Honestly, I don't deserve to have such lovely loyal readers. It has been simply months and months and months since I last posted, and the longer I've left it the more simply dreadful I've felt about neglecting you all, and it has all been the most ghastly vicious circle. Mind you, I expect you've all been having long boozy lunches in the sun at Cinquante Cinq and haven't missed me at all! Well that is the thought that I cling to, anyway, darlings, I love to think of you all having a wonderful August at St Trop.
Golly but where to start! I suppose there are two options - give you the long and gory details of simply everything, which will take me the best part of a week; or go for the whistlestop bare bones and let your imaginations fill in all the details. Yes, I think that's the best way, just let it all out, much less painful that way.
So where did I leave you? Oh bugger, just going off to dinner at the Winterthurs. Do I REALLY have to relive that? How simply awful. Well I'm afraid you are going to have to have the absolute bare bones, I can hardly bear to think about it let alone type it all out. It goes something like this.
Ring Rectory doorbell.
Perfectly pleasant yet matronly woman opens door.
I greet her effusively.
She looks slightly confused and leads me to drawing room where Ralph says "Ah! Minty and Rupert! Of course you know our housekeeper, Wendy, doesn't her sister work for you? Thank you, Wendy". Wendy retreats. I am slightly thrown that I've mistaken Mrs Sodding Codding's sister for Ralph's wife, and sink 2 Cosmopolitans in quick succession.
Rupes and Ralph discuss something hideously boring about the City while I peer at the 50 other people there and attempt to work out who is Mrs Ralph Winterthur. I'm feeling rather gorgeous, actually, in my teeny tiny Pucci dress and incredibly sexy gladiator sandals, so I sink another couple of cocktails, and start flirting outrageously with Ralph.
Rupes rolls his eyes, hollers "Fenella, old girl! Marvellous to see you, and well done on becoming Master", strides across the room and slaps fat old Fenella Houldsworth on her horse-like arse, leaving me free to throw everything I've got at Ralph.
Ralph flirts back, giving as good as he gets, and tells me I look absolutely beautiful.
I'm half way through preening proudly and batting my beautifully lengthened lashes at him when he says, over my shoulder "Ah, darling, I thought I'd lost you! I don't think you've met Minty Dix-Charrington, from the Manor". I turn, ready to bestow my best charming-yet-faintly-patronising attitude on poor dear Mrs Winterthur, only to see.... a vision.
Not only a vision, but possibly one of the most famously beautiful visions in the world.
Not only a famously beautiful vision, but one who was, at that moment, gracing the cover of the Vogue I had just sloshed my 5th Cosmopolitan on while using it as a coaster.
Not only the current Vogue cover model Natalia Poleskaya, but a ravishingly beautiful and graceful Natalia Poleskaya who was, by my reckoning, about 6 months pregnant.
Ralph was married to THE Natalia Poleskaya? And she was living in MY Rectory? Pregnant? And I didn't know?
The whole room started spinning. All of a sudden my chic and tiny Pucci dress and Balenciaga gladiator sandals felt, next to Natalia, rather more like a slightly garish potato sack and some leather tied a bit too tightly around some pork and apple sausages. She was so young! So tall! So... incredible! Oh lord, I felt about 107 years old. I was a small, dumpy, old, troll. My beautifully lengthened lashes were, in fact, hideous spidery-creations a la Barbara Cartland. And when Ralph snogged me and told me I was beautiful, it was actually all some hideous joke, he'd probably done it as a dare... Oh god, I felt terrible.
I had to do something to bolster my self confidence, restore my dignity. As I was musing what I might do to show that 22 year old ethereal beauty that I was a woman to be reckoned with... I threw up into a large lalique bowl in the shape of a swan. All over the pistachios it contained.
Oh it was simply simply hideous and cringemaking and dreadful. The only consolation is I can't remember a single other thing about that evening, not a thing. And of course I haven't been back, I made Rupes take me on a 6 week tour of South-East Asia and then we've spent the last 3 weeks on a trip around Chile and the Galapagos Islands (thank goodness for Blackberries, I don't think anyone has actually noticed that Rupes hasn't been in his office for months!). I'm now posting this from a revoltingly grubby little computer in LAX, waiting for our flight home. And I don't mind telling you, I'm about 10 minutes away from mooning everyone at passport control just so I get arrested and put off my return home for a few weeks at least. Oh it is so ghastly.
But somehow I feel just a teensy weensy bit better for telling you all. Isn't that funny? Oh golly, must dash, they are calling our flight. Now, the big question - to moon or not to moon?