See what I did there? I posted a picture before writing any words. I have no idea why I did that. I just felt like it. That’s what I love about being a lone blogger operating on my Umdloti verandah with only 500 birds, 50 vervet monkeys, two Jack Russells and a nutty unicyclist to deal with in a day.
I can do what I like. No newspaper editor to say: “No, Hatman, you can’t put a picture above the story on that page. Have you gone mad?” Editors are prone to asking stupid questions.
OK. So you’re wondering why a blogger with an impeccable record for not ever gratuitously dropping naked photographs of anybody, let alone 90s supermodels – or even my close friend Genevieve Morton – on my blog is doing posting a picture of uberbeauty Helena Christensen wearing only a small range of wristwatches.
Reasonable question. So I’ll answer it. It’s so I have an excuse to tell you a story about the time I stared into Helena’s eyes. And what eyes! Indescribable. But, of course, I’ll try. The colour of the water immediately below the surface in an isolated cove where nobody has ever gone before somewhere on the remotest island of the Maldives is the closest I can do for you. Hardly Oscar Wilde but it’ll have to do. Aquamarine. Helena’s eyes. With a hint of turquoise gently blended with indigo and offset by a drop of battleship grey. If I remember correctly. And I do. First, before I relate my “I stared into Helena’s eyes” anecdote (no pork content), please run yours over another pic of Hels, this time with friends Claudia and Eva…
Nice to see the girls have been keeping fit, isn’t it? Back to my story. OK. So my girlfriend at the time – Kate, London, circa 1994 – had a friend whose boyfriend owned the Brixton Academy. We got VIP passes for every show. The Stones played a warm-up gig for a global tour there one night. It was celeb/supermodel overload. I went to the bar to get in the drinks. Unknowingly got wedged in behind Paula Yates (y’know, Bob Geldof’s late missus) who was waving her hands about while talking to Chris Evans (Google him if you have to). I looked around. Simon and Yasmin le Bon. Linda Evangelista. No Christy Turlington (I don’t think). Dave Stewart had his back to me. Which I thought quite rude at the time. Also present were a small galaxy whose names I won’t bother to drop. Only because I can’t remember.
Paula got her drink and popped out of the throng to mwah somebody. And then, be still my thumping heart, Helena slipped in to order. Next to me. And turned. Probably to ask me who I thought I was staring at. I wasn’t scared. I had had a few. Drinks. Not supermodels. I held her gaze. And smiled. And she smiled. In a I-don’t-recognise-you-as-one-of-my-kind-but-I’ll-indulge-you-for-eight-seconds kind of way. Which she did. As you know, I’m not one to dramatise the trivia of daily life but I did, for eight seconds, think I’d died and gone to heaven.
I can’t say I was relieved when the barman arrived and Hels managed to wrench her eyes away from me in order to order but my palms did start the long process towards not dripping with sweat. Those eyes. Pools of azureness. I necked whatever drink I had in my hand, ordered something stronger and walked away as if nothing really at all life-changing had happened. There’s more. But why don’t you just drink in the splendour of the latest cover of iD magazine while I do some deep breathing to prepare for the last chapter? Because I need it.
OK. Let’s be wrapping this up. I’m walking out of the bar, wondering whether to tell Kate what just happened (I did) when I hear somebody call my name. (I’ve just taken another very deep breath. Amazing how memories dig so deeply inside one’s brain.) I swing around, drink in hand, collide spectacularly with Bjork, who had been coming up behind me at her regular speed of 500 miles per minute. I didn’t see her. I’m six feet tall. She’s about three foot four. In heels. My double-vodka-and-not-much-else spilled all over her pretty frock. She came to a skidding halt on the plush carpet, screamed louder than she ever has in any of her songs and glared at me. I looked into her eyes. Not at all like Helena’s. She yelled roughly fifteen words at me, rearranging my hairstyle. I think she addressed me in Icelandic but, as about nine of those words were identifiable as “f#*k” (I told you this a family blog), I couldn’t be sure.
The entire celeb/supermodel contents of the VIP bar swung around and looked at Bjork and me. My little vodka-sodden nemesis pulled a funny face and Jack-in-the-boxed out of the bar. I wrung a small puddle out of my Katherine Hamnett shirt (so glad I got that name in) and looked up to see Helena looking at me. Again. And, again, she smiled. Goodness graciousness. Everything was fine. My world was good. And Jagger also played an absolute blinder that night.