So it’s day four of a new life managing potential migraines. Now there’s a cheery start to a letter. But it is fascinating. I had no idea how many food groups and drinks were absolute poison for the head: coffee, chocolate, citrus fruit, red wine, spirits and cheese. From now on apparently I have to lead a much more careful life: rising and sleeping at the same time, avoiding loud noise and bright light, evading people and places that make me feel anxious. You ‘aint just whistling Dixie, honey.
So with this in mind, after the morning swim/sauna/steam, I retired under the duvet in Bloomsbury Towers with the rest of the Downton Abbey box set and a plate of Yorkshire pudding and chicken gravy: a speciality of my beloved Grandmother Sherwood. As Audie keeps saying, what you want to aim for is a clean body both internally and externally. This does not preclude a cheeky menthol cigarette and a glass of Prosecco or three with the gang at Ciao Bella tonight.
And relax. Apropos of this, it is still tiddling like a kitten in London and the streets are awash with ugly tourists and sportspeople encased in plastic sheaths with hoods. So the artist suggested that we take the Eurostar to Lille tomorrow morning then take the Blue Train to Nice for four days. All being well, we can motor down to Monte Carlo and have lunch with Suzi Perry and her better half. I will pack this afternoon and we’ll be on the train at 10am tomorrow. As the song sings, it is SO much nicer in Nice.
We’re staying at the Ambassador Hotel on the seafront. Sounds like Margate I know but the view is so much nicer. I believe the beaches are pebbled and the sea azure blue. If we have the time we could motor to Cannes for a breakfast or lunch. Maybe we could charter a tiny tug and sail. Best line in Downton to date. They’ve just installed a telephone in the Butler’s pantry. It rings and Mrs Patmore the cook says ‘Oh my Heaven. It sounds like the cry of a banshee’.
Do you like my pictures this week? Loved the bowl of cherries and berries (perfect for Migraine avoidance) next to the photographs of Grandmother Sherwood. What a pick-me-up Mr Bowering always gives with his sketches. I rather liked the one of I as Chatterton. So looking forward to Corfu with Better Half, La Farmer and Mr Bowering.
Finished Downton and now on to Travels with my Aunt. Did you see the Dame Maggie Smith connection there? When one is having a duvet day, it is always important to have very amusing reading matter. On the bedside table today is The Spectator, Country Life and OK! After yet another duvet day yesterday I grew restless and gravitated towards Savile Row to have a gossip with my friend Keith at Henry Poole. He is working on an embroidered robe that is quite simply stupendous but will not be seen once delivered to the Palace.
I then called Rosy ‘Cameron Mackintosh’s archivist’ Runciman who I have not seen for a while and booked two bar stools in the boite beneath Fortnum & Mason for a glass of Champagne, a couple of quail’s eggs and delicious whitebait. We had a side of mozzarella and tomato. Rosy’s on goods form despite working like a dog at the moment on the Les Miserables book to accompany the upcoming film. Rosy’s a grafter like I. We live to work. But occasionally – very occasionally – our health tells us to take time out.
Rosy always has lots of theatre gossip. She’d just come from a cabaret meeting with Jeremy King at Brasserie Zedel. Of course my lips are sealed but it appears Sir Cam has been longing to get a revival of Barnum off and has now found a suitable multi-talented star. Rosy wouldn’t tell me who but John Barrowman was up for it then couldn’t because of prior engagements. I wonder who the chap will be?
Did you see Twenty Twelve? It is a joy. The best bit bar none was the Sustainability Day stunt whereby Kay had decided that an acorn would be planted by Dame Tanni Grey Thompson on the lawn surrounding the Mayor’s Office on the South Bank. Nobody remembered to bring the acorn so Shivaun Sharp gave Kay a chocolate covered Brazil nut as a substitute: ‘it’s a nut, get over it’. See you in Niece.