But, she says, referring to Pryce’s grand revenge: “I wouldn’t have done that.” Instead, Mrs Smith threw a jam pot at the other woman’s door, and then “did my best not to get in the way of the children’s relationship with their father. Then solely MP for Twickenham, Vince had lost his first wife, Olympia, to breast cancer four months earlier. “We woke up in the morning thinking: 'That’s it, four years of a Conservative government,’ and then, later in the day, Vince was a minister.” The Coalition has proved “very hard” for the Lib Dems, she says, shaking her head.“I think Vicky would now almost admit it was wrong. But I’m so glad she is back doing what she’s good at – economics. “I don’t envy Nick that problem.” Her smile returns quickly. What I think I am rather good at is playing second fiddle – that was true of my first marriage as well.” Vince’s own first marriage is much in evidence in this house – the same in which he and first wife Olympia raised their three children.
So yes, I hope Nick goes for him.” Despite her admiration for the party leader, she and her husband hardly see the Cleggs. “I have tried to ask them back but they are so busy!
” She has never met the Milibands but says she did invite the Osbornes to visit – “but I don’t know what happened to the invitation because I certainly sent it but I think it got lost. “I invited them because Vince said to me right at the beginning, during the Government’s honeymoon period: 'I’ve done an awful thing.’ ” – she laughs merrily at the memory – “ 'I asked, would the Osbornes like to come to the farm,’ he said. I’ve seen them since and I thought, should I ask: 'Did you ever get my card? “We did meet them recently at a concert given by the Prince of Wales in aid of the Philharmonia Orchestra.
” Indian and Indonesian artefacts jostle with family photographs in a cosy sitting room. “I was a bit nervous about what to wear…” she admits.
The photographer is not coming today, but Mrs Smith finds “dressing up a bit of a chore”.
You have stories to tell, and passions to share, and things to talk about that are more interesting than the weather.
Get noticed for who you are, not what you look like.
Photos of Olympia, a beautiful Goan whom he met in York, sit beside a photo of Rachel and Vince on their wedding day.
Much of the décor of the house remains the same as when Olympia was alive. “We thought of moving, but this is his constituency and it didn’t make much sense.” She does try to spend as much time as possible back in the New Forest, on the dairy farm now managed by her son. Mrs Vince, one can’t help think, is one of the rare inhabitants of the Westminster village who would not shrink at the prospect.
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