15 January 2011


The moment I read that Tory MP Nadine Dorries (Mid-Bedford, Con) had issued a personal statement to "confirm that I am in the early stages of a romantic relationship with John Butler", I was struck by the phrase 'early stages'.

What exactly are the early stages and how does one recognise them - and when do they end and become Full-Monty torrid?

I know that yonder snap of La Dorries needn't be quite so large but there's something hot about her and, anyway, look at that upward come-hither glance ...

Phwoar! She can three-line whip me any time.

(Actually, I don't know why I said that because I'm not at all into all that - showing off, I guess, something with which to follow my third-favourite word, 'phwoar'.)

But I digress.

I was able to wonder all this 'early stages' mush thanks to reading John Donne's wonderful Lecture upon the Shadow and those glorious closing lines that I always quote to clinch any starry-eyed musings about 'lurve':

"If our loves faint, and westwardly decline,
To me thou, falsely, thine,
And I to thee mine actions shall disguise.
The morning shadows wear away,
But these grow longer all the day;
But oh, love's day is short, if love decay.
Love is a growing, or full constant light,
And his first minute, after noon, is night."

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