17 MARCH 2007, Page 12


MONDAY I don’t know why everyone is getting so worked up about our lovely green taxes. If they read the small print, they would see that what Gids takes away with one hand, he is quite literally going to give us back with the other. Every penny that he takes taxing your holiday flights (if you will insist on taking more than one!) will be paid back through our Non-Judgmental Family Tax Relief. Nobody will lose out. The Modern Families Tax Allowance will encompass anyone who can make a reasonable claim to be a ‘committed unit’. To give you an idea of how inclusive this will be ... let’s just say I’m satisfied that Sesame and I will be allowed to register. All I have to do is declare my intention to put her in foal. So, in short, a fuss about nothing. And quite ghastly for poor Gids, who was white with shock when he came back from meeting aviation industry bullies. If you ask me, he needs to get away from it all, recharge his batteries somewhere sunny. Which reminds me, must start packing for New York.

TUESDAY Actually, am bit miffed to be jetting off on boring old fact-finding mission to Big Apple with DD when Al Gore Rock Star is flying in to address shadow Cabinet. Trying to get out of it, on basis that my skills are needed this side of the pond. Jed agrees. Says my ability to ‘brief things into an impenetrable muddle’ will be essential in coming days. Also have to prepare for spring conference this weekend. Am having awful trouble booking Dave a flight from Oxford to Nottingham....

Poppy points out that I’m not entering the right search criteria. Apparently you can only book helicopter and balloon flights from Oxford (could be innovative?), and the nearest airport to the conference venue is called East Midlands....

Oh, for goodness sake. I shouldn’t even be booking a flight. What was I thinking?!! We have use of a private jet for these short trips. WEDNESDAY Am excused from DD–NY. Poppy told Jed she could manage the trip on her own obviously she wants him to herself. This frees me up to pursue much more productive industries. Spent morning reassessing my position in the new office, or ‘hub’, as we call it. I thought the desks were set on a slant cos the movers hadn’t finished the job properly, but Nigel says this is the intended effect. The round table in the middle where Jed sits shouting at the TV screens is called the ‘hub cap’, or something, and the desks sticking out all over the place like a broken umbrella are called ‘spokes’. It’s all the rage. Have been edging my way down a spoke and am now three notches (?) from the cap. This means I can hear Jed yelling ‘non-confrontational suggestions’, but am not first in line of fire when things go wrong. Which is just as well cos quite a lot seems to be. Certain people now refusing to meet Al. Something about him being a Democrat. Talk about nitpicking.

THURSDAY In the end they got Foxy into the room but he refused to pose for the group photo unless they gave him the negatives. I didn’t see Al. Closest I got was clearing up the room afterwards. He’d forgotten to take the special-edition Smythson’s Man Bag made from recycled shoes made from recycled firemen’s trousers that Dave gave him as a present. I’ll send it on.