So Many Launches and Homes

Saturday 6th April 2019

Up to the rafters in homes: I’ve taken Pitzhanger Manor, Ealing, Croome Court, Worcestershire and Calke Abbey, Derbyshire (exclusive viewings, of course). But let’s take a moment to reflect on the National Garden Scheme launch at the Royal Festival Hall as well as the Antiques Fayre at Duke of York’s Champagne Reception (actually managed to get some). Mary Berry was fully Royal at the NGS launch i.e. block colours and brooch. Her speech was about her visit to the new garden at Stoke Mandeville. She encountered a man with no top on, quite bare. ‘Aren’t you cold?’ she said.  But no, he hadn’t been out for months, had been indoors with spinal injury or chronic. New garden a wonderful opportunity. The reception afterwards was abuzz with the Sacklers. You know they’ve been banned because of the opiates. Their money comes from opiates which is bad. But it was all 15 years ago. ‘I sent flowers to Theresa,’ a Museum figure said. That’s Sackler, not May. The latter was across the way, having a cabinet meeting with Michael Gove, whom was supposed to attend but couldn’t because of… But in that company, so high, one felt that really she was present. Theresa Sackler has given and given. Robert Nevil and I heard about her in September: she’d taken a garden tour in Europe with one of Robert Nevil’s Welsh borders friends. We took cake with him and his dog leapt up and marked my outfit. It was an enormous Arts and Crafts house. ‘It’ll blow over,’ Royston declared, but figures wouldn’t be calmed. I was more worried that the Sacklers might lose ALL their money. The figure forged on: the museums hadn’t stuck together, there had been ungraciousness from one Head without warning. As for a certain other figure who’d made a particular fuss…. well, don’t lets worry about their activities that result in people’s heads getting chopped off in Mexico at the slightest provocation…

I almost forgot: who should we run into at the Launch but Maximilian Camphorhoff, the Uruguayan-German publishing prince, very thick with Robert Nevil. He publishes the NGS Yellow Book.  ‘Give me £10,000 advance for a book,’ I said at once. But he wouldn’t. The impression of malleability and innocence is reinforced especially when his formidable matron-companion, twice his height, is at his side. But really he’s as hard as nails, especially when it comes to handing out advances for books. At Eton entirely special arrangements had to be made for him at every turn. They could do nothing. Royston said, ‘I’m a much better writer than you,’ and began an earnest confab with Maximilian Camphorhoff about the kind of book he might write about how Britain is a lot less racist than it looks from a black point of view, especially when Royston penetrated to the very heart of the Nation as he has done.

At the Antiques Fayre Champagne reception Prince Dmitri was taken with a white trouser suit going round, but when we got nearer it was a bit of let-down. The fabric… could have been artificial.  But other outfits slashed across the Fayre with tremendous Boudicca-like slash.

Mary Berry addressing the NGS launch, Royal Festival Hall. Now Royal

Mary Berry addressing the NGS launch, Royal Festival Hall. Now Royal

Mary Berry: Now Royal

Mary Berry: Now Royal

Sir Cliveden Swift Gesticulating a New Hospital Garden to Royston King

Sir Cliveden Swift Gesticulating a New Hospital Garden to Royston King

A Greatness at the Antiques Fayre

A Greatness at the Antiques Fayre

The White Trouser Suit that Didn't quite Stand up to Closer Examination

The White Trouser Suit that Didn’t quite Stand up to Closer Examination

A Pink Ensemble at the Antiques Fayre

A Pink Ensemble at the Antiques Fayre: Look at the Clucks 

Pink Ensemble in Action

Pink Ensemble in Action: Striding into Purchase 

Pink Ensemble in Retreat

Pink Ensemble in Retreat

Posted Saturday, April 6, 2019 under Adrian Edge day by day.

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