Right, let’s hit it! What a week for … achieving very little. Honestly, I don’t know what happened to me but I just could not get motivated. Didn’t sleep well. It rained. My beach still looked dirty, the sand dark instead of golden and dumped with seaweed. It was freezing in here – definitely warmer outside. My hair wouldn’t do what it’s told and … nothing! Not good. Worse, I found a brilliant website for Italian boots and shoes and most of the photographs are taken in Monti – our Roma! Quite frankly, that’s just cruel …
No need to worry, though. The EuroMillions jackpot tonight is £172 million and I am confident. What an utterly, utterly ridiculous amount of money! However, rest assured that I will not keep more than I need … and how much would that be? Well, I understand that Camelot send in the financial advisors but being that I would, now, be more inclined to trust Bill Clinton to be faithful or tell the truth than renege control to one of them, there would be no coffee forthcoming. Instead, I would secure the property I have coveted in St Andrews for too long plus, perhaps, a little pad in Hamilton Grand as an investment. Admittedly, having seen the hideous interior decor – in place, courtesy of huge fees, I suspect – it would need gutted and returned to that more in keeping with the building and its history as opposed to the cloned opulence of the nouveau but I would rather enjoy my G&T on the rooftop terrace, of an evening, overlooking the 18th, the R&A and the West Sands. So, setting aside, say, £5 million, that would just leave £167m …
Becca and Manny? Well, what’s mine is theirs and vice versa but, immediately, I know that Becca’s dream is to own somewhere in Monti, Rome, whether it be an apartment or town house; all, three of us would love that. As for the unfolding negativity of Brexit? Remember, money talks. I think we would even be welcomed by Prince Albert!
Manny? Once upon a time, he loved Edinburgh but not so much anymore. I think – once, again, like all, three of us – he would love a house in St Wolfgang. Who wouldn’t?! Austria. Most definitely in our hearts. The lake, the mountains, the beautiful painted houses, the alpine air, the changing seasons, nostalgia, friends and freedom. I would live there, content forever, and write. That would be my dream and fitting, really, for the little girl so captivated by The Sound of Music and whose father, once, told her she must go to St Wolfgang. He was so right. I miss it. We haven’t been back since Christmas 2019 but the moment we are able, we will return. Property is extremely sought after and expensive in that little village on the lake, nestled below the majestic mountains, less than an hour from Salzburg – the most beautiful city in the most stunning location – but, after tonight, well, who cares?! Can I speak German? I do have an ‘O’ level in it but best way to learn is to live it!
Anything in London? I think so. How much is there left in the pot? Well, in excess of £150m. Something central or, perhaps, Wimbledon, which we love? Maybe both! I’d like to be close to The Ritz so that I could pop in, regularly, for drinks or afternoon tea; at Christmas time, to wallow in the magic. My favourite hotel, everything about it is so right! No minimalism, no grey, no aubergine, no plastic, untouched by time, it is the epitome of grandeur; of class. No surprise, it is a favourite with royalty or that Maggie spent the final months of her life there. One of a kind, there is no other like it. Afternoon Tea at The Ritz is as quintessentially British as the Changing of the Guard at Buckingham Palace – or Paddington, for that matter – and I still remember being there on my 21st Birthday. Returning, more recently, who could ever tire of drinking champagne to the accompaniment of the magnificent piano player whose fingers, effortlessly, transport one back to the days of Cole Porter, Gershwin, Lerner and Loewe, among others; to a time when gentlemen were gentlemen and ladies were feminine; when manners and style abound? Not me. The Ritz, steadfastly, remains unchanged with the passing years, affording much needed escapism for those who can afford it or for those, like us, who sometimes choose to throw caution to the wind. The What the hell! attitude, remember? The Book of Life is brief … Thus, we will be back at the end of the month and I cannot wait!
St Andrew, Rome, St Wolfgang, London. Still change of £172m, of course, my friends will share in our joy. One of the good things to come of the last decade, I know, exactly, who my real friends are and I can think of nothing more rewarding than helping each and every one of them. Then, there’s the party!
Next, of course, millions will go to the charity closest to my heart, the Born Free Foundation. That will be the best feeling! Other charities off the top of my head? The MS Society, the MND Association, the Sheldrick Wildlife Trust, Animals Asia, Amref Health Africa, the Royal British Legion and so many more. That will require much thought but oh, what a wonderful task!
Finally, my dream is to travel the world – slowly! To, finally, go to Montana, Jackson, Wyoming – to visit Alexandra Fuller in her yurt – Colorado, Virginia, Lake Winnipesaukee, Yosemite National Park, Alaska, Utah (Help! Remember Donny?!) … looks like my world is the US? Not so. I want to travel Africa, to go back to Malawi with Becca and Manny and meet the friends they made in 2012; I want to see more of Italy, the lakes, the Dolomites; Poland is on my list, Argentina, Peru, Chile, Delphi – jumping about, here – Nepal and the Himalayas … China, Japan, India, Thailand? No. Less inclined but, when I say the world, I mean the world! What better education than to see it all and no better way to do it than with the money to donate to every deserving cause along the way? Who needs a financial advisor?! Bring it on!
I dare to dream … No flash cars – well, other than my coveted Jeep Wrangler complete with a Wilson, son of Wilbur – no directionless squandering, no claims of a life ruined. Now, 19.37, there is less than an hour to go before the draw. My CV is in. The power of hope …
‘It’s really a wonder that I haven’t dropped all my ideals, because they seem so absurd and impossible to carry out. Yet, I keep them because, in spite of everything, I still believe that people are really good at heart.’
Anne Frank, The Diary of a Young Girl.
Never doubt it. Truly humbling.
This is Trish, signing off.