What a lovely 48-hours. The birthday massage was a dream. I met the most wonderful Italian chap (won’t tell you where because I want to keep him to myself) wh0 was better at Swedish massage than the Canadians. We had an awful lot in common; not least that his daughter had Hodgkins the same time that I did and at the same age. He told me that the more you like the person on the slab the better the massage. He also teaches kick boxing and would rather like to instruct me in the open air. Can you imagine? The Bruce Lee of Bloomsbury Square.
Previous to the massage, I had been to see Dr B at the surgery who basically said I was a miracle of modern science considering all the crap I have thrown at my body. I took it as a huge compliment but my health is not quite right yet. I am going to keep my head down for the rest of the year, have a weekly massage with Dino and kick box the hell out of my smoking and lack of sleep.
Following the massage, I tripped off to the Kippered Herring and ordered fishcake and chips to eat in bed with a bottle of sparkly water and a fabulous film called Another Gay Movie. I haven’t laughed so much since discovering Charles Pierce on YouTube. I was going to wear the Tom Baker sequin jacket but thought better of it. Instead I wore my fabulous midnight blue cocktail suit tailored by Spencer Hart. One thing I’ll say for the Savoy, it may have added 10 years to my life but it has taken inches off my waistline.
Arrived at the Savoy, chatted with the cocktail waiters and checked over the canapes (utterly delicious morsels such as mini beef carpaccios and asparagus omlettes). The Savoy did me proud. It was champagne all the way (except for Countess Carol who prefers Chablis) and we exited with dignity intact. Mid-party, Bromance arrived with Kiaran who had me in stitches. I was telling him about an interview with Vivienne Westwood when she flew off on political tangents that had me foxed. ‘So do you’, says Kiaran, ‘and that just adds to the charm’. Not quite sure how to take that.
The nicest moment of the party was threefold. I loved the Savoy doorman wishing me a happy birthday. I loved smoking cigarettes in Savoy Court with Scott-T-T-T but the moment that almost had me welling-up was when my better half arrived looking glamorous, relaxed and exactly the same man I fell in love with 10 years ago. I would seriously not be alive without him. Aporpos of that, Dr B was quite stunned at the number of over the counter drugs I had thrown at my sinuses and throat.
As he said, ‘Judy Garland is alive and well and living in Bloomsbury Square’. He suggested that they sedate me for three months to let my body recover then wake me up and push me back out there again. The show must go on and all that. The burning question is why must the show go on? I prefer Bette Midler’s version: The Showgirl Must Go On or perhaps that line in All About Eve. ‘The Show must go on? No dear, Margot must go on’. As I said in my previous letter, ‘there’s more darling. There’s lots more’.
Everybody came except for Vicki, Mandi Lennard and Rector Roddy Leece. Pity though. But I did get an invitation from Roddy to the re-consecration of St George’s Mayfair. I have become very passionate about St George’s. It is Savile Row’s real parish church and a place very dear to my heart. I will definitely be signing-up for Holy Cocktails at the Rectory and the first service at the end of November. I feel a bit like Evelyn Waugh in this respect, going back to the church after many years away. I don’t know what I believe but I do believe that St George’s and their choir are simply ‘Perf’.
So what pictures do I have to show you. None of the party even though Mr Hills banged off a few reels so I look forward to sharing them shortly with me gurning like a village idiot with a glass of champagne welded to my palm. Instead I have pictures of a walk I took the day before my birthday through the Inns of Court: first Lincoln’s Inn Fields and then Grays Inn. What treasures of architecture these fabulous clusters of buildings present. We in London are so, so lucky to be surrounded by such beauty.
My last picture is of a banner outside the church in Queen’s Square ostensibly welcoming parishioners to the church and its cafe. Oh my God Rowley. It was like Golda Mier gurning down from on high. As Catherine Tate’s Nan Taylor would say ‘frightened the bleeping life out of me. Mind, you can’t say nothing in case she puts a bleeping spell on ya’. I love Nan Taylor. She is one of my heroines. Once again, exercise your digits on YouTube and look up Nan Taylor on Noel Edmonds’ Deal or No Deal. Laugh? You’ll dissolve.
After the Savoy, the hardcore (Susan and John and Patricia and then some) took a table for eight at Joe Allen and proceeded to raise the roof. We had scads of Valpoliparrot, chilli con carne and coffee so strong you could trot a mouse over it. Susan and John then drove me back to Bloomsbury Towers and I slept the sleep of the just. Sue Farmer and I are going to have a little snifter in half an hour at Vats wine bar on Lamb’s Conduit Street to pick over the carcass of last night’s party. Until then…