So my first outfit is deemed “too muttony” by my husband. His comment on the second one is “you look like you’re going to a hen party.” Finally he agrees the white linen trousers, white cotton shirt and red cardigan will be fine. And the shoes of course (thank you for all your tips); Bruno Magli sandals. No need to worry about the bag, I put all our swimming kit, my lipgloss and the wine in a basket.
The chateau we are invited to is beautiful. Just the drive up to it is beautiful, there are tall trees either side and elegantly cut hedges. Bea’s first comment is that we should move our house here. I suggest we start with lunch. The other guests are all staying there so are assembled. They are all very successful writers, political commentators, general luminaries. The owner of the chateau (one of the world’s most charming men) is in commercial property.
THE editor (English, not American, I’m with Amber below, the prospect of lunch with Anna Wintour would have made me apoplectic with fear, instead of just quaky) is sitting looking very casual in an armchair, holding a glass of something pink and fizzy.
I have told the girls (who love The Devil wears Prada) that she is like Miranda in the film. Nothing could be further from the truth. In fact I look more like Miranda in my high heels. Her shoes look more like Leo’s (who is by the way wearing a pink waistcoat). They are basketball shoes. Leo’s were from Hennes. I’m assuming hers are Hermes. She is also wearing one of those smock-style tops over jeans and a short cardigan. She is very relaxed, very nice and not in any way scary. Actually I feel a little overdressed and wish I’d gone for the ‘muttony’ outfit instead.
But all is not wasted. During lunch my charming host comments on how gorgeous my shoes are and actually tells me he remembers the shoes I was wearing last time we met. What a perfect man.
The children are entertained by his wife and their daughter. They have a marvellous time trying to catch fish in the fountain, swimming in the heated pool and cycling on the lawns. The daughter is lovely and Leo clings to her all day like a fashion victim clings to the last Prada dress in a sale. He is still asking about her, as is his father.
Back home I immediately watch the news to see if there’s any progress in the hunt for Maddy. I wake up several times during the night thinking about it. Sometimes I am in despair and sometimes I think that maybe the people who took her will suddenly realise how awful this is and just bring her back. That’s probably a bit naive but I would give anything to see them reunited. Rupert says that if everyone in the world is looking for her, surely they will find her. Here’s hoping.
Copyright: Helena Frith Powell 2007