‘Obviously, I’d rather that my birthday was in June instead of gloomy old February,’ Sonny was fond of saying, ‘but one can’t choose when one’s born.’
The shock of not having planned his own birth had given Sonny a fanatical desire to plan everything else. Bridget had tried to keep him out of the tent on the grounds that it should be a ‘surprise’, but since this word was for him roughly equivalent to ‘terrorist outrage’, she had failed. She had, on the other hand, managed to keep secret the astonishing cost of the velvet, communicated to her by a honking Sloane with a laugh like a death rattle, who had said that it came to ‘forty thousand, plus the dreaded’. Bridget had thought ‘the dreaded’ was a technical decorating term until Tony explained that it was VAT.