Taki on Gstaad summers in the line of fire
Taki Theodoracopulos, better known as Taki, is a journalist and writer, living in Gstaad, London, and New York. His column ‘High Life’ has appeared in The Spectator for the past 25 years, and he has also written for National Review, the London Sunday Times, Esquire, Vanity Fair, the New York Press, and Quest Magazine, among others. In 2002 Taki founded The American Conservative magazine with Pat Buchanan and Scott McConnell. He is also publisher of the British magazine Right Now! and has been writing for GstaadLife since its first season in 2003/4.
One more summer kaput. Mind you, Mother Nature's teasing us, with September days looking like the August ones we never had. Good weather or bad, I am now happier in summer up here than in winter. I guess it has to do with age. When I was in my twenties, winters in Gstaad were de rigeur. But summers? No way. Back then it was the French Riviera which beckoned Circe-like, and boys and girls our age obediently answered her call.
Photo: Taki with Lara Livanos...click here to find out where and why
Nightclubbing ditto. Back then Gstaad had as much nightlife in summer as Hillary Clinton has sex. Actually it was non-existent. Now I much prefer summer nights at the Palace lobby than even the GreenGo nights of the past forty winters. Again, it all has to do with age. When one's young one doesn't mind being roughed up in a nightclub. When one's a senior citizen, comfort is of the essence. Even back in the Land of the Depraved, as I call New York City - where the grief culture (which will reach its zenith next week) is just another embodiment of the towering self-absorption of the city’s natives - nightlife is no more. Going out in New York was a great thing then, as people went to Studio 54 to dance and have sex on the balcony. Now nightlife is controlled by PR and security. The GreenGo was never like Studio, but some lucky ones have had a quickie or two when Romano wasn't looking.
Yes, summers in Gstaad have a lot to do with health, family and lotsa walking and climbing. And shooting. This takes place every year in the TIR of Rougemont, a shooting club which is the best kept secret of the region. George and Maruxa Nicholson take it every year and hold a shooting competition followed by a marvellous lunch during which the lucky ones invited are inundated with presents. How does one get invited? That's like asking how does one become attractive. One either is or is not. It is up to the Nicholsons, punto basta, as they say in the land of pasta.
This year was the best one yet. It had to do with the brilliant sunshine and the fact that there were fewer competitors. (Back in 1998, when the Nicholsons began their annual give-away, we were close to one hundred and it was a bit too much; this year we were around twenty and it was perfection). The beautiful Lara Livanos won the ladies trophy, and although I have to say so myself, it was your's truly who won the men's. Trophies and gifts aside, Princess Romanov gave me the most wonderful birthday present, one that some may take exception to, but one that I have already hung up on my wall for everyone to admire. (Heinz Moratti, the shooting expert, worked his usual magic, and the competition went off beautifully - it involves rabbit, tower and trap - except for when this writer almost did away with George Nicholson by keeping my finger on the trigger while loading.
Never mind. It's been a great summer…see you in the winter.
Above photo: (left to right) George Nicholson, Taki, Prince Nicolas Romanoff, Maruxa Nicholson