Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Bad luck but good karma

It was my first trip to London since the summer and I was so looking forward to it. I had a full diary, a screening of the new series of The Killing, a chat with the star Sofie Grabol, and a few parties with friends and work colleagues. But the bad luck fairy was also in town and on my first night back in London town, my handbag, containing cash, cards, phone, passport and driver's licence, as well as make up, perfume and my diary which is my lifeline, was stolen.Granted, I was not hanging onto it for dear life as I usually would because I was at a private party and allowed myself the little luxury of a false sense of security. But whoever took it had to blag their way into the party, which was at a small intimate basement bar in Charlotte Street, root around in front of me to find it and really take a chance on walking out with it as it was a small friendly crowd. I thought I was going slightly mad until I rang American Express to cancel my card, only to be told that some lowlife had already made three attempts to draw cash from my Amex account in the previous hour. Cue the rest of the evening spent calling round to cancel everything and an hour at Holborn police station to report the theft. Much as it was a downer to be cast adrift in the middle of London on the first night of my trip with no ID, no communication and not a penny to my name, I couldn't let it ruin the trip. Usually when I go away, I always take a battered leather photo holder with dog eared slightly faded snapshots of the girls through the ages, from toddlers playing on the beach in Devon through to passport photos of the beautiful teens they are now. This photo wallet has been all over the world with me in the last 15 years, to Australia, Tahiti, the States, Africa and many other places and I now realise, is probably the most precious thing I own. Fortunately, I had forgotten to take it for the first time ever, so despite being totally gutted about the loss of the Miu Miu wallet I bought in Florence, and the tan clutch that went with everything, the most important and irreplaceable possession is safe. Subbed by Sarah, who also helped to organise my emergency passport application and let me use her office as a base, I still managed to have a lovely time especially when the passport office at Victoria helpfully processed my new passport in less than four hours. I spent a fab night at the Dean Street Townhouse hotel, and also had good times at E&O in Notting Hill, Bill's new deli in Soho and the NFT, where the lovely Sofie Grabol was on top form and so much more smiley and chatty than her alter ego Sarah Lund (you can read exactly how lovely in the latest edition of Hello magazine.)I also have a new phone, the Samsung Galaxy S3, which is a thing of total beauty and is revolutionising my Luddite life with easy to use technology. The moral of this story is do not EVER put your bag down. Anywhere. (Another friend told me about the time her bag was stolen in a restaurant when the thief literally crawled commando style on the floor between tables taking whatever he could find.) And don't go out with a clutch bag and no shoulder strap if you are planning on holding a glass of something all evening (see pic.)
And if you do happen not to heed these words, make sure you have a nice friend with you to wave a magic wand and make everything okay again.