SHAME on those nasty, cowardly, spiteful Twitter trolls who have forced my friend and colleague Susanna Reid to step away from the social media site.
Susanna, a consummate professional broadcaster and a walking saint for putting up with Piers Morgan, has been the victim of a tsunami of abuse and she, quite rightly, doesn’t want to subject herself to such hateful bile.
Of course, these sick little trolls are just pea green with envy because Susanna is bright, beautiful and hugely successful.
But it shows that even a strong, independent, grown woman can be deeply hurt by Twitter abuse.
I’ve had my fair share too, and it eats away at your soul.
We missed the boat when it comes to policing social media and punishing those online whose hate crimes cause such distress.
Tragically, in some cases it can even drive people to take their own lives.
Susanna has the right idea, and if enough of us decide to step away, maybe the rich internet geeks might actually do something.
YACHT A LOAD OF LOSERS
I’VE been lucky enough to still be going into work every day to do my TV show and it’s given me a much-needed anchor in these tough times.
I did promise myself I would learn to knit, cook, write a novel and do an online yoga class every day.
The reality has been eating too many jumbo- sized chocolate bars and packets of crisps while watching Game Of Thrones and Real Housewives Of Beverly Hills. I’ve also discovered the most ludicrous, badly made, vacuous and truly silly reality show, which has got me utterly hooked.
Below Deck on Netflix follows the exploits of the crew of a mega yacht catering for a variety of ghastly people with too much money and absolutely no class.
When I tell you that the episode I watched was mainly about one of the stewards seeking revenge by leaving a towel folded into the shape of a penis on a client’s bed, you can tell we aren’t talking Downton Abbey.
Somehow it drags you down to the depths of petty trivia and inane nonsense and leaves you wanting more.
It’s also made me realise that a holiday on an overly gilded super- yacht would be hell on earth.
Shame on selfish trash who spoiled our beauty spots
I AM doubly fuming at scenes of idiots packed tightly like a mass of elephant seals on our beaches and parks during this heatwave.
First of all they are merrily ignoring social distancing and putting all of us, especially the most vulnerable, at risk and making a second wave of Covid-19 almost inevitable.
Secondly, when they head home, burnt red raw and a tad hung over, they leave festering mountains of crap behind.
Just look at the appalling scenes at places such as Bournemouth, with roads blocked and so many sweaty sunseekers descending on the beaches the council had to declare an emergency.
There were brawls, fights and not one bugger adhering to any sort of pretence of social distancing, and mountains of smelly trash left behind.
It is infuriating to see some of our loveliest beauty spots looking like the aftermath of a Roman orgy. In fact, it is a whole lot worse — the ancient Romans did not discard greasy fast food packaging and empty cans of super lager.
If these selfish toads have managed to waddle TO the seaside or nearest open space laden down with booze, sandwiches, sausage rolls, cakes and even a complete BBQ, why can they not just put all the empty bottles and packets in a bag and take them back home with them?
It’s disgusting behaviour that demonstrates how little they care about the planet or their fellow human beings.
Christ knows what their houses must look like.
There is no thought about the poor clean-up men and women who have to deal with all this mess first thing in the morning.
It just makes a joke of those Thursday nights when we did the Clap For Carers and honoured front-line workers, including cleaners and refuse collectors.
The attitude of these self-indulgent clowns is that someone else will pick up after them, so they don’t need to give a s**t.
It is not just youngsters who are to blame, either.
People of all ages seem oblivious to making others wade ankle-deep through old fag packets and empty beer bottles on their way back from a day in the sun.
I am not the only one furious at this anti-social behaviour.
Author Ian Rankin, creator of Inspector Rebus, tweeted photos of the midweek mess left behind on The Meadows in Edinburgh.
He also expressed sympathy with the council workers who have to embark on a massive clean-up every morning.
With public toilets closed, I am sorry to say that the clean-up squads all over the country are having to deal with even more stomach-churning stuff than the usual dog poo and vomit, which is gruesome enough.
Then there is the broken glass and plastic that is so dangerous to our pets and wildlife.
If you have ever had to witness a puppy in pain after stepping on a shard of pointed glass, or a terrified bird injured and trapped in the plastic loops that hold cans of beer together, you would never throw away another piece of garbage.
I reckon we need a nationwide clampdown on this sort of behaviour.
We need steep fines and even people being banned from areas of outstanding beauty.
So if you are heading on a picnic or day out, for the love of God have a bit of decency and clean up after yourselves.
Don’t leave it to someone else. Take responsibility and have a bit of respect.
WE NEED TO BE PATIENT
I know all of you who haven’t seen friends and family since March will understand my pain and sorrow at not being able to visit my parents, who live near Glasgow.
My dad is still in hospital, being looked after splendidly by everyone in ward 14 in Hairmyres hospital. The staff even arrange for patients to talk to their relatives on special iPads, which is such a relief.
As well as being rushed off their feet with the usual demands of the job, they are having to spend hours on the phone reassuring relatives like me and passing on vital information.
I can’t wait to see my mum and dad in person and to reassure myself they are doing OK. It’s been really tough on older people, especially those who have health conditions that make them extremely vulnerable.
For their sakes we need to be patient and to make sure we protect them as we take baby steps towards the new normal.
Lady Anne is a real crown jewel
MAY I point you in the direction of one of the most eye-popping, jaw-dropping and entertaining reads of the summer?
Lady In Waiting: My Extraordinary Life In The Shadow Of The Crown, by Lady Anne Glenconner, has just been released in paperback, and what a hell of a life it is.
From being a maid of honour at the Queen’s coronation in 1953, when she almost fainted on live TV, to 30 years as Princess Margaret’s best pal and now a hugely entertaining 87-year-old author and raconteur, Anne’s life is being lived in bold Technicolor.
Her husband, Colin Tennant, was a louche, spoiled, selfish man-child who took his innocent young bride to a seedy Parisian brothel on their honeymoon and changed his will so that a former employee in St Lucia inherited the money and property.
The book tells the story of how Colin bought the Caribbean island of Mustique, gave a parcel of land to Princess Margaret where she had a house built, and spent some of the happiest years of her life with Anne by her side.
It was a heady mix of parties with celebrities such as David Bowie and Mick Jagger, who bought homes on the island, and being part of the Princess Margaret set, seen recently in The Crown.
There’s been real tragedy in Anne’s life too.
Two of her sons died – Charlie overcame a heroin addiction but sadly contracted the hepatitis C that killed him, while Henry died of Aids in the 1980s.
With the steely resolve of her generation, Anne picked herself up and carried on.
She has just finished writing a detective novel set in Mustique that has all the hallmarks of being turned into a successful TV drama series.
If she ever decides on a career change, I reckon Anne would make the most wonderful agony aunt. Nothing would ever shock or faze her, and she never judges anyone for their lifestyle or mistakes.
She’s a right good egg and I can’t rec- ommend her book highly enough.
MY ’DO TO-DO
I cannot begin to tell you how ridiculously excited I am that I’ve managed to secure a hair appointment in two weeks’ time.
I know it’s shallow, but seeing new grey hairs sprouting up every morning faster than I can pluck them out makes my heart sink.
My poor barnet actually has no style or shape any more. The only way I can look half-way acceptable is by blow-drying it into a sort of browny-greyish football.
All social distancing and safety rules will be observed when Maleeka Robb from FOUR salon in London works her magic, and it will be good to do something normal for a change that is also safe and will boost our spirits.
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