I’ve been here a while now and the more people I meet the more I realise that ex-pat’s can, and often do, re-invent themselves to create personas that are far removed from their actual selves. I’ve met ex bankers who used to have a single figure golfing handicap until they “did their backs in”, ex ‘computer gurus’ who decided they had had enough of jetting around the world and instead now want the simple life of living in a motor home and ladies who decided to eschew their designer handbags, Michelin starred restaurants and Louboutin shod feet for a more simple, down to earth life – think big fish, small pond. I’ve come across obviously gay men who insist on talking about their ex-wives and cast off girlfriends and major players in almost everything who can get caught out on the simplest question. I know singles that live together but pretend to be married (why is this so important). I’ve met doctors who aren’t and men who can’t wait to tell everyone that their divorce cost them a million. Strangely enough I haven’t met anyone who admits to a life in Blighty that was not up there with the movers and shakers of Brit society.
In fact I would go so far as to generalise that if someone insists on bragging about their past it’s probably not true.
But we can all play this game. Perhaps I could say that I came second in the qualifiers for the men’s downhill in the winter Olympics of 19?? (try to check that in Google) in fact second place in qualifiers is generally difficult to check so in future I may well use this ruse to top these Walter Mitty’s. I could claim second qualifier place for James Bond stand-in, just missing being the stunt double for Mark Damon but was an Oscar red carpet walker for Emma Thompson and fathered a love child with Michelle Pfeiffer (well if you are going to dream you might as well dream big). Oh, I nearly forgot, Lloyd George ‘knew’ my grandmother but she was obviously too ‘vanilla’ to be granted a title.
However I was a) presented to the late Queen Mother – b) danced with a woman who danced with Fred Astaire – c) had Beatle George Harrison, after asking him for an autograph, tell me to p*** off (apt as we were side by side in a discothèque’s urinal), and d) chatted with Richard Chamberlain, who played Dr Kildare in the television series (showing my age here) at our mutual tailors - and e) can finish up with the fact that shortly after Joan Collins went to Hollywood I gave her author sister Jackie (of international chick-lit/crap book fame ) a lift to Edgware, Middx. So I’m not altogether unknown, whoever is reading this is one click away from a man who has LIVED A LIFE. Google my name and you will get 869,000 results and, if you want to risk ‘repetitive strain injury’ (aka RSI) I’m there somewhere.