'Some of it wasn’t very nice
But most of it was beautiful.'
Dorothy Gale. The Wizard of Oz.
I knew from an early age that I was what one would call different or artistic, as my Auntie Pam would say. She would know I guess. She never married, always wore slacks, smoked like a trouper and had a close personal friend called Jean with whom she lived with in Ibiza. As a fashion obsessed nelly teen growing up in suburban England, it was inevitable I should develop a fascination for anything fabulous. I soon began a deranged fixation with anything beautiful or fabulous.
In the 1970’s, these fabulous people would appear in my mother’s magazines which I would pore over with glee and fascination. Every magazine was crammed with fascinating drivel about these self-indulgent glamour pusses. No detail of their lives was too trivial for my consideration. I simply had to know everything about their hairdressers, their caftans (fabulous 70’s folk always wore a Moroccan purchased caftan), what they ate, or did not and where they holidayed which was always fabulous decadent sounding places like Gstaad and Saint-Tropez.
So, what did I have to do to become one of these fabulous people? Were there any membership dues? Nobody seemed to know and it was all so mysterious. There were certain common denominators; fabulous people have loads of spare cash, ramparts of thick hair and fake lashes. Having a closet full of Valentino couture seemed like it might speed up the approval process.
The fact that I lived in deepest Devonshire and many hundred miles away from anything remotely fabulous only served to fuel my ardour. I daydreamed only of escaping to the Emerald City where the fabulous people were waiting to welcome me into their bracelet-encrusted arms.
I wanted a pied-a-terre in Chelsea.
I wanted to sleep in a size foot circular bed with satin sheets and white Persian cats lying by my side.
I wanted money to buy champagne, caftans, and trips to Morocco to buy more caftans.
If everything paid off, I would lie on an Afghani rug enjoying goulash and hash brownies and meeting all their bohemian friends at a lavishly decadent soirées thrown in my honour.
'What a gas! Here comes Mark,' one fabulous person would whisper to another.
'Intriguing, do tell.'
'He is so divine darling, new in town but very happening you know. I simply must introduce you!'
I wanted this lifestyle.
I wanted to be the bell of the ball and the one everyone would look at.
I wanted to fit in and be one of those fabulous people.
I craved to host a cheese and wine do.
I wanted to smoke exotic Turkish cigarettes and sip dubonet.
I wanted to strike up a conversation with other fabulous people like, 'Dooo come over for mulled wine and Wensleydale cheese. You can meet Nigel and Clarinda. Darling it will be fabulous.'
There was just one small little problem.
I was seven years old.
First published by Massive with a limited edition reprint by Kindlight, In Search Of The Fabulous People is currently out of print.
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