Tuesday, 3 July 2007

Tagged by Wake Up and Smell the Coffee

I was tagged by WUASTC and I had to dig deep so as not to bore you. Yesterday I had the 1001 Nights treatment at the spa at Moving. I will tell you all about it tomorrow, but here is a hint - I may never be able to bathe myself again! It was heavenly.

1. Most favorite celebrity sighting:
Had to be Catherine Deneuve at a party at the French Embassy in London. She is physical perfection. I was in my twenties and so much in awe I could not talk. She was so kind to me, I have never forgotten it. She pretended I was not a complete klutz and my husband pretended I was prettier than she (you have to love that). At the same party was Elizabeth Taylor wearing that HUGE diamond necklace that Richard Burton had just given her. Some snotty London aristocrat (no doubt one with title and without money) said within her hearing (purposefully), “I think a diamond that exceeds three carats is vulgar.”

Ms. Taylor went right up to her and said, “Would you come over here for a minute?” She led her to a large mirror next to the bar, followed by a crowd of course, and took off the necklace and put it on her Ladyship who went a bit pale as she reached up to touch it with her fingers and observe herself in the mirror. “Doesn’t seem so vulgar now does it darling?” Ms. Taylor said taking her diamond back with a smug smile.

I was watching all of this intently, trying to learn from the pros here. Standing back away from the main event I was tucked in-between a large chap in his tuxedo with a cigar and another snotty Aristocrat who was so loaded down with her family jewels I imagined she needed a forklift to get in and out of the Rolls - Ms. Taylor looked right over at me when she was putting the necklace back on and winked. It was so cool.

2. A little known fact: I was born in the United States! That’s right my friends I have an American passport, but I used to have a British one as well until they enforced the new rules. I was there for about two hours then left for Lucerne, Switzerland with my grandfather. I did not return until 1980.

3. Concert I am most likely to admit going to: The Three Tenors in Paris in 1998. It was brilliant. I saw more celebrities that night than I can remember! I did think of making a list but then I had champagne after and… My very good friend Jeff had purchased me seats right down center on the fourth row! I think I stopped breathing there for a while. It was magnificent. They were all in top voice and the crowd was ecstatic.

4. Life changing event: the birth of Q. She gave me a reason to live again after the deaths of my husband and my son, and has brought me joy every day of her life. Because of her I never have to ask, “Did my life matter? Did I make a difference?” I am unspeakably grateful to the Universe for this gift.

5. When I went into the Hindu Kush in the late 1970’s I had to go disguised as a man because I couldn’t get the “woman’s walk” down and I kept staring men in the eyes (a real no no). I wore a breast binder (try that and keep your oxygen levels up chaps) and had a fake scar over my throat to explain why I could not speak (because I do not have a Lauren Bacall/Kathleen Turner voice). I had to stay dirty, really dirty, all the time to hide my pale skin, and I wore a pakol all the time to hide my long red hair.

When we arrived back in Srinagar I showered then stayed in the bath for two hours then showered again. My hair was the consistency of Crazy Glue.
It took three washings to get it clean. Afterwards sitting on the deck of our houseboat on Lake Dal, having tea and watching the sun set over the Himalayas I have never felt so clean.

6. Best trip; My honeymoon with John has to be at the top of the list. We went to Carnival in Rio de Janeiro before the wedding then after the wedding in Paris; we started in Venice then Monaco, Greece, and ended by taking the Royal Scotsman for a seven-night trip. It was very fairy tale, as well as hilarious in spots due to my total lack of knowledge in the “intimate areas”. I was after all, the oldest living virgin in Europe and the U.K. – not something I was proud of. I packed my dog-eared copy of the Kama Sutra along with my trousseau. Really, I’m not kidding. Sad huh?

A close second are the two trips to Alaska with Q. It was another train (I love trains), this one from Anchorage to Seward, it was breathtaking; and the trip we took to London for Christmas after I was well again from being ill a rather long time was memorable. We snagged second row center seats to see “Phantom of the Opera” purely by chance which made it even more fun, saw “Mama Mia” which was hysterical; and visited all the tourist places I had never been because I lived there – the Tower of London, the Tower Bridge, et al. It was so much fun to see the city through her eyes.

7. My favorite physical attribute: I have dimples and I know how to use them.

I tag James of Nourishing Obscurity; Annie of Blooming Marvelous, Scarlettscion of long way home, and Drunk Mummy because I want to know what she was drinking when seven great things happened to her!

Then last night before bedtime I saw this on CNN. It’s like President Bush has the ego of Stalin AND Genghis Khan and the unlimited power to back up his belief in his omnipotence. I cannot get over this. The act is just one more piled on a mountain of ignoring the law.

"An empty can of gourmet dog food taken from Paris Hilton's rubbish has sold for over £150 on an Internet auction. " In the IHT! What are people thinking? I’m all for relaxation and brain candy when needed but this? I’m going to go hit something with my boxing gloves. Talk amongst yourselves.


Kaycie said...

I adore Elizabeth Taylor. She has such wonderful attitude.

I'm very surprised you were born here in the States. I bet it's odd carrying around an American passport while living your distinctly non-American life.

Daughters are such a blessing, aren't they? I feel the same about mine. We went to Paris together in March this year, and it is definitely in my top three trips!

Annie said...

Ha - I see that you tagged me! My facts won't be in the least bit as interesting as yours! I will try my best :)

My husband has a US passport, and uses it as it makes traveling with the kids easier as theirs are obviously US passports, too. It's very strange for him to enter his own country and have his passport stamped and dated for the dates of his vacation.

debio said...

An American passport, lady m? Well, there's a thing!

I, too, feel that my daughter is a gift - shame we have to keep giving them back...

james higham said...

I want to know what they do to you in the 1001 Nights treatment.

james higham said...

I HATE memes. but for a Lady, I just have to go through with it.

Brillig said...

Oh my goodness, what an incredible list! Your adventures are amazing!!! And I absolutely LOVE what you said about Q and being her mother. Great post!

lady macleod said...


thank you and thank you for coming by.


I am so glad you are BACK! yes, i will tell you all about 1001 Nights you handsome thing you - there was hot water, steam, naked bodies, ochre walls, oil, mint,much pumelling, rubbing and scraping and fresh juice at the end! More tomorrow.

i did tag you because we all want to know more about you. i see you as a cyber sean connery myself. thank you for agreeing to indulge me. i love that.

thank you for coming by and thank you for all the comments.

lady macleod said...


I know, shocking eh?
I agree...
thank you for coming by.


well I find you interesting! as do all your other readers, so give it up.

i know how he feels about the passport.

thank you for coming by.


oh that sounds a fun trip with your daughter. the best thing is you can roll the memories over and over.

thank you for coming by.

BEAST said...

Good grief, its not often you read a post with Catherine Deneuve , LiZ Taylors enormous rock and strapped bosoms.
I feel quiet eaten up with envy

***sticks pin in Lady M voodoo doll***

Mama Zen said...

I had no idea that you were born in the USA! And, I agree with your comments about George Bush wholeheartedly!

Anonymous said...

Perhaps not my place to comment on Mr B (except we do all the time in private) but this I note:

"It's the fourth time Bush has issued one."

And they are rare? Well, they were.

Omega Mum said...

Terrific post. The frost bitten toes (not today's facts) are what linger with me. And now the dimples. It's just as well I don't have to do an Indentikit picture.

lady macleod said...


ow! ow! ow!

thank you for coming by.

mama zen

few people do, uh did. thank you for coming by.


were, is right. good thing there does not seem to be any personal interest involved eh?

thank you for coming by.

omega mum

thank you, and just check with Interpol.

thank you for coming by.

Rebecca said...

I was going to comment on the fact tha Elizabeth Taylor winked at you - but can't really get past the fact that you lost a son and your husband.

I can't imagine how people cope when one of their children dies....and I don't know what to say except, how very very sad- you must miss them terribly each day.

I'm so glad you got your lovely daughter to help make life worth living again.

lady macleod said...


thank you, and thank you for coming by.

aminah said...

what an interesting interview! It felt the interveiwer was digging for some dirt on Morrocco! ha

An open mind works like a dream and means one is never afraid of the challenge of any custom/religeon/people!

Really enjoyed this post!

jmb said...

Lady M, you have been so busy since I last passed by. You must spend a lot of time at your computer.
I love all your pics and I love your joie de vivre which come through in this blog. Your life has been so interesting it's like reading People magazine to come by here.

I went to the Three Tenors when they came to Vancouver too. I gave my husband 4 tickets for Christmas one year and we took two friends. It certainly was an event to be remembered.

I'm glad that Q has brought you so much joy, especially after so much sadness. Daughters are very special.

I also went on that special train trip in Alaska, the one with the panoramic dome. Not this last trip but another one some years ago. I love trains and wrote a post about them in the early days of my blog. An Indian radiologist who reads my blog said, "you would get over that if you rode the train in India."
Lovely post, Lady M.

I Beatrice said...

All that and dimples too! There's just no equity in this world when it comes to the dispensation of gifts - and the Good Fairy evidently decided to throw most of her best ones your way!

Great post though! And: re Liz Taylor and that diamond ...there's another story goes round that Princess Margaret coveted it too - and had to pretend she thought it vulgar until invited to try it on!

(Perhaps your snotty aristocrat was in fact PM all along? I think she knew a good deal about vulgarity herself, don't you?)

I look forward to seeing Scarlettscion's eight things btw...

-eve- said...

This was very interesting - probably because you've had such an interesting life! And you had such a nice honeymoon that it makes me want to plan for my own... seems like it should be a memory we'd like to fondly look back on years after it's all over..

Sparx said...

Good lord. Please write your autobiography... although, erm, perhaps this is what you are doing here in some way?

Too much to comment on - this post is a bit like one of those TV hospital monitors where the needle scrabbles up and down on the paper and takes us with it.

You seem to have had a life of extraordinary reach, thanks for letting me lose myself in it sometimes.

wakeupandsmellthecoffee said...

I knew you'd come up with something interesting! How about that Liz Taylor! Shame she got so bloated. The Three Tenors give me goosebumps. Born in the USA? I wonder what your accent sounds like. About George Bush -- expect lots more of this before he leaves office. Actually, Clinton did the same thing, giving last-minute pardons in his last minutes in office.

lady macleod said...


yes, that's true; but I am a big believer that you want to put your effort into the marriage; the wedding and honeymoon are just a nice party and vacation eh?

thank you for coming by.

i beatrice

no, the princess margaret thing is a different or the same I am not sure how these things work - "urban legend". Q found it on the internet, albeit she was reportedly remarking on one of Ms. Taylor's rings, the necklace was the Taylor-Burton diamond and at the time was right at 68 carats (it was cut down after she sold it). The party was in 1972, just after Mr. Burton gave her the necklace. Fun all the same. It is such a great line. One of those we all wished we had said.

SS said, "I'm too young to have seven fascinating things!" We shall see eh?

thank you for coming by.

lady macleod said...


hmmm, plenty of dirt in Morocco - we have a desert you know! :-)

I like your "saying", lovely.

thank you and thank you for coming by.


Oh how wonderful you saw one of their concerts. I just think they were grand. What a brilliant Christmas gift.

I tend to agree with your Indian fan - I don't take the trains in India, but then driving is a risk proposition as well - just shows how much we want to be there, risking life and limb and all.

thank you for the kind words and thank you for coming by.

lady macleod said...


I will say you are not the first to say it, but I still wonder..and entire book really? It does seem extraordinary looking back now, but at the time you know you are just living your life, and much of life happens TO us; it is up to us how we react eh?

I am so pleased you enjoy it. I lose myself in your stories of Spud, remembering how Q felt at that age, that heady smell of Baby Powder, the trusting heavy weight of a sleeping baby...(sigh)

thank you for coming by

A Bishops wife said...

You are an absolute wonder!!!!

I feel "Special" just reading your blog LOL!

Say "Hi" to all the beautiful people for me.

Thank you for reading and commenting on my blog. I do not know why you do, I am boring!

lady macleod said...


Glad I did not let you down.

My accent is a bastardized version of Highlander Scots (when angry, excited (politics), or drinking), very lady of the Manor when I am upset or want something done NOW, from the eighteen years in America with Q I must say when I am NOT trying to have an accent in HIndi, Pushdi, or Tibetan I use that. You know I open my mouth and all my travels fall out!

Pardons, all right. But LIbby had to do with exposing an agent and her entire network was put at risk!!! You need to either get shot or go to jail with the those big mean men who take you to the bathroom to play house! Sorry, I'm a little bias on that one.

thank you for coming by.

lady macleod said...

a bishops wife

if I thought you boring, I wouldn't read it would I?

I am glad you enjoy it here, and I appreciate your comments.

thank you for coming by.

lady macleod said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
rilly super said...

so, err, not much happens in your life then lady M?

If that is you in the sidebar then you are just as lovely as catherine deneuve and I expect you are much better company too as you don't work in an umbrella shop and speak to everyone in song...

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lady macleod said...

rilly super

Hey baby! Welcome back. You have been missed. No, nothing ever happens to me.

That is indeed me - uh the redhead, not the young doll with the cat - that's Q.

I don't know CD umbrellas and song not withstanding is pretty intimidating.

Glad you are back!! thank you for coming by.

The Good Woman said...

What an amazing list, Lady M. May the years to come only add to it. And may you blog about it all!

Liz said...

What an amazing life you have had!

Was Richard Burton with her? With his sexy voice? (Of course it would have been difficult for him to go without it.)

And you are rather stunning yourself!

Drunk Mummy said...

Thanks for the tag Lady M! Most of the interesting things that have happened to me while I have been drinking are either unrepeatable or a bit fuzzy on the detail! Sadly none are as interesting as those on your list.
I will give some thought to it.