Hilary Fannin: A splendid week for Brooklyn Beckham and me

He has a new luxury LA pad and personal tattoo, but I have an award and a sign off of my own

Brooklyn Beckham and Nicola Peltz, Brooklyn’s ‘future wifey’. Photograph: Dominique Charriau/WireImage

Brooklyn Beckham and Nicola Peltz, Brooklyn’s ‘future wifey’. Photograph: Dominique Charriau/WireImage

 

Brooklyn Beckham and I have had a splendid week. Not together, you understand. I’ve never met the 22-year-old photographer, son of David (affable ex-footballer and heavily tattooed underwear model) and Victoria (former Spice Girl turned successful fashion designer, a pouting chanteuse with the charisma of a coat hanger).

Anyway, Brooklyn – who luckily wasn’t conceived in Brum or Belmullet – and his 26-year-old fiancée, Nicola (no geographical naming shenanigans there), have just bought a Beverly Hills residence offering views of Los Angeles and the Hollywood Hills and boasting, among other amenities, a pool, spa and wine cellar.

I, meanwhile, won a literary prize for my first novel and had, like, loads of people offering to buy me drink. While this is not quite the same thing as having a wine cellar, if I play my cards right I’ll be accepting other people’s hospitality ’til Halloween.

My stomach’s in the kitchen making falafels, my liver just popped down to the offie and, if you have a minute, I’d just love to introduce you to my spleen, who’s upstairs in bed writing bad poetry

Meanwhile, back in Beverly Hills, the enamoured Brooklyn has continued the fine family tradition of marking significant life moments with a new tattoo. The impassioned snapper recently had an entire love letter, penned by Nicola, permanently inked on to his young back.

There are quite a lot of words in the letter, which begins: “My forever boy. Read this any time you feel anxious.”

That’s a nice sentiment, but given the tat is on Brook’s back, the couple may need to consider installing some cleverly angled mirrors in the spa.

“You have the kindest heart I’ve ever met,” sweet Nicola writes.

Do you mean he’s the most kind-hearted person you’ve ever met, Nic? The more literally minded among us might get a bit thrown by your phraseology. Come in and meet my heart; it’s a kind heart, the kindest you’ll meet in these parts. My stomach’s in the kitchen making falafels, my liver just popped down to the offie and, if you have a minute, I’d just love to introduce you to my spleen, who’s upstairs in bed writing bad poetry…

“Just know we can get through it all together if you breathe slow and trust. I love you. Your future wifey.”

The well-known florist from which the bunch arrived is only operating online at present and I couldn’t garner any illuminating information from that source

Look, apologies for the pedantry, wifey, but don’t you mean breathe slowly…

Anyway, shortly after I won my award, my neighbour banged on my door with a big bouquet of flowers.

“I thought they were for me,” she said. “I thought finally, finally, someone has sent me flowers. Then I looked at the card. It has your name on it.”

I quickly showed the emotional creature the door, without so much as an offer of a peony, and tore open the gift envelope to see who’d sent the bouquet.

The message was heartening, stirring almost, but there was no name attached. The well-known florist from which the bunch arrived is only operating online at present and I couldn’t garner any illuminating information from that source.

They are beautiful flowers, uplifting. I’m “made up”, as they say. Thank you, sincerely, whoever you are.

Tokens of affection matter. I wear my mother’s engagement ring, whipped from her stone-cold finger. My vertigo-afflicted husband once gave me a silver necklace for driving him around Spain while he lay on the back seat not looking out the window. These things have meaning.

The biggest gift that winning a literary-debut award in my sixth decade has given me is a renewed confidence that age does not have to be a barrier to doing something new

So too, apparently, do Brooklyn and his squeeze’s newly extracted wisdom teeth. Yep, Nicola – model, actor and dentistry enthusiast – recently revealed on social media that she has had the couple’s wisdom teeth turned into gold necklaces.

You’ve got to admire the couple’s enthusiasm for wearing parts of each other on their person, but man alive, where will it end? Brooklyn’s tattooed pelt made into a handbag for their silver wedding anniversary?

So, anyway, July already. Half the year gone and not a child in the house washed, as my Great Aunt Peggy used to say.

I’m taking a break from this column for a while, a decision I made a few weeks ago. I’m going to put my head down and try to break the back of some other writing work. Thank you all for getting me through the pandemic; these weekly missives into the ether have kept me connected to an injured world.

The biggest gift that winning a literary-debut award in my sixth decade has given me is a renewed confidence that age does not have to be a barrier to doing something new. I think, in fact, that our capacity for embracing creative discomfort, for feeling the fear and doing it anyway, probably just gets stronger as we get older.

See you on the other side.

Hilary Fannin won the 2020 John McGahern Book Prize for her first novel, The Weight of Love, published by Doubleday

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