Few geo-political news events happen in the open countryside, to the mooing of cows, the brzzzzt of horseflies and the nearby swaying of blue-headed catmint.
Chequers, Buckinghamshire, built in the reign of Elizabeth I, is a bucolic spot but yesterday its rural bower had six whacking great American helicopters in its parkland, a small army of security guys and a whirlybird US president in the walled garden.
‘Last night,’ drawled Donald J. Trump, with the husky tone of lounge-bar seducers down the ages, ‘I got to know the Prime Minister better.’ A phrase open to misinterpretation! Cough, I BEG your pardon, sir?
Firm friends? The two leaders at Chequers yesterday
Mr Trump continued that he had been ’embarrassed for the rest of the table’ when they dined at Blenheim Palace on Thursday evening. Theresa was ‘an incredible woman’, he gasped.
Mind you, he did also call her ‘a people person’. That’s a first.
His sweet-talking of the current chatelaine of Chequers – the house from which Churchill telephoned President Eisenhower after Pearl Harbor – was all meant innocently.
He and Mrs May had been so gripped by their Thursday-night conversation about global events and policy priorities that they had not had time for small-talk with the rest of the throng, claimed Mr Trump.
Between Thursday sunset and yesterday just after lunch, when President and Prime Minister came hand-in-hand down the red-brick steps towards their garden lecterns, something awkward had happened.
Mrs May’s gushing admirer, Donald, had vouchsafed an interview to The Sun newspaper in which he said her proposed Brexit cave-in to Brussels was a stinker likely to prevent an Anglo-American trade deal. Oh dear. That was the opposite of what the Europhiles at 10 Downing Street had been claiming.
The President gives one of his infamous white-knuckle handshakes
The President also told The Sun that he thought Mrs May’s pesky former foreign secretary, Boris Johnson, would make a terrific prime minister. Doubly awkward. When he yesterday repeated that view, declaring Boris to be a friend and a great guy, Mrs May’s face stiffened as though i