Come Into The Garden Maud. September 2012.

Dear Rowley,

A rather satisfying morning at my publisher’s Thames & Hudson today. I will sign a contract to be Luxury Editor of T&H this month and we have three projects to put into production that I can’t divulge quite yet for fear of other publishers filching the ideas. The Perfect Gentleman will now be launched with a black tie dinner in late November at Simpsons-in-the-Strand and a cocktail party at Ralph Lauren’s Left Bank flagship in Paris. Have I told you that already? Every day seems so full of new news that I lose track and perspective sometimes.

Anyway, this morning I was passed along the production line at T&H to see the press officers, the international rights chap and of course my publisher Lucas on whose dimples I dote. He’s looking rather well having had a vacation. He might be in Venice this Christmas as may the Artist and I. As promised I have enclosed three pictures from our jaunt to Hatfield House. Aren’t the gardens heart-meltingly pretty?

Highlight of the week has been reading Clare Balding’s childhood memoirs serialised in our paper (the Daily Mail). For the best part of eight years, old mother Balding and I were partners in crime for the BBC reporting from Royal Ascot. She is a superlative broadcaster as was evinced at the London 2012 Olympics. Our Lady of the Plunge Pool was quite rightly lauded and applauded for being the only BBC anchor at the Olympics with any pizzazz and intelligence.

Back to Ms Balding’s memoir. It is unashamedly sentimental and in the spirit of Jilly Cooper her animals display more emotional intelligence than Dr Freud. She overcomes many obstacles not least being rather gauche and galumphing as a child and tells cheeky tales about the royal family that will in no way impede her progress to Damehood. You truly have to have a heart of stone not to laugh out loud every time one of her pets passes away. I cannot wait – cannot wait! – for Craig Brown to spoof the autobiography in Private Eye.

Will I make a comeback at Royal Ascot in 2013 on Channel 4? I would love to but only if Suzi Perry is at my side and standards do not slip. The last thing we need is Mary Portas of Gok Wan sticking their beaks into an occasion they do not like or understand. We shall see what we shall see as Lucia was wont to say. So what jollity is appertaining this week on the Rialto? We’ve got lunch with my St Martins mentor Bobby Hillson tomorrow to show her an advance copy of The Perfect Gent. We have a Henry Poole & Co day and we have a cheeky Wiltons lunch with the delectable Francesca Leon.

Another reason to loathe the 2012 Olympics and Paralympics is the dearth of Deal or No Deal on Channel 4: a far better boon to civilisation than running, jumping and skipping. It’s all about the psychology don’t you know. Will le tout Bloomsbury be thrilled when the Olympics is over? I’m ready for the question Noel.

Just returned from a heavenly Japanese feast at Roka on Charlotte Street with my friend and web designer James Hamilton. We haven’t seen each other in rather a long time. He’s been in Tokyo with his newish wife. We’re going to make strides tarting up my website in advance of the Perfect Gentleman launch in November. Apparently Thames & Hudson would like to publish a little online projet I do called Letters from Bloomsbury Square with illustrations by the Artist. Wouldn’t that be a kick in the rubber parts? Until next time…