The funeral is at a featureless crematorium in Lytham St. Annes. Afterwards we go for a lunch to a roadhouse on the outskirts. I sit next to my grandmother's niece, Cousin Florence, who keeps a boarding house in Blackpool. A down-to-earth woman, she eats a large meal of lukewarm lasagna, then puts down her fork and says, "Well, that's the first time I've dined off brown plates." Grief is not much in evidence, though with Cousin Florence it is hardly to be expected. Her husband's name was Frank, and six months before we had had a two-page letter filling us in on all her news. Halfway down the second page came the sentence: "Frank died last week, haven't we been having some weather?" Seldom can a comma have borne such a burden.
Elsewhere in Untold Stories he reports a friend saying, at the time the Idiot-in-Chief Bush was gearing up to take Baghdad: "The world has turned upside down. The best golfer in the world is black; the best rapper in the world is white; and now there is a war and ... guess what? ... Germany doesn't want to be in it."