346 • Gold-digger

346 • Gold-digger

She longed for a dance with Disraeli;
Despatched ardent messages daily.
But weeks turned to years
As her cheeks burned with tears
And he never came down to the cèilidh
(Nor played on her pink ukulele).

She longed for a breakfast with Balfour
(As males go, she rated him Alpha):
But his strange emissar
In an accent bizarre
Said ‘He can’t even spare you a half-hour.’

She longed to ensnare Lord Macaulay
But he’d just pretend to be poorly.
Undaunted by failure
She fled to Australia
To marry the mayor of Kalgoorlie.

The lives of the British politicians about whom our predatory protagonist fantasises span the period 1800–1930, albeit in staggered array. Balfour was 11, and Disraeli 55, when Macaulay expired … so it seems scarcely probable that she might have harboured carnal expectations of all of them simultaneously. Readers who possess (and know how to use) a calculator will be ready to compute the probable span of her obsessions, and her likely age when she set her cap at the Antipodean mayor – but should not overlook the fact that gold was not discovered at Hannan’s Find (later called Kalgoorlie) until 1893.

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