I used to think Tara Palmer – Tomkinson was a waste of space ‘it’ girl. And then one day I read, in the Mail On Sunday magazine, an article about Tara that interested me, and changed my opinion. On reflection, how dare I make that assumption? I made an audio recording of a consultation for her, and sent it to the Daily Mail, asking them to send it on to her…..and thought no more about it.
A few days later I arrived home to find my best friend, Caryl Wayte, had been trying to get in touch with me all morning. She had received a phone call from Tara, wanting to speak to me (I had included one of my business cards with the audio tape, displaying mine and Caryl’s numbers). I called Tara, we had a chat, and she invited me to be her guest on LBC radio, saying I could bring Caryl, too. So, Caryl and I set off, and we were collected at the train station, and chauffeured to a nice hotel just around the corner from Harrod’s. I definitely wasn’t used to ‘posh’ stuff at that time, and was highly impressed by the fruit bowl, containing a delicious mix, including red currants! The bathroom was gorgeous. I thought I had died and gone to heaven! I STILL remember the white chocolate cheesecake we ate in the restaurant…….sigh.
Now, during the night, one of us required ‘sanitary protection’, and I will always remember Caryl, sitting up in bed, phone in hand, conversing FIRMLY with a member of staff, about said problem…..but nothing was forthcoming, apart from the address of the nearest chemist that opened at 9am the following morning. To this day, there is a certain tone of voice we still call the ‘sanitary towel’ voice!
Tara was……Tara. She was warm, crazy, excited and kind. After the broadcast she jumped in the the chauffeur driven car with us, and took us on a tour of the rich – people houses, before being dropped off at a dry cleaners, to collect her outfit for her evening gig. I didn’t see Tara again after that, though I did speak to her. She got in touch when going through a rough patch, and she sent me some money, and a card, which I still have, to this day. Tara was an emotional, caring, passionate lady, but I can’t pretend to have ‘known’ her……I can only talk about the part of her I was allowed access to. And her sister, Santa Montefiore, the highly successful author, was also kind to me. I never met her, but we had phone conversations, and she put me in touch with her publisher. I was invited to London, given a nice lunch, and ALMOST had a book deal, but it fell through at the last-minute. The agent I had acquired hot – footed it into the distance, and that was it. But what an experience! I have continued to write, and I have sold some of my work, but more importantly, a small select group actually READ my blogs, for which I am truly grateful…..and it makes me a writer! Not a best – seller, but still, a writer.
And Tara was the one who heard something she could relate to, responded and acted. She got in touch with me……no airs and graces. And that was Tara. She was real. She lived in a very different world to mine, but for an incredibly brief time, our two worlds crossed. I received a huge amount of interest and business, following my appearance on LBC. I am incredibly sad that her precious life on planet Earth has come to an end. She was an amazing pianist. She could write. She could ski. She could talk. She could sing. She was gorgeous. She was fun. She was kind. She beat herself up. I hear her, just a little, and I know she is fine. But still, I am sorry you weren’t here for longer, Tara, and we will miss you. Thank you xxxx