What makes a middle-aged man leave his beautiful wife of 30 odd years to marry his intern 38 years his junior? And then, in his mid-eighties go on to marry a beautiful woman 25 years his junior? I suppose because he can. And what makes these women marry a rich old man? Power of course and money. Even a wrinkled old man still wields power, and this attracts some of the most beautiful women in the world. Who am I talking about? Well if you watched BBC 2 last night you would know. The media mogul Rupert Murdoch.
Riveting tv. He is an enigma and clearly brilliant and driven. And I can see why some women would find this attractive. I was once tempted by money and power. Aged just 17 I met an older rich French man – he was probably in his late 40’s but that seemed very old to me back then. I was hitching in Europe and stopped off in the south of France. He had a yacht in Cannes – a big one. I was staying in a youth hostel and had just had a very embarrassing night. I have this rather horrible habit of making deep gurgling throat noises in my sleep of which I am unaware. In the morning one of the girls in the 10-bed dormitory said in a loud voice.
“Did you hear those noises last night. Boy were they horrible.”
I looked around at the girls and before anyone could reply I said, “Yes I couldn’t sleep all night.” And with that I packed my bags and hot footed it to this French man’s yacht. But it didn’t last, he was very unattractive, and I couldn’t do the deed. I wanted to as I was down to my last few pounds but packed my backpack in the middle of the night and scarpered.
And there were many more before I met my life partner but none quite as rich as that man. I made a good choice although I hadn’t imagined that I would be a widow in my sixties. Sometimes it hits me with such force when I least expect it. A bit like when you are swimming in the sea and suddenly a huge wave surprisingly hits you from behind. This morning doing my teeth right out of the blue this all-consuming wave of grief hit me. Pang – right there in the solar plexus. It almost knocks you over. The finality of death is hard to come to terms with. Throughout my life I have cajoled, campaigned and persuaded people and been quite good at it. I was also quite good at deal making but this is one deal over which I had no power. No amount of promises or pledges cut it. Whoever is in charge doesn’t listen. Death is the end and it is bloody well hard to accept.
As you can see I am not having a very positive day. It started with the tooth brushing, then the surveyor from Saga Home Insurance who after 2 hours checking my house and me risking catching Coronavirus, rejected my claim. Why am I surprised? Don’t they always wriggle out of claims. Next came the renewal from AXA/ppp health insurance 20% increase on last year because I had 1 claim and I am one year older. Then there was Bridge – we came bottom again. Malcolm Gladwell argues that one needs to spend at least 10,000 hours of practice before one can become an expert in anything. I reckon I have had about 2000 hours of practice! Not sure if it is worth devoting another 8000 hours to this. And in case you haven’t already nodded off squirrels in Colorado have tested positive for bubonic plague. I know a bit random but maybe it’s time to stop petting the cute little ones in my garden. Or at least wear gloves and a mask!
But hey – its blackberry season – again. Yesterday I spotted a few in the park. I have been deprived of my favourite breakfast spread as I ran out a few months ago but if my secret blackberry patch is still going strong then I will be in full production by the weekend.
Message to self:
This is a very shallow blog Roma. You need to up your game.
Too right – I need to get a life – if only I could!!!!
“Let’s be careful out there”
4 thoughts on “The Attraction of Power”
I hope today is better than yesterday, Roma dear. I hope you find your fill of blackberries. Years ago I stayed in a little house on Fire Island, in New York, that had a big blueberry bush outside the front door. I’d get up in the morning, and stumble still in my nightie, reach out and grab breakfast.
A different time of berry picking: When I was a hip young New Yorker in the 1950s, I was we cognoscenti would wait breathlessly each sprinf for a little notice in the paper from the department store Bloomingdale’s to tell us the wild strawberries had arrived, flown in that morning from France: one notice, one day only. We in the know would drop everything and run. The most heavenly taste in the world.
And then there were the blackberries on Martha Vineyard.
Stuck in Manhattan in the time of plague, I can only remember.
hopefully we will get out there again – together. I am planning it for your next auspicious birthday xx
I too watched the Murdoch documentary and was disgusted both by him and his younger women and by those who allowed themselves to come under his power. Looking forward very much to tomorrow night’s episode, though, probably to be disgusted all over again. And since I’m using the word disgusting, I always felt great disgust at the very idea of consorting with an older man. Ageist, perhaps, but I could never have done it, no matter how rich or powerful they were. Our blackberries won’t be out until after yours – well into August, but I’m looking forward so much to them this year.
Of course I married a toy boy – Tod was six years my junior and yet he still died before me!