|A chartered plane at one's disposal is a most addicting indulgence, I find|
Photograph by Boy Fenwick
It just happened to me, Dear Reader.
|Belgians are the only way to fly, don't you think?|
Photograph by Boy Fenwick
|The view from the restaurant at the hotel we frequented during our stay|
Photograph by Reggie Darling
It took me back many years, to when I was an habitué of the enormous dance clubs that once littered the downtowns of New York City, Los Angeles, Miami, and San Francisco, where I spent many, many nights dancing and carousing to the light fantastic, mind-bending music of the great, internationally acclaimed deejays of the 1980s and 1990s.
|The picturesque house we rented in the island's little town|
Image courtesy of Hibiscus Hill
I did so then with a close knit group of friends that I no longer see anymore. After a decade of intense and constant interaction with each other we were blown asunder by the winds of change, shifting priorities, and evolving alliances.
|I spent many nights at dance parties similar to this one in La Grande Bellezza|
Video courtesy of Janus Films
I'm no longer friends with that gang, though, with one or two notable exceptions. I upset the apple cart when Lady Destiny raised her hand and tossed me the bewitching Boy Fenwick. One look at him and I was smitten. There was no going back for me. After much hand wringing and with my heart racing I flew the coop and found myself deliriously soaring in the oxygenated air of the suddenly new and unexpected, excitedly and nervously anticipating what would come next, my fingers crossed.
|Bougainvillea was everywhere on the island|
Photograph by Reggie Darling
I ask you, what does one do when confronted by Destiny? You follow her lead, Dear Reader, because you must. That's why they call it destiny, after all . . .
|I identify in certain ways with the character of Jep Gambardella|
in La Grande Bellezza, as seen here in a still from the film
Image courtesy of Janus Films
And that's what I found myself reflecting upon as I danced the night away in the tiny nightclubs of the island I visited. There I was, all these years later, laughing and dancing with another very special group of sophisticated, world-traveled style people of wit and good will. My friends. And each and every one of us was ready for the fun and frolic that was there to be had for the asking.
|The view from the window of the plane we chartered to fly us back|
to where we came from
Photograph courtesy of James Littlefield
Take it from me, Dear Reader, there is another act.
I'm the living proof of it.
You describe young friendships so perfectly! It is intense and then years later one bumps into them and there can be a sheepish hello even after having being the keeper of secrets that required many more words...I miss my clubbing days but having said that I don't need to club ever again. I never thought I would marry but Lady a Destiny had other plans otherwise I would still bein those clubs everynight...looks like you had a splendid time and good to see it.ReplyDelete
Hello CSW, thank you for your comment. I hadn't been in a club in many years, so this was an unexpected part of our vacation. Usually Boy and I go off together by ourselves and checking out the late night life is not high on our agenda, having done it all those years ago. This trip we were with a group of friends that were up for a good time, so it seemed the logical thing to do! And it was a lot of fun, too.Delete
How absolutely splendid all of this looks to have been and what a wonderful place in which to have escaped. You so clearly had the most marvellous time to include the additional luxury of travel in a private aeroplane. Such style!!
It is interesting what you say here about friends and friendship. It is our belief, and experience, that whilst some friends remain with one throughout life, others very much belong to certain periods and then, for no other reason than a change in circumstances or the hand of Destiny [as you so aptly put it] they are blown asunder. What is important is that at the time they were valued, mattered and counted and, in a sense, have contributed to how we find ourselves today.
Hello J&LH: Thanks for your lovely comment, and kind words. Clearly we share similar experiences and perspectives. Thanks, ReggieDelete
So beautifully said! Lovely place.....and I have not been there (have been to Lyford Cay thanks to my sons-in-law; can you imagine???)Delete
the Bahamas are beautiful....elegant.....and parts unspoiled! Bravo!
Did you see India? (tee her! I just love her and her whole thing there!!!)
To date, I've been a spellbound but silent follower of your captivating blog, Reggie, and I eagerly look forward to the latest instalment from Stateside. I'm even more inspired by this post than usual and am compelled to thank you for it. I'm now in my early thirties and, having ploughed the London furrow (professionally and socially) for the last decade, I find myself afflicted by a serious crisis of confidence: questioning the decisions (so often mistaken) I've made, the things (so often misguided) I've done, the people (so often unworthy) I've spent my time with and given precious bit of myself to. As one after another of my friends buy houses...trip down the aisle...pop sprogs...move to the country...I'm more and more frequently assailed by the feeling that I've been, in some sense, left behind: and, still worse, that I must be unworthy of the life-changing, life-enhancing experiences I see so many others enjoying. Its a pretty bleak feeling and one I find it increasingly difficult to see beyond. So, your post this morning is especially timely. I've not been so blessed as you - but you've reminded me that one should always try and keep hold of hope. Because who knows what lies around the next corner? If I manage to find half so much as you have, and can remain so gracious and open-hearted in my responses to the world, I shall count myself a fortunate man.ReplyDelete
Dear Anon, thank you for your heartfelt and absorbing comment. It was only in my thirties that I began to have the time, perspective, and resources to begin my playful adulthood, so I suspect that you have many years ahead of you to find your way with grace and humor. Not only are there second acts, but there are multiple acts to follow as I keep finding in my own life. Some acts and experiences may by more pleasurable than others, but -- as the Hattats comment here so well -- they all contribute to where our journey takes us and what becomes of us. Be well. ReggieDelete
I missed the second round of numbers....so maybe my comment won't make it! What a lovely comment Anonymous made.....and what a lovely reply! Sheesh! There is so much joy and fun in life! Fun and joy have been thrown in the back of the bus.....(or under the bus.....somewhere they do not belong!!!)Delete
Fun!! Joy! Things you love to do! Those need to sail to the forefront! That is just my philosophy!!!
I was taught (by a brilliant mother) "Find what you are good at; work really hard to get really good at it; and people will pay you to do it!!!"
She said,"most people look for something that you can make a lot of money doing; and do that! Both involve working hard. But the first one doesn't feel like work!"
Decorating is fun! (as Dorothy Draper said!!!)
Thank you for your kind and thoughtful words, Reggie. I do hope that my earlier post did not read as too much of a ‘cri de coeur’ (and also that you will forgive the all-too-obvious typos and grammatical errors. I was typing on the hoof). It was simply that you struck a particular chord and I felt that I must respond straight-away. Of course, in my brighter moments – and I still have many – I am able to reflect on the manifold blessings I have received. Rationally, I know that, if my eyes and heart remain open to them, I will doubtless receive many more before my time is through. But, increasingly, I'm also aware that, in a world supposedly obsessed with ‘getting’, just as many people are frustrated by their inability to ‘give’. I know that I am. Too often, I’ve been the recipient of boundless generosity from my friends. It might sound strange but, after a while, this can feel like a big burden to labour under – when, all the time, one wants to be able to match what is given with kindness and generosity of one’s own. Only, when one lacks suitable outlets, and is plodding along in sad singledom, it is difficult to is find the means to express one’s humble gratitude for years of hospitality and affection. And this in turn prompts feelings of inadequacy, anxiety and even, occasionally, hopelessness. If I may be so bold: the great joy of your blog is that you have, so obviously, and in conjunction with your life’s partner, found ways to bountifully enrich the lives of those around you - and even, through the means of your wonderful posts, those of us who follow your doings vicariously and from the distant of many miles. I frequently ‘tune in’ from London and regale my office mates with the latest doings at Darlington House! Thank you, once again, for all that you share with us.ReplyDelete
I am pleased and honored by your kind words, sir. As the happy recipient of others' hospitality over the years, both as part of a couple and as a single, I have learned that one is not expected to return one's hosts generosity with a similar level of entertainment, but rather one should reciprocate in a manner that is appropriate for one's circumstances and abilities. So, as a single man, your friends do not expect you to throw lavish dinner parties in return for theirs, but rather they appreciate an invitation from you for a drink or some other form of suitable entertainment that you can manage. I wrote about this in my "Reggie"s Rules for Social Reciprocity" post a number of years ago. Again, thank you for your comments. With regards, Reggie
"Reggie's Rules for Social Reciprocity" is a classic that resides on my refrigerator!!!Delete
(NO MAGNETS! It is an upholstered board with ribbons.....will post! Yikes!
Perhaps my favorite of your posts, ever. A follow up to those photos of you on Fire Island. I love being 50, and I hear that 60 is even better. Thank you so much for sharing this. It shows you to be the dear man that I know you are.ReplyDelete
Dear LPC, thank you. I am enjoying my 50s immensely, and I am pleased that this decade does, from time to time, allow me to revisit some of the fun and frolic of my earlier decades, as I described in this post. Fondly, ReggieDelete
What a great question you pose to your readers - "what does one do when confronted by Destiny"? Of course, there is only one answer, and that is exactly why I am now living here in California. Follow your instincts and your next act will always be revealed.ReplyDelete
Thank you for this great post (and welcome back!). It certainly helped awaken my own memories of the louche group I used to play with back in my days of clubbing in and around London and the Med.
Hello CD, thanks for your comment. One did have fun back in one's clubbing days. I hadn't been out dancing in many years, so doing so this vacation with my friends was unusual for me at this stage of my life, and a lot of fun! Carpe Diem! ReggieDelete
Beautiful blog post! I forwarded this on to family. You are one of only 3 blogs I subscribe to via email (ie; that I see). This entry reminds me of my entire childhood... if I could take the feeling this entry gave me and put it in my pocket to take out and read at a moment's notice when needed... oh wait, I can...ReplyDelete
Hope your day is lovely!
Hello GSS, thank you for commenting, and I am pleased to be so selected by you in the blogs you subscribe to. Thanks, ReggieDelete
Thank you! Yes, there is always another act. Different. But no less wonderful. Sounds like a fabulous dream.ReplyDelete
Hello Mary -- every act is another opportunity to make it even better! ReggieDelete
Reggie, you & Boy have got a great Act along with a most interesting and generous way of sharing it.ReplyDelete
Delightfully put. There's something so bittersweet about remembering gut-wrenching laughter with people whose numbers you no longer have.ReplyDelete
What a beautiful reflections. Sounds as if you and Boy et al had a great time. How decadent chartering a plane!ReplyDelete
Ah, that delicious feeling of new love.ReplyDelete
Bien dit, Monsieur! Vraiment bien dit! La joie de vivre, c'est formidable! Merci beaucoup.ReplyDelete
I miss my college friends too - we had so much fun, always laughing and dancing and drinking (they were doing coke but I was not) - waking up to street fairs in the village after midnight reservations at moomba, man those were the daysReplyDelete
Fantastic post! I agree with LPC--this is a favorite.ReplyDelete
What a lovely post. A feast for the eyes and the heart. And reminiscences of a joyous youth complement a happy adulthood like good friends complement an island vacation-we are lucky to have either one, but to be able to enjoy both is a blessing indeed.ReplyDelete
Sorry to make another comment.......but really; this describes this brilliant post so beautifully! May I post that fab pic of all those Belgian Shoes on my little blog?
Do you know they still have on "3 by 5 cards" every pair you have ever purchased? (I think sans computer!!)??
They do! Long may they live! I will be ordering soon!!
ps Bebe; will you please write my obit?? Thanks!!!
Aside from the fact I am insanely jealous of your warm climate and beautiful surroundings, I loved hearing how you are still a willing participant of nightclub antics! I have fond memories of dancing the night away till all hours with friends especially during the 80's in Georgetown and DC- can"t help but wonder if our paths may have crossed- I would have loved to be your dance partner if just for one night!
Marvelous post. Absolutely enticing blue water! I know what you're talking about... those little moments of deja vu, a feeling like one has been here before, made even more strange if one has never been there before in one's life. I'm not sure what brings that on. Music? A certain fragrance? A certain light or a certain breeze? Someone told me once that a moment imprints most indelibly when all of the senses are engaged in the very same instant. Cheers to you, for remembering, and for making your life get better and better! xo, N.G.ReplyDelete
Love the islands! All of them, go as often as I can.ReplyDelete
Love Belgians...have a closet full
AND I love Swifty's! (Saw your comment at Deana's)