Every time I see, hear or read about someone interesting I think, 'Ooh they'd be at my fantasy dinner party'. By now I've got so many guests that I'd have to hire the Albert Hall to seat them all and the Army Catering Corps would have to provide the food. I've also forgotten the names of the guests I initially thought of so have decided to start again from scratch.
First of all I told the cats and David they could each bring one guest. Posky said Mario Testino as he was a proper photographer (and if he could make Kate Mosse look good just think what he could do for him). Pepper asked for the Buddha (although she quite fancied having her photo taken by Mario too), and Charlie wanted the crime writer Jo Nesbo so they could discuss violence. Mrs Pod said she didn't mind who came as long as she could sit on my knee (she might have an ulterior motive for this as I'm meant to be taking her in to the vets tomorrow and she's trying to persuade me not to). David opted for Nigella Lawson - he also volunteered to help her out in the kitchen. I'm a bit worried about her vegan-food credentials (I don't think that's the first thing David considered in his choice...).
Now for my guests, I'd invite Cath of course, and she asked if we could have Sting providing the music, and could he be playing his lute naked in the corner of the room please? I was actually going to suggest Yo-Yo Ma... and anyway, Cath would be far too occupied with Sir Patrick Stewart (for it is he who is first on my list) to bother about anyone else. Then I'd have to have Stephen Fry (I love Stephen Fry), so funny and clever. Also Professor Brian Cox who is my favourite scientist of the moment and for a bit of balance Carol Anne Duffy (if you're going to have a poet, have the Poet Laureate is what I say. Someone like Byron might be fun but then things could get out of hand with him being drunk and disorderly all over the place). Shakespeare is a given of course. I'd ask Sir Norman Foster too as he designs amazing buildings and I'd want to see his snapshots of the Grand Viaduc du Millau in France. I was going to say Thomas Hardy but he might not enjoy social gatherings, and anyway, if he gave me his honest opinion of my dissertation on him the evening could be ruined. We seem to be having a gender bias in favour of males here so I'll ask Lindsay Davis, and also Hypatia of Alexandria (fascinating woman who headed the school at Alexandria in Roman Egypt).
And if David gets to choose Nigella then I definitely get to have George Clooney sitting next to me.
Let me know if I've made any glaring omissions or anyone who you'd like to bring!