February 16, 2012
GSTAAD—Here I go again!
I hear music and there’s no one there
I smell blossoms and the trees are bare
All day long I seem to walk on air….
Some of you must be getting rather tired of this, but I simply can’t help it. I swear on the Bible I’m not doing it on purpose. I dropped in on the terribly nice village doctor although I knew it was a total waste of our time. His diagnosis, as always with such symptoms:
There is nothing you can take
To relieve that pleasant ache
You’re not sick, you’re just in love.
The object of my affection is Jessica Raine, that graceful and shy nurse Jenny in the Sunday-night BBC soap Call the Midwife. This is the kind of coup de foudre I haven’t experienced in years. Cupid’s arrow pierced my breast three Sundays ago, and I haven’t had a peaceful night’s sleep ever since. I even had my daughter run a Google search on Jessica, and it turns out she grew up in a Welsh farm near Powis. “She’s very pretty and nice,” the mother of my children reluctantly admitted.
What attracts me is the role she plays. Her grace, shyness, and understatement, her intense and repressed character, are straight out of some Terence Rattigan play. And I love her rather plain beauty. She’s what I call an English Rose, not those grotesque tarts who fall out of their bras while drunk and stumble on their ghastly Louboutins, the ugliest shoes ever invented by men who hate women. (Hugo Rifkind asked recently if there is a Madame Louboutin, and there is, but he’s a brute with a beard—but Hugo knew that and was pulling our leg.)
Nurse Jenny is my ideal woman. Her total lack of flamboyance and inability to be vulgar even if she tried has me loathing myself for having fallen for others in the past. Well, that’s all over with for good. Goodbye, assistant editor of the Spectator. So long, Keira. Au revoir pour toujours, Rebecca. You’re all through, washed-up, history, curtains, finished. From now on and until the day I die it’s only Jessica Raine/Nurse Jenny to whom my heart and soul belong. She can have anything of mine, boat included, if she agrees to have a dinner—one single dinner in Paris—with no après-dinner tricks, unless of course…but I don’t dare dream that far ahead. And there is a very nice present waiting for anyone who will show this article to her, and an even nicer one to anyone who will arrange the dinner.