Mary Leigh, wife of Edward Leigh MP and Chairman of the Public Accounts Committee is a saint. A beautiful one at that.
She transformed Cornerstone Christmas drinks into an evening of fine wine and food. She unashamedly relied on her daughters good nature to help out, something my patrons club will tell you I’m very good at doing myself, having chained mine to waiters trays and the kitchen sink for a day and a whole evening recently.
A steaming hot bowl of sausages dipped in Maple syrup and really delicious vol-au-vents meant everyone stayed for a considerable while. We were also waiting for Lady Thatcher to arrive and an air of anticipation joined us in the room.
When the great lady arrived and stood at the door there was a moments silence and then everyone burst into spontaneous applause.
A very, very distinguished MP walked up to Lady T. An MP who is given the greatest respect by all. He stopped in front of her without saying a word, after a second, the warmest deepest affection and loveliest smile lit her face as warmth and memories flooded his.
She was standing in front of a bookcase upon which stood a framed photograph of that fateful day. In the photograph she was clutching flowers, wearing a dark blue suit and the same smile but with tears in her eyes. The day she left No 10. The image many of us bring to mind at the mention of her name. But that was before my time.
My most poignant memory of being in Westminster to date is sitting feet from Tony Blair as he took his last PMQs and I will never forget the feeling that ran down my spine when he said “that’s it, the end”.
Lady T was as sharp as a razor and as resolute in her commitment to freedom as she ever was. Once again, I was smitten.
I have supped with the Queen of our nation, the Queen of politics and made a debut appearance on Question Time, all within the space of a week.
In the morning, I’m off to Aldi and Tescos for the first Christmas food shop and then I need to find a laundrette because the washing machine has broken down.
What a strange life this is.