The Virtual City Diary

IN THE words of my old friend and crooner Michael Jagger "Please allow me to introduce myself".

I am Dorothy (call me Dot) Komme, cyber traveller, bon viveur and your virtual diarist for the week.

It is never easy to be asked to step into someone's shoes, particularly while they are still wearing them, but that butters no parsnips with my lords and masters.

"Go forth and open your contact book," barks Darth Grump, our man in charge of shouting (no Sympathy for the Devil here).

Let me assure you it takes more than a dark hood and menacing demeanour to make me open anything. All I can say is that I will do my very best.


YESTERDAY I held my annual Pimms and pies party at Komme Towers.

As usual, my hand-selected elite corps of British Airways Club World cabin boys were on hand to distribute drinks and eats.

They are a charming bunch who regaled us all with tales from behind the bike sheds at Ayling Island. There is much mirth at BA adverts mocking Lufthansa's punctuality, given BA's own erratic time keeping.

I have flown with BA nearly 80 times in the past 18 months (i.e once a week on average) and lost count of the number of times flights were late either departing or arriving. More intriguingly, the cabin boys relate a graffiti jape relating to the BA popular person campaign which granted Club World travellers the right to take a partner with them free on their next paid-for journey. Campaign slogan posters had been cruelly altered, reflecting the dissident view on chief executive Bob Ayling, to read "BA Popular Person? (Not)."

More worrying is the news that the promotion is actually costing BA premium revenue. According to the cabin boys most of the popular people are redeeming their partner reward vouchers in the business-class cabins.

The shrewder and more cost-conscious frequent fliers are spurning the opportunity to impress a friend and instead using the vouchers to take a business colleague (who would have paid full fare) at no cost.

When Mr Ayling unveils the company's first quarter figures today, treat any comments on premium cabin load factors with caution.

Bums may be on seats but wallets are in pockets. ....TEXT: MY LAST flight with BA was from Milan where we were held prisoner for three hours on the tarmac.

I was gasping for a Menthol Super Slim but the stewardess stormtroopers denied me my basic rights.

The only upside of the ordeal was that being cooped up in a tiny, crowded cigar tube in stifling heat without a cigarette and with no information on why we were motionless put me in good shape for life on London Underground.

Although LU is much abused these days I am assured by Toby Worthington- Milde, brand guru and honoured guest at yesterday's party, that our subway system was responsible for the naming of Gap.

Although sales at the US retail chain are under pressure (up only two per cent on a like-for-like basis in July I hear), it remains a firm favourite at Komme Towers.

According to Toby he was on the Circle Line with one of the marketing executives of a soon-to-be launched casual clothing company in search of a brand. Alighting at Victoria the executive was urged to FIND THE GAP. The rest, as they say, is history. .TEXT: CONSIDERABLY MORE expensive casualwear, but still on the Dorothy Komme designated designer list, comes from Ralph Lauren.

The eponymous Polo Ralph Lauren Corporation has just won a momentous victory in Dallas preventing Polo (once an equine periodical, now a lifestyle mag) from publishing under the Polo name. I am a big fan of Polo shirts but my favourite has developed a sinister hole at pectoral level. That makes me fear for the future of Polo mints.

If court success in Dallas goes to PRLC's will the company which brought me a shirt with a hole attempt to abolish the mint with a hole? ...TEXT: THE POLO, by the way, will be much in evidence on Wednesday as a substitute for the much-vaunted pin hole viewer.

My local patisserie (or baker as it was once known) has gone one step further and is offering the Eclipse Food with a View menu. It consists of a large ciabatta (with a selection of fillings) and a glazed ring doughnut. The eclipse filters through the doughnut and is displayed on the sandwich.

When the sun comes out again, lunch is already served.

THE ECLIPSE also coincides with the 12th anniversary of the appointment of Alan Greenspan as chairman of the Federal Reserve Board.

The last total eclipse in the UK came shortly after Mr Greenspan was born.

Two years after he was born, stock markets collapsed. Two months after he was appointed Fed chairman, stock markets collapsed again. What will happen two weeks on Wednesday?

The stock market omens for the immediate aftermath of a total eclipse are good. The last three have all seen London shares race ahead.

On 24 October 1995 the total eclipse in India saw the FTSE 100 advance firmly.

On 9 March 1997 there was a total eclipse in Mongolia. The next trading day (a Monday) brought a new record high for the FTSE-100. The FTSE 100 also hit an all time high on 26 February, the day a total eclipse occurred in Venezuela.

ALL THIS delving into history brings me to the anniversary of a great British institution.

Anyone who has been around for the majority of the century, has a penchant for gin and is a keen follower of the turf deserves a special greeting.

Happy birthday then David Simpson, deputy chairman of Ludgate Communications, on this your special day.

David, by the way, is the only person who believes he has already seen the eclipse.

He believes it was run at Sandown on 3 July and is convinced you only have to wait a year to see it again. Many happy returns ma'am.

BEFORE I fly, may I just reassure you that the phrase "taking coals to Newcastle" is actually a cliche in action.

I hear from Australia that transport and logistics group Brambles Industries has just unveiled plans to develop a coal and general bulk terminal. The location?

Walsh Point in the port of Newcastle, north of Sydney.

John Willcock is on holiday

Arts and Entertainment
musicBand's first new record for 20 years has some tough acts to follow
peopleAt least it's for a worthwhile cause
A new app has been launched that enables people to have a cuddle from a stranger
voicesMaybe the new app will make it more normal to reach out to strangers
Liam Payne has attacked the media for reporting his tweet of support to Willie Robertson and the subsequent backlash from fans
peopleBut One Direction star insists he is not homophobic
Life and Style
healthFor Pure-O OCD sufferers this is a reality they live in
Life and Style
Sexual health charities have campaigned for the kits to be regulated
healthAmerican woman who did tells parents there is 'nothing to be afraid of'
ebooksAn unforgettable anthology of contemporary reportage
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs Money & Business

Trainee / Experienced Recruitment Consultants

£20000 - £25000 per annum + OTE £40,000: SThree: SThree are a global FTSE 250 ...

Trainee Recruitment Consultant - Soho

£20000 - £25000 per annum + OTE £40000: SThree: As a Recruitment Consultant, y...

Trainee Recruitment Consultants - Banking & Finance

£20000 - £25000 per annum + OTE £40,000: SThree: SThree Group have been well e...

Quantitative Risk Manager

Up to £80000: Saxton Leigh: My client, a large commodities broker, is looking ...

Day In a Page

A roller-coaster tale from the 'voice of a generation'

Not That Kind of Girl:

A roller-coaster tale from 'voice of a generation' Lena Dunham
London is not bedlam or a cradle of vice. In fact it, as much as anywhere, deserves independence

London is not bedlam or a cradle of vice

In fact it, as much as anywhere, deserves independence
Vivienne Westwood 'didn’t want' relationship with Malcolm McLaren

Vivienne Westwood 'didn’t want' relationship with McLaren

Designer 'felt pressured' into going out with Sex Pistols manager
Jourdan Dunn: Model mother

Model mother

Jordan Dunn became one of the best-paid models in the world
Apple still coolest brand – despite U2 PR disaster

Apple still the coolest brand

Despite PR disaster of free U2 album
Scottish referendum: The Yes vote was the love that dared speak its name, but it was not to be

Despite the result, this is the end of the status quo

Boyd Tonkin on the fall-out from the Scottish referendum
Manolo Blahnik: The high priest of heels talks flats, Englishness, and why he loves Mary Beard

Manolo Blahnik: Flats, Englishness, and Mary Beard

The shoe designer who has been dubbed 'the patron saint of the stiletto'
The Beatles biographer reveals exclusive original manuscripts of some of the best pop songs ever written

Scrambled eggs and LSD

Behind The Beatles' lyrics - thanks to Hunter Davis's original manuscript copies
'Normcore' fashion: Blending in is the new standing out in latest catwalk non-trend

'Normcore': Blending in is the new standing out

Just when fashion was in grave danger of running out of trends, it only went and invented the non-trend. Rebecca Gonsalves investigates
Dance’s new leading ladies fight back: How female vocalists are now writing their own hits

New leading ladies of dance fight back

How female vocalists are now writing their own hits
Mystery of the Ground Zero wedding photo

A shot in the dark

Mystery of the wedding photo from Ground Zero
His life, the universe and everything

His life, the universe and everything

New biography sheds light on comic genius of Douglas Adams
Save us from small screen superheroes

Save us from small screen superheroes

Shows like Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D are little more than marketing tools
Reach for the skies

Reach for the skies

From pools to football pitches, rooftop living is looking up
These are the 12 best hotel spas in the UK

12 best hotel spas in the UK

Some hotels go all out on facilities; others stand out for the sheer quality of treatments