Claudia is super cool. She gets invited to all the best launches, parties and previews.
Claudia is the scene – if she’s not there it’s not happening. Her insta-game is second to none. Always just out of shot when Tatler’s photographer comes around, she obsessively checks Bystander all the same.
Hang on. SHIT! Wait! Bear with.…
What? Where was this Hugo? Why would you show me something and not tell me? Well where did you see it? No, hang on, where?
Claudia frantically types a name she hasn’t heard of into her email’s keyword search. Shit! Buggery BUGGERY! She doesn’t even know the brand, and definitely wasn’t at Annabel’s for the launch.
Hugo slides the social pages under the sofa.
It might be okay – she probably got an invite that passed her by. She is incredibly busy. She twitches as Outlook dredges up search results.
What the buggery, BUGGERY bollocks? Did a buggering new intern accidentally cut her from the invites list?
Shit, bugger, bollocks. BUGGER!
Claudia paces the drawing room, massaging a temple as Hugo tentatively reminds her they’re late for Julia’s kitchen supper. Claudia doesn’t hear him.
Her mind swims, boggles; what had she done to put someone’s back up? Who was upstaged? She must’ve dressed too extravagantly last week.. Which young upstart deemed her unhip?
Whose launch was it again? Does she know their PR? Shit! Bugger, bollocks, BOLLOCKS. She racks her brain for a contact to email. And WHY is Hugo so calm in the face of disaster?
‘Why don’t you just go ahead without me, if you’re so keen to be on time?!’
This melodrama is lost on poor Hugo.
“But she’s your oldest friend darling, I’ve barely spoken to the woman since she slept with our best man; and that was 13 years ago! Please, be reasonable darling ‘
“It was my hair! I told you it was too done, I said it, remember! I told you! I said it at the time, I looked like an old Dame!
Or, no, no, actually that can’t be it – that was the night we went to Hertford Street. But they must’ve been threatened somewhere! They saw me at the couture shows; I’m telling you! They want to replace us with hipsters from Manchester. This is exactly how it starts Hugo… Hugo. Hugo! Don’t you understand?‘
Claudia’s pacing becomes more frantic, her voice uncharacteristically shrill.
‘No, I will not be reasonable Hugo! You saw what happened at Vogue!’
Breaking into a full-blown quiver; ‘well? WELL? Who the buggery bollocks do you imagine’s next? Tatler? Bazaar? They’re edging us out! Aren’t they? For fuck’s sake Hugo! Will you listen! Hugo! Well? Which is it?’
Hugo swallows and gathers his breath,
‘Darling, I’m sure that’s not the case, and isn’t the new editor of Vogue from London, not The North?’ Hugo makes The North sound like a communicable disease, contractable by its very mention.
‘Darling, Julia’s supper started half an hour ago, and we still haven’t called a car. You know I’d much rather stay home with you, but you can’t let them down – everyone will be waiting. You know how excited they get when you’re coming!’
‘Gosh, yes. Yes, sorry, I’m so sorry’ Claudia stops pacing, suddenly meek; humbled by the stark reminder of her humanitarian duties.
‘I’ve no idea what came over me!’ she says light as air. ‘Okay sweetheart, have you got the bottle? The 1972? Perfect! You hold the car whilst I find my bag’.
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