Note verbale . . . (episode 51)


12 December 1998

British Embassy

Dear Dame Tankful

Many thanks for your recent missive, which has been passed on to me by Graham’s secretary. Unluckily, Graham has stepped on a Cuban spiny dogfish while out snorkelling at the beach. Apparently his foot has swollen to quite substantial dimensions and we don’t yet have a date for his return. Indeed, I believe someone has spotted him reclining – foot up – in a deckchair at his residence.

Damn and blast it. Must rein in my post-prandial Rioja intake. I can’t be seen perpetually scuttling off to the privy.

With regard to the current whereabouts of your daughter-in-law, Harriet Tankful, I will – most certainly – pen a Note Verbale to the esteemed head of Women’s Prison Services and hope to receive a reply in the next 60 days (or so).

Which cummerbund shall I disport myself in this evening, I wonder? Perhaps the stripy pink one. I wonder if that little filly from encryption services will be there?

Forgive the brevity of my response dear Dame. Overseas correspondence is stacked before me at the level of my eyeballs.

Dear me. Where has my Alka Seltzer got to. This dyspepsia is certainly causing gyp. Perhaps an early snifter in the bar would be the thing?

Cordial salutations

His Excellency (interim)

Digby Willoughby


I am naturally having to do quite a bit of research when writing some posts – particularly if the subject matter impinges on international politics. I have therefore consulted one or two authorities on the subject of diplomacy in order to write the post above. I feel it is important to be even-handed in my characterizations of individuals occupying opposing ends of the political spectrum: neither the capitalists nor the communists therefore emerge unscathed.


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