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Raff and Carole are still with us and have been remarkably easy houseguests – we will miss them when they move on next week. Raff is currently in Saudi Arabia on business, so things have been a bit quieter – there’s no first gear with Raff; he’s on permanent full throttle at Mach 5. He’s got one hell of a sonic boom; when he passes through the house, the foundations shake.

 

A couple of weeks ago Raff discovered my Richard Hittleman’s yoga book. I believe the book was first published back in the 70s; it is a 28 day yoga plan, at the end of which you should – if you follow the instructions – be able to wear your legs wrapped around your neck like a scarf. The book features black and white photos of a post-beehive woman in a pointy bra bending herself into all sorts of unnecessary shapes.

 

My Mum followed the plan for five days in 1981. After she gave up, I inherited her black and red striped Jane Fonda style leotard and the leggings that always smelled like burning rubber. When I was about 12 I used to practice yoga to Double’s ‘Captain Of Her Heart’. (Actually, that would have been 1986, making me 14 and less able to get away with pleading immaturity for the lapse of judgment.)

 

Anyway, Raff found my Richard Hittleman Yoga book in the bathroom and lodged an official complaint:

 

“There are no shots of her arse.”

 

“Well, check out The Plough,” I advised. “I think there’s a picture right up the bum.”

 

“There isn’t. I’ve gone through it twice trying to find the porno shots, but no joy.”

 

“Well, it was written in the 70s when lycra was pretty sturdy.”

 

“God,” said Raff in disgust. “They didn’t have a clue back then, did they?”

 

Raff and Carole have reintroduced me to alcohol. There are relatively few people who compel me to drink – to date, only Raff and Carole and any given member of Andrew’s immediate family (pretty much any/all of them). After eight and a half years together, my husband still tries to entice me with bottles of red wine – he has yet to realize that the quickest way to my heart is a vat of frozen margharita, a wedge of lime and a salt cellar.

 

Carole is a particularly bad influence. It’s not that she force-feeds me booze, but when I say: “God, I could savage a margharita,” she always says, “Oh yes, that sounds good!” Instead of: “Get away from me with that bottle of Tequila, you great big lush.”

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