Back to base in Fengrove, she thought that she should phone her daughter.
They had not spoken since the funeral and she knew that she should finally try to encourage the words she did not want to hear.
But as usual, after lunch with Lynne, she could think of nothing but Dorlich.
Not so, Lynne - presumably back in the bosom of her charming Surrey pile overlooking a pond with her gazebo, her dogs and Greg.
They had two red setters, Pork and Scratching and although Lynne had not mentioned them once at lunch it was obvious on more than one occasion that she was thinking about them.
But Derek! When had she last thought about him?
Now, the memory of their youthful bout returned with relentless determination, assuming a life of its own.
It had happened after she had drunk a heroic number of lagers and lime, topped off with Southern Comfort chasers and had decided that it was only right, natural and proper to take to the floor and treat the entire company to a display of solo dancing.
She had plunged back and forth to the strains of Cockney Rebel, finally lurching into the lap of Derek as Mick Jagger yelped the chorus of the B side to Satisfaction.
Don’t play with me or you’re playing with fire…..
Derek had taken that as a green light, because half an hour later, they were writhing and squirming in the bed of the first room they could find, with Derek yelling:
PANTS AHOY to no-one in particular, but as it turned out, the unsuspecting Sandra Milford, curled up in the corner.
This had been a persistent image when Derek had undergone reincarnation as her Regional Whip – shortly after she had taken her seat as the MP for Fengrove.
There was barely a trace of the James Dean manqué in the balding executive with slip on shoes and flowery tie – but she had not known where to look and had left his soiree for new MPs as soon as was humanly possible.
Oddly enough – he had betrayed absolutely no recognition of her Dorlich self – and maintained the pose with studied diligence during her entire tenure in Parliament.
Of course he must have known that I only slept with him because Robbie Nantwich had gone off with Sarah
she had mused vengefully as Derek had shot smoothly up the greasy pole, from Whip to Minister, Secretary of State and finally Cabinet.
And now, according to every paper, smut and broadsheet, he was top choice to replace Wendy as Leader if, as suspected, she lost the Election.
Of course, such matters were out of her hands now – not that they had ever been in them.
But in her weaker moments – and today’s miserable lunch with Lynne - combined with the after-effects of the funeral certainly qualified – she had considered placing a quick call to Maurice from The Crier and telling him about Derek’s suspected liaison with Leslie Potts when they had shared that apartment in Dorlich……..
Perhaps Sandra Milford, seeking refuge from her current humiliation, might be willing to divulge her discovery of Derek and Leslie on a divan in the apartment after the latter had absconded from her parents’ silver wedding lunch?
Obviously for a fee – and for a satisfying splash on pages two to ten in the Sunday edition?
Of course, Lynne had not been at the NUS conference. She had been licking her wounds in Dorlich after narrowly failing to be elected to the student Union Council.
This was her own stupid fault because she had not been willing to dress up on election day in a micro skirt and platform boots – essential uniform for pouncing upon the non English speaking students, armed with a ballot paper and pen, prior to placing a cross against her own name and supervising the voters as they dropped their slips into the ballot box.
This was why she herself had been elected in sixth place after Sandra Milford’s votes had been re-distributed. It was also why Sandra had demanded a stewards’ enquiry which had come to nothing because the foreign students had been able neither to understand nor answer the questions. And it was probably why Sandra Milford had insinuated herself into the bedroom at Conference as a watching third - so that she could spill the beans back in Dorlich – and get her romp with Derek into the Diary column of the student magazine.
Not that he was up to much though she mused, returning to the call with her daughter
Prime Minister or not……………………