I had a great day.
There was work and there was stuff – a plumber, dental appointments to change, the dreary bits – but in between that three wonderful things happened.
My dear old colleague and friend Jayne Gould came to see me and we had lunch. I’ve known Jayne since 1985 when I went to work on You magazine. She was the art director and we hit it off immediately.
A couple of years later we moved together with our wonderful editor the late, great John Leese, the finest editor I have ever worked for, when he went over to edit the Evening Standard.
What a time we had. Everything new and exciting happening in London in the 1980s, we were in the thick of it. Jayne and I share similar mad dog energy levels and we didn’t miss much.
The Standard is a uniquely great paper to work on because although it’s London only, so not a national paper like the Times, or the Guardian, its reach is extraordinary.
In those days it was a must-read for any mover and shaker in the capital, so whatever you were writing about, you knew that the top people in the country in that field, would read it.
They might read just one of the broadsheets, or even just the Daily Mail, but everyone read the Standard.
After that I moved on to edit ELLE and then made the move to Sydney. How delighted I was when Jayne turned up to work at the Sydney Morning Herald. We didn’t work so much together there, but it was great to have her around and we’ve stayed in touch through me moving back to the UK, while she moved to New York.
It was so great to have lunch with her in my local, the often mentioned Crown.
The next wonderful thing was that one of my great buddies from university, Andrew Nairne, got in touch to say he was coming to Hastings to see the Chapman Brothers exhibition at the Jerwood Gallery.
Andrew and I did art history together at St Andrews and he has stayed in that world, which he is deeply passionate about. He’s run several important galleries in the UK, including the Museum of Modern Art in Oxford and now Kettle’s Yard in Cambridge, with time at the Arts Council.
I’m very proud to have him as a friend and it was really great to meet up with him at the gallery and hear his expert opinions on the show. Then we had a drink not, for once, at the Crown, but at another characterful pub called The Jenny Lind.
The third joy was that I managed to secure tickets to take Peggy on the back stage tour at the Royal Opera House. It meant waiting on hold (thank god for speakerphone) for an hour, but it was worth it.
I asked the very nice lady on the box office phone, this all important question: ‘Will we see the pointes room?’
The answer is YES.
I’m also excited to see the area in the top photo, which I think must be the wig room. I love the kettle.