Now, the plan was a relatively simple one. Having missed her birthday party on the Côte d'Azur earlier in the summer, I was going to fly with Tracey down to her beautiful farmhouse in the south of France, stay a few days — perhaps sampling a little Ricard and Fontaine along the way — and interview her in the process. Having been friends for over ten years, I'd never actually formally interviewed Tracey.
Like I said, simple. Although as I've learnt to my cost, with Tracey things are rarely simple. Fun, yes. Simple, no.
Firstly, we couldn't agree on which lounge to meet in, as there are now so many in Heathrow's Terminal 5 that we were literally spoilt for choice. We fleetingly sampled three of them before finally boarding. Then, having spent the flight gossiping about the bad behaviour at this year's Serpentine party (which we agreed was probably the best one ever, if a little noisy in parts), we successfully negotiated the vagaries of the car hire offerings at Nice airport (we settled on a convertible black Renault Mégane, largely because they didn't have a gunmetal grey Porsche 911)... and then proceeded to spend two and a half hours on a journey that should normally take about 90 minutes. Tops.
All because Tracey couldn't remember where she lived. Well, she may have known where it was, but she was having difficulty finding it. Her and me both.
Admittedly, we had an old Nouvelle Vague CD and a fairly staggering sunset to distract us, but a two-and-a-half-hour car journey is still a two-and-half-hour car journey (and there is only so much Nouvelle Vague a poor boy can take).