RuPaulogy. May 2017.

Dear Rowley,

Another Saturday, another celebrity diet book in the newspapers. It all boils down to the same old crapola: eat a Mediterranean diet, drink lots of water, cook your food  and keep your walloping great snout out of the Coco Pops. Simples.

It perplexes me that there is an appetite for all of these damned cookbooks. I’m with the late, great Madame Claude: ‘two things sell in this world, food and sex, and I can’t cook’. What I can do at this great age is to chisel my ten commandments for a happy middle age into stone. Now I know there’s some of you out there who didn’t think I’d make it. One kind reader even described Letters from Bloomsbury Square as the longest suicide note in history. Shows how wrong you can be, bitch!

Rule No 1. No one ever died wishing they’d had less sex.

Rule No 2. Be kind to people who serve in shops and restaurants.

Rule No 3. If you want to stay slim, drink on an empty stomach.

Rule No 4. The people that mattered in the first act probably won’t in the second.

Rule No 5. It is only money.

Rule No 6. Appearances are rarely deceptive.

Rule No 7. Always accept the help that is offered to you.

Rule No 8. Know when to leave the party.

Rule No 9. Water is nature’s anti-depressant: to drink, to swim in, to listen to.

Rule No 10. Sing out, Louise.

Oh, and there is another rule. RuPaul is always right. Glorious tintinnabulations, Netflix has just uploaded eight episodes of RuPaul’s Drag Race Season 9. I tell you, America would be a greater country with RuPaul Charles in charge.

Absolutely all of RuPaul’s commandments are rock solid: you’ve got to bring it to the runway every time, don’t fuck it up, if you can’t love yourself then how the hell you going to love somebody else? I could go on! No surprises that Hollywood and the fashion industry has bought into Drag Race. Not only did Lady Gaga appear in the opening episode, she and RuPaul shared this month’s US Vogue cover.

As a performer, RuPaul is witty, wise and kind. The girls evidently idolise her even when Mama Ru tells them to ‘sashay away’. I thought drag was dying in London but RuPaul’s Drag Race has made stars out of every performer in almost every season: Alyssa Edwards, Latrice Royale, Kennedy Davenport, Bianca del Rio, Pearl, Milk and Bob theDrag Queen.

I was thrilled to see one of the girls do Liza for the Snatch game this season and always enjoy it when the library is open. Reading to filth is liberating I find. It would be rather a good team building exercise in many an office if everyone gets a weekly chance to read. Drag queens are some of the most fearless creatures in the world. They have to be able to dish it out and take it. As do we all…

Ru has – how do we put this politely? – been around the block ever since the days she and Michelle Visage were shaking a tit at Suzanne Bartsch’s parties in the 80s. RuPaul’s career has had more ups and downs than a Madame Claude girl. She’s an inspiration to people like me whose working lives have not been without incident.

You never stop learning, do you? I really thought I’d got it all figured out in my thirties. To quote Sinatra, I’ve been up and down and over and out since then and have only very recently decided that I am ready for Act Two after an overlong intermission. Quite what is going to occupy my mind in the second half is yet to be decided.

I do know who is going to occupy my bed and H is entirely the reason why this year has been utterly wonderful. I’ve done it alone for a long time now and realise I wasn’t really born to be the ‘living alone and I like it’ type. Do you know what counts? Having someone by your side and on your side. To quote Sondheim, ‘sometimes people leave you half way through the woods’. But, then again, sometimes people find you and it changes your path entirely.

The travel bug has bitten me again. Strike that. I never had the opportunities to travel in recent years. I got a little reclusive and a lot broke. So far we’ve had Paris and New York this year with Cannes coming in June and Rome in July with the possibility of Positano. Good God having the sun on my bones and the sea in my hair is so long overdue. Now I have someone to enjoy it with.

Oh, did you hear the news? The six part TV history show Royal Mysteries I filmed last year should be aired next month. Lord only knows how much screen time I have but I think it’s going to be good news. Speaking of my past life on telly, I went to a benefit for Bill Kenwright at the London Palladium the other night with Suzi Perry.

It was quite a glam affair and we hob-nobbed with the hoi polloi such as Elaine Paige, Michael Ball, Gareth Malone, Sarah Cox et al at the after party before dancing the night away at Freedom. I haven’t danced like that since the GAY days at the Astoria. I’ll leave you with that picture. Until next time…