Tango Diva : Travel Stories for Women, by Women

November 17th, 2005
London Stories

The best thing about traveling solo is that you never know what amazing, interesting people you’re going to meet. And last night’s turn of events is proof of the power of one. After a lovely dinner alone in Kensington, I was walking back to my marvelous apartment at 51 Kensington Court. If you all saw where I’m staying, you would really hate me. It’s wonderful! I have a two-bedroom apartment with a private patio, full kitchen, and a nice deep bathtub. As I was saying… I pass this incredible apartment every time I walk to High Street, it is in this adorable ally between Kensington Court and High Street. And every time I pass, there’s an elderly man sitting at his table, writing or drinking tea. Last night was no different, I passed by and waved, he then invited me in. Okay, if he wasn’t in his eighties and in an apartment that totally opened onto the ally, I wouldn’t venture in. But I did! And what a wonderland it was! We spent an hour chatting and finding out he’s an author-and close friend of Gore Vidal. He’s from a Iraqi-Jewish family and was born in Shanghai to a very wealthy family. He knew Truman Capote and danced in St Tropez with Brigitte Bardot! His name is George Hayim and his book is “Thou Shalt Not Uncover Thy Mother’s Nakedness. What a crazy night!

3 thoughts on “London Stories

  1. It’s a delicious flat isn’t it? Does Maria Callas still preside over the loo? George is the most provocatively unabashed man in London, and equally notorious in other cities such as Paris and Melbourne. I am surprised to hear that he is still alive, not because of his age – such men are timeless – but because of the line he walks so daringly at most times.
    I was also lured into the spider’s web from Kensington passage and was regaled over beef wellington with exotic tales that turned out to be the book that he was about to publish. ‘ Thou Shall Not Uncover Thy Mother’s Nakedness’. It was some years ago now but I have a signed copy that I bought several weeks after meeting him and which he inscribed with ‘ Thankyou all for making me richer!’. He is a classic London landmark; may he live forever.

    PS. Your photo catches him so well. A cross between Picasso, Somerset Maugham, and a lizard – any will will do, just chose!

    Cheers, Zed.

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