Happy New Year January 2011

Dearest Rowley,

Another year! Sometimes I think I’m lucky to make it through the night never mind twelve months. As Kay Thompson would say, ‘happy everything darlings’. Do you remember the Arimstead Maupin Tales of the City books? Particularly the transsexual landlady Mrs Madrigal as played by Olympia Dukakis in the TV adaptation. Well, I found myself with the delightful Indians in the corner shop this morning at about 9am and felt the urge to buy Guylian chocolates and leave the same number of chocs in each postbox at Bloomsbury Towers to wish my neighbours a happy New Year. I am turning into Mrs M.

For 27a I left an extra one just in case one of the boys got lucky. Adorable. I am ashamed to say I also bought 20 St Moritz having sworn to pack the ciggies up this year. Maybe I will wait until I get the bootleg nicotine patches. I know the NHS give you one pack as a starter incentive but fabulous Diane in Capri dry cleaners said why don’t you ask all your non-smoking friends to get a pack each to give you some back-up. I tell you Rowley, it is women like Diane and Gail who are the backbone of this country. I sent Gail a New Year’s text saying ‘f*** em if they can’t take a joke’. She replied ‘f*** most of them even if they can’. Quite.

Isn’t Amanda Platell irritating? She is now known as a Daily Mail columnist. I first came across her when she employed me as her PA on the Sunday Mirror. I lasted one week and the high point of that was when Des O’Connor threatened to sue the paper and I asked if there was anything I could do. This was noon bear in mind. My editor said ‘open a bottle of wine and pour a glass then close the door’. i think I lasted a week and was then fired. Distraught, I called the chaplain and asked for some solace. He told me there were ‘security issues’. Not that I am Anthony Blunt but I did sleep in his bedroom at Home House with my darling Judy Bennett once many moons ago. How is she Rowley?

Miss Platell’s advice was ‘this is nothing that I haven’t gone through and worse’. Cold comfort. Today I see she is being mean about Kelly Brook who is ‘delightfully dim but perfectly formed’. Well, I can give the lie to that one. My Dad and I had a bonding session a few years ago at the Dunhill golf tournament in St Andrews and Kelly was there. She is undeniably gorgeous but also a bright, witty and lovely woman. She doesn’t need bitter spinsters like Miss Platell to condescend to her. She’s doing very well thank you very much.

So how was your New Year’s Eve? I spent it in a miasma of Champagne at my better half’s gaff. It was lovely, lovely, lovely. Today we have beef on the bone at better half’s place with Keith and Poppet and Patricia. We’ve got a bottle of Champagne per head and lots to look forward to. So what do we have to look forward to this year? Me finishing Fashion at Royal Ascot by Feb the 28th and the Vuitton Guide to London by April Fool’s Day. I have book launches in New York, Tokyo with Tim Ev and Seoul. Such larks as Susan F would say.

And then there’s the 300th anniversary Royal Ascot in June. I do hope they ask me to be the fashion commentator again with Miss P. If they do and it’s over in 2012 then I will be contented. Well, you never know Rowley. There could be a new production company and they could tire of one’s face. Speaking of which, don’t you think it interesting that the publicity for my Savile Row book has been pretty pathetic in the UK. I had super reviews in the Spectator, Country Life and the Telegraph. But this is peanuts compared to what I mopped up in France, the US, Italy and online. God bless Amazon.

So what are your resolutions this year? Mine are to have more massages, take more Turkish baths, a couple of high colonics for good measure, do Bikram Yoga with Dino and possibly meditate while I am breathing in Vic’s Vapours from my Nan’s crystal bowl. Speaking of my darling Nan Sherwood, New Year is always a time to contemplate the people one has lost: Judy Bennett, RLM, Nan Sherwood, Nan Gandy, Judy Garland…

Speaking of Judy, I love that scene in Me and My Shadows when Judy learns from Luft that she is broke. She goes ape. ‘How many concerts have I given? How many movies? How many albums? And you tell me I’m broke. I can’t be broke. I’m Dorothy for God’s sake’. I know how she feels this 1st of Jan. I am running low on funds until I get the royalties from the Savile Row book. It makes me spit that after all the work I did in 2010, I am ‘financially compromised’.

Don’t you just love the new Little Britain series Come Fly With Me? Apparently the BBC has been inundated with complains that it is racist. Come on! Do I get offended by Mr Humphries in Are You Being Served? Is that homophobic? I think not. So people blacking-up in the name of comedy doesn’t offend me at all. My favourite character is the check-in girl who, when a single man says he is off to Bangkok replies ‘Oooooh you dirty booooger’.

My pictures with this letter are of fabulous John Lewis artificial flowers: my first economy drive for 2011 and a happy snap of my Tricker’s green velvet slippers bought by my better half for Christmas. Happy New Year my darling and to one and all ‘Happy Everything’. XXXX