Avid Mail reader that I am, I've been following "Macca vs Mucca" with gleeful disgust (or disgusted glee, whatever you like) and was duly awed by -- was it Friday's? -- impressive divorce settlement (which my favourite tabloid put down to Ms Mills' "bizarre velvet power suit" -- "bizarre" being one of its favourite words at the moment, coming third after "baby bump" and "trout pout").
What I found even more astounding was her announcement that she is planning to settle in ... dig this: Poland or the Czech Republic.
Apparently it's because property prices are so much lower in Eastern Europe than in Britain. Is she aware that people speak different there, I wonder?
Whether or not this is some kind of revenge (masterminded, of course, by a certain xenophobic Tory rag) upon all those Polish plumbers, cleaning ladies, hotel receptionists and general maintainers of a state of orderliness in a certain insignificant (and tacky) sceptred isle in the North Sea, I don't know -- I reckon she's just letting all of us who care to listen know how hard up she is these days.
After reading about her plight this morning, I was excited to find evidence of a very similar exodus in the late nineteenth century. Sheridan LeFanu's Gothic novella Carmilla (1872) begins as follows:
In Styria, we, though by no means magnificent people, inhabit a castle, or schloss. A small income, in that part of the world, goes a great way. Eight or nine hundred a year does wonders. Scantily enough ours would have answered among wealthy people at home. My father is English, and I bear an English name, although I never saw England. But here, in this lonely and primitive place, where everything is so marvellously cheap, I really don't see how ever so much more money would at all materially add to our comforts, or even luxuries.
My father was in the Austrian service, and retired upon a pension and his patrimony, and purchased this feudal residence, and the small estate on which it stands, a bargain.
So there you go -- nothing new under the sun. Britons have always left their green and pleasant land for lonely and primitive places where everything is so marvellously cheap -- just ignore the rabid vampires that come with the demesne.
Might as well go to bed then (though I'll probably dream of Heather Mills as vampirella haunting a picturesque but draughty Bohemian castle).
Night, night, sleep tight .... don't let the bedbugs etc., etc.