Four weeks ago I received an invitation to my house from the lovely Nicky Haslam for a birthday party for his friend Lucien Freud. Nicky said to me "I knew you would not mind if I hijacked your house" and indeed I did not, actually there is something wonderful about doing this, I looked around the room and recognised five faces, making it easy for me to see only new faces and meet new people. One of my favourite things is to sit down and actually talk to somebody I have never spoken to before. There was the added plus that my house was going to be finished, it is a great trick to get builders, to leave, and to receive a sofa in double quick time. Nicky though is something special, he can decorate a house beautifully, as I sat on the stairs looking at him arrange flowers, it took me back to my days at Kenneth Turner Flowers. I loved it there and am happy to say I learnt so much from dearest Ken, in fact he helped me create a magnificent life. It is also fun to gently tease Nicky, when he says white I want to be a naughty child and say pink. Nicky is so much more than his brilliant decoration he can sing Cole Porter, whom I love more than almost anything. I would not dare compete and sing with him, but I do know most of the words. I am just a bit shy. I studied singing with the great teacher George Hall, from The Central School of Speech and Drama. He has a knowledge of cabaret and musical theatre that few could have.
It was my first party in the house and I marvelled at the extraordinary talent of my friend who brought together Kate Moss to the accompaniment of the famous Jools Holland, she sung Summertime so prettily. Lucien who is undoubtably our biggest and most talented artist, sat among friends and family looking happy in a house of a stranger. What a wonderful way to meet such an icon. I also sat with Tom Stoppard, who has to be our greatest playwright. So thank you Nicky Haslam for bring light into my world.