Heavy Lifting. October 2015.

Dear Rowley,

Just got back to Bloomsbury Towers after another day of heavy lifting installing the ledgers in the Henry Poole & Co new Archive Room. The oven chips are in and the Prosecco is poured. I’m absolutely shagged and have decided to take to my bed before a light pre-theatre supper with Mrs T at Sheekey’s and a grown-up dinner with La Farmer and Mr Bowering who have just blown back in from New York.

All’s to say is I think I’m getting too old for the oldest profession. I can when on manic marching mode move mountains of ledgers. Each one weighs as much as a baby chimpanzee. Today I did the sensible thing and wore a black Gucci T-shirt, jeans and flatties. I still sweated like a rapist but there we are. Sometimes you’ve got to work it,  gurl.

We’re all getting rather emotional at Poole’s over the Archive Room. We know it surpasses anything else on Savile Row and we’re proud to give it the attention and ambience it deserves. I tell you that strength had to be given by the gods today because there were times when the coughing was still painful and I felt light-headed. But, as Dietrich says in Witness for the Prosecution, ‘I never cry because my mascara might run and I never fall because I might not do so elegantly’.

As my old Grandmother used to say after a hard day’s graft, ‘Sid, get the chops on’. I look like a bomb site and had to take a hooker’s bath in Floris Jermyn Street to get me home. My hands are those of a labourer not a writer. Mind you, I like physical work. I don’t like sports very much, well, not team sports. I’ve never been a joiner or a team player. Rugby was anathema to me at school. I was the only boy who would walk off the pitch cleaner than when I walked on.

And as for football! Please, my nerves. What is it about the beautiful game that leaves me cold? I can’t see the talent, can you? They get paid more in a week than I earn in a year and for what? Kicking a ball, having a perm and writhing in agony when tripped. Pussies.

I much prefer tennis. Now there’s a sport with skill and stamina. My favourite player of all time was Chrissie Evert and, on her retirement, Martina. I love Martina. She tweeted me a while back when she was banging on about the Right Wing entering into the illegal war that was Iraq. I pointed out that it was Labour’s venal Prime Minister Tony Blair who led us into that unfortunate incident that killed our boys for an entirely sinister, pointless cause.

Can you believe we still go to war with the wrong enemy? I think we should be crusading against ISIS and the embedded terrorists in the United Kingdom not going to God-forsaken places and not engaging in a fair fight. They loathe us for our Colonial past but never acknowledge the good the British Empire did for them. You know what? Fuck ‘em. If they don’t like playing by our rules then they can crawl back to Syria or God knows where and be happy.

What do you think it is with our work ethic? I think we came from common stock. Well, I did anyway. We always eat quickly because we have to get back to work. We drink too much because we know every day can be our last. As a kid, I never understood the maxim ‘live every day as if it is your last’. Boy, do I get it now.

The gift of life is very precious to me. You are dealt a hand of cards and you play them to the best of your ability even though the odds may be stacked against you. People sometimes think I am self-destructive. I am not. I’ve had more than a share of unhappiness and ill health so when someone offers to stand me a round or offers to give me a Yankee I will say yes and embrace it.

I find the world is a prettier place after a bucket ‘o Prosecco and sincerely believe that if God had wanted us to be monogamous, he would not have blessed us with brains, talent and an arse like a peach. Actually, to quote Divine in Lust in the Dust, ‘My ass is on its last legs’ but I fight on and fight to win.

Who’d have thought I would find such contentment at my stage of life? It just shows you that you can’t hurry love. I have only been in love once or twice in my life. I have been in lust almost permanently but love? Not so much. Well, I can tell you I think love has found Andy Hardy and I rather like it. I am taking it slowly and taking nothing for granted. But I have a wiggle in my walk and a smile on my lips that I haven’t had for seventeen years.

Well, duckie, the chips have gone cold and the Prosecco is empty. Story of my life…