Monday, September 14, 2009

Coming up: TWO weeks in Ibiza PLUS a piss-up and a funeral (and then another piss-up

Well, it's almost here: my holiday.

This Friday, after today's double shift, tomorrow's double shift and Wednesday's single shift, I fly out from Gatwick bound for Ibiza. And no, not one of the fleshpots of San Antonio and Ibiza Town where young folk blast their brains out on ecastasy, coke and booze, but the rather more genteel Cala Llonga in a hotel which apparently doesn't accept any guest under the age of 80 and where I have been accepted (not being under 80) on the strict understanding that I will keep very quiet indeed. Two weeks of what I hope is quiet bliss in the sunshine. My one problem is whether, after my heart attack of three years ago I can allow myself a cigar of five. Remains to be seen.

The run-up to my departure is also quite interesting. On Wednesday night it is off to the Savile Club in Mayfair where a magazine called Slightly Soiled is holding a reception to celebrate re-publishing Michael 'Peter Simple' Wharton (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Michael_Wharton) two volumes of autobiography. Ends at 8.30 so I won't be a piss-up, but it should nevertheless be interesting. Then at noon the following day it is off to Mortlake Crematorium for Keith Waterhouse's (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Keith_Waterhouse) funeral to which I have been invited.

The only way I can explain that is that of all the subs her at the features desk of the Mail, I was the only one who regularly used to liaise with Stella, his ex-wife, who has been caring for him in the last four years of his life.

After the funeral there is a wake at 'The White Hart' (don't know which one of the several thousand White Harts there are in Britain - one in London, probably) at which several of the great and good will be lifting their arms and, according to John Mcentee, several more of the great and good, folk with whom Keith or Stella didn't get on, will not be lifting their arms. If there is anything to report, I shall duly record it here, but I think being an unknown among all those who get bylines (we subs don't) I shall keep a low profile.

As for the holiday, roll it on! I stress that I shall be off for two weeks because these past 15 years I have only taken a week off abroad and it is never enough. Just when you are beginning to relax, it's time to come home.

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