Wednesday, 16 May 2012

Meeting Charles Osborne - ex Kayu Aya

After finding a room in Knightsbridge and settling in I contacted friends, as I wanted to offload the Ikats as they were becoming a "pain in the bum" having to cart them around, I felt like Gurdjieff in his 'Meetings with remarkable men'.

Noelle Simpson rang to invite me to a dinner party at her place, which was at Kensington for about fifteen people, most whom I knew, except for the person sitting opposite, who was a tall, loud mouthed American, and as he became drunker, he became louder until I asked him to 'cool the farm'.Some where during the  table conversation, it came up that I had been living in Bali, when the American heard this, he took some interest in me - lo and behold, who should he turn out to be, non other than Charles Osborne - the American who built the Kayu Aya Resort, Bali.

Initially I did not like the man he was bombastic and self opinionated and loud, so loud that i left the table and exchanged telephone numbers as i wanted to catch up with him but not that night as he was to pissed.

When I next contacted him he was very bitter over what had happened in Bali and his world was in major disarray,Charles was an alcoholic and in a depressed state,he was divorced from his wife Katinka who had remarried  the former  Californian Senator John Tunney.His business Euromedico, which built turnkey hospitals in Africa,was no longer operational and his source of income was dependent on friends who also were diminishing.

Over the years Charles had lived in Paris and was a high flier , who counted amongst his friends the German Playboy, Gunter Sachs who was married to Brigitte Bardot amongst others, Larry Collins and Dominique Lapierre who both co authored the book ' Is Paris Burning'. They all used to ski together at St Moritz and ' do the Cresta Run' - a ice racing toboggan track for the wealthy. Charles wife as mentioned before, was the niece of Carl Gustaf - King of Sweden, so he used to hang in exalted company.

Not so much now, Charles was intent on trying to retrieve his interest in Bali and was trying to resurrect other business ideas, and over the weeks we spent more time together and he endeavoured to get himself on track, but the booze had him in its grips. I would come around in the mornings to his apartment in Pont Street, which was around the corner from Harrods and would smell booze on his breadth about He drank vodka with Carlsberg Elephant beer chasers, and by mid morning he would be off his face, and nearly incoherent. We at this stage were trying to launch a video courier service to the Hilton Group in the United Emirates where Charles had contacts and all was being jeopardised by his drinking.

We decided to confront this devil drink, and I took Charles to see an Australian Psychologist in Harley Street, about admitting Charles in to a detox clinic and he suggested Bethlehem Royal Hospital.Bethlehem (Bedlam) has been part of London since 1247 and recognised as the worlds first and oldest institute to specialise in mental illnesses.I signed  Charles in and he was shitting himself, as I was the one who had total authority on his release. Charles used to call me " digger", when I dropped him off for his twelve day detox programme, he said to me after being admitted in his deep Southern American drawl " Digger, for fucks sake don't forget that I 'm in here."

I visited Charles most days, after he was in there for a week, we were in the visitors lounge talking, I mentioned to him how quite the atmosphere was through out the hospital and he said I've saved you a present, and handed me two pills, with the instruction on taking them to be close by a couch. Later I remembered the pills when I was back in his apartment and took the pills as he instructed next to a large sofa, no sooner had I swallowed both, in about one minute I was off in La La land to awake about six hours later- no wonder the hospital was so quite, they just drugged the shit out of everyone and thus no disturbance.

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