At Last! At Last! Kernow Hellizon’s Book Party: I Reveal All

Sunday 15th May 2011

All right! All right! I know you’ve hardly been able to think of anything else. Who was there? What names? Above all, the inter-galactic Greatness as mythic easily as Diana Wales, Elizabeth Taylor, John Lennon or Mrs Onassis.

The thing is, Kernow Hellizon’s novel is all about perfectly awful things that really happened, to him mostly, in an upper-class setting with money whirling like feathers out of a burst pillow.

All that rather swept out of the way by the names.

The night before Robert Nevil, author of the history of the Pony Club, was giving out prizes for pony books at a dazzling Mayfair venue, wearing an important lent pony brooch by Cartier. Quite a different thing. Afterwards (or ‘after’) we went to a Japanese canteen-type establishment in Frith Street, Soho, directed by Joshua Baring, our youngest Poor Little Rich Gay, who knows everything. I didn’t tell you that the other day he briefed me about how nuclear power stations work. Now he is looking for suitable manly diamonds for me to wear at that Bath Abbey wedding in June – each stone must be size of pigeon-egg min.

We were a jolly,simple party.

But back to the names – the next night at the Hellizon launch. If I tell you that one corner of the room for a few magical moments was occupied exclusively by three household names…household names! What a phrase!

To start with it was Richard E.Grant. Not in the corner. This was earlier. I thought little of that because I’ve seen him before, superb as he is with eyes so blue. Then on the balcony overlooking the square with Harry Rollo, feeling a little conspicuous in full view of the public, because he’s a name, of course, his graph plastered all over New York etc, I say: ‘Look, it’s Lady Magnesia…’ For it was she, coming along on foot below: Lady Antonia Fraser.

After that, inundated. Only one question: are you a name or aren’t you? Helen Fielding, Mariella Frostrup, Martin Amis, Ian McEwan, Tracey Emin, Diana Quick, Alain de Bum… until, finally, finally, beyond belief, the moment you’ve been waiting for: Sir Mickland Jagger.

Yes!  Sir Mickland Jagger. Accompanied by a stunning giantess in a leopardskin coat, unreal for early summer, he a tiny person, spider legs, springy of body. For a second he turned in my direction, and there was the familiar hideous-beautiful now late-Audensque face but a scorching inexplicable cloudy blaze from the eyes, either amethyst or grey. This is it. When you see them in the flesh… it’s all to do with the light, as with Royalty and their diamonds, which never show on TV.

They do have something, these enduring stars, they must do. If I’d looked for longer it might have been different.

Again, on the balcony with Harry Rollo, we see the departure: BMW 7 Series, blacked-out rear windows, a chauf and minder, glancing about. Quick word on the doorstep with Alan Yentob, for some reason burdened with rucksack, then away.

What of it? So fleeting and, do you know, I’ve only ever heard one song of the Rolling Stones. But never to be forgotten, that glimpse.

Otherwise it was hard not to feel the wing of death. Was it bitterness or envy, Adrian Edge on the edge? Or just the noise, the impossibility of sustained conversation? Perhaps in such concentration, the names themselves lock and freeze into their names. They tend to be introduced to one another: ‘Name, do you know Name?’ ‘Oh Name! Been longing to meet you. So admire your work etc.’ It might have been a relief had a man in an orange boiler-suit come in to mend a dripping tap or something of that kind.

Helen Fielding told me she’s taken to Twitter, hasn’t written anything for years, 7000 followers. Still I was gawping rather. Diana Quick v. friendly. Made a film of another of Kernow’s books.  My best conversation was with the young, good-looking, not at all self-full editorial assistant from the publishing house but now I think about it that was mainly me talking.

But, I wouldn’t have missed it for the world.

Posted Sunday, May 15, 2011 under Adrian Edge day by day.

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One comment so far

  1. Paige Smythe says:

    … and then you woke up …. La’Tonia Frazier indeed!

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