Archives for posts with tag: Celia Lyttleton

OK, so here are a few interesting clips from 1991.

Starring the various boys and friends who ended up in Whitstable at my house on Island Wall.  Notably Jay Jopling, Nick Love and Damien Hirst.

There’s quite a bit of nudity and cock…so beware.

Bournemouth Film School…the house I shared with Lawrence and Charlie.

There’s some great stuff from Green Street, Orlando’s club in London.

Damien Hirst, Maia Norman, Orlando Campbell etc.

There’s the traveling, Sydney, Forbes NSW to stay with the Wilsons.  And…more boys.

Kevin at City Gym in Sydney. The beautiful Dane I met in Florence and spent the summer. Whatever happened to him?  I wanted to weep when I saw him again.  He was beautiful.

The local Whitstable boys.  Luke, beautiful Luke.

If any of them ever loved me I was blissfully unaware.

And…there’s a lot of…hair.  During most of this…I am drunk or fucked up, remember that.  I wouldn’t get sober for another 6 years.

There’s a lot of dancing and dressing up.  I seem to be lip synching to Judy…missing some man.  Again.

What a destructive theme.

I wanted to post a few pictures. I want to remind myself that it has all been an incredible journey.

I wanted to include this one because I have a man’s legs wrapped around my shoulders. He is called Chris Boot. He was in South Africa with Tilda Swinton. Tilda came to the dinner thrown for me at Sundance when AKA played there. She came with Jamie Johnson.

Boom Boom Boom (The Sublime) 1982 Peter Doig

 You can see half of the Peter Doig painting I bought at his St Martin’s degree show.  It hung in my Furlong Road, Islington sittingroom until I was arrested.  At which point Doig decided to snatch it back and I never saw it again. It is probably worth in excess of $1, 000, 000 now.

Matt Rowe and Marie Palmer, we met at the Mercer Hotel in NYC with Mel C from the Spice Girls.  Matt had been one half of the duo who wrote all of their best tunes. New Years Eve 1999, Mercer Hotel with Calvin Klein, Tom Cruise, Nicole KidmanAlan Cummings and Fran Leibowitz. A cool very night.  Matt is still a great friend.

I’ve written loads about Jay Jopling in this blog. This is the night he met my sister Jessica.

Justin Lee-Aliston was my best gay friend in Whitstable. He was the sweetest boy. He killed himself a few months after he was gay bashed in Camberwell South London.  Here he is in happier times with my friend Tracy at the Island Wall, Whitstable house.

Celia Lyttleton, I can’t remember where we met but she is a doll and this picture was taken at a fancy dress party at the artist Glynn Boyd Hart’s house during the 1980′s.

Celia introduced me to the artist Ana Corbero at her Albermarle St gallery. She in turn introduced me to Colin Cawdor , the Thane of Cawdor-Macbeth. Duncan and Macbeth in NYC, in a sprawling apartment in Williamsburg. Long before anybody else was living there.

Our view.

Colin and Anna. Now, Colin lives in the North of Scotland in his castle, a castle he had to wrestle from his step-mother. Ana lives in Spain with her husband. I remember that he dressed Ana in Azzadine Alaia-and the moths ate clean through her fur coat.

I’ll post some more soon.

I am not going to write about the other any more but I am going to write about what it feels to not have that delicious daily contact with a man who wants to hear your voice or get your emails.

Even though it just ended I am unusually happy.  It takes a great deal of energy maintaining a long distance relationship.    A great deal of wasted time wondering and planning.   If I asked once I asked a million times when he was going to come visit me.  It was that sort of anxiety I am happy to jettison.

Alone does not mean lonely.  I am not just going to let anyone in simply because I can’t face the idea of being on my own.

I am not lonely, I have so many extraordinary people who catch me as I begin to fall. Everyone at breakfast told me how happy I looked.  I am happy.  I made the right decision.  I did it right.

Look, as time passes the prospect of meeting anyone appropriate diminishes. I knew what I was getting myself into when I met him.  The intrigue was a powerful part of the attraction-until it wasn’t.  The prospect of being a boyfriend was quickly replaced with the role I am often cast in, that of rescuer, therapist and problem solver.

I had a wonderful morning with Jennie and Guinevere who is as funny as all hell.   I can’t possibly tell you what we spent today giggling about. It wasn’t, shall we say, politically correct.  That’s what you get when you drive around LA with a scriptwriter, an ex-porn star and two dogs in a beaten up F150.

Who do I turn to when things get really sad?  Joni Mitchell of course!

But here I am jigglin’ like a cabbage patch doll at my desk-not in my bed desperate for answers.   How did that happen?  Why am I not sad?  Is it because the sun is shining or because I am relived to be away from the emotional catastrophe?

Of course I miss him but when things end they end.  It’s not like we can’t see each other as friends.   In some future place when time has passed.    I wonder if that is possible?  If you compare him to my other friends is he up to par?  I hope so but I don’t know yet.  Love blinds one to the hard facts.    I remember when I used to stay with Celia in Yorkshire with some admirer and she would scowl at me because what I saw in my beau my more critical friends, like Celia, failed to see.

At the end of the day I don’t depend on another to make me happy, clinging to a man for validation.    When I sleep in an empty bed at night I sleep soundly, neither hankering for a man beside me or a warm body simply for the sake of it.

I spent the morning with my friends, firstly at breakfast then driving home.  Now I am sitting on my own, writing this and listening to Joni.  Jennie is coming by later to take me up Runyon. The little dog can’t wait!

What is the cure?  No, not love.  I loved him.  I loved them all.  The death of love has taught me that I am very dangerous.  But that is why I wake up every morning like a boy!  Even now.  Let me tell you once again, let me take to the roof of my apartment building in Hollywood California and shout out loud that I am not afraid.

I met Tim Willis on Sloane Street, London 25 years ago.  He was with his then girlfriend Isabella Delves-Broughton.  I don’t remember meeting him that day.

He does.

I remember the first conversation Tim and I had was at Celia and Andrew Lyttleton’s frescoed apartment in Ladbroke Grove.

I remember showing him the invitations I had just had printed for my play The Host starring Lady Georgia Byng who would later become Mrs. Danny Chadwick and after that Mrs. Marc Quinn.  She is now probably best known for writing the Molly Moon children books.

Tim was unimpressed with the invitations.

I was prolific in those days, writing, making plays, living my life between London and Whitstable.

Tim was strangely nonjudgmental for one of the new elite who were making names for themselves during that time in London.

Remember, I was only a couple of years out of prison for a huge, unpaid credit card debt.

The story behind that debt had, the day I was sentenced, appeared in every British newspaper.  Christened: Lord of The Lies by the News of The World Sunday tabloid that title, unlike the one I had assumed, tended to stick.

Pretending to be Lord Anthony Rendlesham was the defining moment in my young life.   It set me on an unintended course the night I told that 4-word lie to the man I told it.  I wonder what happened to him?  Dermot Verchoyle-Campbell.

By the time I met Tim I was just ordinary (as the press loved to call me) Duncan Roy but he didn’t seem to mind how ordinary I was.   We were both social misfits.  The others came from good pedigrees and were gearing up to take their places in the British social stratosphere.   Their roles already defined.

Unusual for a heterosexual he was socially mobile.  Flexible.  The girl he was with that day on Sloane St went on to become Mrs. Detmar Blow and invigorate the world of British fashion.  Today her legacy, after a tragic suicide, is still evident as Alexander McQueen, John Galliano, Stephen Jones and Phillip Treacy are testament.

Although homosexuality offers the same kind of social flexibility (as I found when I told my big lie), I was wholly disinterested in the ‘gay lifestyle’ on offer at that time in London.

I knew a few other ubergays but we were frosty with each other as all of us wanted to be the only gay pet around.  Mario Testino, Patrick Kinmonth, Johnny Shand-Kydd were three other ‘about town’ gays but, as I said, they were all pretty disinterested in me.

I had had a brief affair with Patrick when I was Lord Rendlesham.

I discovered Peter Doig’s degree show at St Martin’s Art School and bought one of Doig’s paintings that Peter then stole from my house whilst I was in prison.

Craigie Aitcheson the minimalist painter of crucifixes and Bedlinton Terriers accused Patrick of handing me over to the police when they were looking for me.  He squealed, “Look, there’s the man who handed his gay lover over to the police.”

I had, of course, explored everything gay in London but it simply never inspired me enough to keep me going back.

Tim was really the first person I met whom I could share my wonderment with.  One was encouraged, when in a huge and ancient houses, to take everything for granted but with Tim I could behave like a tourist.  Ooing and arring about what we discovered there.

A few years later after Jay Jopling discovered Damien and the new British artists all of our lives would change irrevocably.  We would no longer be living in someone else’s shoes, delighted by other older peoples choices, and would ride the British New Wave.

Meeting Kay Saatchi the other day at Amanda’s I now have a far more complete picture of what was going on when I knew Jay Jopling.  I certainly remember Jay telling me about meeting Charles Saatchi.  That Charles had discussed the possibility of running the Saatchi gallery on Boundary Road and how Jay had scoffed (to us) at that idea.

At the moment that Charles was offering Jay a job, Jay had other plans, he knew, and said as much, that Charles would ultimately work for HIM.    I am, and have always been, in awe of Jay’s balls.  Who wouldn’t have accepted to work for Charles?  Only a man with massive ambition knew exactly what he wanted and exactly how to get it.

It was at this time that Jay would bring a harem of girlfriends to my tiny cottage on Island Wall in Whitstable.  But that was all to end the day he met Maia Norman with whom he would fall deeply in love.

Visits to Whitstable became rare as they ensconced themselves in his house on Shakespeare Road in Brixton.   The last memorable Jay visit was with Danny Moynihan, Louise Jackson and Maia.  We would take ecstasy, drive to a ghastly local gay bar and dance to Pink Cadillac.

I think we may very well have had a rather wonderful orgy that night but Maia and Jay ended up alone as he was loathed to share her.  The events of the next few years proved deeply unsettling.  Maia would leave Jay for Damien and break his heart.

Jay submerged himself in the international art world, making huge amounts of money, marrying a girl he did not love and ending up in locations he loathed.

The last time I sat alone with him he told me how incredibly bored he was seeing the same faces day after day, the same gossip, same conversation and hankered after a the life he had at the edge of the world.

I will never, ever not love Jay.  He was the one who looked out for me when I had my stint in hospital and collected me when I was discharged.  He, for the longest time, was an occasional lover if no other pretty blond girl was available.  He was an inspiration to a legion of young artists and remains so, something they all aspire to: a show at one of his many galleries.

I watched from the sidelines as he and Lily Allen publicly shattered the vestiges of his marriage.

The truth is, I couldn’t bear Sam Taylor Wood because she wasn’t Maia.  It wasn’t her fault; she’s a perfectly nice girl.  Not a very good artist.

So goodbye Tim, have a safe flight back to London.  You make me remember the life we shared with this extraordinary cast of characters.  I miss you when you are gone.  You are a good friend.

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