Listen, do you want to know a secret?

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Don’t you hate it, when someone tells you they have big news, but then go on to say, they can’t say more?

Well, this week, I’m that person. I have huge news. Massive. Lifechanging. Alas, I’m the one who can’t say. Keeping secrets is something I’ve been used to, for most of my adult life. In the past, I’ve written social diaries, for many newspapers and magazines. While the articles were mainly about my life, from time to time, I was asked to write about others. A task, I hope, I always treated fairly. As someone who’s been written about, rather a lot, I chose to report on the good that people were up to. I mean, if you’re going through a breakup or divorce, does it really need to be splashed across the media? Certainly not.
Over time, I found myself gathering so many secrets and tit-bits of information about people. Sometimes, prominent- from politicians to high-profile socialites. Sometimes, mind-blowing stories. Other times, not so much. Mostly, I didn’t want the information,but I heard it nonetheless. Over the years, I found myself being approached by strangers in nightclubs at 4am, pleading that I never write about them. Some, sending bottles of champagne to my table. Bottles that remained as untouched, as those who purchased them. The bottles, as they weren’t required. The purchasers, as I had no idea who they were.
One Monday afternoon, an “unknown purchaser”, approached my table in a restaurant. His point-to remind me how he’d sent “vintage champagne” at 4am, the previous Saturday. Before I realised, he purchased more, and joined myself and my friend, at our tiny table for two. Eventually, explaining, he was a “humble car salesman, who mixed in high society” (I kid you not). I drank his pop, and accepted his line, “please never write about me”. Yet, here I am. After years of keeping, or probably, discarding secrets, I was a pro. However, as the week unfolded, I found it more difficult to keep my secret. At dinner, with my best friend, after ‘one for the road’, I broke my silence. The response-utter chaos. Then, endless questions.
Questions, followed by champagne. Yes, thankfully my secret, is good news. In fact, it’s the best. But enough about me. How are you holding up? You know, we’ve cleared over one hundred Corona Days. This evening, applaud yourself. Eat the pasta, raise a ‘Vera Lynn’. Think of the last few months. Think of the good that’s come of our downtime. Days when we managed to catch up on ourselves. Reading the books we received for Christmas or spending real time with loved ones.
It’s been a forced existence, but one I hope you’ve embraced. Tough times can bring emotions we may have chosen to ignore. Sometimes, these feelings make us stronger. I can say, emerging from this unusual era, I feel alive. If I can keep my secret for another week, well let’s see… We all have secrets, but as you know- bad news travels fast. For good news, one must wait.

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