27th February 2015 : Page 1

The Lady February 27, 2015 00:00

In this issue of The Lady : I don’t wish to make you jealous, but I have just returned from India, where the sun shone daily and I spent my evenings eating like a king as thewarm sea lapped the sandy shore and monkeys skipped through the swaying trees above (sorry). It is a beautiful, various, exotic country, far removed from Britain’s leaden late winter days. It is also incredibly good value. Which rather begs the question: why don’t
more of us retire there? It is a conundrum that was addressed in the 2012 fi lm, The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel. Based on Deborah Moggach’s brilliant book, These Foolish Things, it starred Judi Dench, Maggie Smith, Penelope Wilton and Bill Nighy as a group of colourful oldies seeking an aff ordable twilight chapter in an exotic Indian retirement home. Well, who could blame them? The idea certainly struck a chord as they are now back in a sequel, The Second Best Exotic Marigold Hotel – and on page 12, Dame Judi Dench speaks to us about laughing like a schoolgirl, ageing gracefully and upping sticks as an OAP. We also have a fascinating insight into the creative crucible that was Gertrude Jekyll’s exquisite garden at Munstead Wood; a vivid look back at the ‘hello girls’ who kept Britain connected before our telephone system was automated; the ever-humorous VG Lee on the highs and lows of moving house (no, she’s not going
as far as India) , and the great Martin Clunes on bringing Sir Arthur Conan Doyle – and his real-world detective work – to life. What a thali. Very best wishes, Matt Warren, Editor

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