Columnist Sarah Vine offers her “Five steps to being the perfect housewife” in today’s Times. Scrapbook would have filed this under “middle market tabloid anti-feminist filler” were it not for the fact that Vine’s husband is the Secretary of State for Education.
Offering advice on how to “turn a man from your boyfriend into a proper husband”, Gove’s wife counsels: “Don’t overdo the housework. It’s vitally important to make sure there is always a small amount of mess somewhere in the house.” Doubtless Vine is not “overdoing” the domestic chores unless they are the only household in their North Kensington neighbourhood to dismiss professional assistance in the upkeep of their £700,000 home.
The column brings laughter, however, in these deliciously indiscreet details of the Gove/Vine marriage:
“As to sex, you’ll soon be down to doing it once a month while the children are at granny’s, so really he should get accustomed to the idea now.”
Not content with keeping her spouse on coital rations, Vine also hides his underwear:
“Occasionally it helps to hide vital household items, such as clean underpants — just as a reminder of his day-to-day good fortune at having you for a wife.”
We’re sure Gove was reflecting on his good fortune as he caught civil servants sniggering over copies of Times 2 this morning.