Saturday, 9 June 2018


...Dame Professor Mary Beard, historian,TV presenter, latter-day "national treasure" and all-round British eccentric. We love her no-nonsense style of presenting the "insider details" from history in a clear-headed and un-patronising manner; we also admire the fact she appears to be fairly fearless in a variety of circumstances - when she gets abused on Tw*tter she chooses to talk to her abusers rather than enter into a war with them, and she even went on an "Election Blind Date" with that other (now recently deceased) eccentric, Peter Stringfellow!

Further congratulations today go to all the other recipients, including (among 1,057 names on HM The Queen's Birthday Honours List) Companion of Honour Dame Kiri Te Kanawa; the aforementioned (over at the Dolores Delargo Towers Museum of Camp) Dame Emma Thompson; Sir Kenny Dalgleish, Sir Simon Schama; Commanders of the Order of the British Empire Bamber Gascoigne, Tom Hardy, Ken Follett, Kate Adie and Jeanette Winterson; Officers of the Order of the British Empire (our Patron Saint) Fenella Fielding, Monty Don, Lucy Worsley, Keira Knightley, Debbie Wiseman and Brian Cosgrove; and Members of the Order of the British Empire Ms Dynamite and Gary Wilmot.

My Damehood was obviously lost in the post. Again.

Read the full Birthday Honours list

Today is also notable as a celebration of one thing we hold dear, for it is indeed World Gin Day!

And here's a suitably-named artiste with whom I think we should raise a toast...



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