Shopping: Sick of art
Under the counter with Lindsay Calder
Saturday 26 April 1997
This is largely connected with my recent stint at the Glasgow Art Fair, where by day I tried to sell paintings to our friends in the North, and by night went clubbing with Glasgow's thirsty art dealers, to clubs called things like "Up Yer Ronson", managing at all times to keep the contents of my stomach (a varying concoction of Oban mussels, Loch Fyne salmon, black pudding and clootie dumpling) firmly under my waistband, where they belonged. Others did not find this so easy.
My first night in the city was a short one. During the three hours I spent in my hotel bed, I was entertained by street cabaret: a Rab C Nesbitt sound-a-like competition, rounded off with a grand finale - a Technicolor hughie performed under the statue of Queen Victoria in George Square below.
The mornings were even more treacherous. Hurrying along to the fair one morning, wearing very dark glasses to disguise the bags I had acquired from the night before, I stepped right into a puddle, which I did think a tad strange, as it hadn't rained. It was only on arrival at the fair, and on removal of my shades, that... Yes, you guessed it - suede loafers and Nicole Farhi trousers Jackson Pollock-ed with regurgitated prawn bhoona. The deliverer of this "puddle" must have washed down his curry with a couple of bottles of vodka, as the part of my foot which came into direct contact with it remained numb for the rest of the day.
There's more. We were lured to Glasgow's trendiest club with promises that Joaqun Cortes would be having his post-show party there. This was excitement itself, as we were let in with a nod and a wink through the fire escape at the back. But I had no hope of a quick knee-trembler with the lusty Latino himself - that Styrofoam cup of coffee or vegetable soup that I had stepped into on the pavement was neither - the toes of my leopard skin shoes were matted with a very different kind of broth indeed...
Glasgow was fun. Messy, but fun. I was really looking forward to going back to London, where my husband should have dutifully booked our late ski holiday to Squaw Valley in California. He hadn't. The deluxe hotel with its outdoor hot tubs, pools, you name it, was no longer featured in the brochure. We visited it only last year, when our friend, Jimmy- the-Pipes, was enjoying a company-perk upgrade in a suite there. Strange. Anyway, last night Jimmy-the-Pipes dragged us along to yet another obscure Irish folk concert, where, to alleviate frequent spells of boredom, I regaled him with my unfortunate Glasgow experiences. But he could tell a better vomit tale. Get this: last year, whilst holidaying at his deluxe Squaw Valley hotel, he had one too many margaritas and puked up... in the outdoor hot tub. .
All I can say is, don't ever get into a hot tub with an lrishman who plays the bagpipes. As for puddles, the Glaswegian Billy Connolly had the answer: welly boots. "If it wasn't for your wellies, where would you be? You'd be in the hospital or infirmary
The ultimate: Le Chameau buckled Wellington boots (leather-lined), pounds 198. Holland and Holland, 31 Bruton Street, London W1 (0171-499 4411)
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