“Charles, please sit down.”
“What is it, Diana? I want to rehearse my speech for tomorrow.”
“Charles, please. The Royal Society of Busy Bodies can wait. My guess is that in truth you want to practise some ‘pillow talk’. But never mind. This is important to us both as it will be one of the last times we may speak privately as man and wife.
“Today I visited Mr Julius at Mishcon de Reya solicitors and our divorce proceedings have begun.”
“As we started talking, his P A brought us coffee and a selection of cakes which included some unusual, triangular sweet pastries.
“Despite my overly-publicised eating disorder, Mr Julius persuaded me to taste one to help him to illustrate a point of law. He explained the cakes are a delicacy - popularly named ‘Haman’s Ears’ - which are eaten during the Jewish festival of Purim – a sort of carnival day.
“The occasion celebrates the rescue of the entire Jewish community of Persia (modern day Iran) from extermination at the hands of Haman, the wicked First Minister at the Court of King Xerxes. The tale ends with Haman and his sons being hanged for treason on gallows destined for a high-ranking Jew named Mordechai, uncle to Xerxes’s chief concubine, Queen Esther.
“’This is a terrific story of which I remember something from Sunday School. But what has this to do with my divorce?’, I asked Mr Julius.”
“Mr Julius may appear an aloof individual. But he patted me on the shoulder to assure me that my head remains secure, so to speak, despite my relationship with James and the United Kingdom laws of High Treason.”
“Don’t be ridiculous! But don’t think for one moment that in an earlier age you would have got off Scott free for your conduct.”
“And what about you? You may have not committed an offence against your mother …”
“How dare you? You mean ‘The Queen’!”
“ … Don’t interrupt me, please … By George you did start it. And ever since, you have betrayed me, our marriage – and humiliated the boys.
“If only for them, I fantasise about seeing the most pathetic part of you stuck on a 20 foot spike above Westminster Hall. But that won’t happen either!
“The world says we’ve both behaved badly and that Wills and Harry have suffered most in this horrid mess. The world is right. My greatest fear is who would really – tenderly - watch over them if anything happened to me.”
“Have you finished now? I need to go.”
“Almost. Soon after I arrived home, a large, stylish box arrived addressed to them with a note for me. It was from Anthony Julius.
The box was bursting with ‘Haman’s Ears’. The boys spent the afternoon after school racing round the garden and back in here wolfing those ‘great Jewish biscuits’. Thank goodness nothing bad will happen today.”
(Copyright, Natalie Irene Wood – 02 March 2012)
- Wishing all my fellow Jewish readers a Purim Sameach – a happy Purim - from Wednesday evening to Thursday evening, 07 – 08 March. – N.I.W.