All That Struggle

Friday 3rd January 2020

Here we are. Back in the 20s. The Gay Mother was born in 1924, in the first lot of 20s.

Christmas is never so over as when it’s over.  Have you noticed? Nothing could be more passé now than Away in a Manger. All that struggle for Christmas. In a puff it’s gone.

Harry Rollo and Mercury Mr Kitten had a function. Two brown hounds arrived of their own accord, surging all over the function room and leaping up at the eats. ‘This means She is here,’ Mercury Mr Kitten explained. Not the absolute premier She, you understand, not Sandringham She, but one almost as high and known to millions best as a Queen. Who then entered and fell into confab with Miss Lamore Cellina and later with me, Adrian Edge. Our topic was deceased department stores: Bourne and Hollingsworth, once at the wrong end of Oxford Street where the Gay Mother bought her wedding dress in polyester in 1956, not wanting to waste money on a wear-once item, and C&A which was of great horridness but a nationwide chain. The topic arose because a massively sought-after bistro (or something) has opened near the Harry/Mr Kitten residence and is called Bourne and Hollingsworth because of being in the former warehouse of that store.

But Bourne and Hollingsworth was dreary. One darkened not its door. Swan and Edgar la meme. In another 60 years will someone open a ragingly cool destination café called Primark in a former Primark warehouse?

I kept trying to get near Reggie Cresswell but could not for the fury of those mobbing him. I was in the middle of telling Lord Tanza about Lady Glenconner’s wedding night when he wandered off to help Mr Kitten arrange some dishes. Later I started again, this time with a world-class film director of republican leaning.  Rufus Pitman appeared. ‘Anne Glenconner,’ he said at once. His favourite bit is when Anne was staying with Princess Margaret for a year while her flat was being done up and never got any sleep.

Anne Glenconner: it was hard to summon any other topic after her appearance on Graham Norton for the publication of her memoir.  I’m taking ‘An Evening with Lady Glenconner’ at the Richmond Theatre of 29th February. Do let me know if you want to come too. I’ve two tickets.

Harry and Mr Kitten came up with a brilliant new hostess wheeze: have different glasses from your guests so you won’t put your glass down to do some hostess task and not be able to find it again. In fact they had gold goblets, by great coincidence from Angus Willis’s shop in Hastings. Just fancy that.

We all went up onto the roof. Bruce McBain, who designed the roof, wasn’t pleased. In fact he refused to mount the stairs. But then he did. He said it was not wise after drinks to cavort on a roof terrace. He feared being blamed. Poor Little Rich Gays are always being blamed which is a sad side-effect of whipping up into action. One could always not design a roof terrace but lounge all day on benefits on a sofa in trackies and a hoodie. Then you would have no risk of being blamed.

But it was Heaven on the roof with all vast London laid out before and so many cranes with red lights and hope could not be held back: the Greatness of our Nation. Who could deny it? Nearby is the great barrel of a church nave, dominating the surrounding buildings just like Santa Caterina does in Siena as well as some other churches there. So that was nice too, to have the feeling of Siena.

Back down, off the roof, Harry said that Bertram Dibantry has allowed no time for costume changes: persons must transform from a playing card to a prune but how with no time allowed? And the whole perf only lasts 40 mins. So typical of Bertram who had the entire Royal Festival Hall commandeered for a massive organ experience. A leading figure was brought in to play the great organ of the Royal Festival Hall. But that person only thundered two chords and the main attraction was a terrible old wheezy church organ near the front bellowed by foot pedalling which Bertram had there because he had so greatly disliked it from childhood when he was an altar boy.

Miss Lamore though was worried about the Queen, who left after 30 minutes as is normal, for further engagements. Miss Lamore was sure she had driven her away. ‘I didn’t provide the right food,’ she cried, ‘for her mentality.’ She was convinced the stars need special mental food, not the same as everybody else and she had not given it. I tried to console. ‘They’re normal,’ I said. ‘Just treat as if they were anyone.’ ‘Oh no,’ said Miss Lamore. ‘That won’t do at all.’

I still couldn’t get near Reggie Cresswell except to say it was just like trying to get near Rachel Johnson at the Literary Review party. Then it was time to leave.




Posted Friday, January 3, 2020 under Adrian Edge day by day.

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