Friday, 8 December 2017

Aesthetes.


                     Image associée

I have always been fascinated by aesthetes. From Regency dandies, via Withnail, to certain present day Arabic squillionaires, their insistence on 'style', and accepting only the very finest or rarest is laudable. They also keep an awful lot of people in work.

Personally I have never been in a financial position to afford the title of 'aesthete', but I have had the pleasure of knowing one particular person who did.

M was at school with me, and he always stood apart from us other mere peasants as never ever accepting the 'norm'. I think it was he who insisted that we only smoked Sobranie cigarettes in our study rather than Woodbines or Player's Weights.

Whereas the rest of us furnished our study with tatty threadbare easy chairs, M purchased an ornately covered antique Chaise Longue. At one time he bought an early Silver Dollar which he sent off to Garrards in Bond Street to have made into a silver money clip. Very chic. On leaving school he bought himself a rather swish Lancia, whereas most of us made do with a bike or the tube.

His first flat was in a Georgian block by Oxford Circus with a uniformed Doorman and a Concierge; he also became a member of a prestigious Gentlemen's Club in St James. Both addresses looked very exclusive on his embossed note paper.

The strange thing is that even if I'd had the money to live such a lifestyle; I wouldn't have. To M it was normal. I think he was much influenced by his mother who drove a lovely old battered Royce, and wore hand-made Crocodile skin shoes. I was the type who just went along with the usual high street Hoi-Polloi; vest and pants from Marks, food from Sainsbury's, and all my aspirations aimed on next month's salary cheque.

M spent his life searching-out the best of everything. He was tall and slim, with longish silver blonde hair; he certainly looked the part. He wasn't at all 'dandyish', but one could tell that everything he wore was expensive. I don't think he was hugely wealthy; just discerning. He never married, nor did he ever have a 'job'. His life's aim was to live as well as he possibly could within his means.

I hadn't heard from M for ages, and I thought he may have died, but he's suddenly contacted me again, and I'm pleased to learn that nothing of his old life style has been sacrificed. These folk are few and far between, and should be preserved (possibly in a Museum!).

I don't know why he bothers with me, he must find me terribly dull.





37 comments:

  1. Perhaps you are as fascinating to him as he is to you!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I doubt it, he always berates me for being an old scruff!

      Delete
    2. but considers you worth berating..

      Delete
  2. We need more people like him. Makes the world go round. The Cambridge Spies had one in the name of Rothschild, took them everywhere in his Bugati.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. They are a dying breed; to be nurtured.

      Delete
  3. Lapo Elkann comes to mind, but not sure if he is more a dandy than an aesthetes.
    Greetings Maria x

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. There are probably more in Italy than elsewhere.

      Delete
  4. I recognise Richard E. Grant in your photo, from the fantastic film Withnell and Me.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. He was an aesthete, but without the means.

      Delete
    2. "... without the means". My point entirely, Cro, and you somewhat contradicting your original post that in order to be an aesthete you need money. You don't. All you need is an appreciation of art and beauty. And STYLE. Oodles of it.

      Anyway, good to have friends like the one you describe. Why so depreciating of yourself? Are you fishing?

      U

      Delete
    3. Not at all. I'm perfectly aware that I'm scruffy, and a bit of a hermit; and frankly I like it like that.

      Delete
    4. Withnail is based on a real person known to Bruce Robinson the film's director and writer. He was an old Harrovian rejected by his family for choosing life as an actor. The film was inspired by this man's descent into alcoholism and indigence. He died at 47 from throat cancer but lived long enough - I think - to see the film come out.

      Delete
  5. Dearest Cro. In spite of your self deprecation, I am sure you are rarely dull. Much more style with a battered old Roller than a new Audi.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I hope I'm not too dull, he just tolerates me!

      Delete
  6. What a perfectly marvellous character!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. He is indeed, and hasn't changed for about 55 years.

      Delete
  7. "We want the finest wines available to humanity. And we want them here, and we want them now!"

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Luckily I'm rather fond of 'Piquette'. But I'm not totally against a few bottles of Pétrus.

      Delete
  8. Those sort of people not only make me feel dull, they seem to imply that I am below their intelligence level as well. I don't mind fops, but I resent aesthetes. They always have the sneer that you man in the photo has as well.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Tom, the cosmos speaks. You and I left a comment in reply to Cro at exactly the same time (1223 hrs). We are destined for each other, don't you think, in our clashing ways.

      Anyway, and that goes to both you and Cro, there is nothing less attractive in anyone (man or woman) than them putting themselves down. "Dull"? Really? Well, come to think of it, now that you have drawn my attention to it ...

      "Sneer"? I do not hesitate to point out that both you and Cro, in different ways, are given to sneering big time. Which I find amusing unless it's annoying.

      U

      Delete
    2. Well, Tom; that's told us! We'll just have to sneer in unison.

      Delete
    3. Did someone just say something?

      Delete
  9. How nice to have such a colorful person in your life. I assume that he inherited his money since he never worked. Good for him for being able to live a life that is true to him.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. He must have inherited it when quite young; he certainly didn't hold back at school.

      Delete
  10. The fact that you appreciate your old friend (and described him so beautifully) shows that you are not dull in any way.
    I have a friend with this sort of style, I often walk with him on Fridays so hopefully I'll see him today. The things he knows about, style-wise, it's like he is from another time.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. He sounds a little like M. He too ignores the age in which he lives!

      Delete
  11. Even aesthetes need friends. Does everyone only have friends that are just like them?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I've never met any of his friends, so I wouldn't know.

      Delete
    2. You do know that you are one, don't you?

      Delete
  12. Well I certainly find you anything but dull Cro,

    ReplyDelete
  13. That's a bygone era lifestyle the fact that he has been able to maintain it for so long is amazing, like a fossil encapsulated in amber. We need a little of the times long lost.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. That's how I feel too. I don't particularly envy his life style, but I do admire it.

      Delete
  14. Forgive me but I beg to differ. I'd bet my last dollar that he has always found you fascinating, and might even envy you.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It's possible that he might envy my 'bohemian freedom', but he would never want to live as I do.

      Delete
    2. he can appreciate your life and ways..as you can his.

      Delete

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...