At times, when scrubbing out my hen house, climbing a precarious, weather-beaten ladder up a lemon tree or catching rogue baby frogs in the swimming pool in order to transfer them to the pond I reflect on how my life has changed.
Years ago when living in central London I would be up early, donning a svelte suit, dropping my young son off at an extortionately expensive nursery school in Pimlico before heading to the Mayfair office. So speedily did I walk to work that I’d often use the road to avoid slow Joes plodding along the pavement. Was I stressed, short on patience? You bet. Did I bother to look up at the ghostly grey sky, tree tops or architectural flourishes of some of London’s finest historic buildings as I roared through Green Park of a morning, grabbing a triple shot cappuccino on the way? Afraid not. No mistake about it, I most certainly lived to work, not worked to live.
So much as I occasionally miss the baubles, champagne receptions, gala evenings and all the material and indulgent little mascots of city life that justify a frenetic and pressured existence, nothing can beat the real deal here in rural Majorca for me. I may spend much of the day looking like something my cat Doughnut’s dragged in from the orchard but the taste of freedom is palpable. And although I spend hours aplenty staring lovingly into the visage of my computer I do also have the luxury of peering out of an open window at mountains, lush groves of olive, orange and lemon trees while my boy band of frogs tune up in the pond below.
Therefore this week as I set off to my old stomping ground of Mayfair to experience a chic fashion event at the bijoux, five-star Athenaeum Hotel, I searched frantically for something civilised to wear and dusted down an elderly but perfectly acceptable LBD. Of course as a Majorcan Worzel Gummidge, I am the least likely person to be found rubbing shoulders with London fashionistas but my old friend, women’s wear designer Andrea Cohen of brand number 35, was launching 35.DL, a dazzling new collaborative collection with a famed New York TV costume designer, and insisted I attend.
In truth pitching up at such a glitzy media affair attended by more than 150 guests was all rather thrilling. Dan Lawson, the charismatic and handsome star of the event, handles costume design for popular American TV series The Good Wife, known to swathes of my friends but lost on me until I bought a box set and decided that actually it really was rather compelling and the leading ladies’ wardrobes pretty jaw dropping. In my dreams!
Dan Lawson, costume designer of TV show The Good Wife, took London by storm
As Lanson champagne flowed, the collaborators performed an entertaining double act on stage while beautiful willowy models wafted about the room in heavenly creations for serially stylish and well heeled business woman. I stood mesmerised along with the rest, trying to imagine myself striding along the cobbled shopping streets of Soller in one of those sexy minx outfits and towering heels while bemused locals and fellow expats gawped in amazement. In fact, thinking about it, the last time I wore any kind of tailored suit in Soller – about ten years ago – a local excitedly came up and asked if I was off to a wedding.
By the end of the evening my feet were protesting, so unused am I to wearing well, any shoes at all. My outfit seemed fussy and restrictive and I began to yearn for my bed. This was as far removed as could be from my habitual carefree, balmy nights sitting on the terrace by flickering candlelight listening to hissing cicadas and studying the stars while supping on a glass of vino tinto. It’s always good to have change and what a magical evening it had been but for this Cinders, there was no stress about catching the last carriage home at midnight.
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