Don’t you sometimes get the feeling that it’s all too much? You’re trying your best to stay on the good foot and yet some mischievous sprite keeps on strewing your path with banana skins. I did get back on the good foot this week: attacking my Louis Vuitton London Guide deadline with gusto, writing until midnight like the good old days, seeing The Perfect Gentleman finally on the recommended shelf at Hatchards and spending a very productive day in the archives at Henry Poole & Co.
So I wasn’t best pleased to find Bloomsbury Towers flooded out one morning having returned with hair still dripping from the swimming pool. It looks like a garrett in Krakow and we now have a dehumidifyer the size of an elephant cub whirring away like Concorde taking off. I don’t know about you but I can cope with anything as long as my home is happy and looking smart. Still, we might get a new carpet out of it. I’d prefer to expose the floorboards and polish them up.
I was writing Vuitton again last night when La Farmer called with an invitation to the Burlington Arcade Bazaar. I was going to do a ‘Miss Otis Regrets’ and then thought better of it. Terribly glad I did because who did we find Christmas shopping like a dervish but the Duchess of Cambridge, her dog Lupo and Princess Bea. I’ve only seen Princess Beatrice from a distance at Royal Ascot. Up close she is terribly pretty and seems like a jolly decent girl.
The Duchess – who I suspect was invited by Trevor Pickett – really got into the spirit of the event and bought bits and bobs from all of the stall holders set-up outside the shops. I was a guest of Sheila and Gary who own the jeweller Wright & Teague. Their daughter Bonnie – who played Ginny Weasley in the Harry Potter films – was at the do and is I think one of the nicest, brightest young women I’ve met in a long time. You would adore Wright & Teague’s work. Imagine fabulous handworked gold that could I thought sit next to the Etruscan masterpieces in the British Museum. I think the Duchess would look divine in Wright & Teague.
La Farmer, Mr Bowering and I then hot footed it to Ciao Bella for a cheap and cheerful. I gave my grandmother’s mink an outing. It’s been sitting in the basement at Henry Poole & Co for three years waiting to be converted into an overcoat lining and fur collar. Well, it was so cold yesterday that I thought to hell with it. Put the fur under my Ede & Ravenscroft greatcoat with the collar sitting outside. Mr Bowering was kind enough to say I looked like Diaghilev. I thought it was more Elsie Tanner but there’s nothing like fur to keep you toasty when winter starts to bite.
I am thoroughly enjoying my work with Henry Poole & Co. I’ve sent you a few snaps of the archive including a magnificent Ambassador’s tunic made for the Prime Minister of Japan in the 1920s. I found his photograph actually wearing the embroidered tunic in the National Portrait Gallery last year. Don’t you adore the letterhead from the late 19th century? Look at those Royal Warrants. Talk about a blaze of glory. The last snap is a very small selection of the Henry Poole & Co customer ledgers. We have over 120 in the archive that are currently being rebound and catalogued by yours truly.
Thames & Hudson think there’s a magnificent book to be written about Henry Poole & Co’s Hall of Fame. We could divide the chapters into Emperors, Kings, Tycoons, Prime Ministers, Playboys, Heroes, Soldiers, Authors and rock it out with incredible artworks and photographs of our chaps wearing what we know from the ledgers is Poole’s tailoring.
I tell you, you don’t need to go to the gym when you work in Henry Poole & Co’s archives. Those books weight roughly as much as a fully grown chimpanzee. Even lifting them off the shelves gives you pecs like The Terminator. Though y0u know I swim, sauna and steam every day I am actually considering joining the gym at my swimming pool. Now the night draws on (how sensible of you to bring a pair), it’s either uncork a bottle of Prosecco come 6pm or do something more constructive. I rather like the idea of getting in shape for Christmas rather than fattening like a goose.
Very disappointed that Barak Obama has been re-elected as America’s President. He’s been as much use as a chocolate teapot for the past four years and I can’t see him riding to the rescue of the economy. Not that Mitt Romney was an appealing alternative. Do you know what I think did for him? A YouTube video take-off of this year’s hit record Gangnam Style rewritten as Romney Style portraying him as a crass, working class-hating corporate fat cat. You Tube it darling and while you’re at it YouTube Eton Style. It is genius.
American politics is a busted flush. I just couldn’t bear to see Slebs such as Bruce Springsteen, Barbra Streisand, Beyonce Knowles and Jay Z lining up to perform on Obama’s last day of campaigning. I suspect it was this X-Factorisation of the election that swung the vote in Obama’s favour: that and his winning 90% of the powerful black and hispanic vote. Welcome to the recession America.
Until next time…