Here I am with Vivienne Westwood at an airport in the Maldives in 2006.
It was taken (in the era before the “selfie”) by the editor at the time of Harper’s Bazaar, Lucy Yeomans. Notice the beach bum jewellery. Bulgari and Chopard were always offering to lend me diamonds but I was happy with my wrist full of cheap virgins and my bone moon necklace from a recent stoner holiday in Thailand . We were heading home after a team from the magazine had “reviewed” a new 6-star resort: The One and Only, owned by billionaire Sol Kerzner on the island of Reethi Rah. Skivvies came round in the day to ask if you’d like your sun glasses cleaned and by night my job was to report on what went down.
The experience was like Lord of the Flies starring Vivienne Westwood, Christian Louboutin, Marc Quinn, Danny Houston, Philip Tracey, Alex James and Natasha McElhone. So that was my party question: Which character would you be from Lord of the Flies? Danny said he’d be Piggy while Alex James said he’d be the rotting pig’s head on the stick. Vivienne Westwood went on a lot about Jean-Jacques Rousseau and the “Noble Savage,” although, as I know from writing Sex Drive, Rousseau never actually coined such a phrase. He did write a book called Emile where he warns parents of the evils of masturbation for boys because they are entering too much into themselves and not contributing to society enough. Rousseau was actually a masturbation fiend, admitting to unstoppable thoughts, “at once tormenting and delicious.” When I could get Vivienne off the subject of the Noble Savage (she said it was the first time she’d ever been on a holiday, so I was easy with her) I managed to teach her that oysters were alive when you eat them. Or they should be. The management of the One and Only flown in loads of oysters from Paris- can you imagine? Eating a poor oyster that’s been in a plane for 2 days! When there’s already loads of fish in the sea over there? The oysters must have been feeling like us and I wouldn’t have wanted to eat any of us after a 2-day plane ride, even though we were playing at being Lord of the Flies. I told her to squeeze lemon on one and see if it squirmed. It didn’t. “Ah, yes,” she said, gravely. “It’s dead,”
Strangely enough, the Maldives jolly later became known as the “cursed” jolly. Shortly after we came back three people died: Natascha McElhone’s plastic surgeon husband, Martin Kelly, 43 (he did a load of freebies for victims of “honour” acid attacks) of a heart attack, Danny Huston’s wife, Katie Evans jumped from a rooftop in LA and Sol Kerzner’s son, Butch, died in a helicopter crash. So let’s make this “Thoughtful Thursday” as opposed to merely a “Throwback” one.