23/01/2014 08:17 GMT | Updated 24/03/2014 05:59 GMT

In Praise of Lecherous Men, a Wellington Without the Beef, Our Green and Pleasant Land

In defence of lecherous men:

As a once single professional woman, I often found myself in compromising positions where men were concerned. One day my boss made it very clear than unless I slept with him I would be demoted. I quit that job pronto. Another very laughable incident occurred when a French diplomat acquaintance invited me 'round for drinks at his home. I arrived. He served me a whiskey sour and disappeared for a few moments only to reappear stark naked. I fell about laughing. He promptly put his clothes back on and I finished my drink.

How tragic the female perspective has become! We yearn for the perfect man who will behave in the perfect way. He must be like this or like that and he must whisper only these words to us. Heaven forbid if he should behave like a bloke who sees the world through an appendage rather than his brain!

Lord Rennard has found himself in somewhat of a pickle- he is being made to apologise and suffer the consequences of having his hopes dashed. I feel quite sorry for the man. I find it difficult to comprehend the baying for blood and the subsequent character assassination as a result of a wandering hand and eye.

Does anyone remember A Passage to India by EM Forster and the famous 'rape' allegation? A man's life was utterly and completely destroyed by an hysterical female. I am not saying that the women who are shocked, shocked and very offended by Lord Rennard's behavior are hysterical but I would like to point out that in these scenarios, no one ever wins and one person will lose everything and more.

As the world has gone stark raving mad yet again, it would appear that even harmless flirtation will soon be off the cards. Imagine this (very real) scenario:

Woman walks into a party. Man approaches her.

"Have we met before? I doubt it because had we met, I would not have forgotten."

Woman replies: "How dare you! You're imagining us in bed together, aren't you? That is disgusting! I feel violated that you are thinking such terrible thoughts!"

The man responds: "Hold on, dear. I was merely saying that you are rather lovely..."

Woman interrupts: "I feel sick! I can't believe that you are thinking what you are thinking. I'm horrified at your utterly shocking, disgraceful and revolting behaviour..."


Can you spot the fox? Photo copyright S. van Dalen

A Wellington without the beef:

I was standing at the cashier at Sainsbury's today in Lewisham of all places- don't ask- when a very pretty young woman began emptying her trolley at the same till as me. Red onions, puff pastry, brown onions, mushrooms, cheese, milk, salad, red lentils, brown lentils - these were the giveaway.

"You're a vegetarian", I smiled at her.

"No!' she laughed, "my boyfriend is."

She went on: "He's the love of my life and my first real boyfriend. I'm thirty."

"What are you making?" I asked.

"A Wellington without the beef," she replied. "My boyfriend bought me a vegetarian cookbook for Christmas...even though I'm not one," she laughed.

Our eyes met and we smiled.

Funny, but if a man I was hopeful about gave me a vegetarian cookbook for Christmas, knowing that I'm not one, I think I would run faster than you could say "Jack Rabbit".

And finally:

I've been doing a lot of driving recently around our green and pleasant land. When I think I'm lost I am often amazed to see a church spire emerge in the distance. Britain is a land full of churches and it struck me that the true British way of life is still intact. We speak about multiculturalism in this country but it doesn't work if we have a landscape of Christianity that defines us yet still we are made to feel as if we are the usurpers. Perhaps anyone immigrating to Great Britain should hitch a ride around the country and see how we evolved. 'Inspiring' rather than 'entertaining' is the word that comes to mind.

The last word:

Remember the purpose of life is to love. End of.


Photo copyright S. van Dalen