a Christmas Cocktail, based on vodka, lemon juice and crushed white ice.
Third of December and Antonia was already sick of hearing it. Radio One DJs were tipping it to be the Christmas Number One, but it bored her. In July, waiting at Pisa airport, her bag, containing the manuscript, clutched to her chest, she was tingling. She couldn’t wait to taxi from Heathrow to Rob’s mansion in Sussex. Never certain, but sure she had not lost her touch, she prayed it would grab him.
After she had played it for the third time, he rose from the chesterfield. ‘Yes … yes, I’m sure that will,’ and he fell back, eyes closed before he splayed across the jade leather.
Peaches ran into the room. ‘Sorry Toni, he’s not been well, but I’ll get him clean. We’re recording next week and he’ll be okay by then. I think it’s terrific. It’s all recorded and on video, so I think it will be fine. Don’t worry.’
The two women hugged and Rob’s wife again consoled her, before handing over keys to one of Rob‘s cars.
‘Ring Jacko when you get home, he’ll come and pick it up, and … well done, it’s a great song.’
That afternoon seemed years ago. She had since written more songs, submitted them to other artists and their agents. As she turned the key to fire up her Ferrari, the song blared from her speakers, filling the cabin with tinkling bells, strings and Rob’s mezzo snow flakes. She touched the steering wheel and the sound disappeared. She sighed, but then grinned. The previous day her bank statement had confirmed that the first of the song’s earnings had flooded her account. Snuggling into the seat and engaging first gear, she was looking forward to her trip and shopping for gifts at Fortnum’s.