In his diary entry for 12 June 1959 [Thrupiece Diaries Vol XXXVIII 1958-1960 [ed Mrs Amanda J Threadbone] [Threadbone Press, 2012], Professor Thrupiece writes: "Now that I am about to be engaged on the FP* full time whilst continuing to aid both the Americans and the Soviets in their ambitious plans to conquer space, I feel I need help in undertaking basic field research. A visiting Research Fellow at the College - Enzo Collezionista di Lanugine - tells me that there is much to be discovered regarding the mediaeval arts of fluff separation [separazione], de-stranding [sbrogliarezione] and refinement [raffinatezza] in his own native Tuscany** and I have dispatched my friend and colleague Audrey Badminton Court to make preliminary investigations. Her travelling companion Celia Notso-Pointy will go with her and I hope her presence will speed up sample collection as well as ensure that Audrey stays warm at night"***.
* The "Fluff Project" - Professor Thrupiece's highly secretive code for the work he was about to undertake in preparation for his PHD thesis under the supervision of pioneer Cambridge Culinary Bio-ethical scientist Dr Kenwood-Cheffe. Later, commercialisation of the work would lead to the development of the ®thrupiecediet™ - perhaps the Professor's greatest gift to those who would have little or no understanding of his academic and political work more generally; particularly his extraordinary contributions to rocket science, diplomacy, photography, art and literature.
** See Collezionista di Lanugine, Enzo  Separazione, Sbrogliarezione, Raffinatezza nella Toscana Rinascimentale 1420-1532 [Magdalene College Press]
*** He need not have worried. Average night time temperatures in Tuscany in June 1959 were 13˚C. Polymath that he was, to his lasting credit, Professor Thrupiece was no Geographer - possibly the reason he chose to go to a college where there was no danger of him adding to his pitiful knowledge of the subject. [See Professor Brian Thrupiece "Umbong, Umbongo, Is it Up The Congo?", Transactions of the Dorset Geographical Society, October 1971.]
A Postcard from Ms Badminton-Court and Ms Notso-Pointy's Tuscan research trip. It is touchingly inscribed by Ms Notso-Pointy
That diary entry apart, knowledge of Ms Badminton-Court's role in aiding Professor Thrupiece in the development of his researches and, later, the ®thrupiecediet™ has always been sketchy. Similarly, we have long awaited a full account of her Tuscan adventures; a significant moment in her personal life and development that has remained, hitherto, a tightly closed book. What then transpired on those hot summer days in Italia? And how did those languid summer nights of personal introspection, sharing and discovery impact on a woman not yet in her 30s, struggling with ambitions and desires and looking for something special to take home to Clifton Maybank?*
*Such is the meticulous nature of Ms Notso-Pointy's account, we can now answer the latter question with certitude: a bottle of chianti and a 4" Topo Gigio handpuppet.
Now, at last, in Celia Notso-Pointy's intimate account of their Tuscan summer together, "Audrey in Italia: A Summer Romance" readers can discover for themselves what life was like for two young, gifted and slightly bronzed women on a mission to find fluff, romance and themselves.
That said, those of a prurient disposition looking for an intimate kiss-and-tell account of the two women's sojourn together in "la bella Italia" will be sorely disappointed, for Ms Nosto-Pointy barely strays beyond the bounds of absolute reticence, preferring instead to concentrate on her and her companion's experiences "fuori dalla camera da letto"*
*outside the bed chamber
Typical of the style is this extract:
"I look towards the window, bright morning light flooding the room and outlining A in penumbral silhouette. Beyond, the campanile of Santa Maria della Vespa in Purgatorio stands sharply against the azure sky. It is already 18˚C and the day will be hot. A sighs. It is a sigh of deep longing and contentment tinged with the uncertainty of a woman not yet fully at ease with herself or her inclinations. We collect our nets from the corner where we had wearily discarded them last night. There is fluff to be collected and only we two to collect it. Addio fiorito asil; Bonjour tristesse."
Could this be 2019's Threadbone Biography of the Year Award winner? Watch this space ...
Audrey in Italia: A Summer Romance is available from Threadstones or direct from the publisher The Threadbone Press.
Audrey in Italia is the latest in the Threadbone Press's Threadbone Private Lives Series and is as intimate an account of the young Ms Badminton-Court as we are likely to get outside of Celia Notso-Pointy's intimate autobiography: Why Not Take All Of Me?