Wednesday, 10 June 2009

My 75-year-old Dad bags a celebrity girlfriend

My father went off to lecture on a cruise liner in the Indian Ocean over the festive season last year and pretty soon began sending lively despatches home about an interesting person he’d met on the ship.

Back in South Africa, he developed a severe case of mentionitis, a non-life-threatening affliction that strikes all but the most reticent on embarking on a new romantic relationship. In my Dad’s case, it was ‘Catherine said…’ and ‘Catherine did…’ and ‘Catherine thinks…’ and ‘When Catherine and I…’.

My father is a dapper man of not inconsiderable means, so my own concern was that some inappropriately aged dolly-bird with plastic boobs and an eye on his bank account had ensnared him. I need not have worried. Catherine is 62 which, while technically young enough to be his daughter (Britain’s youngest known father, Sean Stewart, became a dad at 12 when the girl next door, 15-year-old Emma Webster, gave birth in 1998), at least puts her in my dad’s age bracket – that of being legitimately able to lay claim to a pensioner’s card.

But – as the man says on the Verimark ads – that’s not all. Catherine is also a bona fide celebrity, at least in her home country, where she’s Holland’s answer to Oprah. So even though I have entertained her on my very own verandah (pic above), and of course was dying to blog the fact, I had to keep schtum in case Prive (Holland’s oxymoronically named answer to heat) picked it up and ran it in their scandal pages.

But now Catherine has come out on her own website, with pic and all, so I’m free to spill the beans. (If for nothing else, read her blog for its glorious automatic Dutch-to-English translation.)

My father spent his 75th birthday with her in Europe, in a five-star hotel overlooking the Mediterranean. They’ve also spent some time St Tropez, where Catherine has a house, and in Cannes, where they’ve rubbed shoulders and shared foie gras with the rich and famous.

Now, that’s what I call growing old disgracefully.

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Juno said...

Honestly, Mur, I thought you were joking when you wrote this post. But then I clicked over to Catherine's site and was amazed and delighted to find that the (according to Google translation services) 'old editor of Time Magazine in Cape Town' is now indeed dating a celebrity girlfriend.

Well, who woulda figured?

tonypark said...

Excellent! Give my best to your dad.

YOu'll have to introduce me next time we're both in Cape Town. I'll beg her to have me on her show in HOlland to talk about my books and I promise I'll jump up and down on her couch like a chimp. Honest.