05/01/2005
 

:claudia's column:

if I had all the money in the world...

   
       
claudia gamine christmas

A friend asked me at the weekend, if I had all the money in the world, whom would I choose to decorate my house/palace?

It dawned on me if I had all the money in the world I wouldn't have a house. I wouldn't have anything except my yacht. Houses are simply the trappings of the desperately bored bourgeoisie. Since this revealing conversation, I have resolved to liquidate my assets and pursue a life of utter freedom. As you can imagine for a girl like me, who has gone about carelessly accumulating riches, this is no easy task.

   
       
Those of you who are familiar with Gamine performances will probably wonder what I will do with all the jewel encrusted gowns - auction them off of course! An appropriate charitable cause will be necessary. I could simply hand the sum over to one of the next charitable, fluorescent, post-grads with a clipboard who have been strategically placed all over central London on the off-chance I might arrive - knowing of my impossible wealth and hopeless generosity - but I cannot abide their offensive pinnies; doubtless it is on such ridiculousness that all the profits of these poor charities is spent. Instead I shall set up my own noble charity for impoverished poodle owners to help them with the grooming costs. It will be a discreetly dressed organization that travels the country clipping and brushing poorer poodles back into shape, bringing pride back into this Downing Street-trodden country. When the auction date is set, you my fanlings will be the first to know.    
       

 

As for all my old cars, these are not so hard to be rid of. I have taken to abandoning them at the side of the road when their parking offences have mounted up incorrigibly. With the new congestion charge regulations it is even easier to be rid of old bangers. All you have to do is drive into town one day in the middle of the week without paying your £5 fee and your car will be taken away and crushed for free!

   
       
 

My properties are on the market. All the furniture that was inside them I have already given to the dear old bailiffs.

Already I am beginning to feel that delicious sense of fluidity washing over me that comes with liquidation.

   
       
  Where shall I go you wonder? Nowhere you might expect. I have visited all the well-to-do places of the world I can think of, and they are all boring. Take Cap Ferrat for example. Forty years ago it was a fishing village full of dilapidated wooden boats, coarse brown old men, wayward bougainvillea, children, and fish guts. Now it is forbidden to walk into the Boucherie without immaculate, thrice painted toenails. It is a catastrophe that seems to beset any settlement with charm and character. The rich move in and monopolize it, they devour what was natural and exciting and spit out gates, self-tanning lotion, oversized cars, Norah Jones, tasteless, oversized art, overpriced vegetables and undernourished women, and I want no part of that.    
       
 

It is a wonderful liberating feeling to know that I shall never be frustrated by the pursuit of security, choosing instead, at every opportunity, the far more reliable 'unknown'. Do not be dismayed dear ones. The world is a small place these days. I cannot completely escape. Besides I will have to return regularly for my performances, not to mention my pedicures, Nelson's haircut, lingerie fittings, ballet classes, and organic vegetables.

I do love you really,

Claudia Labadie.