Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Part Two

Forgive me readers, for it has been a long time since my last blog (well, apart from yesterday’s) and while painting this afternoon, I remembered loads of stuff that I forgot to put in, so here I am again. Actually, writing a book on paint drying would be infinitely preferable to what I am doing now, painting over lots of new concrete all over the outside of the house in 90 degrees of heat. The paint keeps drying in the pot so I am slapping it on quicker than I should and dodging the lumps which keep falling off as I am still in sweaty tennis gear (too hot to change) rather than painting clothes and standing on the velvet chaise stool instead of a ladder, which just makes it all more of a challenge.

The highlight has been hearing the pesky tiger mozzies approach with undisguised glee, only to find themselves stuck to fresh paint and watching them die a slow sticky death, which is still too good for, I am not a Buddhist.

As all my lovely UK mates and colleagues think my life is a permanent holiday, consisting mainly of shopping, partying and lying by the pool drinking rose, I am expecting no sympathy on the painting front. It took a lot to dig out the paint again after the last time I wielded a brush two weeks ago. Iain, who has been flat out for weeks, said, can you paint the doors upstairs, it will only take half a day? Naively, I agreed, and spent four days on a half a day job. Feeling faint from fumes, I had to keep retreating to the fridge, the pool and my pc at regular intervals which is maybe why it took me eight times as long to do the job!

Went to a brilliant party last week at the Cannes Lions, perhaps the party of the year so far (well, along with Grace Jones at Le Baron.) It was Massive Music’s beach party to celebrate their 10th birthday at the Palais Stephanie beach in Cannes. Usually parties take ages to get going but their DJs were so hot on the decks that everyone was up on the floor by 10.15 and the place rocked all night. The highlight was a 10yo guitarist who came on to perform solo and who knocked everyone sideways with his talent and cool factor.

The only downside...having to buy tokens to pay, yes reader, pay for your drinks. I have never yet been to a party here where you have to pay at the bar, the pr machine knows that all journalists, media types and freeloading industry experts love a free bar. The Laurent Perrier and Belvedere flowed through Film Festival but Sarah says the whole ad business has had to cut right back on spending and the most dramatic saving they can ever make is forcing us all to pay for tomorrow’s hangover. It was so good that nobody cared, which proves that throwing a party is not rocket science - if you have great music, enough people and a fab setting, you really cannot go wrong.

This afternoons’ boredom was punctuated only by hearing Issy bursting chewing gum bubbles while lying on her bed in her shady boudoir watching American movies (how easy it is to be 11) so I reflected on the last two years here. Occasionally people contact me to ask about moving abroad, how we found schools, settling in, houses and areas, as it is an emotional and financial minefield when you first arrive in a new country. I realised that probably the most valuable bit of advice I could give is the piece I never offer. Which is, be very wary of taking people at face value. I have made a lot of gorgeous friends since moving here, which I never expected, but I have also met two or three people who misrepresented themselves and their motives, and truly had hidden agendas, which you only discover much further down the line.

I have never been a cynical person – one of my journo mates always used to say: ‘Ask Karen if you want to hear the Hello version, talk to me if you want the blunt truth!’ I’m still not cynical but much warier of making new friendships now. For some, starting a new chapter here means just that, a change of scene, lifestyle and better quality of life. For others, it is an escape for altogether different reasons.

BTW heard back from Amanda on the talented Leroy, he now has an in with a music producer who will spend a day in the studio with him in London. This guy has worked with Celine Dion, Cher, Enrique Iglesias and many more....but haven't heard back from Leroy. Maybe he thinks I am a demented stalker or fan! Or maybe I have discovered the only YouTube musician who doesn't dream of a recording contract. So frustrating.....

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