26th March 2020

It is still so strange to see empty restaurants when I go for my daily exercise. There is a restaurant opposite where on a Sunday we would see it filling up with families, full of cheerful cousins and glowing grandparents and children playing games. I used to grumble like mad wishing that they’d turn down the racket, tempted to shout from our window to quieten it down but now things have changed and I see it only as the pass-key to peace and happiness.

I’m beginning to feel like someone from a bygone era that shakes their fists and moans; why can’t things be as they once were? The thought of yesteryear remains close. Even on my walk, I started to imagine the time, when your grandfather was a boy, of pretty parasols, trams on the beachfront, donkey rides and candy floss.

I’m trying to be optimistic . I’m thinking that we needed this to happen to urge us to change our attitude. This vicious enemy is going to give the world a tilt into the right direction. Hopefully it will give us a balance that we were undoubtedly losing. Sadly though I still think we have a way to go before we all wake up.

The man in the tweed suit was again sitting on our stoop doing his crossword. I have a feeling that he’s found his regular spot for breakfast. He had clearly just completed a clue as he was busy scribbling something down with delight and laughing with satisfaction which sounded more like an old lift climbing a high building.

‘ Glad those bloody workmen have gone,’ he spoke deliberately like a snob.

It was true the builders had packed up. I hadn’t noticed. I had wondered why the streets were even quieter than yesterday. I was going to ask if he’d move so I could get into my house but I hesitated as I didn’t want to bother him. Unlike earlier in the week, I was able to look directly at his face which matched the colour of his grey knitted socks. He looked weary, poor soul, so I decided to continue my walk rather than bother him.

I went to the park for my daily walk. it was far emptier than any other day since the lockdown. The police nearly outnumbered the people out walking. They gave me a sense of reassurance. How stunning Hyde Park was this morning. We forget how beautiful our London parks can be. See a postcard for tourists of the Italian Gardens and you, think ‘ where’s that?’ And you suddenly realise you’ve walked through it a hundred times before, walked through it every month for years.

This afternoon we are heading to meet with Dr Digesu. He’s the man chosen to bring you into this world. I admit even though your mother’s stomach is huge and we have had a load of congratulatory messages, it is still hard to believe that you are actually coming to meet us. You are Paloma such a miracle. Maybe that’s why I am writing these letters. It makes everything ‘ more real’ if that’s the right expression. Anyway don’t forget to give us a wave or kick at around 5 o’clock. By then, we should be in his office.



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.

2 thoughts on “26th March 2020

  1. Dearest Simon

    It has been a long time since we have seen each other. One could say another eta.

    I’m so happy to read your Blog every morning with my coffee, in desolate West Hollywood. Some how your letters to your darling Paloma is so refreshing to read rather than the fear of the news and the panic on Facebook, a truly beautiful way that you should know is almost healing for me personally to read

    I am so happy for you and your beautiful wife forgive me as I don’t know her name!

    It is healing because my father went missing 7 years ago and it is simply beautiful to read a man’s insight to his daughter into what he feels and is experiencing through this new season

    A time when we are becoming more authentic, more connected even though on the outside it looks like we are quarantined and cut off from the world

    You creativity of writing and sharing with the world is a book in waiting for the world to read of how to be vulnerable and truly awe the beauty of what is happening to us all now as a human race

    Thank you for sharing and so much love to you and your family!!

    Summer & Marleigh (my golden retriever)


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