A Daily Mirror journalist rang me on Friday, after exchanging pleasantries he said, "Nadine, can you confirm that your two daughters are parliamentary pass holders."
This shocked me I will admit a) because I have three daughters and wasn't aware I had mislaid one b) because any two of my daughters are not pass holders and c) even if they were, this is perfectly permissible.
It’s a fair assumption that the offspring of MPs are not likely to be a danger to their parents or present a huge security risk and are therefore safe on the parliamentary estate!
I immediately rang the Pass Office to ask what an earth was going on. The atmosphere in Westminster is very febrile; they had obviously received a number of such calls.
"No" they said, "Absolutely not, none of your daughters are listed pass holders."
"But the journalist from the Daily Mirror had just said they were", said I.
"Do you think he may have been telling porkies?” said the nice man.
"Because he has with everyone else"!
The purpose being?
A friend bought me a present on Friday and said I couldn't open it until I was sat in a big armchair with a large G+T and four or five hours to spare.
The opportunity arrived this afternoon.
I settled down and opened the present, which was a book - On Chesil Beach - by Ian McEwan.
It was profound, painful, and beautiful.
I didn't move again until I turned the last page.
I'm sure I must have held my breath all through the last chapter as I read of the inevitable devastating consequence of a lifetime of unspoken words and repressed emotion.
I have just put the book down. It's now I need the G+T