Saturday, April 4, 2009

Full on midnight

So here i am - it's late at night and the pictures look good. Tomorrow I'm planning Sunday lunch but tonight we're taking pictures for fun. It's London and it's MTV and it's late and it's one more tune...More posting tmw. Find me on Twitter in the meantime. baby. xxx

Friday, February 6, 2009

So over snow

The snow at the beginning of the week was lushly beautiful. A bright white light that lasted into the night when it reflected the moon on slivers of tree branches. The world stopped still - no buses, no trains, no people, just a few snowmen. ("All of which have cans of lager in their hands - you've got to love Acton," a friend wrote to me.)

But in town, the disadvantage of snow took the romantic edge off it pretty quick. No work, no school. No rubbish collections, no post. Every meeting backed up and everyone feeling weirdly like it's christmas again and consequently unable to work properly at all. Frozen dog turds. Pavements of solid ice. Sandy grit that melts the snow to sludge and has the colour and texture of sick. Hunter wellies look frankly ridiculous in town and harrassed men are at the local swimming pool wondering what the hell they're doing there on a Tuesday afternoon instead of being nice and cosy at work. Snow is for the countryside. Vast white landscapes that make us think of Russia, vodka and philosophy (I've been reading Kafka this week, which turned out to be beautifully timed with with the weather).

Still, it could be worse. It will be much harder to be depressed about the recession when it's summer. Let's see how we cope then...

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Nuts vs The Economist

I sat on the tube today next to an oversized, odorous man reading a copy of Nuts magazine. What exactly is the point of Nuts? The editors would no doubt say it's a one-size-fits-all mag with everything in it a bloke wants; cars, football and boobs. But really, it's about the boobs, isn't it? If a bloke wanted to know more about cars and football, he'd buy GQ or Exchange & Mart or Goal! (is there a magazine called Goal! - ? There should be). So who it's for is men who want to look at boobs while sitting next to repulsed women on the tube. Or for men who can't reach the top shelf. Whateva, girlfriend. I was suitably repulsed. And here's the thing. On my right was a man reading the Economist. He didn't smell but was also grey-haired and wearing specs. But guys - if I had to choose, it would be the Economist reader every time. Ditch the Nuts.

Monday, January 26, 2009

Monday morning

Right. I'm pledging to myself that I will write and update this blog regularly, using the same discipline employed when i was doing my Country Life 'Town Mouse' column. Eg, under duress and on a Monday morning. Hah.

This weekend, I learned that Cockneys call a prostitute a 'tom' (thanks to Eastenders) and that we should always look on the bright side of life (thanks to Eric Idle). Aside from watching the telly box, I managed to get outside too. Got up close and personal with Prince Albert - his blingtastic memorial to be exact. I'd never noticed before that the four corner pillars which each represent a continent (Europe, Asia, Americas and Africa) all have beautiful, big-bosomed women as the main characters. Wifey Victoria clearly knew what her man liked.

Then walked to the Serpentine Gallery, which has a pretty terrible exhibition on - Indian Highway - bar one exhibit in a tiny room with lots of battered tiffin cans hanging from the straps in a train carriage, some of which have little tv screens in them showing interviews with people on the streets and headphones hanging everywhere at full volume. A brilliant image of India combining the old and new and masses of noise with it. But even better was the bookshop, an afterthought at the side of the building and crammed with beautiful books. I bought my favourite book ever: a colouring-in book for grown-ups with drawings by Marc Quinn, Damien Hirst and the like.

Yesterday - a walk on Wormwood Scrubs (which feels like being in a film written by Rachel Johnson but directed by Mike Leigh - the vast prison on one side, a Cash 'n' Carry on the other and posh women in Hunter wellies and fur hats walking their terriers in-between) and the rest a haze of newspapers, roast chicken and Rummikub. Great.

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Black tie on the tube

Went to the Walpole Luxury Awards last night - well, to the drinks beforehand. Award ceremonies are only fun if they are stuffed with famous faces, or you're up for one yourself. Being neither, the BF and I snuck out after two glasses of champagne and a mini hamburger (exceptionally good). It was held in the noisy antechamber of the Banqueting Hall - you could hardly hear a word anyone was saying. But that's OK because at the moment there's only one conversation doing the rounds: "How's it going for you then?" "Oh, OK - it's tough you know - waiting to see what happens next year...". No one talks of anything else. Anyway - it reminded me of the time I saw on the tube just a few weeks ago two middle-aged men in black tie travelling from Holland Park to Liverpool St. At one point a ticket inspector came round and they asked him what time the last tube was. Would there be one at around 2am? Of course they didn't know - they've always been able to take taxis from their houses to the City for their bank's shindigs and now they have to get public transport. Rather like the judge who, presiding over a case for which the setting was on the bus, decided to take one home himself to see what it was like. When asked by the conductor where he was going, he replied: "Number 42 Eaton Square, please."

Thursday, November 6, 2008

Past Imperfect

My uncle Julian's novel, Past Imperfect, was launched on Tuesday night. As the book is set in 1968 and 2008, we were invited to dress accordingly. In the end, his wife Emma had the best outfit of the night (as I knew she would), with a bright pink bobbed wig and a pink and black chequered PVC mini-dress. I wore a black and white pop-art dress, had my hair done up a la Amy Winehouse and stuck on huge false eyelashes that make one feel as if curtains are half-drawn across the eyes. There was a big turnout - Christopher Cazenove and his lovely girlfriend Isobel, Hermione Norris, Harriet Walter, Princess Michael of Kent, Freddie Windsor, Cristina Odone, Lady Apsley (who I had interviewed the day before for the Telegraph, oddly enough) and lots of old friends whom I hadn't seen for ages, which was a delight. Blue Strawberry did the yummy ca-naps, and we drank every drop of champagne. Afterwards, a few of us went to supper at the Sloane Square Hotel and I sat opposite J's publisher, apparently a legend of Wiedenfeld & Nicholson, and now semi-retired. He's just finishing a biog on Alan Clarke and I have a feeling he told me some really good stories but I can't remember them. I don't know what it is about me - whether my conscience is just too good for keeping secrets but the next day all I can ever remember is someone saying: "You mustn't repeat this to anyone but...." and then my mind goes blank. Damn.

Last night was upstairs in the "petting room" of new members' club at Quo Vadis. Huge sofas and tv, brown shrimps on toast and endless glasses of crisp white wine. We watched the election special and I wanted to throw my shoe at Jeremy Paxman and his patronising interview with Dizzee Rascal ("hip hop won the election"). JP said, "well, why don't you run for office then?" and SMIRKED. Git. But aside from that - total, absolute happiness at Obama's election. It's a JFK moment for our generation.

Owner Eddie Hart came up and had some fish pie with us and later, when we snuck out for a cig break, Eddie introduced me to my distant cousin Robert, Lord Fellowes. Isn't life marvellous?

Friday, October 31, 2008

Country Life bigs up da Mud