24th December, 2003
Alastair Campbell, five months after his resignation as Tony Blair’s Director of Communications and Strategy, writes in his diary:
“The big story was that one of the Queen’s corgis had been killed by one of Princess Anne’s terriers. Apparently it wasn’t the first time Anne’s dog had had a go, and there were calls for it to be put down. There was something ridiculously British about the whole thing, dominating the news on the day before the country was expected to sit down after a big lunch and get a message from the Queen.
“I have been asked to do Desert Island Discs, which has given me something else to think about, and the list changes every time I think about it. Fiona had forgotten that we used to dance in David Ireland’s room because he had a record player and I had Randy Crawford’s ‘One Day I’ll Fly Away’. I thought I’d have bagpipes, definitely Jacques Brel, though I don’t know which, Diana Ross probably. Elvis, maybe Simply Red and ‘Money’s Too Tight To Mention’ because that was the song I played the whole time when I went mad, and ‘Things Can Only Get Better’ for sure.”
24th December 1841
Barclay Fox, Cornish businessman, writes in his diary:
“Christmas Eve festivities. We were among a select few invited by [the author John] Sterling’s little people to witness the unfolding of a mighty mystery which had occupied their small brains for the last week.
“The folding doors of the drawing-room being thrown open, the inner room appeared like a blaze of light & luxury. In the centre stood a fir tree reaching nearly to the ceiling, covered in all directions wi…