THE RIGHT PLACE AT THE RIGHT TIME
Unexpectedly seeing someone you know on holidays is always fun, whether it’s a friend or, as happened to me in the early nineties, a celebrity. It was my first day ever in London and my mum’s birthday was coming up so I popped into Harvey Nichols only to be completely ignored by the shop attendants. Finally one of them spoke to me and said, “Oh I’m sorry to be so distracted, but the Princess is over there.” “The Princess?” “Diana.”
And, there she was, walking around the ground floor of London’s second most famous department store trying on sunglasses. It was quite the welcome to the UK.
As time has passed, there have been actors, sporting greats, authors and musicians, and the occasional politician. I’ve bumped into friends on Fijian islands and my aunt and cousin on a cruise ship and, thanks to social media, discovered that friends who live far away from me, happened to be in New York at the same time.
A few months ago, I was lucky enough to stay at the Hotel Hermitage in Monaco and saw one of Australia’s wealthiest men at breakfast with his wife. Some stealth sleuthing (OK, it was just a simple Google search) revealed he was there looking at a new superyacht he was giving himself as a birthday present.
This weekend, I’ve read, he’s back there having a party with his mates.
His presence didn’t distract me for long because the dining area we were in had me mesmerised. It was a circular atrium on the first floor of the hotel with a corrugated banister looking down into the lobby. The glass ceiling, inlaid with a pattern of coloured flowers, bloomed above.