Diary

Click to follow
Indy Lifestyle Online
At last] After months of worry the moment that the Kensington and Notting Hill small dog-owning community has been praying for has arrived. Rollerbladers are to be hindered, officially, from zooming dangerously about in Kensington Gardens, the public park bordered by Hyde Park, Bayswater and Kensington Palace. The Department of the Environment, responsible for the idea, is to be congratulated for the shrewd manner in which it has dealt with the issue. Instead of banning all speed skaters, it has created an obstacle course for them. A substance, referred to by a DoE spokesman as sharp-washed sand, has been deposited by the alcove above the park's Italian gardens. 'This does not prevent speed skaters,' he explains, 'but it certainly impedes their speed.' So effective has the sand proved that the number of rollerbladers in the park has diminished hugely. Just as well. For had the roller-bladers continued, the plan was to grit the entire paving area.

Call me a cynic but I cannot help but feel there is something fishy about the sudden volte face of Norman Lamont's erstwhile style mentor, Michael Romain. He has left Mr Lamont after only six months in his employ, not to pursue further political interests but to go into films. The word is he is to grace Hollywood with his presence, producing a movie on the late film actor River Phoenix. If so, Mr Romain is clearly a multi-talented individual. However, since neither he nor Mr Lamont returned my calls yesterday I am unable to ascertain whether it was the former's burning desire to become a movie celebrity or the latter's wish to go it alone which caused the separation. Only time, as they say, will tell.

Noisily making his British debut in Camden's Jazz Cafe last night was the man the Spanish are calling their own Hugh Grant - actor and singer Miguel Bose. No ordinary strummer, this. Son of a Spanish matador and Italian actress, he grew up in a household where Hemmingway and Picasso dropped in casually for tea. Doubtless it was they who imbued Bose (below) with his somewhat tortuous approach to celebrity: 'I don't want success that is obvious and easy,' he says in an appropriately pedantic tone. Thankfully it is too late for such adolescent musings. He has just completed a film, La Reine Margot, with French actress Isabelle Adjani. It has been nominated the official French entry for Cannes' top film award, the Palme d'Or. If he is sensible, he will now produce an Elizabeth Hurley lookalike for a girlfriend and keep the philosophising to himself.

What does the Police Federation of England and Wales know that we don't? It has placed an advertisement in the Liberal Democrat Party Conference directory, announcing speakers for a meeting on policing for people on 20 September 'with Alan Beith (Liberal Democrat Home Affairs spokesman) and Robert Maclennan (President of the Liberal Democrats)'. Hmm. The Presidency results are not announced until this Saturday. Red-faced, the police say they got their information innocently from a party member. 'It is a quite an embarrassing mistake,' says a spokesman, 'we've written to apologise to Robert Maclennan.' Seems to me it ought to be Maclennan's rivals for the post, Don Foster and Martin Thomas, who need the apology.

Stealing some of the limelight at Tuesday night's launch of Geoff Nicholson's new book, Everything and More, was the poet Fiona Pitt-Kethley, who specialises in lyricising the various functions of human genitalia. Using the occasion to promote her new book on the world's red light districts, she recounted how her research led to several perilous encounters.

'I was mugged in Budapest's red light district by two pimps and two prostitutes,' she lamented. Not that the denizens of publishing world seem to care. Poor old Miss Pitt-Kethley still can't find a publisher.

(Photographs omitted)

Comments