Sunday, 27 December 2009
A Complete Saddho!
I am just so excited!
Ponty’s friends do often leave so much to be desired, though it causes me great sadness to say so of my own darling child. The memories of last New Year’s Eve still make me shudder. And I fear even now he has not shaken loose from the frightful Débris Bonbon. Sometimes when he returns from his trips to London I see a smudge of white face-powder on the shoulder of his jacket, and a faint smear of garish rouge upon the curve of his jaw. And then I know.
For one thing, ‘Débris’ is a man’s name, surely? I would have imagined a lady should be called ‘Débrisse’, should she not? Such vulgarity of affectation. A young woman should be proud of her femininity. I can still see her today, making her way up the staircase to our guest suite, and hearing a faint ‘Oh, my Lord! Who the feck is that?’ emanating from Sybil‘s bedroom doorway. I am sure Débris is a credit to her profession as a ‘Sweetie Rapper’, but I am not convinced she has a place in my son’s affections or a hope of lasting connection with our family.
I felt obliged to have a quiet word with Ponty on the matter of his intimate circle as the Christmas festivities subsided and I felt the approach of New Year’s Eve press upon me like the lowering stormcloud of a threatening migraine.
He listened with some surprise as I expressed my reservations on the subject of the young lady’s character and background. ‘Good Lord!’ was all he said for a moment; then crossed the drawing room to pour himself a glass of whisky.
What he said next set my mind at rest. Do you know, I had simply no idea that Ponty had refined associates of a spiritual persuasion among his acquaintance, and I am so relieved he does. For my own part, I have given pride of place to the rather odd seasonal greetings card with the design in shades of dun and grey created from shreds of torn paper, bearing the sweet message ‘With love from Rowan and Jane’: but Ponty I felt sure had no such uplifting connections.
What was my surprise when he set down his whisky glass with decided emphasis upon my ormolu display cabinet and announced: ‘Mother; I’ll see what I can do. What say you to my bringing home my good friend the Nobh of Bhutta who happens to be in England at the present time? He has recently been ordained as a Complete Saddho and has come for a little holiday after his six months’ pre-ordination retreat and the ordeal of all the tongue-piercing and circumcision and so forth. Bring him over for afternoon tea, what? Only snag, he isn’t used to the dashed English damps and he had a touch of pneumonia when I saw him up in town before Christmas – so it might be all off. But you’d probably like him better than Débris. Completely teetotal – never touches a drop; never smoked a spliff in his life, eats nothing but cracked barley – and sky-clad except for high ceremonies.’
It is typical of Ponty to be drawn to the more exotic variety of cleric (and ‘sky-clad’ means nothing to me) but it is certainly a relief to discover that his circle of friends includes souls of serious and sober inclination.
I have asked Ponty to write down ‘the Nobh of Bhutta’ for me, so I can verify in Debretts how best to address him without inadvertently causing offence: I know all too well how sensitive on the matter these overseas dignitaries can be.
Perhaps 2010 will prove to be a more stable year than I had anticipated.