Lady P - September 2022
Greetings and salutations my ravishing readers!
I am honoured and thrilled to be the travel correspondent for the global phenomenon that is emmaheaven.com. My name is Lady Perdita Fitzwilliam Tudor-Croft, Perdy to friends, Ditsy D to family and Dirty Dita to my unsavoury exes, but you can all call me Lady P.
Darlings, to say it’s been a turbulent month, would be quite the understatement, and we’re barely halfway through! Where does one even begin?
My family and I are devastated by the sad news of Her Majesty’s passing, however, we know what a trooper she was, right until the very end, so I shall follow her sterling example of lifetime service to the people, by not shying away from writing up one’s latest assignment for my darling readers.
Now then. Where does one begin? There’s been as much stress, upset, drama and tension - if not more - as if the ginger prince had paid us a flying visit…Perhaps one should start with how Daddy has gone catatonic, banishing me from the country pile - albeit temporarily - until he calms down from his latest, mother of all outbursts.
This ‘conniption fit’ was so explosive, it can only be described in one word - volcanic! Woe betide anyone caught up in the path of the spewing hot, molten lava, not to mention the resulting fallout of ash and other debris for days afterwards!
Mummy and I know when to run for the hills when Daddy is in - quite literally - full flow. Or in my case, run for the malls. Or should I?
With Daddy’s last bellowed words of: “For the love of God Dita, there’s a bloody crisis on, read the bloody room woman. Read the bloody room won’t you!” still ringing in my ears, I (and my therapist) have had a lot of food for thought of late...
Now I’m not a stupid woman - frivolous and flirtatious maybe, but never stupid. His parting words have given me quite the jolt, but not before I had relapsed into a lifetime of hardened habits and coping mechanisms…
Obviously you clever people will have put two and two together, and quickly concluded that I - his beloved, yet wayward spendthrift daughter - was the reason for such vitriol!
My ‘crime’? Well all I can say in my defence is that those fabulous gals at EH EQ had sent me to Dubai, which is, quite frankly, totally over the top luxury and designer shopping on steroids! What else is a gal supposed to do when presented with such a wonderful opportunity - and so much temptation - but to go the full monty with Daddy’s credit cards?
I would just like to say here a quick “sorry” to those lovely gals at HQ.I don’t want to sound ungrateful, however, the travel budget you give me darlings is barely enough to clothe a hamster in a heatwave…
Now where was I? Ah yes…
It had all started off so well…well until I unleashed the monster inside Daddy, who has been such a darling and been behaving so well of late…one was getting used to basking in the warm glow of the compliments and accolades he was throwing my way, and platitudes of how proud he was that his daughter had finally stopped sponging off him and had finally got a job to pay her own way.
And then, within a mere 72 hours of returning from the Emirates with my impressive shopping haul, the volcanic monster erupted, and all unholy hell was released, resulting in the most ugly accusations which made me and Mummy recoil in horror and cry!
One is currently holed up at a private spa to restore some balance to one’s equilibrium, not to mention an endless stream of cooling eye pads for the puffy bags under my eyes from the incessant sobbing - or as Daddy so eloquently puts it - “you’re nothing but a spoilt, over-indulged snivelling diva who has used and repeatedly abused my generosity again and again and bloody again! Enough is enough!” Repeat to fade (as the songwriters would say…)
Anyway, I digress…
Back to my tortuous tale of trying - and failing - to resist temptation and the siren call of the mall…
Although one’s spirit is strong, one’s flesh is weak, and I was, yet again, drawn like a moth to a flame…one was powerless to resist and what with my hand firmly clutching A LOT of plastic begging to be swiped and a fistful - nay, a shoebox full - of cash - well what can I say?!
My adventures in the UAE began as soon as I touched down in Dubai and was whisked off by helicopter to the world famous, luxury hotel, the Burj Al Arab. Oh my, what a treat and a thrill it was to arrive by chopper and land on the hotel's helipad at the top of the building. The panoramic views were simply to die for darlings, and one was more than a tad excited, as the itinerary stated that the following day one would be taken for another chopper ride over Dubai…oh how I love a ride in a chopper…the adrenaline kicks in with the trembly takeoff before the skilled pilot’s steadying hand on the joystick, leaving one with a smooth, satisfying takeoff and landing…
Anyhow, I digress,
Back to the Burj Al Arab, which is one of the most luxurious hotels on the planet, where nothing is too much! One’s suite was simply magnificent, however, as spectacular as the hotel was…I had one thing on my mind - no, not THAT! My other passion. SHOPPING!
I was like a bat out of hell as I hit the souks, tho not the spice souks on this occasions - utterly fabulous as they are; one had done all that in Delhi - been there, done that and got the turmeric-stained t-shirt. At least I hope it’s turmeric…
I had my eyes on another amber-hued prize - the gold souks! Fortunately one had had the foresight to bring oodles of cash - tho no doubt Daddy will go ballistic when he looks for that shoebox he thought he’d craftily stashed away at the back of his dressing room - ooopsie, needs must tho, if one is to bag one’s bounty! The souk traders love the cut and thrust of haggling, as do I. Flashing one’s black Amex would definitely kill off one’s negotiating power. One does so love a bargain and it would be fair to say that one had bagged quite a few that morning and was thankful one had a chauffeur and car to transport one’s golden haul back to the hotel pronto.
However, I was a tad miffed after I had sent pics of my haul through to my chums on WhatsApp, after Jacinta rather snootily asked if I had mugged a darts player’s wife or the A-Team’s Mr T, such was the size of one’s stash! Green-eyed monster, or throwing some shade that I had developed some nouveau-riche habits?!?
Hmmmm….It’s not my fault that her family is on their uppers. Tho if the rumour mill is to be believed, her father has had to use the Holbein’s picture frames for firewood to see them through this winter…
Anyway, after stowing my stash of treasures and trinkets in the hotel vault, it was back up to the helipad for another ride of my life, but this time, over Dubai.
The pilot was most knowledgeable and handsome to boot, so one immediately perked up, sat up, paid attention, and hung on to his every word as he pointed out the Dubai Harbour Creek, host to the QE2 which is now a floating hotel; and The Palm Islands, which are three man made islands in the shape of a palm tree - the largest one is home to the famous Atlantis Hotel with its huge water park; however, today’s ride was more than enough to satisfy my thrill-seeking, peering at a collection of islands in the shape of the world map, in the middle of the sea.
Apparently Formula 1 star Michael Schumacher was generously gifted an island in the Antarctica section by the Crown Prince of Dubai. I bet every Jumeirah Jane is green with envy at such overwhelming generosity, and already plotting how they can benefit from such riches!
Last up was the Burj Khalifa, which is the world’s tallest building. I’m not sure if it was that which caused my neck injury from craning to appreciate its majesty, or something else in the confines of the cockpit. Suffice to say, one was suitably impressed with all the sights on that flight!
The following day one visited Dubai mall…not to shop, but to visit the aquarium which boasts an enormous glass tunnel surrounded by sharks, rays, and a host of fabulous fish wherever you look. Once inside there was a large, hungry crocodile which leapt out of the water, causing me to squeal as its teeth clamped down and tore into a particularly large, bloody piece of meat dangled above his jaws.
That was more than enough theatrics for one day and I was glad to return to the hotel for a little R&R on the beach whilst working my way through the long and extensive cocktail list… but not before one had had after a quick little mosey on down to Chanel, Prada, YSL, Louis Vuitton and Christian Dior...
By now, I was hooked and powerless to stop the frenzied shopping high that was consuming me; and to be perfectly honest, it didn’t dawn on me for one minute that Daddy would be so outraged with the amount I was spending for the following, perfectly valid (IMO) reasons:
1: I am a Lady. Therefore there is a certain standard of living expected of someone with my stature - what with being an award-winning travel journalist for a famous global magazine AND the intrepid, adventure-loving daughter of a British aristocract from one of England’s oldest families.
2: Thanks to one’s recent successes - climbing the world's highest mountain and visiting the wonders of the world etc, Daddy’s street cred at his various London clubs has gone through the roof. One is the talk of the town. Literally. Thus, with such an amazing asset of a daughter, surely he would like to indulge and reward her every now and again with lavish gifts…non?
3: Life is for living, and money is for spending, especially on loved ones, AND, there’s no point being the wealthiest person in the cemetery, because you can’t take it with you when you’re gone!
Now to say that my ‘defence’ enraged Daddy all the more, would be putting it mildly. Or maybe it was the emptied shoebox?! Anyway, he went absolutely ballistic, yelling that I should get out from under his roof immediately, before he said something we would all regret. Mummy and I agreed it was for the best.
So I did what any self-respecting daughter would do…I booked myself into a nearby spa, booked on Daddy’s AMEX before he blocked me. Akin to someone staying at a spiritual retreat or convent, I have entered a period of reflection about one’s habits and lifestyle choices. I couldn’t help but smile as I handed my phone over to reception for my imminent digital detox, to see a message from a former paramour in the Emirates, in which he had sent me several pictures of his latest Persian rugs acquisitions! Some gals get sent d*ck pics; I get sent a guy’s rugs’ pics. Based on our previous, long-distance exchanges, it’s probably best that I shall be incommunicado for a while.
So my darlings. I will love you and leave it there, as one has many therapies to sample in order to become the best possible version of myself. I am also going to contemplate how best to fill the gaping, shopping-sized hole, as I think I am finally waking up to the fact that all these trinkets and baubles aren’t bringing me much joy, and seem to cause no end of upset.
I think I will have to find a way to satisfy my other desires to quench my senses…
Toodle pip darlings,
**Notes for TEAM HQ**
Mummy is dreadfully worried about Daddy’s blood pressure, even if she does have a lucrative life policy on him, and she has had a ‘quiet word’ with me over the last few days.
You should have seen Daddy’s eyes light up when I mentioned a Dhow trip in Dubai - poor chap got all excited, thinking I’d negotiated a handsome dowry for my hand in marriage. No such luck Papa. Mummy says he’s booked himself in for a hearing test ASAP…
Meanwhile, as I ponder life and the universe on my self-imposed retreat, I can’t but help re-evaluate my choices, and our future ventures and adventures. I seem to have (perhaps belatedly) developed something resembling a conscience, and an extra sensitivity to the world and people around me. Therefore I would like to ‘do my bit’ to help. Apols for dissing your travel budget. It was terribly insensitive of me. Therefore, I lay myself at your mercy for whatever assignments you think befits your goals and my status. Your faithful servant, Lady P xx
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