Magazine article The Spectator

Learning Experience

Magazine article The Spectator

Learning Experience

Article excerpt

Rougemont

I'm back in God's country for some R&R after a hectic two weeks of London night life that left me feeling like a German grenadier in encircled Stalingrad: stressed, liverish and in a state of mind called 'Kesselfever', dreaming of clear clear skies, beautiful green hills and early nights of uninterrupted sleep. No sooner had I touched down on Swiss soil, it was as if a Panzer corps had smashed through the Russian armies, rescuing me, and the fever was gone. I'm staying at Palazzo Taki with Paul Johnson and Carla Powell, the latter in far worse shape than poor little me. Lady Powell is an inveterate traveller and party-giver. She flew to Wyoming for a conference last week, caught the flu, flew back to London with a high fever, presided over a party for Henry Kissinger last Friday for 120 of her closest and dearest, stayed up until 3 a.m., then flew to Palazzo Taki with three hours sleep in between.

No sooner had we landed than off we went. Yours truly as Fuhrer, followed by Dr Johnson, with the mother of my children and Carla in tow. We left Rougemont at ten, walked briskly to Saanen, a fourmile hike uphill, then to Gstaad, another two miles, crossed the river and on to the Chlosterli, four miles away. By the time we stopped for lunch we had been two-and-ahalf hours on the road and were quite dehydrated.

That is when Lady Powell fainted. As an ex-boxer I knew what to do right away. (Actually, it was the mother of my children who thought of it first.) Ice in the back of the neck has rejuvenated more Palookas than the IRA has murdered and kneecapped innocent women and children, and this time was no exception. She soon felt well enough to start planning her next party and trip. 'Was it the heat or the quick pace?' asked Alexandra. 'It was the awful joke,' insisted Paul. Yes, I admit it wasn't one of my best, and I did tell it just before she passed out, but I swear on Jack Straw's honour it had nothing to do with it. (A naked woman gets into a taxi and tells the driver to take her to Annabel's, 44 Berkeley Square. 'But, love, how are you going to pay me?' the cabbie asks the totally naked lady. Stretched out in the back of the cab, she opens her legs wide. 'Haven't you got anything smaller?' asks the driver.)

Needless to say, walking all day, drinking the minimum at night and going to bed earlier than I have since Pentonville have made me eager to return to London. …

Search by... Author
Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

Oops!

An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.