Friday, 9 October 2009


So I was in Borders, deciding whether to spend £7.95 on the new Poetry Review so I could report here on a brief review of Christopher Reid’s A Song of Lunch – which because of the author’s story-telling skills is, according to the reviewer, not so much like Frank O’Hara’s lunch poems, which she was initially put in mind of, but more like a Philip Roth novel; and she likes it – but there, I can remember that, so did they have a copy of the TLS? No, not stocked.

A magazine they do stock is The Expatriate, and it’s frightening. (I'm sending my copy to Tracey Emin.) Not the travel articles (Bali, where ‘Heppy and Sudani helped us dress’; South Africa, where a guide is ‘prepared to leap from the truck to bring samples of elephant and rhino dung for comparison’); and not the tax advice for non-doms, which thankfully is so ill written that no one could possibly understand it. But the ‘security’ feature. ‘Polo shirts that can take the impact of a 9mm revolver’ – from £4,300. And ‘how about a bullet-proof handkerchief for your evening jacket? The Bullet-Proof Gentleman’s Pocket Square measures 270 by 270 mm and is made from military grade ballistic protective aramid to protect your heart.’

Heartbreak? Our servants can do that for us.