25th March 2020

My darling daughter,

I’m following the new enforced rules carefully but I had to head down the Kings Road to visit the pharmacist. I have been going to Ebi at IT Chemists since I was a teenager. He is that old fashioned pharmacist which rarely exists these days and certainly won’t be around when you get older. They are like doctors in themselves who give sound medical advice whenever it is needed. I don’t know how many times I have visited him when your hypochondriac father was concerned about something. He has always had time for me and been my first call even before my G.P. He is a great man and is loved not just by me but by the community.

The pharmacy itself felt different today. I went early to avoid the inevitable lines but as soon as I walked in it felt like I was stepping into a tomb. The place suffocated me with nightmares of the sort; all oxygen had suddenly left the jet and hands are groping up towards the individual air-nozzles above the seats, to touch the feet of some breath-giving God.

I hurried needing to get out and asked whether my prescription had arrived but it had not. ‘ Try Friday,’ Ebi said.

‘ So you’ll be open then?’

‘ I hope so, ‘ he said half laughing as if I was taking the piss.

He mask covered his kind face so the strain of the time was virtually hidden.You half expected him to say , ‘ I’ve never seen the likes of this before’ but he didn’t. He had long day ahead so I left him behind without our usual gossip.

I’m now home writing to you. We are lucky because we have a terrace and it’s a warm spring day. The sort of weather that surprises and gives you that extra bounce. I would love to be in the country with wide open fields but this is the next best thing- we are privileged and we know and appreciate it.

I was going to write a little bit about politics but I am resisting. I listened to Trump yesterday saying that he hoped to ” reopen the country ” by Easter. Absolute Madness! Especially when cases are spiking and still the large majority of potential cases have still to be tested. Everyone is trying to reset their way of living and he says something like that. I shuddered at his stupidity and it put me in a bad mood. When mum tried to change my towel for the third time this week, I snapped at her – a bark more than a snap. When you’re sent away to school at an early age and you are forced to use the same towel for weeks it difficult even years later to adjust.

But we are doing pretty well your mum and I; we are learning to give each other space.

I will try to be more positive next time I write.

Love

Daddy.

Published by Simon Astaire

Simon Astaire was the youngest agent ever employed at ICM starting the Music department and representing a variety of clients before turning to head a PR agency where his clients included brands such as Bulgari, Armani and celebrities and members of the Royal Family. He is regularly quoted in the press and has been described in The London Times as a PR Prince. He had a regular column in the Sunday Telegraph called Station to Station where he interviewed a diverse mixture of high-profile individuals on their imaginary last train journey. He has written six novels and two biographies including soccer star Sol Campbell when he was nominated for best new sports writer. His latest novel The Last Photograph, was made into a film of the same name. It had a US theatrical release in November 2019 and is now available on all platforms. His blog ' Letters to my daughter' began March 19th 2020.

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