A Moment of Madness

Wednesday November 16th 2022

In a moment of madness, I booked. It was when our friend Lynne Truss was threatening to wipe out simply everything; even pensions to go under her rule. All the same, crazed, I booked: short haul Economy bearable.

Mercifully in later life I’m not been seized with the urge to travel. Quite the opposite. Why do retired persons long to be tourists? It’s such a reduced status. Really one is nobody, unlikely to be on a guest list of any kind. I’d rather stay at home and be known.

But if there is an occasion I will board. Anthony Mottram and I toyed with Bulgaria in November because a film has been made based on the life of the theatre director in charge of the Orphans’ Drama Festival at Shiroka Laka and Bulgaria is entering it for the Oscars. But really it was too far to go for an event with no English spoken, even though one had met Kyril of Bulgaria at St Cyprian’s Clarence Gate. In Milan, on the other hand, Harry Rollo was to give a performance, or a series of performances in fact, at the highest venue of all.

So, in a moment of madness, I booked. Once booked you’ve got to go, and have outfits planned, in this case, four day and one evening.

I haven’t been in Italy for six or seven years. Recently of course it’s had to be severely avoided on account of you know what, and terrible measures. I was bidden to a grand bar to meet Harry Rollo, Mercury Mr Kitten and Reggie Cresswell. One thing hasn’t changed in 45 years – the reporting to the kiosk to pre-pay for drinks then the handing of the docket to the barman. Terrific grandeur of the barman, who looked ready to challenge one to a duel for the slightest infringement. I didn’t dare to touch the nibbles laid out on the bar. We dined very high in a modern restaurant called Langosteria, full of rich youth with a specific toilet maid but from another age- black dress, white apron trimmed with lace and cap the same. The food was fish, which poor Reggie can’t touch of course. The vegetarian policy was ‘make do with the vegetables’ which were quite high in fact. A uniform orange hue was achieved with all the dishes with a novel pasta recommended to be taken after the main course.  I enjoyed the dinner and the purr of money and outfits all round. Harry is very taken with Milan although the cathedral can’t be explained. Where they are lodged, in the fashion district, there are no food shops. This is because, Harry said, the fashion people eat their own gloves and hats instead. Frockage, in other words, is the food of life, as we have always known, but never before so perfectly realised as by Harry.


Posted Saturday, November 19, 2022 under Adrian Edge day by day.

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