Legend has it that if you step in to a London cab and say, simply, “Take me to Stirling’s,” then you will be conveyed thither to Mayfair, and the mews residence which Sir Stirling Moss calls home. This morning I was privileged to have an appointment with Stirling to interview him for my next book, so I thought I’d put this legend to the test.
In the great tradition of Apple advertising (“Some sequences shortened”) we’ll flash past the bit where I leave my phone at home and nearly miss the train to London. Let’s begin at the taxi rank outside Waterloo station on a grey and chilly February morning.
“Take me to Stirling’s please.”
“You wot, Guv?”
“Stirling Moss’s house.”
“Where’s that, then?”
Thus was another panel stitched into life’s rich tapestry of small disappointments. Still, at least he didn’t say, “I had that Michael Jackson in the back the other week…”
I undertook the last part of the journey on foot and was shivering by the time I reached the door.
“My dear chap,” said Stirling, “you should stand in the loo for a few minutes. It’s much warmer in there.”
So Mrs Lady Moss decanted me into their beautifully toasty ground floor facility for a few moments before popping back with a steaming mug of tea. This all had a suitably restorative effect and the interview proceeded according to plan.
So, yes, a bit of an odd start to an interview, but not as strange as the time Gary Numan walked into the room carrying a bowl of Doritos and said, “Nibbles?”