‘It’s not quite true about the puddings you know, I found one I think you’d like, it’s called Bingbingka, and Milli [her Sister]’s been eating it for breakfast. I am eating spring rolls for breakfast and getting fat.’
She’s also had a £6 bikini wax and met her granny’s new dog, which – like all the dogs her granny has owned – is named after the President. Uncle Jim has made an appearance too, toupee and drawn-on moustache still very much present and correct (‘he was talking to me but all I could think of was, man, what brand of eyeliner do you use to draw that thing on? It doesn’t smudge, even in the humidity! It’s got to be something expensive. NOT Rimmel’)
She also informed me with ill-disguised glee that the reason my name, Lucy, had caused so much hilarity with the band of second cousins we’d met back in 2005, was not – as I had patronisingly assumed – because they found it exotic and western, but because ‘Luthy’ in Filipino is the word for fanny.
I’m writing this on my Dad’s laptop from the kitchen at home, the planned activities of the weekend having been rained off by a Sussex monsoon. It was Mum’s birthday yesterday so we had dinner at a restaurant in Petworth, where I ordered a starter of ‘lamb sweetbreads’ because I thought that sounded quite nice. Turns out ‘sweetbreads’ are the testicles, so not very nice at all.
Funny how the most unpalatable parts of an animal are always referred to in culinary nomenclature as ‘a delicacy’, even though they are always without exception the least delicate bits of the beast in question (intestines, stomach, testes).
Of course it didn’t help that when they arrived, my Dad lifted them off the bed of lightly toasted brioche on which they were nestled and dangled them from his fork ‘they would have hung like this, I think ’. In case you’re wondering: like eating a large pair of chicken oysters, but just a little spongier
It’s been, by all accounts, a busy week at work. I was sent to interview a singer on Wednesday, who happens – despite her unmistakable teen appeal – to have two very ardent fans in both Ted and Stacey’s boyfriend Tom.
‘I’m going to need an autograph’ Tom told me on Tuesday night, in a tone that implied this was an absolute necessity, like a new kidney: ‘it needs to go – and this is important – Dear Tom, Love you longtime, brackets, capitals NOT TED, close brackets, and then her signature. Got it?’
The interview took place on the sofa of a small hotel room, with a retinue of three PRs, two personal assistants and a photographer, all perched on the bed, listening in.
After we’d finished the interview, I pulled the crumpled square of Google map I’d used to get there out of my handbag and apologetically dictated the message to her, as the audience on the bed absorbed my shameful naffness in silence.
‘Sorry about that’ I said, shuffling out of the room, ‘I’d never normally ask, but my friend… he loves you’
‘No problem!’ she chirruped.
‘It’s OK though, he’s not a weirdo or anything. He’s an accountant’
‘Do you want a picture of you both? As a souvenir?’ said one of the smiley PRs.
‘Er – yes?’
It’s not a good photo. She is of course already far slimmer, trendier and also – through paparazzi practice – has mastered the body flattering semi-sideways pose, I am standing straight on next to her, arms pinned to my sides, grinning like a goon.
I thought this would be the lowest point of my week. I hadn’t predicted there would be lamb testicles.