Monday, 15 August 2011

The Official Secrets Act

Happy 100th birthday to the Official Secrets Act. I signed it in the 1980's, having responded to an advertisement on the front page of The Times, inviting women interested in being able to keep their own car on the road, change a tyre, top up the oil, water etc. It was my second husband who worked at the coal or chalk face of Cold War Anglo-Soviet relations who suggested casually that I might find it interesting. Looking back, it seems to me that might have been convenient for all sorts of people for me to have signed the Act, however remote the ostensible purpose. As a result I was for some years - and am still eligible to be - a member of the Special Forces club in London's Knightsbridge. The club is decorated with photographs of heroes of the WWII Resistance movements in Europe, and of course Russians were (no doubt still are) welcome guests because they were on the same side as us. Needless to say, I had no lessons in car maintenance and remain none the wiser about the mysteries of internal combustion engine. Enough said. I discovered a forgotten emergency supply of Erythromycin on top of a chest of drawers in my bedroom, and so have switched myself onto that from the pathetic Amoxycillin, which causes the hardened bacteria in my lungs to laugh contemptuously. I feel better already.

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