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Things you never read

I never believe those couples who publicise their break up with there are no third parties involved. It’s rarely if ever the case and I wonder what the motive is. Perhaps they want to present a no-blame front to friends and family so no side is taken. I know one couple who sent out such letters and it appeared quickly that there was another woman …..who the wife left for and in a matter of weeks they were not on speaking terms where indeed they remain.

I was mentioning this over lunch to the literary Melanie Gay. Her bête noir is the unctuous tribute to their wife that so many male writers apply in their acknowledgement. She scribbled some words on the back of the menu and said you would never read this :

I would like to thank my mistress for the great encouragement and sex she gave me in the absence of any from my wife since we had our last child. She is quite happy to help herself to the advance though, what is left of it after paying public school fees. Not that either of our two skate-boarding, hoodie, sullen lads have ever shown any appreciation for the financial sacrifices I make for their education. If my mistress is unavailable I see a sex worker from Riga called Elle who not only is a great lover but is far more interested in the genesis of  this novel than my wife. Any faults are not mine but those of my careless editor, whose enthusiastic but unsought advice is generated solely by the profit the publishing house continues to make from my endeavours. I would like to give my literary agent Becky one but she spends most of her time, energy and  my money supposedly looking for new talent at literary festivals but in reality sleeping with any big beast novelist who happens to be pontificating there.

About Jane Shillingford

Jane spent the bulk of her career working on women’s magazines. Now retired and living on the south coast, she has no regrets and 'would do it all again'. More Posts