Rachel Johnson

They do things differently in the Cotswolds


The Season has ended and – apart from The Spectator’s summer bash of course – the two bang-up parties of July were discos in the Cotswolds. They do things differently there. At Jemima Goldsmith’s I danced so hard in high heels with a selection of her handsome young swains that I suspect the double hip replacement will be sooner rather than later. At Carrie and Boris’s Daylesford wedding do in a magical flower-filled field we all busted out our best moves. I was taught the slut-drop by Liz Hurley years ago in Nick Coleridge’s party barn in Worcestershire. She demonstrated how to collapse to the floor like a broken deckchair on the count of three. My problem at Daylesford was getting up again – not a challenge shared by my sister-in-law. She could win a Commonwealth gold hands-down in this particular high-risk dance move. I’d kicked off my shoes (to save on physio bills later) but still ripped off a big toenail during the conga. Conclusion: I can no longer slut-drop but I can still name-drop for Britain till the cows come home.

I came back from Tuscany for the wedding bash and I’m not surprised about the staycation boom, as foreign travel is a total mare. Instead of the ‘Schengen wave’, each passport must be scanned and wet-stamped by a person at a desk or in a kiosk in case you overstay your welcome in Europe: i.e. we have a hard border for the first time in my adult life. When Liz ’n’ Rishi were asked whether the cluster shambles at Channel ports was anything to do with Brexit I was stunned when both went for a post-truth, black-is-white, straight-to-camera ‘no’. Astonishing. This at a time when it is harder to leave the country legally than to enter by sea illegally and you can get to Australia faster than France.

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