February 18 2013
Up at 5am.
I have a strong coffee, then Weetabix with too much sugar. It helps the headache and the weakness from the flu. I put the news on as I dress; Ed Balls and Ed Miliband are saying tax the rich more, blame the bankers, mansion tax on £2m houses… It’s all over the press and all over TV. It’s just more nonsense and more conning. They should take a look at the mess François Holland is making in France, and I don’t mean my client Gérard Depardieu’s take on tax increases. The Labour Party should concentrate on real ideas for working people. Less tax for low-income households, work projects that benefit infrastructure, and investment incentives for businesses that directly bring jobs. Ideas. Specific ideas.
I bring it up because it’s what’s on my mind. I employ roughly 60 permanent folk, and more if there are big projects or movies or TV events happening. I am proud to be the operator of a small but powerful company. We pride ourselves on being bespoke and on problem solving. I didn’t build the business to get rich quick – and the same goes for my brand Chucs, and our publishing division. I build because the hunt is more important to me than the kill, and because creative business inspires me.
It’s been an intense working week and today I fly to Nassau in the Bahamas, on my way to Los Angeles for what will be an even more intense week of work – and, of course, some play over the Oscars weekend.
After the Oscars, I am travelling to France, Italy, Japan, Germany and Switzerland, all within the month. So I work hard and times are pretty tough, and it really makes me want to open the window and yell like my father does in Network – “I can’t take it anymore” – when I hear the government wants to tax me yet further.
Heathrow is packed. My flight to Nassau is also packed. I grew up in the Caribbean, so it’s really as much home as London. There’s a 48-hour stopover on a small island I have been going to for 35 years. I take an island-hopper and land at Eleuthera at 5pm local time. I am in the sea at 6pm, floating on my back. The rain is bouncing on my white forehead, clearing away a world of troubles. I feel the cold sand on my feet and I breathe. My mind is clear.
In the evening I assemble my fly rods and clean my gear. Tomorrow I will go out with Patrick, my fishing guide, in his small skiff off across the bay and into the flats of Eleuthera. We will fish alone for hours, hunting the silver tail of the bonefish, and the world will stand still and wait for me. A perfect weekend.