke for millions of us when she insisted we must continue to live our lives through this pandemic, not be ‘fastened in a house’ at a time when the country needs us to get up off our knees and carry on.
Maureen rather reminded me of my maternal grandmother, known affectionately as Battleaxe Blanche, who sent her only two daughters to a convent in rural Western Australia towards the end of World War II to protect them from what she feared was the approaching Japanese army.
Sometimes, what the country needs in a crisis is a good burst of old-fashioned common sense. And it came this week in the form of straight-talking, 83-year-old great-grandmother Maureen Eames
Grandma’s motto was to hope for the best, plan for the worst and make the most of it. Maureen says we cannot afford a lockdown life ruled by caution. Most of us agree with her — we don’t any longer want to live in fear abiding by the Government’s increasingly ludicrous rules and regulations.
She has tapped into a sentiment of rebellion among young and old, that we will not surrender our freedom to politicians and medical experts who seem to change their minds about the Covid threat on a daily basis.
Families banned from meeting together, friends barred from sharing a drink, lovers told to stay apart — what kind of world is that, what kind of life?
‘By the end of this year there’s going to be millions of people unemployed,’ Maureen said, ‘and you know who’s going to pay for it? All the young ones. Not me because I’m going to be dead.’
The former housekeeper has more sense in her little finger than the thousands of experts deciding the fate of this country.
Those of us who no longer trust the rule makers and are determined to preserve our freedom salute Maureen. We won’t hold raves but we will see friends and family. Above all, we’ll get on with life — and be ruled by the common sense our leaders seem to lack.
Not tonight, Ella
The first rounds of Strictly Come Dancing start tonight, hurrah!
Although former Olympic boxer Nicola Adams’s girlfriend, the ‘famous’ beauty blogger Ella Baig (nope, never heard of her either), renowned for her ‘naked dresses’, says her lover’s gruelling training schedule for the TV dancing has taken a toll on their sex life.
Strictly too much information, Ella!
Feeling neglected: Nicola’s lover Ella
An early Xmas gift for Kate
For the second year running, Harry and Megs are expected to miss the Queen’s traditional Royal Family Christmas at Sandringham. Sad for Her Maj, as she’s hardly got to know her one-year-old great-grandson Archie.
Yet am I the only one who could hear the whoops of joy from William and Kate’s Kensington Palace abode at the news?
After all, what do you buy the smuggest couple in the world for Christmas when they’ve already cornered the market in sackcloth and ashes? Although a whoopee cushion might provide the first laugh Harry’s had in years.
Still fabulously frisky at 83, Jilly Cooper continues to write bestsellers
Jilly scores with the footballers
Still fabulously frisky at 83, Jilly Cooper continues to write bestsellers. She was the first celebrity I ever interviewed as a 21-year-old cub reporter on the Perth Daily News; she encouraged me to write and we have kept in touch over the years.
I even met her husband Leo’s mistress, Sarah Johnson, in my view a money-grubbing hollow excuse for a woman who sold her story for a fortune.
Jilly forgave her husband and was with Leo until he died. In her latest novel Between The Covers, about the football world, she extensively interviewed lads from her local team, as any octogenarian would.
A brilliant storyteller, Jilly is the woman who makes other writers jealous.
Miles King came up with the clever idea of posing with nine other black Oxford students in a parody of the infamous Bullingdon Club photo, featuring Boris Johnson, to empower black men.
He wrote: ‘As a working-class black man from South-East London there have been certain structural economic and social pressures unjustly perpetrated upon me by the Establishment . . . due to the combination of my race and identified gender.’ Yet how much more powerful the image would have been had it featured some black women undergraduates.
A witness in the trial concerning 39 illegal immigrants suffocating to death in the back of a lorry reveals his family in Vietnam paid £13,000 for him to be smuggled into the UK on a similar journey. Which rather rebuts the theory, often promoted by the Left, that these are all penniless victims fleeing persecution.
Footballer Marcus Rashford’s bid to extend free school meals during holidays was voted down in the Commons. He is a heroic figure, one of five children raised by his working single mother. Yet questions remain. Why would any family abrogate responsibility for feeding its children? Why no mention of absent fathers? And why, above all, should the State always have to pick up the tab?
Mum-of-four Ulrika Jonsson posts another naked picture of herself saying: ‘A note to myself — a reminder that for all my body has endured, I now need to reclaim it and do something I’ve never done before: own it.’
She wants to send a message to her two daughters about empowerment. A funny way of going about it love. And it’s a coincidence, surely, that Ulrika reappears in the week John Leslie — the man wrongly linked to a rape allegation she made — is acquitted of sexual assault.
Empowerment or naked opportunism?
Mum-of-four Ulrika Jonsson posts another naked picture of herself saying: ‘A note to myself — a reminder that for all my body has endured, I now need to reclaim it and do something I’ve never done before: own it’
- MANCHESTER Mayor Andy Burnham’s magnificent eyebrows and stoic defence of his city have rather overshadowed Keir Starmer and prompted me to place a hefty bet on him becoming the next Labour leader. Paddy Power is offering 9/1, which in a few years could mean a comfortable early retirement for me — and for Keir.
- During the debate over extending free meals, Labour’s deputy leader Angela Rayner was reluctant to apologise after calling a fellow Greater Manchester Tory MP ‘scum’. The tribal language of the lavatory has no place in Parliament.
- Boris’s very exotic adviser Jennifer Arcuri has confirmed she did have an affair with the PM while he was still married. She says they ‘bonded’ over their shared love of Shakespeare and he messaged her that she was ‘the mountain every man would want to climb’. More likely he just saw her as another notch on the bedpost on his ascent to No 10.
Pay up? Fat chance
Britain’s fattest man, Jason Holton, 30, weighing in at 50st, says that after firefighters had to remove the front of his house to take him to hospital, he is determined to diet.
His epiphany came after realising that eating several family meal takeaways for breakfast was not good for him — he was unable to leave his home for five years as he couldn’t squeeze out the front door.
No fat shaming here, just a sincere hope that while the NHS must in all decency foot the bill for Jason’s care, we don’t also have to pay to renovate his house.