Happy Easter darling. Having been something of a curmudgeon about Easter, I decided to spend Sunday morning with the Gorgeous Georges at St George’s church, Hangover Square in Mayfair for Sung Eucharist at 11am. St George’s is distinctly high church and all the more moving for what I consider to be the finest choir in London. Rector Roddy was on fine form and delivered a marvellous sermon.
The nub and the gist of the whole brouhaha was that the resurrection was anything but received with triumph and rejoicing. The first person the Lord appeared to was a prostitute who thought he was the gardener. None of the disciples believed he had returned from death. When Jesus appeared to his disciples they didn’t recognise him: they were at their daily business fishing or trolling the Road to Emmaus. Nobody was at prayer or in a religious space when he appeared.
What I liked about this sermon is that Roddy was intimating that anybody anywhere can benefit from rebirth. Bearing in mind ‘the troubles’ of late, I do rather agree. As my brother wrote to me recently, ‘thank goodness that on the seventh day YOU rose again’…correct as it happens. It was the seventh day that I was discharged from the Chelsea & Westminster hospital revitalised and, quite possibly, now bionic. Whether one is religious or not – and only a fool discounts the possibility of a second life – it pleases me that atonement can be found and past mistakes forgiven…and God only knows I’ve made a few in my time.
St George’s is truly the most glamorous congregation in London. We had a father and son in complimentary Huntsman house check. We had two little boys in perfectly cut powder blue double breasted coats. We also had a little boy looking super cool in lime green corduroy trousers and a floral shirt who had the pleasure of standing at the West doors of St George’s with a basket full of pretty foiled easter eggs. I’m sure I saw the Verger snaffle a couple during Communion.
So what else is new? Well, it being St George’s Day next Sunday Roddy has promised a champagne reception after Sung Eucharist. It’s a yes from me Simon. I particularly love Easter because the telly schedulers actually respect the occasion. We had King of Kings on Good Friday – and Jesus was a dish my dear – and I’m sure The Robe is out there somewhere today. We’re on Flash Gordon today followed by Grace Jones in A View To A Kill: my favourite Bond film because of the opening Royal Ascot scene.
Speaking of Amazing Grace, when Suzi P and I interviewed Grace at Royal Ascot for the BBC she gave very good quote. Philip Treacy had called me on the Monday night saying that Grace and her mother Marjorie wanted to come to Ascot. So I asked Gary England to arrange Enclosure and Ascot Authority passes in exchange for the interview.
Suzi’s first question was whether this was Grace’s first Ascot. Deadpan she said ‘no Sexy Suzi, my first Ascot we were shooting the Bond movie and I was wearing Thierry Mugler’. Where do you go to surrender? I asked Grace where her penchant for hats came from. Apparently, Marjorie insisted that baby Grace went to church with her every Sunday and even the children had to wear hats. So the most fabulous model of Philip’s hats found her passion for millinery in church.
I thoroughly enjoyed getting suited and booted for St George’s this morning. I popped out the old green overcheck Richard James blazer with an old Ascot stripe shirt made by Emma Willis and a lovely pink and white dotty tie from Ede & Ravenscroft. I also had the green rolled edged white linen handkerchief from Ede’s but the hay fever was overexcited by candles, incense and lilies in church so I had to blow on the shower…not the first time I assure you.
What are you reading at the moment? I was in need of familiarity so returned to Nancy Mitford, to Jean Plaidy’s historic romantic novels and to Alan Hollinghurst’s masterpiece The Stranger’s Child. I love the latter. It is the Brideshead de nos jours and exquisitely written. The sex is implied rather than as explicit as The Swimming Pool Library and The Line of Beauty. If you haven’t you really should Rowley: not the implied sex, the novel.
Longing to get on a plane, train or automobile again very soon. Anthony has promised me a ticket to New York in July (most welcome) and I’m thinking of attending Pitti in Florence for the Zegna event. But before that I do need a place in the sun. It could be Menorca or it could be Nice. Ideally I’d like a month in the sun but affording it is another matter after being forced not to work for the past couple of months.
Speaking of new beginnings, I think it is time to say goodbye to HSBC. I’ve banked with them since the butter dripped off my noodle and I believe they have taken much more money from me in interest, loans and overdrafts than I have got any benefit from them. The latest wheeze was suspending my (full) credit card while I sorted the current account. Having wept on the phone like Niobe and been refused with the risible pay off ‘Happy Easter’ then ‘would you like to complete our survey?’ I went downstairs in Bloomsbury Towers and found a cheque for a massive tax rebate.
So long story short Nellie will not starve but HSBC will be jilted for Metro Bank as soon as the credit levels rise like a chorine’s skirt at the end of the month. I do bear a grudge Rowley as many Londoners on the Row well know. Perhaps this is the year somebody will melt the Wicked Witch of the West End.