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Monday December 12, 1977

Clementine Spencer-Churchill went off from this world to join Winston this afternoon. The old bird died of a heart attack at the age of 92. This item proved to be the dominant feature on the 6 o'clock news because the BBC is tiring of the firemens' strike and the procrastinations of Mr Wedgwood Benn. I must write to Judith. She loves to talk about Winnie and Clem.

Clementine: went to join Winston.
Work was carried out in the usual fashion. Sarah is back in action, and so is Eileen, who's been off since God knows when.

At home we had the traditional family bust up over the erection of the Christmas tree. I told Lynn where she could stick the tinsel, and dear Mother became quite heated. Susan even threatened to go out until we had all calmed down. Papa took leave of his senses. It was horrific and as is always the case, I lost on all counts. In any crisis the family always sticks together to attack me violently. Mum thinks the sun shines out of Lynn's arse, which I don't mind in the least, but I do object when the collective fury, wrath - call it what you will - is flung at me. However, as eldest child I suppose it's quite natural that I should be the scapegoat. Just like the relationship between the Hanoverian kings and successive Princes of Wales for instance? Clement Freud's grandad no doubt knew all about this psychological phenomena.

It is now several hours since the 'Great Christmas Tree Bust Up' and I wish to re-assess the situation. I was most certainly not defeated in the battle. Dad just attempted to give Lynn and I a piece of his mind about the outburst of childish bickering and I discovered a certain eloquence that has laid dormant since my school debating days. I retired to bed feeling like Sir Winston Churchill. The funny thing about it all is that Lynn and I laughed ourselves stupid afterwards, and we caused the whole rift in the first place. It got to the situation where we just couldn't look at each other without dissolving.

-=-

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