As some of you know I don’t actually live in Castle Lapselater. I live in The Dairies down the West Drive. It’s a little cramped I know, with just the 5 bedrooms. But thank God I’m not cooped up in the 120-roomed Castle with my brother Neville at the moment. He’s still chuntering on about the bloody Vettriano painting I bought. He’s banned it and me from the castle.
‘You’re not hanging that piece of soft-core porn crap anywhere in the Castle, Hugo. Now fuck off!’ He said when I suggested it go up on the Grand Stairs between the Monet Haystacks and Tracey Emin’s knickers.
They’re not even framed. And I said as much.
‘For pity’s sake Neville, you’ve got a pair of soiled panties that have adhered themselves to the Chinese Silk Wallpaper on the stairs, neither framed nor signed! Why not have a decent bit of art up next to them to balance things?’ Neville went completely bloody apeshit.
‘They are art, Hugo! Seminal art! The first piece of The Gusset Movement! I know you don’t know the difference between art and an unmade bed but at least try and learn!’
And that was that. So under the monstrous weight of my older brother’s condescending disapproval I took the painting and myself down to The Dairies and therein kept a pretty low profile. Licking my wounds feeling worthless. You know he really didn’t need to be quite so hostile. I mean, Neville’s been telling me to fuck off for a lot of years now, in a variety of styles – some quite artistic and imaginative. This time, however, If he’d told me to fuck off with slightly less sputum in his throat I might not have felt so toad-like.
And bloody hell, the painting isn’t that bad, surely? It’s not even that big. It looks super in my sitting room between a couple of William Russell Flints. They’re super too – lovely watercolours of Spanish birds with their shirt-potatoes out. Some people scoff but actually he had vision. He presaged the cosmetic breast implant. Every tit he ever painted looks as though it’s about to burst. And he was painting in the 19whatnots. Did you know he lived on a turkey farm for a while? I believe he painted a topless turkey once but nobody knows where it is.
Anyway, I had to resolve this business of the unloved Vettriano and being excommunicated from the castle. I desperately wanted the painting to hang in the heart of the Lapselater Collection.
Of course I couldn’t go and prostrate myself in front of my bloody big brother and beg – ok, he went to Eton and I went to Arsle Abbey but there are limits. So, I thought suggestions via E-mail might do the trick, and a small correspondence ensued:
Hi. How are you? I’m fine. I really, really, do think the Vettriano is a valid piece of work and could be hung on the grand stairs. However, as a compromise, I feel it would also go well in the cafeteria or near the public lavatories.
All the best,
No. I’m not having it in the house especially in areas open to the public. Either keep it for yourself and we’ll forget the horrendous expense involved, or sell it, or give it away.
Hi. How are you? I’m fine. What about hanging it in the nursery? There aren’t any kiddywinks using it these days.
All the best,
No. Don’t be ridiculous. You seem to forget you have two sisters who both have children that still use the nursery on their visits. You also forget about Nanny Shilling. She uses the nursery as her day room and she would have a fit if she saw a painting of a man in washing-up gloves about to sodomize a prostitute. And Mama? What would she think?
Hi. How are you? I’m fine. Yup, sorry, I forgot. I think you’re being a bit hasty in judging the subject matter of the painting. And actually I think Mummy likes something a bit fruity.
What about the butler’s pantry?
All the best,
For God’s sake Hugo,
Do stop asking me how I am every 3 minutes and telling me you’re fine. At this precise moment I don’t give a tupp’ny fuck how you are.
The answer is still NO. That painting will never be part of the Lapselater Collection, period.
I am busy and so should you be. Start by calling in your dogs. As I write, I can see out of the corner of my eye, both Vodka and Tonic down by the lake spreading panic amongst the ornamentals!
Well, really! It was a bit bloody ordinary to change the subject and drag my dogs into it. But, I’ll have to think again…