10 Affectations

1.  Phil bought me a string of Baroque pearls for my 26th birthday.  They vanished.  As Coco Chanel lay dying on the Rue Cambon in 1971, her friends stole the jewelery she was wearing from her fingers and from around her neck.  The same happened to Barbara Hutton the Woolworth heiress.

2. What does it feel like when one assumes that someone they loved is dead and gone and then they reappear?  What changes, adjustments have to me made?  When one has already grieved.  The shock of the living far outweighs the shock of the dead.

3.  I did not sleep last night.   The demons were upon me.  Yet, I would describe myself as happy.

4.  I wear dark glasses.  I am reading the Martin Kippenberger biography.

5. It is so cold at night I fear the succulents will die.

6.  I found the Lanvin straw hat I bought in Paris.  It was crushed in the back of the car.  I took the remnants and had them framed.

7.  I am optimistic.

8.  Stringing together the visual DNA on my blog.  I find myself abruptly halted.  How can one leap from a formal portrait of a disgraced Duchess to snowy Stonehenge?  What is the connection?  Either the Duchess goes or I’m stuck.

9. The final act of my film needs rewriting.  Truth is stranger than fiction.

10.  Not sleeping has a powerful effect on my libido.  I have unwanted erections.





What A Dream I Have

Whenever I return home I am relieved.

Leaving the distractions and the doubt behind.

Cruel thoughts, many miles away.

Whitstable, it takes me a day or so to crawl back into my own skin.  The scale of the town needs adjusting to.  I feel like a giant towering over the small, clapboard houses.  I cannot fit into the tiny shops.

The vitrine has not changed for many years.

The town has kept its original character.

Good and bad I know everyone on the street.  Now I see people who I knew formerly in London.  Gallery owners, actresses, commercial directors.  They strut around thinking they own the place, which of course, they do.

“What are you doing here?” They say.

Last week I was dwarfed by skyscrapers in New York, today I am shrinking rapidly into my Whitstable self.  No coyote to eat the dog, nobody to distract me from my task.

The children sit at their desks on tiny chairs in the same infant school where I learned about the autumn leaves, the saints and the sinners.

This morning we walked the grass paths on the freshly mown downs.  In the thin sunshine the skin on my arms and hands looks brown and weathered.  The fierce Californian sun, long forgotten.

Tomorrow we are driving to Dorset.  Past Stonehenge, to the sea.  Staying at The Bull Hotel in Bridport.  Traveling the well maintained motorways.

I may just keep driving.  I have everything I need.

Just head north through Bristol to Wales where I want to walk Offa’s Dyke.  Find me a B&B in Clun.  Eastward from the unspoiled Welsh counties to Shropshire.  The Stiperstones, this earth is my grave.

Fried eggs and thick bacon, marmalade.

Northward again through the black country.  Cheshire, Lancashire, Yorkshire,  Cumberland to the borders.   I love you England.  I love you.

I bought a pair of secondhand, brown velvet trousers and an ebony cane with an engraved, silver knob.  I found a dark green cashmere and silk scarf, channeling Fanny and Stella in Burlington Arcade.  It is cold enough to wear a beautiful hat, an autumn gown.

I am willing the winter moonlight.

I don’t want anyone else with me. This is mine.

I could not be further from the madness.  England!  Where my heart lies.