Busy couple of days.
Went to an RHS cocktail party at the Kensington Roof Gardens last night.
I had not been there since 1982 when it was, I think, a place called Regines. Regine was, if I remember correctly, a rather terrifying red headed French harridan who bestrode the world of slightly tacky 1980s nightclubs. However, my position was as scullion rather than guest so I had never seen the gardens. I stood at a sink from about 10pm until 4am washing huge copper saucepans and polishing them with a mixture of sand and lemon juice. Distressingly these were then removed by loud and abusive French chefs who then dirtied them again before flinging them back at me whereupon the whole process had to begin again. Our only comfort was to polish off the dregs from half empty glasses as they passed us on their way to the dishwashing machines.
I can still remember the taste of warm banana daquiri with a topdressing of fag ash.
Last night I was raised to respectability: the gardens are extraordinary with flamingos, ducks and mature trees – all of it six stories up on top of Marks and Spencer. My main criticism is that you have no idea that you are up there: the walls are high and you cannot see the roofs below you. You could be in any London garden. There needs to be lower boundaries and a bit of vertigo.
It was a jolly occasion with a smattering of RHS benefactors and a generous dusting of gardeners and journalists. I was in trouble on two fronts: from Jane Owen for trying to be helpful over her non functioning camera and succeeding only in making it worse and from Penny Meadmore because I (totally inadvertently) got a job that she was up for as well. May I take this opportunity to publicly pour ashes upon my head and apologise to both.
Had a very jolly dinner with Joe Swift, Andy Sturgeon and Stephen Lacey planning an armed putsch on the Royal Horticultural Society in order to install Stephen as President.
I am listening to Afterlife by Moby and the picture is of Gunnera.