30th April 2020

Darling Paloma,

I admit walking down the street to take the dog out is getting increasingly more difficult. I’ve moaned before, but people’s lack of awareness or just good manners is depressing. But now I have another problem. Only today with eyes purposely set on the coffee bar, someone who in the past has badly let me down appeared across my vision. I’ve seen him a few times before but I’ve always been able to avoid him. This time it was impossible to turn and look into an empty shop. He walked straight over, all chummy as if we were long lost friends. He was full of platitudes and resembled precisely what I think he is: averagely good, top of the class bad and too cowardly to be evil.

I noticed he waved at anyone who lived on the street. They, in turn, picked up their pace and looked at me with pity, ‘poor Simon, he’s been caught?’ Even the local vagrant who sleeps on the bench outside the church was hiding behind a tree as if playing a game of hide and seek. He gave me the thumbs up. That tree I thought could in the future be necessary cover.

He noticed my shaved head. ‘ I hope your change doesn’t just apply to your exterior,’ he said, sounding more like my ex headmaster.

I began to smell the coffee from the local bar, and although I never like to be rude even to shits like him, I lifted my lapels in the manner of a screen detective, smoothed down my absent hair and said, ‘you’re a bore, I must be off.’

‘ See you soon,’ he said, obviously not hearing what I had just said. I hope not I thought and then as I walked away, I stopped dead in my tracks and said, ‘it’s Captain Tom’s 100th birthday today. Let’s all raise a glass to his health. ‘

Bedford School displays 135,000 birthday cards sent to Captain Tom.

‘Who’s Captain Tom,’ he asked. I paid no attention. My coffee awaited, and nothing was going to stop me. Nothing except a police car which roared past almost knocking me off my feet and squashing me out of holy existence. It would have continued its speed except suddenly it ground to a halt. The vagrant had decided at that point to leave his tree to cross the street. He didn’t seem to mind that he had nearly died. I do though and gave myself a good scolding. We have you arriving in just seven weeks from today. And later we are heading in for the 32nd-week scan. You’re as big as a cantaloupe, so your mother’s app says and your skin is now opaque instead of transparent!

Strange although at times, the days feel as slow as an evening shadow, the last week has spun by.

See you later, my tiny one.

Te Quiero mucho,


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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