Saturday, February 15, 2020

Elton did it after all

Went to the altar that is, with a woman.

I finished cleaning out Mother's wardrobe yesterday. All sorts of interesting bits and pieces were found, but not Mother's sovereigns. R reckons she hocked them. I asked R if I should just slip her mother's death certificate into my pocket and he said no. She wasn't upset about it. Three fifty dollar notes were found, not that old. I should have pocketed two of them for the $100 she borrowed from me and never paid back.

She was on a mission at lunch, to tell us how badly she was treated by our late step father. At times he did treat her badly, but I mostly think it was because she had a very stable middle class upbringing and he did not. Other reasons too. I do admire him for generally putting up with Mother and he was mostly terrific with my brothers and sister. I missed it but R later recounted that Step Father said she needed to see a psychiatrist because she asked him for sex. Too much information really. He also hit her once. Just once, otherwise it was mutual mental cruelty, but in their later years they did grow to accommodate each other. Maybe even love!!!

Since my apparently appalling driving last Thursday, R has driven, just twice out for short trips. He asked me to drive today but to not scare his passenger. I set the radar cruise to 82 where appropriate and then to 102 where appropriate and just sat in the middle lane for the trip out.

I did the same returning but following a truck for most of the way that varied its speed to from 90 to 100. No matter. I stayed right behind it, the cruise doing the acceleration and slowing.

You know what was a very relaxing way to drive and I am now a convert to not changing lanes to keep to your speed. No one travels too slowly in the centre lane.

Although the traffic was banked up on our return journey, it didn't matter too much. The digital radio signal fails as we near Mother's. I switched the radio over to analogue and on ABC Radio National on the way home we listened to a fascinating nearly one hour interview with Lorenzo Montesini, Prince Giustiniani , Count of the Phanaar, Knight of Saint Sophia, Baron Alexandroff  who grew up in high society in Alexandria, Egypt. The family emigrated to Australia at the height of the Suez Crisis but his mother hated Australia and returned to the deserted Alexandria. Lorenzo stayed with his distant father in Australia. He enlisted in the Vietnam War and met the love of his life, a handsome, charming and masculine blond Aussie soldier. There were together for decades until the love of his life died from AIDS at St Vincent's Hospital in Sydney.

It was a curious relationship. So many, male and female, chased after Lorenzo's partner and many must have succeeded for a brief time. From Melbourne they moved to Sydney and became Sydney's high society at their home in the then rough area of Woolloomooloo. He became friends with the daughter of tabloid gossip columnist Pitty Pat Potter and her mother, The Empress, Primrose Lady Potter. Once again Lorenzo was living the high society life, as he knew from his Egyptian childhood.

The only failing in the broadcast was I didn't actually pick up why the gay Lorenzo who had a loving male partner nearly married Pitty Pat Potter in Venice, among huge media hype about the wedding and then the fact that he was a senior gay flight attendant with our airline Qantas and the wedding didn't go ahead.

I expect most of you Australians have a vague memory of the the marriage that did not go ahead, with the bride almost at the altar and the groom bolted with his best man, his actual partner.

I was going to insert a photo of Lorenzo but I came across this

And this,

Ah, here is a classic paparazzi photo as Lorenzo was leaving his Sydney Woolloomooloo home


  1. It sounds as if leaving Primrose almost at the altar was the best decision for all of them.

  2. With a name like that it's a wonder he didn't escape into the unknown earlier, and become John Smith!

  3. I wonder if there is a podcast of the interview, it would be really interesting to listen to his story.

  4. I listened to the interview on the ABC podcast, really interesting.

  5. No memory of this at all, not even a vague one. I never followed such stories in the papers and perhaps it didn't even make it to the papers in SA. Also it was the 90's and I was busy working, trying to keep home and family together.
    I didn't know Elton went to the altar with a woman. When?

    1. River...Elton's wedding in Sydney in 1984 when he married Renwate Blauel was huge news at the time....It was all over the TV, in newspapers and magazines.

    2. Thank you, one of those decades where I didn't pay attention to any news media. Too busy with small children aged from 3 to 11

  6. It all sounds very complex. There was a lot of fuss recently in the UK about a popular TV presenter who has been married for 25 years (?), then came out as gay on his show. I think we all knew anyway, but it gave the press something to write about.

  7. He married in Sydney, it didn't last but they remained good friends. Highriser go straight to the source for the wedding story, Annie O'Dyne will know the lot. I vaguely remember, Womens Weekly had a field day with the story.

  8. ahhh yes... Primrose Lady Potter... I remember reading all the arty farty high society news :) At least she was seriously involved in the Ian Potter Art Foundation and the Victorian Opera Company.

  9. When my father passed away I also found letters and photos and a whole past from which I didn't know anything !

  10. I don't know any of these folks but the stories sound flabbergasting.

  11. Never heard of him at all but that doesn't surprise me.
    Remember Elton getting married, that was on the news and I was rather surprised he actually did marry her.

  12. Oh your mum sounds like she's always been a bit of a character Andrew 😉 Cruise control is definitely the way to go. Since my nephew lost his wife in that shocking accident I'm a dreadful passenger, how P puts up with me I don't know, especially on country trips 😱