Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Superyachts, Seal and seriously good fun

I have been following the developments at News International with horror. It’s a bit like watching a car crash in slow motion. Seeing Neil 'Wolfman' Wallis, my old features editor, arrested and become the catalyst for the resignation of the two top dogs at the Met was surreal enough but events took a very tragic turn with the death of Sean Hoare yesterday. We worked together on the showbiz desk at The Sun and despite the dark turns his life took after that period in the early 1990s, I remember him as a funny, genuinely nice newspaper guy who was kind and had a good heart. Very strange to see my old stamping ground right up there making headlines as shocking and sensational as any of the scandals we ever unearthed.

So, the girls spent two weeks in London and I can’t pretend it wasn’t a little bit of a holiday for me too. No mess, no screechy hormone-driven hissy fits or shuffling around unwashed in pyjamas until late afternoon, just peace, tranquility and a house an OCD sufferer would have had trouble finding fault with. I missed them, and they missed me (I think) but as all my friends were going into meltdown about the long stretch of school summer hols that lie ahead, it was blissful to know that they were off having fun while I worked, relaxed, socialised and had some time to myself. Made me laugh when they started asking what handyman and I were having for supper every night…I think takeaways lost their allure after a week or so and they couldn't wait to get home for a proper cooked meal.

I had to ask my friend Karen, who has four lovely kids aged between 20 and 12, if it was weird not to miss your children painfully after two weeks. She told me that she thinks we have done such a good job of bringing them up and being there for them that we reach a point where they need us less and it all feels perfectly natural for them to flee and for us to have some quality time without them. That day is probably not so far off for Livvy, who is planning to go back to the UK to study at the end of lycee in three years time. I’m hoping Issy might wait a few years before I have to deal with empty nest syndrome but I think a two week sojourn to break up the ridiculous 11 week summer break is going to be a permanent fixture chez Kershaw.

They arrived home with piercings (ears - Issy, belly button – Livvy), dirty washing and a desire to once again sit in their rooms on their PCs Facebooking all their friends rather than seeing them in the flesh.

The highlight of last week, apart from the girls returning (this turned quickly into a lowlight when they embarked on a screaming row within an hour of arriving home) was being asked to meet Tamara Ecclestone, billion-heiress daughter of F1 supremo Bernie, on board the spectacular £100m plus superyacht Sea Force One in Saint-Tropez to interview her about her forthcoming Five documentary series Tamara’s World. I wasn’t sure what to expect but she was charming, funny, self-deprecating, refreshingly down to earth and a very good interviewee. And the boat wasn't bad either, as you can see above.

My only concern is how I will come across, as the Five team spontaneously decided to film me meeting her on board and interviewing her. I know I wasn’t looking my glamorous best after an hour in 90 plus degrees waiting for them to moor in the harbour, so if you see a sweaty, shimmering mess sitting opposite a beautiful, natural, non-sweaty brunette dressed head to toe in Missoni on your TV set sometime in October or November, please bear this explanation in mind.

Work was interrupted by a rather lovely night out with Milly at the Nice Jazz Festival last week, drinking champers in the old town, before watching a stonking performance in Place Massena by Macy Gray and Seal. Macy (whatever happened to her?) was great value but Seal topped her with an electrifying performance which included Crazy, Kiss from a Rose and Love’s Divine. He even spoke some French, which the mainly local crowd loved.

Have been rather busy with interviews this week, including Disney megastar Selena Gomez (sweet and professional) and Hustle actress Jaime Murray (wicked sense of humour) who stars in Warehouse 13 on SyFy next month, as well as moving to Mougins for two weeks before our trip to Italy at the end of the month. We are staying in a quaint stone cottage on the edge of the old village with a beautiful pool which has seen rather a lot of me since our arrival at the weekend. It’s way too hot to run so 40 lengths a day seems like the way to go and is far more enjoyable than puffing up hills in 32 degrees of July heat (sorry to all UK readers for whom 30 degrees would be a joy right now.)

So lovely to be able to work in the morning and take a few hours off with no chores beckoning, cobwebs to hoover or painting to do. Anyone who knows me will tell you that while Hockers works hard, she plays even harder. I have come to the conclusion that a functional two bedroom cottage with small terrace and a pool you don’t have to clean makes a pleasant change from a large, totally white house, which while chic is also a nightmare to maintain, plus an acre of weed-infested grounds which won’t obey the rules and stop growing due to the unusual humidity we are experiencing right now.

Just to make you Brits feel better, it is actually raining as I write which is why I’m finally updating the blog instead of pounding the pool.