Saturday, January 3, 2009

When you're sick of browsing Wikipedia to kill time... what I do. Go to the U.K. newspaper of your choice and search for "Obituary." Click on any entry that contains a title of nobility. Find out what the idle and eccentric rich do with their lives. A sample from the obituary of Lady Rumbold:

...when Pauline was a girl of 15, her mother stood back, looked her only daughter up and down and declared: "I don't know how you're going to get through life with those legs."

Dylan Thomas often came to stay (the mantelpiece cleared of ornaments in anticipation of his visits).

Pauline, a natural linguist, never forgot the compliment a man in a Spanish café paid her, when he asked her to give him one of her eyelashes, so that he might make her a belt with it.

She did not consider that ordinary rules applied to her. Visiting the Cotswolds one winter, she was surprised to find all tea-shops shut by 3.30pm. Wanting a cup of tea at four o'clock, she simply walked into a darkened establishment and pressed the startled proprietor's arm: a tray was brought and the lights switched on. This was typical.

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