It’s that time of year when one takes stock, considers those less fortunate than ourselves then thinks ‘screw it, what’s Santa got in store under that tree for ME?’ All I want for Christmas is a new Thames & Hudson book contract, my body weight in chinchilla, anything D-Flawless, a lifetime tenancy of Bloomsbury Towers, invitations raining down on me like confetti, a couple of cases of something convivial, the odd hunk in trunks on the Riviera and world peace. Not much to ask…
Truth to tell I’m not going to say farewell to 2012 with a tear and the regretful wave of a Simmonet Godard white linen handkerchief. I mean really! Two cheers for the Diamond Jubilee and the Olympics but I can’t say this has been England’s finest twelve months or mine for that matter. Every time I turn on the news I didn’t know whether to laugh or cry. In the old days I used to think the ‘squeezed middle’ was an amorous approach. Now I know it’s what happens to people caught in between the mega rich and Breadline Britain.
The latest news to cheer us all up for Christmas was the proposition that Brits can Twitter the emergency services. Can’t wait to read that one. ‘Dying of a heart attack, come quickly (smiley face)’. The headlines today told us that the Inland Revenue keep us on hold at a premium rate just to make sure those in dire straights spend an extra few shekels while we wait. Talk about a drowning man trying to pull himself up on a razor blade.
Of course our politicians are far too busy pondering burning issues such as gay marriage and the Leveson Enquiry to bother to notice that we’re all sharpening our knitting needles and greasing the wheels of the tumbrils because we’re all fed up to the back teeth of being told ‘we’re all in this together’ when it is patently obvious we aren’t. There was a point in early December when I thought the best my nearest and dearest could expect for Christmas was a satsuma and a stocking full of walnuts. Mercifully, filled with largesse and bonhomie (not to mention remunerated by a couple of high rolling clients) I was able to do my Christmas shopping at Fortnum’s and not risk debtor’s prison come New Year.
I’d love to say my snap of the marble fireplace handsomely trimmed with gold is a picture of Bloomsbury Towers decked out for Christmas. It isn’t. The picture was taken at the Ralph Lauren Boulevard Saint Germain flagship when I was in town for my signing of The Perfect Gentleman. I usually trim a tree for the hallway of Bloomsbury Towers but the Bedford Estates in their infinite wisdom have set the communal lights to Stalag 9 brightness 24-7 which somehow diminishes the magic of fairy lights on a winter’s night.
What are you doing for Christmas Rowley? I have a date at La Farmer’s for a side of rare beef and lashings of Valpoliparrot before we all sink into the arms of Morpheus in front of The Queen’s speech. Her Majesty has recorded her message in 3D this year. The mind positively boggles especially if there’s a playback of the famous Olympic parachute jump stunt filmed with 007 Daniel Craig.
I didn’t tell you about the book signing in Brussels at Maison Degand. I can safely say it is the only book signing where I’ve been asked to scribble the dedication to Your Imperial Highness. Turns out it was for the pretender to the Romanov throne who currently resides in Belgium. Still, there’s plenty of Fabergé in there to bring back fond memories courtesy of the Wartski chapter. Did I add a tiny sliver of Fabergé to my Christmas list? I don’t ask for much. Just a guilloché and diamond cigarette case inscribed by Prince Felix Youssoupoff or some such.
I popped in to Thames & Hudson yesterday en route to the post office to send off the Christmas booty to my family in Derbyshire. T&H always trim a graphic wall-mounted tree with their favourite baubles so it was with a degree of relief that I saw The Perfect Gentleman hanging there. The book’s had a terrific show. It is in the Christmas windows of Hatchards, Waterstones and Daunt Books and it is lovely to see it on display in Fox’s pop-up shop on Duke Street and at Emma Willis and Edward Green on Jermyn Street.
What does 2013 have in store for you? I’ve got the Vuitton Guide to London looming at the end of January so will be under the cosh when I can tear myself away from reruns of Meet Me in St Louis, It’s A Wonderful Life and the Downton Abbey Christmas special. Still, one has to prepare oneself for Strictly Come Dancing withdrawal symptoms after the final on Saturday. My money’s on Kimberley Walsh or Denise Van Outen who are by far the finest dancers left in the competition though I suspect the public will vote with their groins and go for the gymnast.
Filling up the Baccarat crystal bowl with Christmas nuts one has to come to the conclusion that there’s nothing festive about a Brazil nut. Until next time…