Monday 27 August
We’re flying in from Nice having spent the weekend at a friend’s, and I have to say, I can’t wait to get back to work. Much as I love my family, and much as I love my holidays, having spent the best part of three weeks being bossed about by my wife, bossed about by my children and then bossed about by my friends, frankly I’m looking forward to getting back to the office where I can start bossing people about myself.
Tuesday 28 August
It’s my first day back in the office so I get in at 7.30am, which is where I stay until 8pm. Having been on my BlackBerry every day during August, much to my wife’s irritation, most important problems have already been dealt with, but there are several mountains of mail on my desk and a further half a dozen on my sofa. (BlackBerry is one of the sponsors of next week’s Men of the Year Awards and I make a note not to sit Mr BlackBerry next to my wife in case she thumps him.)
There are also several packages on the floor, including two pairs of the most disgusting training shoes you’ll ever have the misfortune to see (or not, as the case may be), a tie made out of cheesecake (I’m not making this stuff up) and one of those prints that are based on movie stills – this one is from Pulp Fiction and looks as though it was painted by one of those chaps who show their stuff along the Bayswater Road railings at the weekend.
The most intriguing package is from Jonathan Ive at Apple – the brand-spanking new iMac, an enormous thing the size of a small principality.
Having spent 20 minutes doing the post, I spend the rest of the day looking at proofs, copy and newspapers (calorific intake: one Pret ham and cheese sandwich, one tasteless apple, two large cappuccinos, a bottle of freshly squeezed orange juice, one cup of mid-afternoon tea, and a banana). See GQ’s publishing director Jamie Bill for the first time in weeks. Irritatingly, his tan is nearly as good as mine.
Wednesday 29 August
In Harley Street at 8.30am for a doctor’s appointment. Tedious, but necessary.
Chat with managing director (not tedious and very necessary). Proofs. Newspapers. Interview. Appointment. Proofs. Emails. Texts. Phone calls. Long-standing lunch appointment with Stephen Quinn, publishing director of Vogue, at Scott’s.
In the afternoon it’s proofs, copy, phone calls, emails, proofs, a couple of meetings and more proofs. Go home at 8pm and have argument with wife. Decide to sit her next to Mr BlackBerry at the Men of the Year Awards. Watch Newsnight and go to bed.
Thursday 30 August
Breakfast with GQ contributing editor Robert Chalmers. Discuss feature ideas and bitch about previous employers. Then I’m in the office with newspapers, proofs, copy, more proofs. Have three-minute meeting with managing director about our next cover (we decide it would be a good idea to have one).
Lunch with GQ deputy editor Bill Prince at La Petite Maison. Great food, pretty good service and full of everyone we’ve ever met. Interview with The Economist. Then proofs. Phone calls. Emails. Copy. Drinks at Soho House with Andy Coulson before going home to dinner with friends.
Read The Spectator, Private Eye and plough through the past three copies of the New Yorker. My favourite ever New Yorker cartoon is a man standing behind his desk, on the phone to someone, looking through his diary for an appropriate time for them to meet. The caption says: ‘How about never?”
Friday 31 August
Up at 6am to do the newspaper review on BBC News 24, then straight to the office to do the seating plan for the Men of the Year Awards. Sit Lewis Hamilton next to Naomi Campbell and see if I can get away with putting Lily Allen next to Kate Nash (one of my braver placements was in 2005, seating Daniel Craig next to Pierce Brosnan).
Bottle out of seating my wife next to Mr BlackBerry and put her next to Simon Kelner instead (he doesn’t use a BlackBerry). Eat a generic sandwich behind my desk. In the afternoon, my two young daughters come in to pack the Men of the Year goodie bags: the October issue of GQ, Links of London cufflinks, Jo Levin’s GQ Cool book, Elton John’s Rocket Man DVD, Michael Caine’s Cained CD, some fragrance, some fancy chocolates and a whole bunch of other products.
My girls spend all afternoon working their way through the chocolates. At the height of their sugar rush they get me to sit ‘Mummy’next to Mr BlackBerry. So I do.