Lady P - September 2023
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.
Greetings my fabulous, loyal darling readers! The party is in full swing here at the magazine as we celebrate the incredible milestone of reaching 100 glorious issues.
After speaking to the darling gals at EH HQ, the brief for this month’s feature was to meander down memory lane and to recall one’s Top Five favourite jaunts and experiences since joining the mag.
However, you should know by now what I’m like when it comes to conforming and doing what I’m told! Decisions, decisions…
Not only was it futile but nigh on impossible to stick to their brief, so in true Dita style, I slipped in an extra one. I mean, nobody was going to notice a few extra inches were they?! AND by inches, one was referring to column inches, so you can take your minds back out of the gutter!! And after all. What are a few inches between friends?!?
I must say it was a rather cathartic experience revisiting one’s shenanigans since the beginning of my association with these gals. So, armed with an iPad and a bottle of Cristal, one settled down to an evening of fondly reminiscing over one’s exploits as an award-winning travel correspondent, a roving Royal Correspondent, and above all else, a font of information, inspiration and advice for one’s fellow fabulous gal pals.
Brace yourselves and buckle up my darlings! I’ve ever so thoughtfully given you a little extract or two as an adventurous ‘amuse bouche’, and you can go on to savour my six adventures, in full, by following the links.
In reverse order, here come Lady P’s Top Six adventures. I said ‘six’ darlings, SIX!!
I’ll start off (relatively) gently with you my darlings, with this extract from my sweet Swiss tale.
“In-between my social whirl, the latest #TeamHeaven missive said that I was to be sent on a pilgrimage for Easter.
With visions of deserts, camels and billowing clothing with one’s convoy of servants trailing in one’s wake, I envisioned a sojourn to the Holy Land. So imagine my surprise when I learnt that it would be a visit to the chocolate home of Lindt in Switzerland.”
As you can imagine, one took full advantage and left to one’s own devices, one embarked upon a chocolate orgy which would have put Augustus Gloop to shame!”
Oh what a trip that was. Despite one’s unashamed orgy of chocolate consumption, my appetite remains undiminished, as it does in so many other areas!
And one can only begin to imagine how this gal melts each time she watches Willy Wonka. But not half as much as the Toblerone…
Those fabulous gals came up with the goodies once more when they sent me ‘down under’ to Oz.
Unfortunately, that trip didn’t get off to the best of starts…
“…a heady combination of jetlag, and having more than a few ‘cold ones’ to cool off, I ended up a tad tipsy or ‘absolutely dessicated’ as my travel companion cum personal assistant cum chaperone Bridget divulged a few days later….”
However, one’s ventures into the bush, and subsequent adventures, all conspired to make it a trip to remember for a multitude of reasons!!
“…one’s not scared of spiders or snakes - after many years on the dating scene one learns how to protect and defend oneself from lots of arms, tentacles and other moving slippery things that could potentially harm you!
During our quest for exotic animals, we stumbled upon, quite by chance, a TV set. …I think the film crew were far more taken aback, or should that be ‘outback’?! to find us in the middle of their filming location!
They explained that they were setting up camp for the UK’s ITV show “I’m A Celebrity - Get Me Out Of Here”. Never heard of it, or them. But I did inform them that they were in fact in the presence of a celebrity, and aristocracy for that matter. Said I’d be only too happy to help out should they require a bright new star for their upcoming little TV project.”
Re-reading my personal diaries from that time, I see that I had fleetingly set my cap at one half of the famous presenting duo, only to learn that he was absent from the show for ‘personal reasons’.
And who should be his stand-in? Why, that well-known TV blonde who has had her own troubles of late in TV-land. I do hope she’s OK…
I recall seeing her wafting about the set, but I thought she was someone’s glam bit on the side, tagging along for the ride. Hmmm, now what is it that they say about first impressions?!
Anyway, to briefly digress, one of my dearest gal pals has just seen her youngest fly out to Oz for a ‘year off’. Rather bizarrely, she didn’t want me to give her precious offspring any survival tips, reckoning that any advice from me was likely to get her into MORE trouble, not LESS!! Really?! Some people have no sense of adventure. All I wanted to impart was that Manly in Sydney is ever so aptly named in my experience. Manly by name, Manly by nature…
Oh well. It looks like I’ll have to serve as a warning rather than a role model instead…
This assignment had me jetting off to Brazil to join the carnival. Now this was my idea of party heaven. Caramba!!
“Whisked from the airport, I was catapulted straight into an explosion of colour, feathers, sequins, spectacular samba music and LOTS of exotic dancing - or should I say seductive swaying of one’s hips and lashings of shimmying!
Before the big parade, one took some last minute, intensive dance classes - darling Darcey [Bussell] recommended me *the* most divinely handsome dance tutor, Pedro…”
Ah yes - Pedro - dearest darling Pedro. We did get off to a rather tricky start. But did it culminate in a sticky ending?! More is revealed here!
At the risk of sounding a tad boastful, I looked rather fabulous bedecked in feathers in a myriad of colours, which were so bright that they would make a peacock jealous. As for the thousands of crystals, painstakingly applied by the finest seamstresses in Rio, they could have dazzled and knocked out the International Space Station - gosh, little old moi, visible from outer space.
One had been so desperate to triumphantly return to Blighty from that trip as a Rio Carnival winner, alas it was not to be.
The competition was stiff (in more ways than one) with so many gorgeous floats with elaborate sets and costumes, however, it is the taking part that counts and making incredible memories to share with one’s nearest and dearest. Well that and the #BraggingRights along with an exceptional increased flexibility which has proven to be oh so advantageous in the intervening years!
My next favourite exotic assignment was to the ancient city of Petra, in Jordan. Oh yes my ravishing readers, I, Lady P, was about to go all Indiana Jones. I also managed to dust off my dancing skills which I’d perfectly honed the previous year in Rio, and stood me in good stead for the inevitable belly-dancing. Remember darlings - no experience is ever a wasted one!
“First impressions were “gosh, it’s jolly hot”, especially after leaving behind the UK’s chilly climes. One would need to make many rest stops if one was going to explore the surroundings thoroughly and survive with a modicum of decency.
…the aptly-named Indiana Jones gift shop, selling the most beautiful shamags (head scarves) which one was drawn to, like a moth to a flame. One’s arms were almost trailing down to one’s feet under the weight of all the bags. Thankfully our strapping tour guide came to this distressed damsel’s rescue.
One also stocked up on some rather fabulous pieces to add to my ever-growing jewellery collection; and hope springs eternal that one day, I shall have a suitor place a heavy-duty rock on my left hand!”
Looking back, I can’t help but wonder if this was yet more (naive) wishful thinking, or positive thinking!? Or maybe it’s just another adventure/disaster waiting to happen in one’s hopeless eternal romantic fantasies? Much like the Indiana Jones film franchise, the sorry saga could go on and on and on!
Although one has become less rose-tinted about one’s romantic prospects of late, and might just resurrect one’s ambitions from that trip, by dusting off - quite literally - one’s course notes to study archaeology. If one can’t dig up and dust off a half decent relic, one can at least work up a damn good sweat by trying…
Ahh yes - this was one heck of a memorable adventure, which involved a not-so-small hike to Base Camp at Everest and one helluva rollercoaster of emotions!
“Cue one teeny tiny tantrum before those fabulous EH HQ gals pointed out what an accolade this trip could be…more than a feather in one’s cap, not to mention the gentlemen who would be impressed by one’s sheer determination, agility and stamina! At the mere mention of gents being impressed, one quickly got on the case. And it would be such a shame not to put one’s lung capacity to the test, which I’ve been assiduously working on, by fair means AND foul…
…not to mention that one could scarcely believe that you could have so much fun and which was NOT fuelled by alcohol!
It was quite literally, a breathtaking trip! Who knew my deep breathing and lung-capacity building exercises would be so useful!”
Entre nous darlings, I think that that particular expedition lit such a fire within me, it created a thirst for adventure which has yet to be fully slaked, and not even all the Cristal or cognac in France could douse the fire or quench that thirst!
A once-in-a-lifetime experience like this, well and truly shook me out of my rut, helping me to realise that I wasn’t living my life to its fullest potential. It helped enormously to (re)discover my character strengths and qualities. I do believe this trip was a turning point for Daddy to see me in a completely new light, and that I wasn’t just a ‘credit-card leaching parasite’.
Now this is *the* most successful event one has ever organised, or ever attended for that matter! The (sch)long-awaited #Dickies...and oh what a triumph it was!
And my darlings, if you have been hiding beneath a rock for the last few years and haven’t closely followed my column, then one suggests you swot up on what led to the creation of this awards event by re-reading ALL my previous musings; although the preceding five adventures should more than whet your appetites!
May I also suggest you follow my lead by arming yourself with an iPad (other devices are available) and fortify yourself with a substantial glass or two of your favourite tipple.
Speaking as an impeccable hostess of many a private, discreet soiree, I compel you to “Grab yourself a stiff one. And a large drink…!”
Anyway, I digress. Back to The Dickies. So to speak…
“The red carpet was a walkway for the famous, infamous, and the elite of the UK, plus a smattering of unwoke Hollywood stars - gosh it’s so hard to find one nowadays.
The awards ceremony itself went like clockwork. Yes. That’s right. I said cLock you mucky lot!
So my darling readers, it’s safe to say that I and the Dickies were both a roaring success and even though it was such a controversial, ‘taboo’ topic to create awards for, to quote the late, great Kenny Everett, “it was all done in the best possible taste”.
To this very day, tales of my David/Adonis ice luge do the rounds of high - AND low - society! Who knew one could blaze a trail with a large block of ice?!
I’ve since heard that quite a few law firms made a pretty penny from my guests after that evening, who wanted incriminating looking photos and salacious stories removed from the internet!
Reputation management is ALL. One only has to look across the pond to see how a certain ginger someone and his other half have tarnished their ‘brand’, such as it was…
Anyway, I’m not going to sully this delicious trip down memory lane with recollections of my unrequited pinings. They’re ancient history. What this ‘trip’ has done for me, is to realise just how much I have learnt and changed my priorities these last few years. Hopefully all for the better!
And on that note my darlings, this is where I shall reluctantly leave you, although one could easily wax lyrical for hours about one’s incredible time here on the magazine, even though one’s had a few hiccups along the way.
We’ll have to agree to disagree that some of one’s antics, especially during the Corona Chronicle and visits to Champagne, have raised more than the odd eyebrow or two, that would even test the late Roger Moore’s renowned brow-raising capabilities!
What more can I say? I’m an inquisitive adventurous lady to the core, who loves to party, travel and explore!
***Note to EH HQ***
Break a leg** my darlings with the show this weekend. I am unfortunately indisposed with a private family matter. And even though Daddy has slowly (finally?) changed his opinion of me, one has to keep in with the ‘rents if one is to stay on their good side. And those wellbeing retreats and gong baths aren’t going to pay for themselves, are they?!
**Olivia Hell - please don’t take this literally sweetie. Once was enough!
I hope you all have a fabulous time. And remember. Get your NDA’s in place, and you’ll be untouchable my darlings xxx
Tags: Lady P