As is traditional, the London Review of Books' last issue of the year carries extracts from Alan Bennett's diary.
Here are a couple:
7 September. Ed Kemp rings, thoughtfully it seems to me, to say that his mother has died aged 91. She was the widow of Eric Kemp, my tutor at Exeter College and later bishop of Chichester, though I don’t recall meeting her in Oxford, but only in Chichester where, though she was the bishop’s wife, she enjoyed working as an usherette in the theatre and thus (I hope) scandalising that Trollopean place.
19 September. Long piece in the Guardian sports section about Joey Barton, the difficult (and sometimes violent) footballer who has been transferred from Burnley to Rangers and is in trouble again.
He is obviously clever, though in a slightly psychopathic way, and given to gnomic Muhammad Ali-like utterances. He’s rightly proud of his self-education and being smarter than most footballers while still being his own worst enemy.
He habitually uses ‘critique’ to mean ‘criticise’ and would make a good character in something