Good morning, class. No talking at the back, please. I’d like to begin with another few moans.
I did a straw poll among my friends (only the finest of scientific and journalistic methods for this column, folks) about their biggest gripes. Top of the list came those rich individuals who like to lecture those less well off on every subject under the sun, but have skins like rhinos when it comes to their own actions.
One of their favourite subjects is climate change. Take Bono, Sting etc (and yes, you too, Greta von Waffles!) who zoom around the world with masses of aides but never tire of telling the rest of us to drive electric cars while wearing vegan shoes. They’re also associated with some of the biggest tax avoidance schemes, and include rabid socialists who send their kids to posh and pricey fee-paying schools. The list is endless.
Next up, all those over-priced, pretentious London restaurants: dimly-lit rooms in sombre shades of Farrow and Ball grey, which make you feel like you’re in an exclusive Swiss clinic, where nurses do all kinds of things to you in all kinds of places with well-lubricated catheters. Plus menus of ‘healthy’ mung beans and hemp seeds. Make mine a watermelon seed latte. Not.
Then there’s our ludicrous university system. Pointless degree courses spawn useless research and irrelevant professorial posts. Vice-chancellors keen to maintain the revenue that funds their inflated salaries permit entry requirements to shrink while piously claiming they’re allowing the underprivileged to enjoy the benefits of higher education.
Finally, there’s the very real danger of getting mugged in London (or any big city). Here’s a hint. I often have a 20 tucked in my, err, underwear, especially if anywhere dicey. This I learnt from my mother. Many people, especially men, keep a few banknotes inside their socks. It’s enough to get you home in an emergency. And I hate walking with friends who flaunt flashy designer bags or watches worth thousands of pounds. Status symbols often attract the wrong kind of attention at night.
Always happy to help!
Nora Johnson’s psychological crime thrillers ‘Betrayal,’ ‘The Girl in the Woods,’ ‘The Girl in the Red Dress,’ ‘No Way Back,’ ‘Landscape of Lies,’ ‘Retribution,’ ‘Soul Stealer,’ ‘The De Clerambault Code’ (www.nora-johnson.net) available online as ebook (€0.99;£0.99), ibook, paperback and audiobook. All profits to Costa del Sol Cudeca cancer charity.