Camilla Long, a woman for all seasons, is at it again.
Apart from being a brilliant journalist with a multiple of tasks, where her variety of talents shines through – sometimes to the irritation of the prissy establishment – she seldom toes the line expected of her.
Unabashed by her descriptive use of words, which some will find unspeakably cumbrous, she remains uniquely original in her observations of things normally glossed over by others in the same profession, lest they cause offence to the humourless or the powers that be.
In her Sunday Times column in Style magazine two weekends ago, under the heading ‘A Rude Awakening’, I quote the following to give the reader a sample of her outré type of commentary.
And so to my legs, and a frightening item of clothing I have come to describe as ‘the infamous poo tights’. Marks & Spencer has brought out some sheer slimming illusion tights with a shaded stripe down the inside that is meant to contour your pins. They are the clothing equivalent of the large lardy slick of concealer I would apply to my nose as a teenager, in order to make it look smaller, so obviously I want to know if they will also make me look like someone who has experienced terrible, First World War-grade burns. As it happens, the pair of faecal elephant intestines that drop out of the packet are less Biggles, more ebola. And, really, I suppose I would have been lucky if the tights had simply made me look as if I had lost control of my bowels in two neat stripes down the inside of my legs; only, stretched over my calves, they actually make me look as if I have defecated everywhere – back, sides, even, somehow, over the front of my knees. Is there a place in fashion for the completely soiled look? The answer is clearly yes.
Her bosses at the Sunday Times must of course be delighted by her fearless turn of phrase we rarely encounter nowadays, as hypocrisy has become the staple diet of a new generation of joykillers who tremble in their pants at the mere whiff of contention.
So bravo, Camilla, you have become my heroine of free speech and I am admirer of your rich lexicon of words most of us dare not use.