New Years Eve ended up being more active than I planned.
After a leisurely dinner at home Carol, Marc and I drove to Herne Bay, the next village east along the Kent coast, and dropped in on my photographer friend Dylan Woolf who’d organized a huge NYE party with dinner and fireworks for a hundred or more local people.
Dylan’s sister Julia and her husband Sim (edited Shrek and Nanny McPhee) are old friends and have the most gorgeous house in LA. Julia is very funny so I hung out with her almost all of the evening. Delighted to see an old teacher of mine, Peter Latham (Julia and Dylan’s uncle) and his kids…great to spend time with all of them.
Rather amazingly I bumped into Easterly and Matt Cox who are Kent aristocrats and the cousins of my local nemesis Susanna Atkins. Not only were they rather incredibly at this party but, as it turns out, have just bought the pile opposite Dylan…the hugest architectural gem of a house, faced with flint, wide floor boards, elegant architrave, quirky crenellations and gothic mullions. It is a mesmerizing puzzle of a derelict house with Victorian additions to a Georgian frame. Huge potential and a million headaches.
Heavily pregnant Easterly is on her way to India for an adventure before the baby is born.
Great to see them..we snuck away and celebrated a quiet 12 o’clock in their vaulted, semi derelict, drawing-room away from the herd. They handed me a piece of Christmas cake that was so laced with rum I couldn’t eat it…and then quoted one line from my blog that always makes them laugh out loud when ever they say it: “Yum Fucking Yum!” (Haloooween)
It’s very English to live on a building site with two babies and one on the way whilst you are renovating an historic home. I totally admire their guts but wouldn’t expect anything less.
New Years Day has been, thus far, just as one would expect…eclectic.
My friend Georgina who owns the Copeland House B&B where Nicola stayed last week had staffing issues. She has been so incredibly kind to me since I arrived ferrying me to the hospital etc. so I gladly got up early to help her out of a tight spot this morning. I was in the kitchen at 8am peeling smoked salmon onto plates and filling the tea urn.
Georgina told me that her friend Pauline the barrister found the gay references in my blog ‘sickening’. A little bit of friendly advice Pauline…if you don’t like it..don’t read it…you homophobic cow. Next time I see you in the high street…walk the other way.
Two faced hag. You’d think with two faces she’d have learned how to put on make up?
After helping Georgina we headed off to Pamela Leung’s and her husband for a new years breakfast party. Pamela is an amazing, world-class ceramicist. I couldn’t help myself from buying a very beautiful sculpture to celebrate the new year and the sale of my Cindy Sherman which made three times what I paid for it.
Pamela’s work: mythic creatures, allegories, thick glazes, exquisitely modeled. Will take picture before I leave tomorrow.
After our wonderful breakfast (full english) we decided to drive to Margate to see David Chipperfield‘s new Turner Contemporary Gallery on the harbour. It is DISGUSTING. It looks at best like a supermarket at worst like a neo-brutalist nuclear power plant. Admittedly it isn’t finished but the scale, choice of materials are just so at odds with the landscape.
It is neither challenging nor audacious…it is simply a big glass blob that Chipperfield obviously asked his tea boy to design while he was doing something more prestigious.
We drank hot chocolate and ate perfect Victoria Sponge at The Mad Hatters on Love Lane. If you ever find yourself in Margate on a wet New Years Day…there’s no better way to spend it.
Fell asleep in the car on the way home with little dog on my lap and Alan Bennett on the Radio.
- David Chipperfield: homecoming hero (telegraph.co.uk)