Being called Mrs Moneypenny means I am often asked if I am related to my namesake, who, on screen at least, is also 50 years old. The other Moneypenny, who, unlike me, never married and was thus a Miss, was first seen in the James Bond film Dr No. The film is possibly more famous for the scene where Ursula Andress emerges from the sea in a bikini. In 2006, Daniel Craig reprised that scene in swimming trunks, in a much-publicised moment filmed on the beach at the Ocean Club estate on Paradise Island, in the Bahamas.
Last week, I spent a few days in a house facing the very same beach, so I took myself off to see if anything, or anyone, of interest might emerge from the sea. OK, I made that last bit up – I did stay in a house on that beach, at the home of the much-collected artist Jane Waterous, but I was there for a bit of R&R and a post-50 career summit with my Non Dom Girlfriend, my Hedge Fund Girlfriend and my Financial Services Girlfriend. I had outsourced all the Cost Centres (one to Morocco, one to a revision course, one to cricket camp) and Mr M was occupied giving private cricket tuition.
What comprises a career summit? The four of us exercised in the morning (tennis, gym, swimming in the pool, and also in the sea just in case Daniel Craig happened by), and had beauty treatments in the afternoon. In between, we discussed our current roles (we all have more than one, and several of them are unpaid) and the businesses in which we have invested. Topics ranged from Basel III to my management accounts. It is very energising to be with three such positive and life-embracing women on an island that even has a branch of Nobu.
The Girlfriends are all involved with the boards of FTSE 100 companies, and are all slimmer, fitter and more glamorous than I am. I do not think there is a correlation, but I have determined, for the umpteenth time, that I must do more exercise. I live in a house where everyone is obsessed by sport, so you would think I could manage it. Mind you, my family’s obsession can be very irritating, such as when Mr M used up the whole of our daily internet download limit in a South African hotel by streaming an Australian Rules Football game to CC#1’s laptop.
It’s not that I am entirely unwilling – I even hired a personal trainer during my recent trip to South Africa. After just one day, the effects of her efforts were so marked that I couldn’t sit down on the loo without holding on to the sink. I have made a bit more progress since then and I have even acquired a TRX suspension trainer to use at home. (Who am I kidding? I’m a member of a gym near my house, and a member of a gym at work, neither of which I get to with any regularity, and now I think I am going to train at home?) The Ocean Club gym has two TRX suspension trainers, and I put them to good use, before gratefully retiring to the showers, where the towels are Frette and I felt as though I had accidentally wandered into a special edition of How to Spend It.
The spa had double treatment rooms, so HFG and I took massages on adjacent beds. This sounds sociable, but HFG has recently had braces fitted to the inside of her lower teeth and unless she applies industrial quantities of dental wax she can barely speak. I pointed out that if Daniel Craig ever does emerge from the sea, she won’t be able to hold much of a conversation.
Before leaving, I sent Mr M a photo that will make him more jealous than even the (imagined) attentions of Mr Craig: a photo of the golf course. It was hard to drag myself back to the UK, but at least BA’s inflight movies included The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo. So I did finally get to see Daniel Craig.