On the Edge at Ralph Kitto’s

Sunday 21st February 2010

I haven’t been keeping up. Dramas and misfortunes abound, more than statistics suggest is usual for the third week of February. In fact something has happened which tells me that a particular estrangement should be brought to a prompt end.

You may have noticed that a certain person has been absent from these pages for some months  now.

But, to reverse in time, on Wednesday, as I fore-warned, I went to Ralph Kitto’s, where, owing to a certain bitterness on my part, I have not been known for many years. Now Ralph lives in South Kensington but in the lower stub of his street the fearful red-brick mansion blocks of Earls’ Court begin.

You know what that means, don’t you? Earls’ Court gays might be mistaken for Poor Little Rich Gays, but are actually an entirely different species.

Ralph is a banker. As far as I know he shouts and stamps on the trading floor, but grand lunches with clients in restaurants are spoken of, where presumably he does not shout and stamp. He lives in a one-bedroom ground floor flat –  but the double reception is about sixty feet from back to front and easily twenty across; on the walls, Gilbert and George and Damien Hirst.

Well, what a scene! ‘Help yourself,’ said Ralph, gesturing to a side-board. ‘It’s coq au vin, I believe.’ The food is always BI (that’s bought in or even biked in) from Marks and Spencer. Once he entertained The Friends of the Tate with biked in pizza from the night before.

Rather glorious and bold, don’t you think?  We must all try it.

And the other guests – we were eight – were like a pack of wild horses Ralph was trying to tame for social life. Every ten minutes he would bellow: ‘I will finish this story.’ Then wait for quiet. ‘Now, I haven’t forgotten. You thought my new Damien Hirst was a plasma screen TV. You did, you know.’ I sit next to two young Latin gentlemen who lob what appear to be insults at each other throughout. ‘You’ve called me Alessandro twice!’ ‘I don’t want to go anywhere with you! It’s always Scott’s. And if it’s tea, it’s got to be Harrods. But I can’t be bothered to go to Scott’s.’ At the other end of the table – Sol Weideinwar, multi-millionaire and, as it happens, an old friend of Matt Driver and Laura Malcolm: ‘I’ve lost my voice. I haven’t had sex for eight days.’ ‘That’s strange,’ someone murmurs. ‘Carlos has been in Brazil for two weeks.’ Carlos is the younger partner, swelling magnificently in the gym apparently. He doesn’t work. Later, after a careering detour through the sex lives of various people not present, some old and fat, others young and whippy, it emerges that Sol and Carlos had somehow coincided in New York  – eight days ago, where intimacy took place.

Carlos is very unhappy not working. But what is the point if your partner’s a multi? And will he ever be able to catch up and iron out the unhappiness if that is its source?

We shall see. We will follow this relationship with interest. As you know, where the gays are rich, and some Poor Little Rich Gays are rich, alliances of this nature often feature.

The extraordinary thing was at 10.30, as if a bell had rung, they all got up from the table and bolted out the door. I suppose they have to be fresh for their banks and self-owned businesses the next day.

There is much we can learn from this excellent style of entertaining.

Posted Sunday, February 21, 2010 under Adrian Edge day by day.

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