My austerity measures took an unexpected turn tonight. I had cocktails at the Savoy with a super talented fashion designer called Claire Thorogood. Love that lady. So I asked the Savoy to comp the cocktails and I swigged back a good hooker of Champagne then moved on to Champagne cocktails with a sugar cube at the bottom of the glass and lashings of orange flavoured Angostura Bitters. As Joanna Lumley would say, ‘lovely’. We did the American Bar, the Savoy Museum and finally a 7pm nightcap at the Beaufort Bar. We also had a private view of the ballroom. It is gorgeous but with pink uplight it looks like a gay disco. And gawd only knows what is going on with the Chinoise paintings that are frankly not appropriate.
Brett and I got onto that time honoured subject of the Savoy Archivist the Widow Scott who could not have been more Gollum-esque in her dealings with me and the Savoy Museum. I think this is common currency amongst the archiving cabal. I had much the same trouble with Yoda who was asked to photograph and catalogue everything in the Gieves & Hawkes Archive Room at No I Savile Row. As you know, I spent two years cataloguing and displaying the archive at No I.
So Yoda has spent the best part of a year turning a perfectly working archive into an absolute hash. The grand staircase portrait gallery is no more and now is favoured with a pink carpet that even Dame Barbara would find nauseous. Archivists are cat people. Do you know the difference between a cat and a dog? If you die alone in your flat (and this has happened to us all many times), a dog will lie down next to you and die loyally at your side. A cat will eat you.
You and I are dog people aren’t we darling? In fact, both of us have been called hounds in our time. When I was a little unwell a while back, I had to hunker down in Bloomsbury Towers for a few days with a bottle of Old Famous Grouse and a Douglas Sirk box set. How I longed for a couple of Cavalier King Charles spaniels to keep me company. When I recovered, I popped in to see Diane at Capri (the dry cleaners, not the island) who told me that they’d put a missing persons poster up in Oddbins. Priceless.
I am currently listening to the most marvellous concert performance given of all time that Shirley MacLaine gave at the Palace Theatre, New York. iTunes it darling and enjoy. Shirley is simply perf. My favourite song on the track is It’s Not Where You Start It’s Where You Finish. Those are the wisest words you will ever hear. It is never where you start. It is where you put yourself after a lot of work, a lot of fun and a lot of tra-la-la. As Cecil Beaton often said, ‘I wasn’t born with a silver spoon in my mouth. I put it there’. Amen to that.
Speaking of the Almighty, I have not been to St George’s Mayfair for a few Sundays and think a visit long overdue. My friend Anda told me that she loved attending services at Farm Street but concluded she was made to feel unworthy in such pious company. I feel like Mary Magdalene when I attend St George’s but, as Anda says with not a little irony, we are all God’s children. High church is particularly appealing when you have a glass of Champagne in the vestry to look forward to and Holy Cocktails every Wednesday.
I wish you could meet Savoy Brett. Adore. He is one of the funniest men in London, easy on the eye and puts up with my nonsense pretending to court him. After one particularly amusing text session, I said to him ‘I am like a puppy at a screen door and all you do is palm me off, palm me off’. Chance would be a fine thing. Such fun. I also discovered that the author of the ‘such fun’ line Miranda of BBC2 fame was at the same school as Clare Balding who was head girl. Of course she was head girl. She is ours at Royal Ascot every year.
No news from Miss Perry for a while but a very nice email from David Shilling inviting me to Monaco in the Spring. Suzi has a new house near Niece that she’s yet to invite me to visit. So maybe we can double-up and do a multi-tastking trip. Miss P had me in hysterics the last time she was in London when we went to that fab Moroccan restaurant Momo’s in Heddon Court. We had many a joke about ‘having a Souk’.
I hope to hear from the BBC about Royal Ascot this year soon. I am on a promise from the Producer as of last year but it would make me weep if they wanted someone multi-cultural with a regional accent to appeal to the great unwashed. I heard on the news today another Islam fundamentalist has blown-up an airport in Moscow. It’s hard to feel sympathetic to their cause, isn’t it?
My favourite Suzi Perry moment at Ascot was when we interviewed this dizzy old cow who had made a hat out of a Cornflake packet. When JP asked us if we thought it was a winner, we said in unison, ‘no, she looked like s****’. As JP said, ‘you were made for each other’. He don’t tell no lies as Julian & Sandy would say. Well, another ill-begotten evening is nearing its close. I am still jazzed-up and sleepless but nothing that another episode of The Tudors won’t cure. Don’t you love my first picture of Miss P and I interrogating Claire Thorogood at last year’s Royal? Nobody expects the Inquisition…