This afternoon I'm sitting on a terrace high on a bluff overlooking the ocean reading James Lees-Milne's Diaries from 1984 to 1997 and came across this entry for Thursday, 19th September 1984.
“Last night after dinner David Hicks telephoned to say Rory had died at 7.30. A[lvilde]pretended she knew already – so odd of her. She adored Rory and cherished the knowledge that she had known him years before David and other grand and rich friends. This morning, poor Gilbert telephoned from Ménèrbes, saying that he had spent the whole night with Rory on his bed, unable to believe he was dead.”
"Rory," of course, is Roderick Cameron, about whom I've written a number of times before. In some ways it's good to have an end to that story because he was much more to his friends than the creator of the so-called tablescape (according to Hicks) and talented arranger of beautiful rooms that many have aspired to emulate. But, more about Mr Cameron at another date when I return to my erstwhile theme of what a friend called my "dead decorators."
I am, perhaps, finding Mr Lees-Milne a tad depressing for such a sunny day, harping as he does on loss, death and ruined architecture. Nonetheless, his diaries are fascinating; he knew everyone and has absolutely nothing to do with anything or the fact I'm in California.
Ginger-ale and croutons based on a sentence in JL-M diaries and suggested my lunch in hotel bar.