Tomorrow night I am off to a party, in London, in black tie. It's all so glamourous that it's hurting my brain. I am half way to London now (waiting for my car to be serviced since you ask) and for once I think I have remembered everything. Stockings, dress, shoes (both of them this time thank god), jewellery, makeup, hairbrush.... BUGGER. I've forgotten my chic little evening bag. Aaaaargh. Oh well - buy another. Stuff recycling and thank god for disposable consumerism.
Anyway, back to the point, this party has been on the books for months now. Drawing ever nearer whilst I hide my head in the sand about the fact that I have not lost weight / got my hair cut / bought new clothes / miraculously transformed into Rene Russo or Madeline Stowe. The party has an 'old fashioned' format. This means that it starts at 10pm and goes on till 3am and you are in charge of feeding yourself and staying awake long enough to get there for the start. I forsee two problems with this.
1) I fall asleep at nine pm and miss party entirely
2) I go out beforehand, get horribly drunk, and miss party entirely.
Neither option will win me friends of influence people. I have to turn up at this glamour fest because I have promised one of the hosts that I will take photos through the night for her and she even rang to check that I had not forgotten this offer. Normally, I quite like the opportunity to hide behind a camera and take a reasonable photo. Unfortunately my camera is broken and so I am borrowing one from the Mad as a Box of Frogs sister. She unhelpfully pointed out that the last time I took photos with her camera, they were 'rubbish'. Hmm, confidence hits all time low then. I am staying at her flat tonight and will have to take endless practice shots of my feet or something until I master the intricacies of a self willed SLR digital camera that hates me.
Quite aside from the awkward hours of this party, there is another factor to consider about it. It is a Seventy First party - not one filled with octogenarians, but a combined 50th and 21st. This means that I shall be surrounded by two unutterably terrifying groups:
Group 1: glamorous 40 - 60 something Londoners. This is a group of people who you'd never catch dead watching reality television, reading heat magazine or even knowing who Simon Cowell is. They are 'arty' and they all live beyond their means with style, wit and panache. Nothing is too mundane to take trouble over on the style front and even their tea towels will be carefully co-ordinated with their worktops in their bespoke kitchens made by a darling polish craftsmen. They travel around Europe the way I go between the Spa and Londis. They eat sushi to stay thin because 'dieting is so boring'. They are a group who think the countryside is charming for weekends, as long as they are in the Cotswolds and can go do Daylesford Organic and then some charming antiques shop. They will have seen all the latest things at the theatre, galleries and opera house and will be dressed in Sonia Rykiel, Issy Miyake and other people who I can't spell and whose clothes I think are faintly odd and so are probably uber uber cool. They'll look faintly surprised when they find that I am still living in Wales, having brushed off the original move as a cunningly disguised effort at rehab, and they'll tell me how well I'm looking whilst secretly wondering why I didn't pop into John Frieda for a quick wash and set before the party. Don't get me wrong. They are generally a nice bunch, but they make me feel gauche and awkward just listening to them.
Group 2: No better really. This will be 120 or so ragingly cool and skinny 21 year olds. They will be wearing equally expensive kit (student loans seem to be spent entirely on joining Fifi and Trixabelle in Phuket and on designer dresses for the endless round of parties they go to). Their hair will be long and glossy and they will flick it irritatingly towards anyone in a half yard radius. I expect most of them won't actually talk to each other but will spend the evening text messaging their neighbours and drinking Cosmopolitans. I was NEVER like this crowd. When I was 21 I was slovenly, broke and only just weaning myself off Snakebite and Black as a glamorous drink. The worst of this group is that secretly I envy them their confidence, panache and sheer arrogance.
So, I'll photograph these two species in their natural habitat and like a true nature reporter I shall hope that my presence doesn't disturb them and alter their behaviour. I may also have a cosmopolitan or two, just for courage under fire you understand.
The price of health
12 hours ago