Christmas is Upon Us

Monday 24th December 2018

I’ve been twice to San Paulo, once to St Martins, once to Matthew Bourne at Sadlers Wells. All for Christmas and Advent. The Queens of Brixton gave a gathering. Harry Rollo and Mercury Mr Kitten gave a gathering. Arabella von Gardendoor gave a gathering. Ed Jasper and Roland Mainflower gave a gathering after Matthew Bourne. In between there were small dinners.

San Paulo is so exotic. It can’t be English. London’s Bishop was a tiny speck by the High Altar, as she gave the Blessing at the Advent Service. My dear, the incense! I thought they’d set fire to the Basilica. Two Royal Chairs were evident as we took our seats. We were thrilled guests of Genevieve Suzy. Eventually two figures in black approached: ‘The Gloucesters!’ I shrieked. Nobody else had a clue. Advent is superior to Christmas. We had Hills of the North Rejoice, Lo he Comes in Clouds Descending. Only Jerusalem the Golden was missing. I’m campaigning to get it in next year. A massive panoply of clergy, choirs, children holding candles (including the daughter of Genevieve) progressed over an hour from the West Door to the High Altar. The idea of humble pilgrimage into light was superseded by the grandeur of the episcopal suite, the accompanying side canons, the officers of our National Cathedral, the croziers, candelabras, mitres and copes in glory.

I always say a new bit been’s put into The Messiah. This time it was ‘The Trumpet Shall Sound’. All the numbers are hits. What a work! My friend Miss Mullholland who sings in the choir, confided afterwards that ‘Rejoice Greatly, O Daughter of Zion’ had been omitted this time. In other words, it really is true one Messiah might be different from another. So there. I love the Messiah at San Paulo. So ghostly the acoustic and the perf is vigorous and energetic always. Every Christmas…

At the Queens of Brixton the theme was Killing Eve – Lesbian overtones apparently. A huge black Killing Eve cake was bought in with two figures in a bed made of icing. I don’t know whether a serial killer had got them because I haven’t seen Killing Eve. But others have. I was asked if I knew any available Lesbians by a Lesbian. Rufus Pitman had a hat with huge German feathers – or Austrian. Gerard de France said he couldn’t watch anything violent – so no Killing Eve for him.

The next day Harry Rollo gave an astonishing perf – just him doing tiny, absolute miniatures, so intense and more devastating than a cast of 1000s but in a different way. Then we gathered at his and Mr Kitten’s home where a great name came on from the 1st Night of Matthew Bourne, saying he’d manoeuvred without success to get the Tom Daleys to accompany him. Tom Daleys – so near and yet so far. Another slightly less great name from Australia mainly spoke to the first great name. Harry Rollo’s mother had a fabulous black two-piece from her daughter-in-law’s Danish shop. So simple and perfect and madly expensive. And rare. One-off label. Miss Lamore Cellina gave a full re-creation of her visit to Buckingham Palace when she was in the suite of a performance artist like Harry who was being given a medal by the Queen. The lady-in-waiting (Miss Lamore did her with hand gestures: face, hair, hat, bag) flirted with Miss Lamore’s performance artist: ‘I do like tall men,’ she said. ┬áLater she said that her husband’s legs had been blown awff. ‘Not so tall anymore?’ the perf artist remarked. ‘Well, quite,’ said lady-in-waiting, the face, hair, hat, bag and gloves reinforcing the absoluteness of it all. The perf artist was shown into a room with the Queen in it and was struck dumb. The Queen is so charismatic. Partly it’s the diamonds ( I didn’t say that) but also how she wears them. I always say this: if only those against could gaze upon Majesty they’d be at once converted.

Matthew Bourne, I’ve rather had enough of. Every year I go because Ed Jasper makes a thing of it and gives a gathering afterwards. But really the choreography is Wave the arms and bend at the waist in a wavy way. Then pivot on one leg with jerks. The dancers aren’t absolutely disciplined in the classical manner and there were an awful lot of them crammed into the stage. Bit of a muddle, not lined up properly. Still, Swan Lake. Such lovely mu. Every number a hit – like The Messiah.

I entered Ed Jasper’s drawing room afterwards. Three incredible woman greatnesses were already assembled, all of them household names – black draperies edged with gold, the winged, power hair in gold, the faces worked by art to the maximum burnish. What a vision. Ed dropped a cocktail sausage on the floor: ‘Would you like a soiled sausage?’ he said. I spoke to a quiet lady who described her journey to work in accountancy firm from one part of Suffolk to another. Her husband was a huge 80s pop star, also present. ‘Not Nick Heyward,’ she said. Another Nick. Everybody was astonished I’d never heard of him.

At Arabella von Gardendoor’s I was uplifted despite a 4.9 price surge on Uber. The ex-MP had been texting privately with Mrs May to show at least human care for the embattled PM. Was amazed to receive reply asking how SHE was. Arabella’s stepson is v. coming and fitness-oriented. He’s now married his long-term, also a keen cyclist and lycra-wearer. ‘How lucky you are,’ I said. He took me through his outfit: incredible alternative labels. Some shoes were on order with a white band round. Can you imagine anything more perfect? Interested in clothes, fitness, food and straight. Arabella always has all her ex-husband’s family, his previous wife, present companion (if there is one), his mother, who appeared to be the Empress of Iran, ┬áthe anti-Islamic uncle with strange headgear – The Blond Multi actually came and spoke to me. ‘What’s your news?’ I said. ‘I don’t have any.’ He was very sympathetic though when I outlined some of my troubles. The Photo Multi made a brief acknowledgement then they both left the function.

I surged and surged back this pre-Christmas. At times the gloom has overwhelmed me, all the lost Christmases, all those who have gone on before, now absent for Christmas, the tragic hopelessness of the baby Jesus. As Val said on 10th December, ‘At least it’s not long now until Christmas will be over.’ I relaid this to Prince Dmitri Hersov who said, ‘Wonderful. Such a positive outlook.’






Posted Monday, December 24, 2018 under Adrian Edge day by day.

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