Awake at 2:30 AM to listen to the election results as they came in. It soon became clear that it was unlikely that the Conservatives would achieve a clear majority and we will be stuck with a hung parliament — the worst of all worlds. In the event the Conservatives led by a substantial majority in England, ending up with 306 seats — 19 short of a clear majority — they utterly failed Scotland, only winning one seat, where once they were the predominant party. The Lib Dems Â had a disappointing night despite the “Clegg” factor which resulted from the three prime ministerial television debates. It actually ended up with 5 seats less than they had before. It was a night of humiliation for Gordon Brown, the Labour Party which ended with 258 seats and loss of 98. Now the fun begins, ironically, with me as a potential kingmaker
The good Dr long arrived early this morning having travelled from Australia but will only stay one day leaving on Saturday morning at 4.20 a.m. but will be back again in a couple of weeks time.
Â I had a long term engagement to have lunch, with my old friend and literary executor, Dr Julian Critchlow at Sheekeyâ€™s today. I would have offered to take the good doctor but he arrived shortly after I left Â for the station. In any event, he told me afterwards that he would have declined, the offer of lunch, in favour of resting and working in my office. He was understandably rather weary having travelled steerage from Australia.
As always I had a delicious lunch, Â at what is my favourite restaurant. It’s always a pleasure to meet up with Julian who is excellent company at the best and the worst of times. Characteristically generous, he insisted that we went from Sheekey;s to the Travellers, club in Pall Mall, where we were able sit in the garden and smoke excellent an Monte Cristo and a have final glass of champagne..
Â The outing was slightly marred, however, when my train arrived at Bishops Stortford Station and I attempted to dismount, albeit with the assistance of a kindly gentleman whose help, I had elicited. Unfortunately this gentleman did not realise how weak were my legsÂ and, in negotiating this step down from the tran, I crashed to Â the floor, banging my head on the train before it hit the platform. I twisted my leg and bruised my shoulder but persuaded the powers that be that I was okay and did not want to be taken off in an ambulance. The awful thing is that for the first few moments, when people see a prone body, their first reaction its that the person is intoxicated. I’d certainly have a decent lunch though not such that it would have affected my balance. Â I was fortunate that â€˜the good doctor â€˜was meeting me and declared me fit to travel except I think I have probably cracked a bone in my ankle and will probably have to have it x-rayed tomorrow.