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Saturday, 28 September 2013

And oh the difference to me

Oh cor! Stephanie Flanders, economics editor, is leaving (has left) the BBC and I am bereft. News at Ten will now be a desert populated only by the stuffy Welsh camel-master, Huw Edwards. She'd been there eleven years and that's salutary too; how quickly the years flit by when you're in your seventies - me not her.

Ah Steffie. With your plangent classless voice, your cylindrical face, your long legs, your short skirts, your expensive bob hairdo (a dozen  subtle variations of brown) and your fearlessly confident knowledge of economics which encouraged me to think that I - like you - could define quantitative easing at the drop of a centime.

I wrote you a strangely fashioned verse (initially in four-foot lines no less; then a sonnet) that plunged into fantasy. An extract:

Detached she sat, her thoughts beyond
The fate of Mozart’s heroines
Beyond the power of any bond
That lacked her expert disciplines.

The Don in  Hell, she smiled at me,
And asked if sonnets could contain
The dullness of technicity
The theory of the sheer arcane.

Not that my admiration didn't come at a price.  When she appeared on telly it was if I'd been forced to don a dirty mackintosh. I became a voyeur.

She's going (gone) for big bucks to J. P. Morgan, a huge bank that recently paid the biggest fine ever for financial malfeasance. Let's hope she cracks boardroom heads with a new hockey stick.

Ave atque vale. Here are two separate parts of the song, Barbara Ellen, which I am conflating:

Young Jemmy Coe on his deathbed lay
For love of Barbara Ellen.
Slowly slowly she got up
Slowly slowly she came nigh him
And the only words to him she said
Young man I think you're dying



  1. I didn't know that, that is a shame, sorry for your loss. Did you know she was the daughter of Flanders of Flanders and Swan? I didn't until Clive HJ mentioned it because she was part of a discussion after a performance of Stravinsky's 'Soldier's Tale' he was involved with, because her father had done the first translation of it or something.

    And did you catch that Radio 4 series she did called 'Stephanomics'? I only heard one or two but they were interesting.

  2. Lucy: Any sympathy is greatly welcome. Yes I knew she was an offspring of that Flanders (I saw the F&S show live, in London, a million years ago). I gobbled up all the autobiographical detail. I never heard Stephanomics but I did see her, live, at the Hay Festival this year. I went there thinking I was alone with my passions, that economics would be a turn-off for most knee-jerk Brits. In fact the largest tent (significantly labelled Barclays Wealth) was bursting at the seams with other besotted admirers. Slightly unnerving.