04 June 2009

I Have A Guest Piece on Silents & Talkies After a Bizarre Encounter With a Blogging Legend


I have a guest piece on Thomas Mitchell appearing today in Kate Gabrielle’s wonderful blog, Silents & Talkies and it’s linked to this sentence. But before you take a gander at it I’d like to share my through-the-looking-glass experience of giving her the manuscript.

I arrived at Gabrielle Mansion (pictured above) one foggy afternoon last week and was brought into a waiting room by a butler who looked and acted for all the world like a latter day Eric Blore. “Madam will be with you shortly,” is he all he said.

I spent a comfortable 20 minutes sunk deep into a leather chair staring at walls covered by Kate's art.

Finally a woman who spoke with an upper crust British accent and introduced herself as “Madam’s personal assistant” entered and led me to yet another room, which she called the library. I was asked to “please sit down” and told that “madam will see you anon.”

Well “anon” was about twenty-five minutes that I wiled away looking at more of Kate's art on walls. Finally Kate entered the room followed by her entourage of six. I rose to greet her. Kate handed her panting lhasa ipso (she called it Othello) to one of her supplicants and offered me a hand, bent at the knuckles. I kissed it gently. “Dah-link” she said in a faux Hungarian accent, “how utterly charming to meet you. Please sit.”

I did. Kate sat opposite me. She held in one hand a long elegant cigarette holder and puffed absently on the cigarette contained therein. The small dog was handed back to her but she left it on the floor instructing it “please Othello, don’t poop on Mummy’s carpet.”

“Have you the article for my blog?” she asked looking at me lazily.

I rose to present it to her but a woman identified as her secretary intercepted me and snatched the paper from my hand. (I came to find out that among Kate’s entourage was her aroma therapist, yoga instructor, bartender, and for some reason I cannot possibly fathom, a ventriloquist.

) Kate then offered me a cocktail, which I declined. “I no longer take spirits,” I informed her.

“How dreadfully boring,” Kate said. She proceeded to guzzle several several martinis during our brief chat, seemingly to no effect.

We made a few minutes of small talk until one of Kate’s aides (they were standing behind her the entire time) whispered something into her ear.

Suddenly Kate waved me away with one hand saying “you may go.” With that she rose and left the room followed dutifully by her entourage.

A huge Samoan man entered the room as they left and roughly escorted from the premises.

That evening I received a phone call from Kate’s secretary who simply said: “Madam is well pleased with your article and wishes to thank you.” She then hung up.

Weird, huh?

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