Diary… Saturday, 1 February

Bosses target workers who take time off in loo My PB (Post Brexit) began with the news that toilet breaks are going down the pan

In the quest to boost productivity, factory owners worldwide are installing workplace toilets that slope in a way that makes them uncomfortable to sit on for more than five minutes. 

Travel update On the bus travelling to Waterloo station, my wife Jane complained about the vast number of Prets a Manger that have sprung up around Fleet Street and The Strand. 

“It’s like we’ve become the United Kingdom of Sandwiches”.

◾Severe delays due to freight train derailment at Eastleigh. Only way forward is to Basingstoke, then onward to Winchester from there.

Naughty-boy King coughs up confession The mysterious abdication in 2013 of King Albert II of Belgium is in the news after he fessed up to copping a bit of undercover hanky-panky back in the 1960s.

The outcome of the extramarital dalliance was a daughter, Delphine Boël, who has been on his tail in the courts for six years.

Belgian Bert, now 85, could be forced to hand over one eighth of his estate. 

My own confession is that I didn’t even know Belgium had kings and queens.

Seems they’ve been in the monarchy game since independence in 1830.

Their first king was the German prince Leopold I.

Leopold I

The Marchioness and the spy writer’s mother Whenever I visit Winchester I like to reacquaint myself with Bapsy. 

Born 1902 into a posh Indian family, Bapsy Pavry was, from the early 1950s, Marchioness of Winchester.

She is said to be the only ever Indian Marchioness in history.

From an early age, Bapsy made it her business to infiltrate the British upper class.

She hit the jackpot with her marriage in 1952 to the Marquess of Winchester, 90. 

Worming her way into the top echelons of power was in Bapsy’s DNA.

And she didn’t  seem too bothered who she mixed with.

Her contact list included the names Hitler, A and Mussolini, B.

But the man she married, the Marquess, was a cad and, despite Bapsy’s manifold attractions, was still having it off with his old flame, Mrs Eve Fleming, mother of the James Bond author Ian Fleming. 

Bapsy sued Mrs Fleming for “enticement” and won, but the decision was later overturned and the Marquess and Mrs Fleming ran off to Monte Carlo together.

Bapsy is still big in Winchester. She has a grand hall named after her and her story is displayed with pride in the city’s Guildhall. 

She continued her role as a prominent socialite, philanthropist and sucker-up to aristocracies worldwide until her death in 1995.

Bapsy Pavry, by Augustus John, circa 1930

◾Bapsy sadly got knocked off the to-do list on this visit to Winchester because the whole weekend marked the opening of this year’s Six Nations rugby tournament.

During the Wales vs Italy game, our host Liz suddenly blurted out, “That’s Richard!”

This is the man she knew and was squealing about. 

“That’s Richard!”

Not the player, the man with the 70s barnet sitting at the table. 

His job it is to time substitutions and log match data.

Liz sent him the above photo, via sms, during the match.

Wales won 42-0.

Give us a clue… Just been told that the first letter of the cryptic crossword answers in yesterday’s Guardian spelled out BOLLOCKS on the top line and TO BREXIT on the bottom line.

◾Read yesterday’s journal entry