Tuesday, 26 October 2010

Close encounters of a celebrity kind......

I'm sick ........I feel like death, I look like death, it all hurts......I've got a horrid cold, as a woman I don't do flu. It came from nowhere, out of the dark, about 6ish on Friday evening, bit of a sore throat that was all. I was shopping for food I was going to cook for lots of people to eat. And I was doing this for a friend. I couldn't say no, the show had to go on. And it did. Of course once the Lemsip and the red wine kicked in I felt fine. However, there's no such thing as a free dinner and on Saturday I felt pretty rough. But again, I was committed to an event and it's only a cold for godsake. So, heavily medicated and wearing a fat, red jumper, eyes misted in mascara, a hint of delirium in my demeanour, I gently sweated through another evening. Could have been fever, could have been a hot flush, who could tell? By Sunday I was practically hallucinating.

Of course the meds only mask the symptoms, what I need is a hot water-bottle and bed. Instead, I forge on in a gentle fug, everything seems a little other-worldly which isn't bad, in fact, it feels like Christmas, traditionally the time I fall ill. However, this feeling of being out of it does not just preclude the use of heavy machinery, opportunities can be lost too. Once, way, way back in the early 80s, mid-way through a summer cold and heavily medicated, I was seated at a cramped table in a subterranean London restaurant: Food For Thought, a popular emporium of fine vegetarian cuisine ..........still in Covent Garden ..... it might have been a storage cupboard in a former life. A woolly-haired man with a big nose and glasses sat down opposite me. He wore khaki shorts and a khaki T-shirt with the words 'Temple Of Doom' emblazoned across it. He unfurled a large copy of Variety, looked straight at me and said:
I glared wearily back, nodded politely. Being unfamiliar with such familiarity I continued to peruse the listings pages of my Time Out whilst working my way through a large bowl of unevenly cooked brown rice. I was far more interested in a devilishly handsome boy at the adjacent table who bore more than a passing resemblance to a young Michael York. The boy was deep in conversation with a small, elderly man who had something of the Einstein about him: his old piano teacher, his Latin master, Oskar Schindler? I would never know. By now the nods and smiles of my wannabee, khaki-clad, lunch partner had increased quite alarmingly and he'd begun to irk as I felt the space between me and my spicy tofu being invaded. My blatant staring at the boy next door (a subtle technique I employed to attract members of the opposite sex in my youth) had gone unnoticed. I lost interest and turned my attention to the nodding man in khaki. But by now he'd given up on me. He shook his Variety for the last time, smiled, and bid me farewell. I looked again, said good-bye, vague recognition flooding my mind. As his sun-kissed limbs gambolled up the stairs the light dawned...............it was Steven bloody Spielberg. Like a moment from a movie the lights flared, the violins soared and I basked in the reflected glory of a close encounter of a celebrity kind. If only I'd engaged in conversation, smiled, tap-danced, just acknowledged his existence ........ who knows what might have happened. At worst a trip to the 'Temple Of Doom' set, a glance at Harrison Ford? At best a few million in alimony. If not for that cold I could have been Amy Irving........

I have subsequently discovered we've all got this cold, well almost all of us, certainly everyone in London. Friends are coming forward with their own favourite cures, I'm currently swigging All In One during the day and doing the hot toddy by night in order to complete the gruelling schedule of work and entertainment. I feel so out of it now, for all I know I could be better. Last night I went to a screening of The Kids Are All Right which was excellent. I went to bed with hot whiskey and lemon, thinking about lesbians but dreaming of the ex-that-broke-my-heart ......... looking remarkably like the lion in The Wizard of Oz ........ what a nightmare.

To tip: Laugh and cry in The Kids Are All Right......oh Annette do I hear the sound of Oscars?


  1. Hope you're feeling better soon. I had the same bug/virus thingy a couple of weeks ago and self-medicated on Lemsip & Night Nurse for a week. Took the edge off a bit but I still felt like shit. And spookily, I also had a similar vegetarian restaurant experience in New York once, Jeff Goldblum said hi to me! I think he mistook me for someone else, not quite sure who but hey - Jeff Goldblum said hi to me!

    Can't wait to see The Kids are Alright.

  2. What a near miss (or Close Encounter!) If only! I was auditioned by Ken Loach and Barry Hines for a part in "The Price of Coal. I was in my last few days of school, and I got down to the last 3 - then I seriously (and I mean seriously) over acted and lost out to Jayne Waddington - who had always been such a mousey charachter! I love your descriptions of London Life - I amagine you are one of the women who crop up on Nigellas program - just as she's dishing up - all full of wit and glamour! Let me know if the Yorkshire ex lives near me - i'll let his tyres down for you. xxxx

  3. Hope you're feeling better soon. Shame about the near miss though.

    Hugs RosieP x

  4. Up the hot toddy dose and sod the rest. Maybe a little selfishness wouldn't go amiss.
    A few years go, I was in our local supermarket with legend Jnr when a very pretty, slender lady struck up a conversation with him at the check out. I could tell from her accent that she wasn't local, and she reminded me of someone, but I couldn't place her. We continued to chat on the way out after paying for our goods until we said our goodbyes. The next day, on the ferry home, a friend came over to me and asked if I had heard of Nanci Griffith. "Heard of her", I said, "I love that lady. Why do you ask?" He then told me she was dating his bother and they were both over for dinner that night. She cooked for them all after shopping at the local supermarket. Aargh!

  5. Wow! The joys (and germs) of living in London :)

  6. Carry anti bacterial hand gel everywhere! I swear it works !