Another morning at the hospital. Another biopsy on another lump. I’m quite sweaty today. My arms hurt. The arthritis in my neck makes my arms painful, numb and tingling. The pain increases when I cough, sneeze or strain.
After the consultant I drove to Margate where I met Jonathan Viner who has famously bought the huge Margate Print Works, partially selling to Tracey Emin and others. We ate a light lunch at David Liddicot‘s cafe on Union Row. Jonathan rather sweetly paid for lunch, (£20). Of course we discussed both projects. He is unsurprisingly proprietorial about Margate. Viner, I suppose, rediscovered it and put his money where his mouth is.
He very kindly walked me around the last remaining part of the huge building still unsold. The cavernous concrete space ripe for something magnificent. We discussed Brexit, we discussed moving to Kent, we chatted briefly about Jay. He is obviously quite competitive but not in an overwhelming, American way. I told Jonathan I’d met the ghastly Margate based architect Sam Causer who has all the charm of untreated sewage.
We discussed terrible Margate landlords who want too much for their properties and he was eager to remind me I didn’t own anything in Margate… yet. I replied gently that if my idea fell through it wouldn’t be the end of the world. I learned from buying at auction… there’s always something else, next time. It’s not healthy to obsess about things. It can get you into trouble. God has a plan. I just have to listen out for it.
I’ve been going to London meetings. NA meetings. It baffles me how people stay clean. But of course… they don’t. The real addicts die. NA, divorced from Bill’s radical idea of a spiritual solution, is utterly worthless. I am irritated by NA in the UK, the group therapy, feelings laid bare. I was sharing step solution in a Chelsea meeting last week and a young woman in the meeting told me I shouldn’t talk about the steps because she found it ‘triggering’.
Meanwhile Chip, my friend in NYC, who worked a solid NA programme overdoses and dies. He was a splendid, handsome father of one. Divorced from God there was no other destiny for him. Jail. Institutions. Death.
The Whitstable Biennial opened this week. Consequently there is ‘art’ everywhere: in beech huts, coffee shops, fishmongers, gardens, St Alphage church on the high street. The art is pretty dull but the buzz around town is great. I found two gorgeous bronze figures tucked away in a shed by sculptor Mark Fuller who is without doubt a bloody genius. £80.
If my arms work I may go to Canterbury Pride this evening.
Ivan Cartwright visited me last weekend. We had lunch at Dave Brown’s then drove to Margate. He had never been. He was very impressed. Lunch with M&J at well reviewed Angela’s in Margate on Wednesday. I ate Turbot and some odd tasting greens.
Met in Soho last week with a gentleman who wants to buy my art collection, then a brief but good catch up with my producer. I bumped into Johnny and Julian outside Maison Bertaux. We drank a little coffee and I scoffed a large Mont Blanc, you know the one… with mashed up marrons glacés, meringue and cream.
I travelled from Whitstable to London on the train. It was exactly the same time to get up there as it was 40 years ago. It’s perfectly fine. The bus from Victoria to Piccadilly Circus was wonderful. Swinging past the Wellington Arch, on the upper deck, very little traffic. The trees around Green Park and Park Lane have matured beautifully. Apsley house now looks like it’s sitting in the countryside rather than a concrete island. I fell in love with London all over again. Who wouldn’t?
After lunch I took the Piccadilly line to Gloucester Place and had tea with Christophe. He looks wonderfully relaxed after his hip operation. Pain shows in the face, you know. Without the pain he looks marvellous. “Everybody says the same,” he smiled.
There was a coach from Faversham to Whitstable after 11pm but so what? A drunk man on the bus was recounting his recent arrest for knocking someone out. I had no problem with the railway. I had no problem with the buses and the tube. I’ve had no problems with the NHS. I just wish the pins and needles would stop.