Bravo! Bravo!

Of the ungallant nature of the Two Fat Ladies title, she said: “Well there are two of us. I have a problem with ‘Ladies’ as it sounds like a public convenience. But which bit do you object to? Are you saying I’m thin?”

We’re supposed to mourn the passing but sometimes there’s an urge to stand up and cheer at the life that was lived before it.

Bravo Ms. Dickson Wright, Bravo. An excellent turn upon the stage that is this world, performed with admirable brio.

Excellent: “‘Bankruptcy is like losing your virginity – It doesn’t hurt the next time.’”

33 thoughts on “Bravo! Bravo!”

  1. By coincidence I started reading her autobiography a couple of days ago. Very highly recommended. A great woman in all sorts of ways.

  2. Hear, hear! I liked her tale of the puzzled doctor who dismissed the idea that tonic water might have given her quinine poisoning on the grounds that you couldn’t drink enough, until she informed him that it was to go with the two bottles of gin she also consumed.

  3. She was brilliant, the television show was excellent and every other cookery show pales beside it. As mentioned above, the autobiog is well worth a read as well.

    And she had Blair’s number. Ho yuss.

  4. I suspect she didn’t remember much of rather a lot of those years. You’ll notice the jolly rambunctiousness coincided with a few decades of sobriety, i.e. after the alcohol addiction had been kicked into the long grass.

  5. It’s also funny, when done by an upper-class double-barrelled type, all the madcap capers are just the high-jinks of a life well lived. One needs a few anecdotes. But if Leemo or Shazza from the estate got up to half of that stuff JuliaM would be leading the charge to have them sterilised.

  6. I’m going to add that to my grammar workshop as an example of how a comma can completely change the meaning of a sentence.

  7. @BIG

    I can’t speak for JuliaM, but the difference, surely, is that CDW did her boozing on her own dime.

    It’s not the boozing, or the hi-jinks, of the Shazzas that bothers me – it’s the fact that they expect me to help pay for it, while neither they nor the absent fathers of their half-a-dozen sprogs make any contribution.

    Seems a pretty obvious difference.

  8. @BIG

    To echo Alan Pryce-Jones, it should be the prerogative of anyone to “occupy himselves as he sees fit, always provided he is prepared to foot the bill, himself, of whatever kind.” CDW did so, and was amusing with it.

    EDIT: I see Interested got there before me.

  9. Oh, it’s totally cool that she paid for her own drink rather than making me pay for it. I was thinking about stuff like the drunk driving and animal cruelty conviction, which we all do indeed pay for. Or being so rat-arsed you can’t even practise at the bar (that’s a high bar to set) thus putting yourself at risk of needing taxpayer handouts. All just larks and high-jinks when done by a Cholmondely-Featherstonehugh, but calls for a desctruction order on the chav when done by a Leemo or Shazza.

  10. I was thinking about stuff like the drunk driving and animal cruelty conviction, which we all do indeed pay for.

    Drunk driving isn’t cool, no matter who does it.

    But the animal cruelty conviction was for attending a hare-coursing event where the animals were muzzled. It was brought as a private prosecution, and failed in as much as she received an absolute discharge. Far as I’m concerned if ‘we’ had to pay for anything it was because the International Welfare Fund made a vexatious complaint under a law that never should have been passed in the first place.

  11. @BIG

    Sam has covered the D&D (which anyone can fall foul of and is entirely unrelated to any views on Shazzas) and the hare-coursing.

    I suspect that if we looked into anyone’s life with a microscope we could find things we didn’t like about it; which is why the only sensible position to adopt is, do whatever you want to do, as long as you don’t hurt other people and you pay for it yourself.

    The Shazzas don’t pay for it – that’s my only complaint.

    As for ‘being so rat-arsed you can’t even practise at the bar… thus putting yourself at risk of needing taxpayer handouts’ – well, by that logic we’re all ‘at risk’ of needing handouts; it’s only an issue if you do. Even then, are you saying that alcoholics should not get handouts?

  12. Dennis The Peasant

    Two Fat Ladies was a treasure, and – with the honorable exceptions of Sara Moulton’s Cooking Live and Alton Brown’s Good Eats – the only thing that ever appeared on The Food Network that was worth a shit. I miss Jennifer and Clarissa every time I see Bobby Flay’s smirking mug on the TV.

  13. @Interested, er, sorry, but not “anyone” can fall foul of DUI, only those who get drunk and then drive a car can fall foul of it. It’s one of the most avoidable dangerously negligent things you can do and not avoiding doing it is something to be very ashamed of.

  14. Was she the one who, when sacked from the cook’s job at The Speccie, went upstairs and threw all the crockery out of the windows? Or was that the other one? Marvellous, whichever.

    They don’t make ’em like that any more, sad to say.

    I shall raise a glass in memory.

    R.I.P.

  15. So the destruction of your employer’s property is fine. Provided you are a toff. When a toff does it, it’s all jolly japes and lewd larks and life lived to the full, and a sackful of “we don’t make them like that any more”. If a Bulgarian cleaning lady had done it we’d have had calls for the full force of the law.

    Who says the class system is dead?

  16. The idea that the chavs and chavettes live under punitive state terror is most amusing. Got any more rib-ticklers for us?

  17. Dennis The Peasant

    Shorter BIG –

    “We must have order and discipline… Such rampant individualism cannot be allowed to continue!”

    You’ve really managed to adapt to the German view of things, haven’t you?

  18. Rampant individualism can have free rein as far as I am concerned. But that individualistic right to swing your fist stops where my nose starts, and all that. Drunk driving is swinging your fist into a nose, as is destroying your employer’s property.

    If you really think objecting to drunk driving and criminal damage can be equated with Nazism (as you imply) I can only conclude you suffer from a severe cognitive defect, and are thus deserving of society’s sympathy and protection.

  19. BiG

    “needing taxpayer handouts”

    She did apply for help from the DSS once, when at a low ebb, only to be told: “We’re not here for the likes of you, you know. You’re upper class, you’ve got a Law degree.”

    So although she needed one, she didn’t get it.

  20. Dennis the Peasant

    BIG –

    I implied nothing of the sort.

    What I was pointing out – in my own special way – that you’re the implying that somehow Dickson-Wright was either indifferent to, or proud of, the fact that she’d placed herself and others in danger due to her alcohol abuse. That was never the case, as you’d know if you’d done your homework on her.

    So why carry on as you do if not for the love of order and discipline?

  21. I was implying nothing of the sort. I was stating that others have openly stated their pride in Dickinson-Wright’s destructive behaviour (and not just in her self-destructive behaviour).

    So what, pray, is this “German view of things”, then? It’s somehow a particularly German thing to object to drunk driving or criminal damage? Maybe both are indeed more celebrated in the UK, I wouldn’t know.

    I’ve no doubt that, as a barrister, Dickinson-Wright would have been able to get her handout if legally entitled to it, despite the attitude problem of the person sitting opposite her.

  22. Surreptitious Evil

    I got quinine poisoning during the 1st Gulf War. I was drinking that much tonic. At that time, though, I wasn’t putting any gin in it. A defect I continue to resolve on a near-daily basis.

  23. @BIG ‘@Interested, er, sorry, but not “anyone” can fall foul of DUI, only those who get drunk and then drive a car can fall foul of it. It’s one of the most avoidable dangerously negligent things you can do and not avoiding doing it is something to be very ashamed of.’

    FFS context – I meant, very obviously, that one’s class is not an indicator of, or relevant to, drink driving.

    Anyway, you’re contradicting yourself. ‘Drunk driving is swinging your fist into a nose’?

    No it’s not. I’d concede it’s analogous to merely swinging a fist but the fist meets the nose only when the car does someone an injury.

  24. My experience of chavs is that the bad deeds they do are done out of pure malice not out of any sense of hi-jinks. Obv there will be members of the underclass who are not mean and malicious but I have not yet encountered any–except, presumeably–by passing them in the street unknowingly.
    Ok drunk driving is wrong. One black mark against the woman. And chucking plates out of a window would also be wrong if done merely out of pique. If she was fired for being, say, drunk–ok that would be fair enough and she should have nothing to grouse about in my book. If the sack was not deserved ( and lots of people are sacked wrongly by shitbag bosses–that’s the human condition) then the plate chucking may have been called for–nor would a chav be wrong in doing the same in retaliation against injustice. My experience of chav chuckers–and chav caused trouble of various kinds- is that malice alone was the cause of their actions and pure enjoyment of that malice and the fact that they could, in this shit society, get away with their antics fairly easily. One or two might get tripped up but most don’t. I get the sense that, rum as the late Dickson Wright may have been, she was not malicious.

  25. If a Bulgarian cleaning lady had done it we’d have had calls for the full force of the law.

    Who says the class system is dead?

    I call ballocks. The context is that CDW did a lot of other things that other people enjoyed. If all she ever did was get pissed and throw things out of windows, she’d be castigated (Marquess of Blandford, anyone? Don’t recal him getting an easy ride from the courts or the press). I’m willing to bet that a number of cleaning ladies, Bulgarian or otherwise, are forgiven similar personal foibles if they are good at cleaning (CDW was an excellent cook) and if she went on to make much-loved national television programmes and write a couple of best sellers, I bet she’d get a clear run, too.

    If you don’t want to like her, no-one’s forcing you to. If you don’t like toffs, no-one’s forcing you too. But pulling the class card is making you look silly.

  26. Spot on Sam – as I said above ‘I suspect that if we looked into anyone’s life with a microscope we could find things we didn’t like about it’

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