In my frenzied social dash round Edinburgh at Hogmanay, one of the people with whom I whiled away an afternoon in the pub was Minor Celebrity. Despite not having seen him since our blazing row, we’ve kept in contact and a proper non-phone catch up was long overdue.
Curled into the corner of a sofa with my New Year’s Day sparkling water (a lone non-alcoholic hiatus between champagne at Gin Operated’s, and a night subsequently spent on the on-tap prosecco at the Hotel Missoni), I was pleasantly surprised as he blew in through the door looking hungover but well.
Our catch up was all-encompassing, and some of our individual snippets of news were surprisingly similar: house buying (albeit with MC being on a rather higher rung than I am); journo bashing (me: X? Oh, he’s a c***. Him: I know, I've just sued his paper); and generally being exceptionally busy. Gladdened that he’s found something to do other than powder his nose, I listened eagerly to details of a new project that not only appears to be genuinely exciting him, it also seems to be filling MC’s time, and keeping him out of trouble, if not the papers.
“Seriously,” he said, “it’s not as bad when I’m up here, but there was this photo the other day. I was with a friend, I’ve known her for bloody years, y’know, and suddenly she’s my girlfriend. It’s so bloody boring. Oh, and then there was...”
He went through several recent tabloid appearances which, being in PR, I feel I should probably have spotted, but will claim illness as an excuse for not having done so.
“So what’s the score on that front, then?” I said. “Not tempted to settle down with a nice girl and get married and have lots of babies?!” I laughed at the ridiculous notion, expecting him to do the same.
MC stared into his pint. “Yeah, I am. I’d love that. I just... I just can’t find the girl, y’know.”
For a moment, there was an uneasy pause, and I was suddenly very aware once again that, in so many ways, fame can be the very worst thing that can happen to a person.
“Oh, you’ll find her,” I hit him gently on the arm. “Although maybe you shouldn’t look too hard. I mean, let’s face it: you’ve made some pretty terrible decisions in that department.” I grinned at him.
“Hah! Yeah, I have,” he laughed. “Ah well, here’s to better decisions this year.”
Something with which I wholeheartedly agree.
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