8 October 2008

A Tale of Two Books

A couple of years ago, J and I were invited to John and Sandie’s for dinner, only 5 minutes away from us by car so very convenient. I knew John was an accountant to some celebrity clients and as usual I was quite keen to ‘work the room’ to see if I could find any. 

Anyway, when we arrived, a group of people, none of whom I knew, were sitting in the garden sipping cocktails and as John went off to get more champers, he left us to do our own  introductions.  As always, as people introduced themselves to me I formed immediate and very judgemental views about them. Like him, don’t like her. He’s ok, she’s going to be a pain etc etc. 

We were called in to dinner and I was seated next to a rather attractive lady to whom I’d been introduced and who I knew was called Susan. Not long after we started eating I asked her what she did. Before she could say anything, somebody across the table butted in and said, ‘this is Susan Lewis – she’s a best selling author’. Anyway, to cut a long story short I spent quite a lot of time talking to Susan (multiple best sellers apparently – you see them at airports) and said I’d really like to read one of her books. ‘But it’s Chick Lit’ somebody added who was quite clearly eavesdropping on my intimate conversation with Susan. ‘I don’t care – I’ll read anything’ was the rather unfortunate reply I made. Anyway, she produced one of her books titled, ‘Intimate Strangers’, which made J choke on her beef fillet. The dinner ended, I took the book home and started to read it. 

Well, I have to say, it made War and Peace seem like a short story, not in length but in it’s ability to get my interest. I just could not get into it – reading it was like sitting watching a 5 day cricket match. You think it’s going to be interesting and sometimes it is but generally the first 4 days are anything but. I tried and tried to read that book but had to admit failure.I dread the next party where she’ll ask me how I liked her book!!! 

So – fast forward a couple of years and I’m at my mate Max’s house. Now close your eyes and picture this (ooops sorry – if you close your eyes you wont be able to read!) ….. It’s 5.30am. You run your fingers around your gorgeous, blonde partner’s waist and kiss her gently on the small of her back before you slip quietly out of bed. You take a quick shower before getting into your midnight-blue Mercedes and drive down to the coast where the sun has just left the hills behind Monaco and is starting to throw its sumptuous light over the shimmering Med. You park the car and climb aboard a gleaming, brand new, white and chrome, £30m super-yacht. The crew of 12 welcome their captain aboard, the owner flies in from New York and work starts for the day. Should we just cruise down the Croatian coast for the next couple of weeks or shall we toodle off down to Malta for a £250k fill-up of the fuel tanks? 

Nope – not my attempt at a novel but my way of introducing Max and his owner – Mr SlimFast, S Daniel Abraham. I have not met Mr Abraham (yet) but was fascinated enough by his rise to fame and fortune (invented Slimfast and then sold it to Unilever for $2.6 billion) to have done some research on the internet. Turns out that this guy (Abraham) is a real mover and shaker in the quest for peace in the Middle East and is keen not only to see the Jews settled in their own territory (he’s Jewish) but that the Palestinians also have their own defined and recognised homeland.  Anyway, my interest must have impressed Max because yesterday, a book written by Mr SlimFast (as I and quite a few of the world leaders call him – how’s that for pretetiousness?) arrived in the post and I’ve started reading it. You never know – he might just invite me onto his ‘little boat’ one day and ask me what I thought of the book. Needless to say, a book detailing all the Middle East peace meetings is like reading the telephone directory, but I will persevere. It has more bearing on life than a couple of ‘Intimate Strangers’. 

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