Okay, I admit it. I throw my hands up when dancing to the chorus of Independent Women, and have been known on occasion to shout “ALL MEN ARE BASTARDS!” But today I needed men.
John had to metamorphose from his usual lovable non-fleahurting self to protector of my virtue first in a Secret!Christmas!Mission! in dodgy bits of central London, and then from an equally dodgy plumber who seemed to travel by minicab, and his mate who was either very laid back or fairly stoned. This was admittedly not a difficult thing to do for a tall Geordie who survived two years in Finsbury Park and Hackney with hardly a scratch, but I’m still grateful.
We did manage some non-dodginess with a trip to Antony Gormley’s incredibly endearing Field For The British Isles, which has become a fixture of my regular pops through the British Museum on the way home (you don’t get many short-cuts more beautiful or soul-lifting), but that was cruelly cut short by my landlady calling and saying ceilings were about to collapse and I had to hot-foot it home or else.
When John had to leave from plumber-watching duty, Alec assumed the position, albeit in markedly different garb of yuppie suit, leather gloves, skinny umbrella and latest copy of The Chap. All the same, my virtue remains intact after a day of decidedly sleazy encounters, and for that I thank these two particular members of the male race. Without them I’d have felt decidedly vulnerable, whatever feminism may argue to the contrary.