I spend Monday night in the guest room at Travis’s London residence. It's the first time I've visited him here as our paths normally cross in France. I admire the palm trees growing in his garden, and then over a bottle of wine, we chat about his weekend in France and friends that we have in common. We talk about the credit crunch and, as usual, his insider knowledge of the finance world strikes the fear of god in me and convinces me that it is not a good idea to take out a personal loan of £10,000 to have my teeth porcelain veneered by London’s best cosmetic dentist.
‘You can always be airbrushed,’ he replies, when I tell him I need to have a smile as white as the slopes in St Moritz, as I have to be photographed soon for a newspaper feature.
Instead, of investing in porcelain veneers, it seems I should be worrying about the impending food crunch and stockpiling bags of rice and pasta.
‘I’m just so grateful for my garden in France,’ says Travis. If it all goes t***s up, at least I can grown my own vegetables and be self-sufficient.’ I don’t know why but I have to stifle a snigger at the idea of Travis quitting his job and tilling the earth a la Tom & Barbara in The Good Life.
Travis goes to bed at 9.00pm as his driver arrives at 5.30am on the dot to take him to his job in the City. I work on my laptop until late, finishing a feature that is due in tomorrow morning. My favourite Abba song, Super Trouper is playing on his I-pod, a scented Apothia candle flickers on the coffee table and there is a simulated log fire roaring away on the enormous flat screen TV. (Funny as we are used to sitting round the real thing at his house in France.) I type the final full-stop close to midnight, and repack my bags once again for NY tomorrow.