The Lesbian Issue. July 2012.

Dear Rowley,

Don’t you love this picture of Miss Midler front row centre at the Jean-Paul Gaultier couture show in Paris last week? My guess is that she has subscribed to the Tatler magazine app and has just discovered the new issue is devoted to Lesbianism. I think I’ve said it before but don’t you get ever so slightly cross to be categorised as gay, lesbian and transgender as if we’re all in it together? I have more in common with the Maoris than I do with the lesbians. As for transgender, I always adored April Ashley who I had a glass of Champagne with once on a flight to Las Vegas but am only sorry for a person trapped in the wrong gender.

But back to Tatler. I had a very pleasant interlude with Tatler editor Kate Reardon at the Diamond Jubilee in the ITV media compound. She’s a game girl and very, very funny. I also think she’s doing a good job at Tatler: a role she was born to fill. However, the Lesbian Issue? As we say on Savile Row ‘nobody wants it’. I found it incredible that the lady couples at a Tatler hosted party last night are celebrating lesbians finally entering high society. Excuse me? Marie Antoinette, Virginia Wolf, Marlene Dietrich, Lady Mendel and as legion of other fabulous ladies who like ladies are way ahead of you. My favourite lesbian quote comes from Dorothy Parker who called Gertrude Stein the bucket in the well of loneliness.

As it happens, I do have two lesbians modeled on ladies I have encountered in my recent past as characters in my Corfu novel. I have changed the names but think I should perhaps disguise the models for the characters a little more unless I want to be in the dock wearing a black Chanel and a veiled cloche hat. One of my best friends about a decade ago was a lesbian. She was also German so perhaps I was asking for trouble and living on borrowed time. She would always go quiet when she was in a relationship and did, I believe, fall in love with her psychiatrist. I think that was the reason she dropped me like a hot potato. I felt bereft and much worse than when certain boyfriends called it a day.

Anyway, nobody wants it. Last night was the annual MTBA Savile Row tailors’ summer party at the Merchant Taylors’ Hall in the city. It was a marvellous party despite not being blessed by Anda, Poppy, Keith and Guy Hills. I was a guest of Henry Poole & Co and spent the early evening discussing the tennis with Angus and Mandy. I was SO tempted to stay in bed and watch the conclusion of the Andy Murray Semi with Tsonga. Tsonga lost; the tipping point being Murray smashing a tennis ball into Tsonga’s privates. Andrew Castle the commentator speculated that the ball struck mid thigh so perhaps Tsonga was play-acting. Well, you know what they say…

I am thrilled for Murray actually. He has matured and is rather an admirable human being now. I hope he thrashes Federer: literally. I was sorry to see Djokovic knocked out. I don’t think he was really there for his Semi with Federer. Perhaps his mind was on his poodle who travels the world with him and has a Twitter account. Nothing camp about that.

Today I have dinner with Better Half after the Women’s Final at Wimbledon then a Sunday when our friend Patricia comes to lunch armed with a boot full of seafood for a fishy feast. I do live for oysters, don’t you? Highlight of the MTBA dinner was a strictly come dancing turn around the courtyard with Inga. I think we’re going to take Tango lessons together come winter to chase the dark and cold blues away. I suspect we might be rather good at it. You never know said the widow.

Unfortunately they didn’t serve Prosecco at the MTBA dinner so it was a white wine evening and none the better for that. It is too acidic and too potent for my delicate palate. Still, nothing that a swim, sauna and steam come 6.30am couldn’t cure at the camp Greco-Roman health spa in old Bloomsbury town. I practically had the place to myself this morning apart from a very statuesque black guy who clearly likes a steam room as much as I do. The steam is terrific for sinus trouble: something I have suffered from ever since I started working in the Henry Poole & Co ledger book archive room in the basement. The book dust, leather granules and black spores in the damp books nearly killed me a couple of years ago.

Still, as Dr Baines once said ‘you’re a miracle of modern science’. He also said ‘your body has done you proud considering what you’ve thrown at it down the years’. Amen to that.