Purveyor of Bollocks to the Crowned Heads of Europe
Monday, 14 September 2015
The right trousers
I'm counting down the hours left before we get on a plane to Pisa and from thence to Rome, like a kid on Christmas Eve. The only thing I am not looking forward to is the tedious rigmarole of security check-ins and outs. At least the route is not something like Southern Spain, so hopefully there won't be too many pissed Brits wearing straw hats, even though it is Easy Jet.
My self-styled 'son in law's' idea of the perfect holiday is drinking beer at breakfast. Since we stopped lying around on beaches, we usually go to cities, which means art and culture, etc. We've got more art and culture when we get back too, as Frank Auerbach has invited us to his retrospective preview at the Tate this October. It's good to see that H.I. is still on his mailing list after all these years. I love a bit of name-dropping, but whenever I drop his name amongst my drinking companions, they don't know who I am talking about. Philistines.
We're going to make a day of it, so I have booked a room in the Hotel Russell at Russell Square. It was in the Hotel Russell where I last saw Shawn before she flew back to the States for good. Remember S?
Choosing the right trousers is of paramount importance when going on holiday, and - like walking boots - it is best to break them in before trying them out for the first time in a foreign land. This is why I am not taking the brand-new Hacketts I bought the other day. I am opting for a great pair of dark blue, baggy linen ones which I have had for a while and which were made in Greece, by Greeks, for Greeks.
I have decided to only take one pair, so I must take extra care not to shit myself when in Rome. If the worst comes to the worst, then I will just have to hide in a toilet or the hotel and send H.I. out for a replacement. I know what would happen, though. She would ignore all the ordinary shops and go - by taxi - straight to the Armani headquarters, then become side-tracked in the women's section, returning after about 4 hours with a £500 pair for me, and a £3000 creation for herself.
When I was trying on the Hacketts in Bicester village (I never normally try on trousers, but she insisted), she waited until I was standing in my underpants with the old pair in my hands before drawing back the curtain and exposing me to all the other customers and staff who were waiting outside. Either her sense of timing is really good, or really bad, depending on your point of view.
Because - as I mentioned earlier - we no longer lie about on beaches, my legs haven't seen daylight for about 20 years, so they must have been a shocking sight to all the bystanders. Even I don't like looking at them these days.
Although I will be taking two phones to Rome, neither of them are particularly smart, so I need not worry about roaming charges. This does mean that you will not be hearing from me for quite a while, so make the most of this post. I may just squeeze in one more tomorrow, but I may not.