I start the week in shock, truly upset about Roddy's reaction to my engagement news. After 40 years of glorious bachelorhood I am in love and engaged to a wonderful woman, Christel Jürgensen, a Swede I met in Marbella. He says Christel is "of a certain age" and that the wedding does not fill him with "excitement and longing", and also drags up how I "spilled the beans" on his relationship with Princess Margaret more than 30 years ago. I have occasionally been indiscreet but never assassinated his character like this. Why would he want to rain on my parade when I am so happy?
A fortunate distraction: I am in South Africa on business. I'm staying in the same house in Hermanus (the St Tropez of Cape Town) where I fell through the floor last year attempting to roger a girl called Nettie. Luckily they've mended the hole. The bedroom has become famous apparently, something of a tourist attraction. The Daily Mail rings to commission me to respond to Roddy's comments. "Not only do I not want him at my wedding," I write, "I wouldn't even want him at my funeral." I love him but he is full of poison. I can't predict his reaction and don't really care.
I re-read my article and think it might have been overkill. Have I slated Roddy too much? No. What he said was so hateful, bringing out old woes. If we are to have a good relationship in future he can't do this. I can't live in an emotional minefield.
Spend the day with Captain Eric Prain, 81, a delightful Lincolnshire father who is one of God's proper people. During the last war he rowed from Jersey to the French coast to escape the Germans. Marvellous lunch and dinner. In the evening I agree to go on a little radio station in Marbella. They set me and Christel up: I didn't know she was going to be on the line; she didn't know I would be. We blow kisses and say good night on air.
We lunch in Cape Town Harbour gazing up at Table Mountain, enjoying an impossibly cast blue sky with a slight breeze to take the heat off. I'm with my very old friend, Sir William Pigott-Brown, here to meet my boss and his wife. We're planning a party, over 10 bottles of wine, as you do. I'm about to be 60 in a couple of months but don't feel it. This morning I listened to Thabo Mbeki's speech at the opening of parliament. It was full of hope and integration, not like Mugabe. South Africa is a beautiful place. It shows we can get it right. And you can still have lobster and a bottle of rosé for a fiver.
Interview by Oliver DuffReuse content