Uptight & Personal Diary Entry Monday 15th March

17 03 2010

Monday 15th

With little sleep, a monster hangover and a fizzog that looks like a Big Day Out for dermatologists, I head to London. Am supposed to meet a prospective Melrose author at his club – the Royal Overseas League at 12.30. Pass my usual watering hole The Ritz on my way there looking positively spring-like with daffodils in its window boxes. I am soon to find myself yearning to be back inside its welcoming trompe l’oeil dining room as due to the timing of the meeting I naturally assumed 12.30 would involve lunch at the club. No such luck. I sit there for an hour and a half over two glasses of sparkling mineral water (due to hangover), and a growling stomach while I answer questions that I could have dealt with via email. Finally the prospective author says he has to go and remarks that it wouldn’t have taken me long to get there from Ely. Grumpily I tell him it took an hour and three quarters at which point he goes very quiet.

Seeing as The Ritz is far from my budget I decide to walk to Tibits via the National Geographic shop on Regent Street so I can check out camera cases. Range of camera cases disappointing and it looks as Amazon US is my best option. Tibits however never fails to disappoint and I treat myself to a long and sensual luncheon which I linger over with much emphasis on their jalapenos and cheesecake before setting out on a sentimental journey to see how many of my old Soho haunts still exist.

Am very pleased to report that my favourite wine bar on Kingley Street, Shampers is exactly how I left it all those years ago as is the Trattoria Aldo on Greek Street. Sometimes it’s as if I have been away no time at all. Make mental note to patronise one or both next time I’m in town.

Head off to The Angel to hook up with Sam. While waiting for him outside the station I am accosted by a zealous but harmless Ethiopian woman who wants me to accept Jesus Christ as my lord and saviour. Conviction radiates from every atom of her being. She’s shiny-eyed with intent. As gently as I can I tell her I’m a Buddhist. This is no help. It seems both the Dalai Lama and me will burn in hell or else be left here to endure the Tribulation come the Rapture. She insists on reading me Bible passages and by now I’m desperate for Sam to come and rescue me but there’s no sign of him. Now she wants my mobile number so she can take me to one of the many chapels scattered across the capital that she frequents on a nightly basis.

By the time Sam arrives I need a drink to recover from all this prosthelytizing especially as I ditched the hangover symptoms several hours ago.

Fill Sam in on my evil plan to have a ‘Tat room’ in my otherwise tastefully decorated mansion as a means of weeding out hangers on when I’m rich and infamous. Prospective friends will be shown into a room that will be monumental in its ability to push the boundaries of what normally is defined as ‘kitsch’. An assault of the aesthetic senses that only an industrial dose of downers or a seeing-eye dog can counteract. We are talking furlene carpet – on the walls and ceiling as well as the floor. Original artworks from China of dogs dressed as generals, Venus de Milo teardrop lamps (none of that tasteful lava stuff for me!), leopard print couches, tasteless bric-a-brac and a genuine Formica bar adorned with drinking birds from which one can serve ones guests Babycham. The fun of course is that one will have web cams hidden amongst the shag pile walls and other atrocities and then excuse oneself to go to the kitchen to fetch tasteful hors d’oeuvres (i.e. – pineapple, cubes of cheese and mini gherkins on cocktail sticks stuck into half a pineapple, tinned mini cocktail sausages and aerosol cheese on Ritz crackers – even the food has to fit the theme). Once there one can then tune in and watch the reaction to ‘the room’. The test then is to see whether they will pretend they like it to your face in order to freeload. A DVD would of course be sent to them after their evening (should they not tell you the room is an abomination or decide they can’t possibly be friends with people so outre despite their money), and of course, the most hilarious results posted on YouTube.

Sam immediately gets into the spirit of this thus earning himself a permanent place in my entourage. He says I have to be wearing tight leopard skin clothes so I match the couch with lots of plastic jewellery and he will in turn in true classic Lottery winner style, don a roll-neck sweater with lots of chunky silver chains and an Exxon Valdez spill of hair gel. In the words of Kath from Kath & Kim: ‘We’re effluent Kim, we’re effluent!’

I just want to sell the whole Room concept as a reality TV show. It would be so much fun and a voyeuristically gleeful way of outing people’s pretensions. Me and my white five inch heel stilettos from Romford market are ready. Any takers?

The whole ridiculous scenario has the effect of distracting me from my grief. Sleep like the dead.

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