Sunday, October 25, 2009

Village life

The clocks have gone back so autumn is officially here but on the beach at Juan les Pins today, it still felt like summer. Now that the summer dog ban is finished, Tallulah and Oscar can come to the beach, so they spent the whole day tearing around, rolling in the sand, paddling in the sea and sidling up to restaurant tables looking for scraps. Oscar followed me along the shoreline as I swam but wasn't brave enough to come into the water, as it was a bit fresh.

Have spent the last two weeks writing and pitching for commissions on the LA interviews. Have lots of meetings fixed up in London in early December with PR friends who have lots of projects coming up, including one with a friend who is now in charge of Comic Relief press, which will be a great one to cover next spring. Am also covering Glastonbury for Hello next summer - it's the 40th anniversary so the line up is sure to be even more amazing than usual - the girls are overjoyed at the idea of being there, even more so at the thought of VIP treatment and rubbing shoulders with the acts.

So it's all go at Chemin du Laquet, but sadly the same can't be said for Bar sur Loup in general. In recent weeks, there have been whispers in the village about 'le village, c'est mort' meaning that quite literally, the village is dying. It sounds dramatic but in recent weeks, our fave restaurant/hotel the Hostellerie du Chateau, closed for good as it is not making any money, as did the butcher. The boulangerie is up for sale, while our local Boulangerie Maia has been closed since spring after the baker was diagnosed with cancer. He has tried to find someone to take over but had no luck. And our little pizzeria, Michelangelo, hasn't opened at all this year. The Hostellerie is where we stayed when we were househunting and Michelangelo was our regular haunt so it is really sad to see places close because of a dwindling economy. Sometimes you feel like you are in a bubble here but the crunch is affecting everyone.

Off to Paris tomorrow to meet up with Amanda Holden, who is learning to be a showgirl at the Lido for a new ITV series called Fantasy Lives. She told me last week it's the hardest thing she's ever done and reckons it might look really easy when the show airs, so she asked me to come and watch her in action and tell everyone it's not as easy as it looks! I had to think for about 5 seconds before saying yes. She did mention something about me joining in but am pretending I didn't hear that bit! It's about 11 years since I last went to Paris and even the thought of a 6.30am train tomorrow morning can't kill the excitement. Staying til Tuesday evening and determined to fit in a visit to Colette, the most amazing store in Paris, and its new offshoot Merci.

We also talked about Simon Cowell's party a few weeks ago - her highlights were his brother's speech, which bluntly 'outed' Simon in the most hysterical fashion (half the partygoers were crying with laughter, Amanda included, while the other half, who have yet to work with Simon, were straightfaced for fear of blowing their chances.) The other highlight was a woman dressed up as a dancing vagina, I kid you not. Simon told his elderly mum it was a giant mouse! Think Paris will be a hoot, she is such good value because unlike a lot of showbiz stars, she has a wicked sense of humour and is gloriously indiscreet.