Monday, 30 November 2009

I still can't shake this cold so spent most of the day in bed keeping warm and I am definitely under the influence of Anadin Extra.

It's been a GREAT day ... but after reading an article in today's London Evening Standard about the "wonderful" life of a luxury hotel magnate & his wife, I feel very sad. How can a company fire around two thousand employees and then allow an article showing-off about its wealthy owners be published. Unforgiveable & actually quite repulsive.

Two days until Oman.

Song of the Day: Pencil Full of Lead - Paolo Nutini

Weather: Brrrrrrrrrrrrr outside .... mmmmmmmmmm in bed!

hungry snake eats his own tail! made me chuckle...

Sunday, 29 November 2009

Have a wee cold - another side-effect from that H1N1 flu jab!

No car shopping today. Rental car STILL stinks!

So off to Oman on Wednesday ... at last I can pack "summer clothes" - linen - mmmm

Song of the Day: Empire State of Mind - Jay-Z (with Alicia Keys)

Weather: I need to buy a boat ... hmmm ... I hear the QE2 is up for sale ... !

QE2 .. price tag - £100m?

Saturday, 28 November 2009

Just home from a lovely dinner party. Because I leave for Oman & Thailand on Wednesday and finally return home on the 22nd ... I will not see anyone here to celebrate Xmas ... no parties ... no shopping ... and no Carol singing ... unless James, Tim & I do some Xmas karaoke in Bangkok.

So, one of my best buddies, who I shall call "Steve", came to visit me. He told me of his recent visit to Hong Kong. He was staying in a hotel (which shall remain nameless) and he got rather squiffy one night. He woke up in the middle of the night and stumbled through a door that he thought was the bathroom. In fact, he "woke up" in the main corridor on the 25th floor - stark naked ... with no room key! Ha! What fun he had trying to get a new key from reception! Anyway - the story made me smile and "Steve" if you are reading this ... thanks for sharing!

The other chuckle I had today was when I read a quote from the BBC's golf correspondent on the Tiger Woods news ... "the world of golf is in a "state of shock" by the news of Tiger Wood's accident" ... really? The whole world? State of shock? Hmm ... overkill before the facts I think ...

Tomorrow - new car shopping. Not fun ....

Song of the Day: Driving in My Car - Madness

Weather: Appalling

I'm in a "state of shock" - Tiger Woods shaves!

Friday, 27 November 2009

So the games have begun! Car insurance - you pay through the nose for it and then the insurers give you stress when you need to make a claim! Rental cars suck!

Worrying news from Dubai. It seems that "Club Tropicana" is turning into "Hell on Earth". I have never been a huge fan of Dubai but it offers the luxury traveller excellent value for money, predictable weather and guaranteed fun & games. With the world's tallest skyscraper & a raft of hotels being opened soon - it's very difficult time for Dubai's travel industry ... let's hope it's just a blip ...

Next week I am off filming in Oman ... can't wait ...

Song of the Day: Hotel California - The Killers

Weather: Dubai's mood ... dark & angry

nearly there ...

Thursday, 26 November 2009

Day 250 of the diary!

Firstly, a very Happy Thanksgiving to all my American friends wherever they may be. A couple of years ago I was in NYC on Thanksgiving and it was great fun!

So I have finally had the H1N1 jab and as a consequence have spent the last 36 hours suffering from the side-effects. Sore arm, sore throat, fever and achy bones! Apparently the flu is 10 times worse ... now that is frightening. I have spent the day in bed. Strange how much work you can get done from there though! I did get to watch the original "The Thomas Crown Affair" with Steve McQueen and Faye Dunaway which was wonderful.

I have missed out on the ballet tonight. Grrrrrr

My poor car has been written off. The damage to the engine was beyond repair. Farewell Jaguar ... and hello to something else (to be decided). I am not particularly happy about this but so is life.

I am not a tech nerd but I did buy some new speakers for my laptop and have to say that it has enhanced the quality of music and Skype calls. All good.

The weekend is nearly here!

Song of the Day: Bohemian Rhapsody - The Muppets (AWESOME!!!!)

Weather: Unsure

the photo of the month!

Wednesday, 25 November 2009

Oh dear. Had the swine-flu jab yesterday and feel rather rough today ... can't be good ... to bed ... early ...

Song of the Day: The Swine Flu Song - Putnam Pig (funny)

Weather: Cold & Wintry

he exists

Tuesday, 24 November 2009

Today here - 10 degrees, windy, rainy and dull ... Oman - 30 degrees, still, clear and happy.

Roll on next week.

Song of the Day: I Won't Let The Sun Go Down on Me - Nik Kershaw

Weather: As above

camping on an Oman beach

Monday, 23 November 2009

Mixed Bag Monday ...

Car is DEFINITELY dead! It needs a new engine at around £6,500! Eek ... ugh ... argh! But thankfully insurance will take care of that and I will either have the choice of a new engine ... or having to buy a new car! Decisions, decisions ...

Swamped with paperwork, emails, phone calls, texts, Bbms (which I love) and letters. Have skillfully meandered through it all ... and have only research on Oman and Thailand left to do this week! Yay!

However, I am annoyed that people who said that they would call me back didn't though. Just rude.

Oman next week! Yay x 2! Thailand the week after! Yay x 3!

Song of the Day: Don't Stop the Dance - Bryan Ferry

Weather: Good for ducks ...

Sunday, 22 November 2009

UGH ...

Song of the Day: EVerything About - Ugly Kid Joe

Weather: Depressing

my day - personified

Saturday, 21 November 2009

Today was a total unmitigated disaster!

It all started so well! Moo had a wonderful walk in the park - chased squirrels and smiled a lot.

Then we drove to pick up my Jaguar - up & running, dry & happy! £750 + 3 hours later ... the car found itself on a dark road completely swamped by ANOTHER flood! This time the fire service, 2 roadside assistance vehicles, police and a few local farmers had to help rescue the poor car! I am VERY, VERY unhappy with rain, flooding and general misery that is English weather at the moment.

The poor car was so clean, washed, polished and even smelt like honey & gardenia ... now it's back in the garage - all alone and miserable.

I am moving to the Sahara Desert.

Song of the Day: Help - The Beatles

Weather: Just rubbish

so sweet
car park - £96 for 1 day and 14 hours of parking!
fire service

farewell my lovely car!

Friday, 20 November 2009

Moo has not been 100% today ... poor girl ... hopefully she will be up & puppying again tomorrow.

It's been a lovely day in London.

First up, breakfast with my PR supremo Julia Record. I am not doing enough! I will try harder ...

Meet up with Flemings GM - Simon Scarborough - one of the nicest human beings on Earth.

Tea with old friend Lisa Rokny - advertising on the London Underground ... watch this space!

Lunch - an afternoon nap!

Tea with Mrs Tollman - matriarch of Red Carnation Hotels at The Chesterfield.

Drinks at The Stafford with WONDERFUL Victoria Shaw - GM of Eichardts - that fabulous hotel in Queenstown - South Island - New Zealand. Also "Choppy" Louisa Patterson (celebrated helicopter pilot from NZ) who surprised me with a "hello" ... It's just so purrrrfect when friends come to visit me from far-flung lands ... Thanks V ...

Dinner at Bincho with V ... drinks and now sleep ... Moo ... zzzzz

Song of the Day: Paper Planes - Mia

Weather: Bad, good, bad, good ... good!

sleeping, swaddled moo

my julia and simon scarborough - gm of flemings
tea at the chesterfield
choppy ...
at the stafford bar
victoria at bincho

Thursday, 19 November 2009

My day in Leica photos ... can you tell the difference?

Song of the Day: Gold Digger - Kanye West

Weather: Hmmmmmm :)

lovely jenny at my hotel for breakfast
douggie at davidoff - 86 years young ....
fortnum & mason window display!
a bit of art appreciation
alison tweatley
lovely shopping ....
lovely looking store on bond street
new pair of shoes
archie's papa ... philippe
hamleys mousecatcher
oli looking happy/sad/questioning/contemplatative
moo happy to see me!
dinner in pimlico

i want one!

Wednesday, 18 November 2009

From tomorrow, all the photos on this diary will be better than ever! Why? Because today I procured a new camera - a Leica no less! It was not cheap BUT after reading all the bumf that came with it, even a blind monkey can use it to turn out excellent quality and "defined" photography! So, let's see whether I am on par with a blind monkey ...

So, I am in London for a few days of meetings.

It's been overcast all day & rather chilly and the City is filled with loads of angry looking people. Hmm - is it something I said?

OK - so after buying my lovely Leica, I headed down to Davidoff for a cigar and then to 41 for afternoon tea!

From there, back to my hotel ... change and dinner with my brother at a very ok-ish Indian restaurant with the colourful name - Gaylord. I caught up with my LA friend Chris over a Tiki Puka Puka at Trader Vic's and now I am finally ready for sleep. It's been a looooong day!

Ah - my car has recovered! Yippeee! It's out of intensive care and is back on the road on Saturday! Whoo-hoooooooo!

Breakfast meeting only a few hours away. Bed. Now.

Song of the Day: You're the first, the last, my everything - Barry White

Weather: Uncomplicated

leica shop - bruton place, w1
davidoff, st james
erm - someone's large home
stella mccartney celebrates xmas
the new x-road on oxford and regent street

chris after a cocktail

Tuesday, 17 November 2009

So, it's been a busy, busy day.

I had to go to the hospital for an x-ray on my little finger. It's broken and I need to have it rebroken and reset ... and will need SIX weeks for it to heal! Hmmm ... looking at my diary, I have a space in 2012 ... February I believe! I commiserated in Starbucks but even my soya chai latte didn't bring a smile to my face. I am - by the way - a ponophobic.

The mechanic rang to say that my car is still on life-support BUT tomorrow he is going to restart the heart and hopefully it will be on the mend and back playing in puddles by this weekend! Yay!
I have learnt how to burn CDs.

I also bolstered my whisky collection after a visit to the supermarket where I found a cask strength Aberlour on offer for £40 LESS than it's meant to be! Merry Xmas to all my whisky drinking friends!

Finally - but best of all - my dear friend Gary was pushed off his scooter by a car today AND he is alive, scratched, bruised, with a damaged suit BUT otherwise unharmed. If he were a cat, well, only 8 lives left mate! Things could have been oh so much worse!

Song of the Day: Big Fun - The Gap Band

Weather: Odd

i believe in bananas

Monday, 16 November 2009

I am beginning to LOVE Mondays ... I get so much done! Paperwork, phone calls, emails, letters - ALL get done on Monday! So - yes - today has been daily-diary-dull BUT I am satisfied with my day's work!

The poor car is being tended to by mechanics. According to the head mechanic, it's "touch & go" ... I did laugh, he said it in a very medical way!

So much to do, so little time, So much to do, so little time, So much to do, so little time, So much to do, so little time, So much to do, so little time, So much to do, so little time, So much to do, so little time, So much to do, so little time, So much to do, so little time ....

Song of the Day: Notorious - Duran Duran

Weather: As bad as forecast ... and as bad as expected ...

a village near me today ...

Sunday, 15 November 2009

As I start to write today's entry, it's begun to rain. Today has been quite bright until now ...

Sunday is the day I get to catch up with all the newspapers I haven't had time to properly read. Earlier this week I did see the story of a hungry shark taking a bite out of another shark at Kelly Tarlton's Antarctic Encounter and Underwater World in Auckland (where I went for a dive just weeks ago) and today I heard some sad news from South Africa.

Earlier this season, I got fly in a Buccaneer jet at Thunder City in Cape Town - the largest "private air force" in the world. Part of its fleet was four Lightnings. One of these crashed during an airshow in South Africa killing the pilot - Dave Stock.

I have flown twice from Thunder City and safety is always the number 1 priority. Our condolences go out to the family & friends of Dave Stock ... and Thunder City.

Saturday, 14 November 2009

Today was a truly weird day ... I know its the 70th anniversary of The Wizard of Oz BUT did we have to have Dorothy-like-Kansas-storms?

75 mph winds, driving rain ... all day ... the roads have been flooded (again) and trees have been swaying (& breaking) like drunk cameramen.

Loads of office work was achieved today and trying to sort out my car insurance! Not fun ...

I also have been watching a bonkers Japanese movie ... The Death Book ... with part II tomorrow and I can't wait!

Song of the Day: The Rain Song - Led Zeppelin

Weather: Crazy

not bad for 70 ...!

Friday, 13 November 2009

I am NOT superstitious ... but it's Friday 13th today and it's not been a particularly great one!

I have not suffered one minute of jet-lag which is awesome BUT ... I went for a drive to post letters and drove through a small puddle which turned into a HUGE puddle and flooded the engine of my car!

1 hour later a kind local garage pulled me out of the water - which was upto the top of my wheel-arches. 1 hour later I was driven home by the rescue service which then 1 hour later picked up the car and sent it to the dealer. I have a rental (nice) for a few days.

It's blowing 45 mph outside and lashing with rain!

Why could I not be back in Hong Kong, in my suite at The Upper House supping beer (free from the mini-bar), watching a movie and vegetating??

Eek and ugh.

Song of the Day: Never Tear Us Apart - INXS

Weather: Friday 13th meets Predator and Halloween

Thursday, 12 November 2009

Back in London! Phew!

Departed The Upper House at 0530 ... after a rather entertaining evening that turned into a rather entertaining morning.

What a fabulous hotel experience I had! Totally love that place ... I was a bit miserable that I didn't get to see another sunrise from my suite - booo. have the feeling that I will be back there though. Yay!

Anyway - broke all records and the usual arduous 13-hour flight home actually turned into just a two hour trip as I slept for ELEVEN hours straight! Not even baby-screams and a funny smell (airline food! ha) could rumble me!

Song of the Day: Norah Jones - Pirates

Weather: Lovely (HK) to miserable (UK)

clouds over london
flight to LA teasing me!
home at last ... almost
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