John Gibson: What was it like in Number 10?

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Nice to have them, to have them nice! Influential chums in high places.

Lorraine Chase has one. The former Emmerdale star is still high on a personal invitation to Downing Street (patience, John, your day will come) from the Prime Minister’s wife, Samantha Cameron.

It was, inevitably, a charitable affair in aid of the Greater London Fund for the Blind. An invite for two and Lorraine’s automatic choice for escort for the evening was showbizzy Brian Crawford, boss of Edinburgh’s Dome. Was it a good night? Says the chirpy Lorraine: “Sam was the perfect hostess.” But of course.

Still at full pelt

Grand old lady of Edinburgh’s retail community, Rene Seftor, had a joint celebratory party at the New Club on Princes Street. Besides being her 90th birthday, it was her son Brian’s 40th wedding anniversary.

The Seftors are still an influential name in the fur trade, originated a century ago by Rene’s father-in-law. They were associated for many years with Shandwick Place, before it became one of the chosen graveyards for the trams.

Sharp-as-a-tack Rene still “goes to work” most days. She’s been talking about retiring. In the next two years. “Sometimes I feel a hundred,” she confesses.

Afterwords . .

. . . I’m informed by a reader that a cauliflower in Aldi costs 69p but in Waitrose is costs £1.69. Surely can’t be true. If it is, there should be a law against it.