Another pina colada, darling? Or do you want to have a swim in the ocean first?
One thing the pandemic has taught us, as if we didn’t know it already, is that we are not all in this together. We are not all in the same boat, making the same voyage, faced with the same obstacles and problems on this sea of despair.
While all of the country is locked down, with all the sacrifice and restrictions that involves, there is another tier out there. A higher tier.
Simon Cowell, in Barbados
It is a tier of no fear and precious few boundaries, where footballers party with impunity, the super-entitled refuse to mask up in supermarkets and the rich and famous fly off on exotic holidays unencumbered by the rules that pin everyone else down in their homes, in their neighbourhoods, in their own hubble-bubbles of toil and trouble.
How can it be that innocent weekend walkers are quizzed by police for buying takeaway coffees while others can take refuge in their second homes, enjoy holidays hither and thither or slip abroad for long periods of time, soaking up the sunshine and enjoying non-stop luxury and services, convincing themselves they are Covid martyrs because they have to slum it with two ice cubes in their cocktails instead of three?
Chloe Ferry from Geordie Shore, in Dubai
Don’t they realise how serious the situation is back home? Winter is here, the snow is falling, Andy Murray has tested positive and John Lewis has suspended Click and Collect. I don’t think I can carry on for much longer.
To still be able to slip around the world, to come and go as you please at a time like this? It takes a lot. It takes a lot of money. It takes a lot of nerve. And it takes a lot of staff to take care of business while you are on the beach in the Caribbean, toasting your tootsies.
What must that be like? A summer holiday seems like an unattainable dream to most of us now, but Simon Cowell (pictured) appears to have taken root in Barbados, while Sir Paul McCartney is among the shoal of glitterati skipping about St Bart’s without a care in the world.
Love Island’s Sophie Piper, in the Maldives
Now I don’t begrudge any of them any of this. There will always be those who are richer and luckier than you, while there will always be those who are poorer and less fortunate. You have to be grateful for your place on the ladder, wherever your foothold lands.
However, my ungroomed eyebrows were raised at a UK-based concierge service flying out members on private jets for vaccination holidays in Dubai.
If there has to be a line in the golden sands of First World privilege, then I think I would draw it right here. Super-rich British members of the Knightsbridge Circle — a £25,000-a-year private club — are being transported to India, Dubai and Abu Dhabi to stay in luxury villas while they get the double-pronged Pfizer jab, relaxing in five-star villas before getting their second dose. And all this for about £40,000 each.
As of this week, the club also has access to the Oxford/AstraZeneca vaccine in India, which has been sold to the Government there for about £2.50 a dose but is also available, according to reports, for £10 a shot on the ‘private’ market.
One has to wonder about the morality of those who are happy to pay to board a private jet and fly halfway around the world to jump the queue in India, an impoverished nation of 1.3 billion, many of whom live cheek-by-jowl amid ramshackle civic infrastructure.
The UK Government may have made many mistakes as the pandemic unfurled — don’t get me started — but at least the various vaccines are not available privately here. There would be justifiable uproar if they were.
Kelsey Stratford from The Only Way Is Essex, in Dubai
After all, the Covid vaccines are not consumer goods and should not be allocated like them, no matter how much rich people are willing to pay.
So far it is being allocated according to clinical need and age, with health workers and vulnerable groups at the front of the queue. And yes, that includes the homeless, who have been given the vaccine by some GPs.
For not only are they more vulnerable than most, but they can’t ‘stay at home’ to protect the NHS for obvious reasons.
You can keep your beaches and your tier-busting lifestyles and your flouting of the rules that don’t apply to you anyway.
It warms my heart to see that there are moments when we can still be a civilised country and put the needs of the disadvantaged, the elderly and the poorly before our own.
We haven’t got much to boast about at the moment, so let’s cling on to that.
George Clooney has decided that at the age of 59, he is too old to be a heart-throb any more. George, we will be the deciders of that, thanks all the same. And I think we can agree that while he may be in the gloaming of his gorgeousness, he has still got IT.
Question. Is it fair that age is often no barrier to the attractiveness of the older man?
George Clooney has decided that at the age of 59, he is too old to be a heart-throb any more
Answer. No it is not. Colin Firth (60), Brad Pitt (57), Bruce Springsteen (71) and Daniel Craig (52) are all silver foxes still in their fifty-shades-of-grey glory. Meanwhile women — what I mean here is women like me, and really what I mean is me — turn full Miriam Margolyes after hitting the big 4-0 and then head straight down the wormhole of elasticated waists and rosé wine.
But look! We are not alone. In the newest ad for his Miraval rosé wine, our Brad is photographed in his tracky bottoms, apparently crashed out on a deckchair after a three-bottle lunch. There is hope for us all yet.
I’m waxing lyrical about comfy wear
Spouses giving each other haircuts during lockdown once seemed daring, if desperate. But hats off to actor Kevin Bacon, who went one step beyond and gave his actress wife Kyra Sedgwick a bikini wax.
‘How hard could it be?’ thought optimistic Kyra beforehand. She soon found out.
‘It was agonising,’ she revealed on an American chat show, adding that it was a miracle she didn’t end up in A&E.
Hats off to actor Kevin Bacon, who went one step beyond and gave his actress wife Kyra Sedgwick a bikini wax.
I say it was a miracle, full stop. There are a lot of husbands out there who can’t be trusted to mow the lawn in a straight line or without damaging the rockery in the process.
Meanwhile, psychiatrists have given a new name to those scruffy lockdown clothes worn at home when slobbing about in front of your loved one — it’s called hate-wear.
Not only is ‘hate-wear’ a cry for help, apparently it is also a passive-aggressive way of indicating innermost feelings of despair and discontent to your partner. Should we really invest so much emotional freight in one old pair of leggings with a hole on the knee? Shame there isn’t a medical term for simply ‘being comfy’.
So if you are wandering around in an old grey cardigan over yesterday’s jimjams and a pair of mismatched socks, what exactly are you saying?
I think you are saying, ‘No I don’t want a bikini wax, thanks all the same.’
Hold it right there. Prince Harry has grown a ponytail. Apparently an appreciation of unconscious racism and a newly hatched green conscience are not the only things he has grown in his Californian lockdown.
There is no photographic evidence so far, but I am imagining a ginger blaze of hirsute defiance; a cheeky pigtail that symbolises his Meg-xodus from the House of Windsor better than any 200-page statement ever could. He’ll be burning his blazers next. Saying goodbye to double cuffs for ever. Ditching his royal titles and … no, let’s not go too far.
The new style was spotted in Montecito by neighbour Rob Lowe. But here is what I am wondering: was Lowe sure? How can he be certain it was Prince Harry and not some scavenging, lost coyote, with a mangy pelt momentarily enriched and glowing in the setting Californian sun? That sounds about right to me.
Why Lily’s a funny kind of heroine
What now? Lily Allen has revealed that she thought about taking heroin when she ‘hit rock bottom’ during her 2014 supporting act stint on Miley Cyrus’s world tour.
Lily was talking about her ‘sobriety journey’ on a podcast — and detailed her lowest point on the tour, when she turned to drink, drugs and prostitutes.
Her weight rose to 14st before the tour and she began taking a drug similar to speed to lose the excess pounds. This apparently sent her on a downward spiral.
Lily said: ‘I was supporting this girl (Miley) who was much younger and more attractive than I felt. I was thinking: ‘I think I’ve got a drinking problem. And none of this acting out is working any more. Maybe I should try heroin.’ ‘
As you do.
Needy: Singer Lily Allen
All the usual ghouls have applauded Lily for her honesty — and she has certainly had a lot of difficulties in her life — but so much of this doesn’t make any sense. In 2013 Lily was pregnant with her second daughter, Marnie. She gave birth to her first daughter Ethel in 2011.
In 2012 she told one newspaper that she considered having laser liposuction at a Harley Street clinic. She blames men, the media, the music business and everyone else for her issues. While it is true that she has suffered from postnatal depression, she is the kind of 35-year-old mother of two who still acts like a needy teenager.
Perhaps that is why she has been too busy and preoccupied to take in a child refugee, after saying that ‘of course’ she would. That was back in 2016 after visiting the ‘jungle’ migrant camp in Calais and crying prettily about it on television.
Maybe she has! But it would be unlike her to keep quiet about her sacrifice.