11 JUNE 1994, Page 63


Dear Mary.. .

Q. I am a former mistress of Alan Clark. As a Lloyd's loser, I would welcome some extra income at this most difficult of times, particularly as I am planning a holiday on the COte d'Azur in midsummer and my car badly needs replacing. Please could you advise me as to how much my story would fetch on the open market? Name and address withheld A. I am afraid that your experience, though of obvious interest to your friends and close relations, has now become too common- place to be able to sell to any real commer- cial advantage in an already overcrowded market. If, however, you can prove that three generations of the same family — say, you, your children and your mother — have all enjoyed physical intimacy with Mr Clark, then you may well be able to pick up approximately £625 including VAT from a tabloid newspaper. This will serve as a down payment on a Lada motorcar, which costs £5,200 new.

Q. Now that the barbecue season is upon us, can you recommend any suitable food- stuffs for barbecuing that do not resemble bodily waste or 'number twos'? The look of conventional beefburgers, kebabs and sausages tends to produce nausea in me. I would be most grateful for any sugges- tions.

B., Blandford, Dorset A. Hickory-flavoured shavings placed on the charcoal make everything go a bright reddy-orange colour. However, in some respects this might make matters worse. Corn on the cob is quite palatable and baked potatoes — at least after they are opened — look wholly innocent. Fresh fish might also prove acceptable, though smoked eel is best avoided.

Q. An old friend of mine called Robert, who has recently made a lot of money, is throwing a large and glamorous party at his new country house. For some reason perhaps because he judges me insufficiently swish for his new lifestyle — he has not invited me. For the last few weeks, hardly a day has passed without one mutual friend or other finishing off our conversation with the words 'See you at Robert's'. I then have to explain, shamefacedly, that I have not been invited. This rejection is now gnawing at me and I have become more than ever determined to attend the party. How can I arrange this?

N.G., Cheltenham A. Conspire with a mutual friend who has been invited to the party that they should phone Robert offering to put a handful of guests up for the night. Your friend should then say in an innocent tone, 'I've already got N.G. staying . . . ' This will force Robert to send you an immediate invitation.