This month sees me well into my new health and fitness regime, which I am doing to stabilise my health following the operation to remove my kidney.
I have become a member of the beautiful Herb House Spa in Lime Wood in Lyndhurst and I travel there three days a week to take part in the aqua aerobic classes. I also swim 20 lengths each time.
It is very peaceful and I can eat healthy food that complements my kidney-friendly diet. It is very hard for someone who loves their food so much to give up so many of my favourite things – imagine a life for a Frenchman without croissants or Champagne! But I’m lucky that I can still eat the seafood that I love, which is delicious and still good for me, too.
I also visit Norton Park Hotel in Sutton Scotney twice a week to swim another 20 lengths each day, and then I have the weekend off. The weight is falling off me, and I feel much brighter.
My long-term friend and hairdressing legend Trevor Sorbie came to visit the team in the salon recently, which was incredibly exciting for them all. He stayed to celebrate the birthday of our dear friend Maria Weijers at The Greyhound in Stockbridge.
Maria was the journalist who discovered me at the beginning of my career, and she gave me my first cover when she was editor of The Hairdressers Journal. I was featured alongside Trevor and all the most famous names in the industry at that time. I was in the best company I could have asked for!
All these years later, I have been honoured to receive the President’s Award at the Fellowship for British Hairdressing’s Hair Awards 2022, and I was invited to join all the most recent Fellowship award winners in London for a celebration lunch.
I was delighted to meet up with my friend Ann Herman, the first lady of British hairdressing and an icon in the industry, and my fellow Frenchman Robert Masciave, who came to work for me when he left France to forge a career in the UK. He became our artistic director and stayed with us for 11 years before going on to become one of hairdressing’s most creative and innovative voices.
I was invited to give a speech and was honoured to receive a standing ovation from the crème de la crème of British hairdressing.
It is wonderful to be back in the salon three mornings a week, and I have been overwhelmed by the good wishes from my team and all our clients and friends.
Working is very important to me, and it is a passion of mine to pass on my knowledge to the next generation. I have started visiting Basingstoke College of Technology once a month, where I teach long hair. I love working with the students and seeing all the talent coming through to give our industry a bright future.