THE OSCARS, HELEN MIRREN, THE DEPARTED, KYLIE MINOGUE, AND THE VICTORIA & ALBERT MUSEUM...
Went to the Victoria & Albert Museum in London a week or so ago for the Orion Authors' Party. Like last year Leslie Phillips was there, and he remembered me. We spent a good while chatting (his cat, the shows he's been asked to do, the work he's been doing on his recent authobiography), and then somewhere around 9.30 pm he says that he needs to make a move. He said 'Before I go you must come and meet someone'. So he takes me by the arm and walks me through crowds of people, and then he stops in front of this very elegantly dressed lady. He reaches out, taps her on the shoulder, and says 'Darling, there's someone I want you to meet', and she turns around and I extend my hand and it's Helen Mirren!
Might I say here that she is more stunningly attractive than she is on the screen, and a very warm and friendly person. She stopped what she was doing and we shared a few words, and never once did I feel that she was anything other than interested in who I was and what I was doing there. Just a really exceptionally nice person.
So she went on to win an Oscar for her performance in 'The Queen', and congratulations to her from me and everyone I know. She is a truly remarkable actress.
Congratulations as well - at long last - to our dear friend Mr. Scorsese. Finally, at last, an appropriate acknowledgement for all he has done. I saw The Departed last week and it is a most excellent piece of work.
Oh, and the reference to Kylie Minogue? The Authors' Party was held at the Victoria & Albert Museum, and they have just opened an exhibition displaying a significant number of Kylie's costumes (including the gold hotpants!), but no, she wasn't there, and no I didn't meet her. Next time perhaps!
Am doing some libraries this month - Bloxwich, Wednesbury, Mere Green and Market Drayton so far. Would be good to see you there. These things usually turn out to be a great deal of fun.
I am still working like a dog on the CIA opus. Have 125,000 words done, but I figure it'll run to 200,000 or thereabouts, so give me another month and we'll see where we're at.
So take care, be well, and we'll speak soon, okay?