Girl Crush by @BookMinxSJV
The object of my very first girl crush, an (almost) all-consuming affection, devotion and overwhelming (non-sexual) adoration, was my very first boss. Aged fifteen, wide-eyed, bushy of tail and mid 1980s of hair style, I found Ms G fascinating. Highlights the colour of burnt sugar, she rocked her pencil skirt/silky blouse/just-shy-of-sensible court shoe combo with a side order of shoulder pad, lady briefcase and permanent Rothman Royal slim cigarette hanging from her fingers, like a boss. Everyone was petrified of her acid tongue, quick temper and sly side eye. Everyone except me. Some twenty-five years my senior, she intrigued me. And if I’m honest, thirty-odd years later I still get goosebumpy thinking about her. Her strut. Her power. Her unwavering confidence. The way she owned a room, years before owning a room was even a thing.
She mapped a blueprint on this impressionable drop-out like no one had before and only a handful of people have since. For four years, under her iron fist, I watched her do her thang. The work-hard ethic. The play-harder rule. She had a work/life balance that included yoga daily at dawn. Twelve hours at the office. Chardonnay for dinner. Rinse and repeat. No kids, estranged siblings. Rich ‘life partner’, poor lover. Weekending twice a month to her flat in Paris that the life partner financed and the lover decorated. She was bitingly quick witted, smart, loyal to those in her loop, effortlessly elegant, well read, better travelled. She laughed like a drain and danced like no one and EVERYONE was watching.
Over the years I’ve met, become friends, frenemies, besties, clients, colleagues and passing acquaintances with hundreds of women who have made an impression.
An ex-cruise ship can-can dancer turned estate agent called Helen who had the glossiest hair I’ve ever stroked, and thirteen stray cats who shared her home overlooking the river in Barnes that she bought outright with the cash she made in tips from high kicks.
My sister. The smartest woman I know IRL. There is not a person she’s ever met whose name she can’t remember. There is not a game of Trivial Pursuit she can lose, a pub quiz she can’t win, or an academic qualification she hasn’t passed, with honours.
My spinster Aunt E. Who taught me about olives, creme de menthe, the importance of a well dressed table, wearing gloves when outside the home, and who firmly believed that all women should wear lipstick at all times. No excuses, no exceptions.
So finally, 300-odd words later, I’m getting to my point. Today marks the publication day of the gorgeous hardback gift edition of A Mother’s Love by long-standing girl crush, bestselling author, Top Girl in every sense, Santa Montefiore. Charm personified, Santa makes everyone she meets feel special…important…worthy of her attention. She is a wife, a mother, a daughter, a sister and one of the very best eggs I’ve ever met. She can read palms, plays the piano, knows Buenos Aires like the back of her hand, gives incredible Dinner Party, knows nail varnish, is clever and funny, and has one of the most uplifting laughs and attitudes to life of any woman I’ve known.
So Huge Happy Publication Day Santa. You deserve every success, every warm wish, and your rightful place at the very top of my laminated Top Ten Girl Crush List….