Friday, July 21, 2006

Well, the party last night was good fun. A sprinkling of minor celebrities and politicians in attendance, but more interesting were the people who came and introduced themselves to me - especially S, who had some interesting theories about Stephen Fry, whose repeated suicide attempts were reported in yesterday's Standard - he confessed to them at the launch of the BBC's autumn season, in which he will present a series about depression, which was bally good timing. If only we could all schedule our big confessions to coincide with a series we're promoting. "Mum, I'm gay - and you can hear about it in greater depth in my forthcoming South Bank Show special."

Anyway, the crux of what S was saying was that it will always gnaw away at Fry that, despite being intelligent and funny and personable, and famous for it, he clearly does not have anything approaching the talent to be a novelist - all his novels to date have concerned the same subject (having sex with public school boys) and been strictly at the Ben Elton level. He must hate that, whereas Elton is perfectly willing to take the wheelbarrow overflowing with money and run.

It all sounded perfectly plausible to me, and I nodded along, feeling no shame about never having read any of Fry's novels, but not admitting it either.

In the middle of a conversation, someone said to me: "I feel a cheese straw moment coming on."

On the walk back to the tube, I gazed across the Thames at the MI5 building glowing in the night, and remembered being kissed right in front of it all those years ago by A, beneath the CCTV cameras. He wanted to know it was being captured on film, I think, which could either be harmless displaced/inverted voyeurism (in this case the thrill of knowing that someone else is watching you without you knowing who they are) or a political plot-twist that will pay off years hence a la Defence of the Realm/A Very British Coup etc. Other people look at the building and think of secrecy, espionage, menace. I see it and I think of that kiss. Which might be sweetly sensual, or another example of how insular my world is.


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