Family, fun and sun!
You may or may not know I am cuckoo for a West End musical and luckily have some equally nutty friends who accompany me to these nights of bliss. I was thrilled therefore to be invited to see Chorus Line at the Palladium, it hasn’t been in London for 30 years. Unsurprisingly it has been one of the most successful Broadway shows of all time so I was beyond excited to see it. The opening scene was so fast, showy and complex with such incredible energy, I just knew it was going to be a wonderful evening. The storyline was pretty simple but the fact that there was no interval and that these incredible dancers literally never got to rest just took my breath away! I adored the actor John Partridge who was playing Zach, the ambitious choreographer (based on the famous Bob Fosse) – he was just phenomenal. In fact the whole cast was utterly watchable – I couldn’t wait to know what was coming next. The costumes for the finale are worth going to the show for alone!
Next morning I was up bright and early, ready to head to the West London Shooting school with my old mucker Grainne Stevenson. She is a great girlfriend and is always up for any of my mad ideas! We have entered an all-girls team for a clay pigeon shoot at Highclere (the beautiful Estate where they shoot Downton Abbey) in a month and I have never shot before! My cousin Nicola Bearman is a tireless charity girl and is putting on a beautiful day to raise money for Great Ormond Street Hospital. I have always wanted to shoot, not live things I hasten to add, and so I jumped at the opportunity. Of course, the weather was beyond freezing and once I had been introduced to my instructor Pat he immediately disappeared to bring me an extra coat! I had also forgotten gloves. Despite the severe weather, I loved it from the moment he showed me how to hold the gun. I found it quite hard to follow the clay but once I had hit a couple I was encouraged to keep at it. Grainne has shot many times and was therefore popping away. Pat was a hoot and a great teacher. I left with a total understanding of how addictive the hobby could become. I’m already looking forward to my next lessons.
From country pursuits to London life – I have a new TV show on Channel 4 called Four Rooms coming out the end of April and so the press bits have started. A portrait shoot at my home for the Telegraph Magazine and I was being my very unusual relaxed self. I am far from uncontrolling but instead had got my two looks ready for the photographer to choose from. He was a super chilled guy and I think it rubbed off on me. I usually want to see the frame and check every detail but instead I just let him get on with it!
Finally the Easter weekend beckoned and Vivi and I packed our numerous bags with glee. We were off to Milan to see her beloved grandparents and then off to the sunny shores of Miami. Milan was freezing and of course Miami would be searing heat. The luggage was ridiculous…
Getting to Milan is almost like an immediate decompressor for me as my parents-in-law literally take Vivi off to play from the moment we arrive until the moment we leave. Giorgio had been in Rome for work and so we all met at his home for some serious Italian home cooking and downtime. We also have our ritual of going to his old friend Christian’s pizzeria in the village. Vivi especially loves going there as she gets to play waitress!
On Easter Sunday Giorgio is quite particular about Vivi going to Church. Like a good Italian papa he likes her to be dressed properly and then go to see everyone. She actually likes to go and there are always loads of other children. She has just twigged about Jesus and also likes to light a candle or two for my lovely mother.
There is something very embraceable about church-life in little villages and I am always happy to go. The church was absolutely rammed and even standing room was tight. So much for the decline of the Roman Catholic faith!
Easter lunch is an amazing feast and we often head to the world renowned Arnaldo’s. Again, children are encouraged to play and wander around (my idea of heaven) and the food is really delicious. It’s a family run hotel and the two sisters who are now in charge are like characters out of a movie. Both are very glamorous!
As always when we have to leave, Vivi’s grandmother cries. She always asks if Vivi can stay behind but this time Vivi was definitely coming with us to get some much needed sunshine. I was never a girl to care too much about the sun before but now I am a devotee. England’s horrendous weather has just been enough already!
Off to mad Miami we headed… It wasn’t to be all play as I had a very exciting first collaboration show in America for The Little Black Gallery with my dear old friend Terry O’Neill at my girlfriend Sara Colombo’s new showroom “Nest”. So although the beaches beckoned there would be time to work too even if done poolside in a bikini!