Tuesday, May 28, 2024

Amanda Eliasch: “What’s on your mantelpiece?”

The Steeple Times asks writer, poet and photographer Amanda Eliasch: “What’s on your mantelpiece?”


The Steeple Times shares “wit and wisdom”. What’s your guiding force?



“Don’t get even, get medieval” is, in our humble opinion, a great motto. What’s yours?

“When a woman deals with her loneliness, she is free”: Amanda Eliasch.


Kerry Katona was considered unacceptable in 2007. Who or what is unacceptable in 2014?

Chopping off peoples’ heads.


Tony Blair misses being Prime Minister. What do you miss most in your life?

If you miss things, you do not live in the present. I like to live in the present. Of course I miss the gentle nagging of a grandmother or a man to help when water pours through my roof on to my bed (as it did last week).


What might you swap all your wealth for?



Donald Trump was once a case of: “If you owe the bank a thousand, they close you down; but if you owe the bank a billion, you own the bank”. What’s your view on the banking crisis?

The same as Donald’s. I wish I was married to him.


What phrase or word do you most loathe?

“No worries”.


In the UK, some people consider charity to “begin at home”. What’s your view and what causes do you personally support?

We should all have responsibility to causes and people near to our hearts.


The judge in Law Abiding Citizen states: “I can pretty much do whatever I want” before being blown up whilst answering her mobile phone. What’s your view on the appropriate use of such devices?

We get killed by the very things we are most addicted to.


Amanda Eliasch
Amanda Eliasch

If you could fill a carriage on The Orient Express, who would be your fellow passengers?

That would be fun: My sons Charles and Jack as well as Alexandre Desplat, Sir Tim Rice, Mick Jagger, Tracey Emin, Rushka Bergman, Ozwald Boateng, George Clooney, Donatella Flick, Johan Eliasch, Franca Sozzani, Michel Comte, Poppy Delevingne, Adele, Marina Cicogna, Tom Cruise and my hairdresser, Snowden Hill.


If you were unfortunate enough to end up on death row, what would be your last meal and where would you eat it?

Lobster thermidor.


What time is it acceptable to consume the first drink of the day?

I do not like alcohol; boring I know.


A Negroni, a martini or a cup of tea?

An espresso.


Whose parties do you enjoy the most and why?

Those hosted by the Bamfords.


Who is the most positive person you know?

I am.


What’s your most guilty pleasure?

Having my makeup done.


If a tattoo were to sum you up, what would it be of?

A butterfly with a dagger in the middle of it.


If you were a car, what marque would you be?

A customised Aston Martin by the graffiti artist Inki.


Cilla Black presented Surprise, Surprise. Tell us the most surprising thing about you.

If anybody says “no” to me, I am likely to do it anyway.


What’s currently sitting on your mantelpiece?

Two candle holders by Oriel Harwood, a bronze greyhound, a Fairy Snow liquid bottle given to me by Tim Noble and Sue Webster, a sculpture of orchids by Marc Quinn and the ashes of my late father, Anthony Cave Brown.


Amanda Eliasch is a writer, poet and photographer. Charles Saatchi has described her as “the new Cartier-Bresson” and her works have numbered Sins Of A Butterfly, The Gun The Cake And The Butterfly and Cloak And Dagger Butterfly.


Follow her on Twitter at @amandaeliasch.



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    1. It’s interesting how all these women who have enriched themselves marrying married money become ‘poets’ and ‘writers’.
      I tried reading one of her poems…..what tripe!

      • I find your comment offensive. Amanda, from having read about her (I don’t know her), was successful prior to meeting her husband. She’s been successful since and she enjoys life. Don’t pick on her.

      • My husband had no money when I married him, we made it together. So to answer your rather biased question he did not make the money we did. I was always a writer from the age of 7

        • That you mention your husband in one of the questions is telling of your mutual respect for one another. It is good that, despite a divorce, former couples can say good things about one another. The success you created together should be celebrated and what you are doing now is fantastic too. Thank you for completing our interview. All the best, Matthew

          • Matthew can we please all stop ‘celebrating’ this and that.
            It’s getting as monotonous as describing the most irritating of show business people as ‘national treasures’…..

          • Peter has the “curse” sorry to have offended him. I think he dislikes people without knowing them… Goodness life could bring him such joy. Kiss it better sweet Peter. Stop being so grumpy so boring.

            • How poetic….I didn’t know Hitler but it doesn’t stop me disliking him!
              Why the supposition that my life is joyless? It’s far from being so. I just don’t have the need to broadcast every detail of my life to the world and his wife.
              Why not go Trappist for a year or two rather than feel the need to share every intimate detail of your life?
              As for me being ‘sweet’ ….that not quite how I would describe myself. Merely bored with the sheer vulgarity of the newly enriched.

      • Peter Wayde: Please stop being such a misogynist. It doesn’t suit you. I like your comments normally but this bitterness is not called for.

        • Thank you Eleanor

          But, I am not a misogynist . I love the company of women.
          It’s just that rather hysterical woman who revel in the limelight exhaust me

          • Rather hysterical, let’s get it straight. I am VERY hysterical. You do not know me, you have no idea who I am. I do not court press, they court me. So get some sleep and read something else. Night night. For goodness sake Matheew let him have his say and write his ideas down so we can all have the good grace not to pull him apart.

            • Peter Wayde comments on many of our articles and often has some insightful insights into topics that we cover. Though I don’t always agree with him (and with regard to Amanda’s interview I certainly don’t), I hope he will take us up on the chance to answer the 20 questions so we can all get to know his persona better. Thank you again Amanda for participating.

    2. A great interview by a talented lady. Peter Wayde is wrong to attack her. Yet another example of his jealous spirit. Why do you allow him to comment? He is bitter and bombastic.

      • Trace
        Matthew allows me to comment because he believes in Freedom of Expression. What d you ‘believe’ in?
        If people use the media(as Amanda E does) to promote themselves then the must expect to be the subject of comment.

        • I am called Tracey so please get my name right. I addressed you properly. That said, I again ask why you always leave such nasty remarks on the articles? What has Amanda done to deserve your comments? Why not say something nice for once?

          • Tracey dear, sometime I say nice things….but generally the ‘show off’s ‘ that modern life throws up send me into deep despair.
            I will allow you to call me Pete

    3. I enjoyed this interview very much. Amanda plainly has spirit and I admire her enthusiasm for life. The blog is fantastic and fun. Loved the one on estate agents especially.

    4. @Peter Wayde
      Thank you for you endless blurb. If you are reluctant for me to have any less advertising than I deserve, then your comments are counter productive, because all you are doing is adding more dialogue about me onto the internet. So I suggest you Zippit and write about someone who “deserves you”. Its not me I don’t “deserve” you.

      • Zippit it? Words now fail me….

        May I make a gentle suggestion? Don’t get so excited about a little criticism. Take it as intended….
        Now do Trappist for a year or two.
        A bientot

        • I did not mind the criticism I mind the instruction. I don’t mind advice, but the way you say it, it is like order. I don’t take orders I give them. By the way now you know you enjoy all this, and being unpleasant to me is the only way you could get close enough to chat to me. See your cover is blown.

    5. I enjoyed this interview. I did not enjoy the nasty comments. Peter Wayde should spend his days on the Mail Online’s forum. He would get a lot of red arrows.

        • See what I mean Peter you just have to have the last word. We get it, you are not a fan. If I saw you I might feel the same, so come out of the shadows. GGGGRRRRRRR
          Gosh I am so frightened..
          Have some humour, we are just small mammals all trying to get through.

    6. In my opinion Amanda Eliasch came across as a vapid, rather silly, self-obsessed woman in her interview and subsequent responses (mainly chippy ones over Peter Wayde’s comments). And what an unpleasant, arrogant and telling comment she makes “I don’t take orders, I give them”.

      I was disappointed as I had great respect for her talented father who wrote with great accuracy and insight on espionage and the world of intelligence. Not a question I fear of “like father, like daughter”.

      Mr Wayde is, undoubtedly, the unofficial chairman of the Victor Meldrew Curmudgeons Society. He comments, frequently, with acidic accuracy. Often his remarks are humorous and, sometimes, misunderstood by readers who seem incapable of thought and respond with clichéd rudeness.

      He is more than capable of responding to various comments without my help. He usually shows wit. He deflates pomposity and those who take themselves too seriously. I believe his bête noirs are ‘celebrity’, A listers, vulgar Noveau Riche and charmless oiks, devoid of style.

      Matthew, should he answer your “What’s on your mantelpiece” questionnaire I think you would be deluged by readers’ comments!

      • Glad you liked my Fathers books, I am sure you are not aware that I met my my Father at 22 at Heathrow Airport, I met him only ten times in my life, I was not allowed to. He is the reason I wrote at all. He said to me”With your heritage you should be a good writer, I want to see 5000 words by the end of the end of the day” When he read it he said he loved it, but to only do anything with it when he died. He also asked to remain with me in the house. If you were aware of his real history then I am sure you would say he was lucky to be on my mantelpiece and not some cold unloved grave. The last time I saw him he was singing the hit parade in a mental hospital, telling me he was going to run away and join a band, he died of dementia.

          • I utterly agree with you, Matthew.
            My father died in the same circumstances and I think it very courageous of Amanda to be so honest about something intimate and something so tragic.

      • Glenmore

        Thank you.

        I often wonder what Evelyn Waugh would make of today’s England if he had the grave misfortune to re-visit this land of ours…..

      • And I agree with your sentiment, Glenmore. For a father to die in such a condition is a tragedy.
        Have seen it myself I can empathise with Amanda on this

    7. “Vapid” is not a word I would use to describe Amanda Eliasch. Perhaps the questions are creating an image that doesn’t do her justice. She is a funny, witty, interesting human being, that would put most women lock down. Careful about Evelyn Waugh, she may have read more than you have. Never underestimate a blonde. Clever woman may care that you make ill conceived judgements about them and you have no idea Am I a fan? Sure am. Before any snide comments about my intellect ,know that I have two degrees. I believe Amanda has too.
      Aren’t people nasty Matthew?

      • After Amanda’s honesty over her father I have slightly changed my opinion of her, however your comment “Careful about Evelyn Waugh, she may have read more than you have” is rather odd.

        You seem to infer that Waugh’s work is intellectually challenging. Most readers of the ST might consider him an easy going holiday ‘read’…especially for those such as yourself with your two degrees!
        The only snide remark I make is this. It appears from your rather odd turn of phrase English might not be your first language. Are you American or Canadian? That could account for my conjecture.

    8. Peter we will become firm friends at this pace. Actually to answer NV’s message, I prefer Nancy Mitford, Thomas Hardy, Shakespeare Sonnets, Thereze Raquin/Zola of course, is on of my favourite books along with Madame Bovary. So many. NV is right I read, but I do not read Waugh. I should. I will try dear Peter.

      Next episode of my father.. My father used to jump out of hotels, without paying a bill sending it to his them employers The Daily Mail, in the days that journalism was glamorous. He took my Mother’s money when they got married and spent it on deep sea diving equipment and private jets, parties and frolics, without buying a flat in Lebanon as he had promised. My mother then had to work solidly to pay of debts by working at the local Radio station. He Accused my mother of infidelity and throwing me once I was born, across a room on a regular basis. (He did not admit this, I never asked him if it was true, best not to).Anthony Cave Brown was indeed a brilliant writer. My mother may have been impossible to live with, but he was tricky too. Both huge characters. He did however repeat the same sort of thing with me. He asked me to go to NY and stay at the Pierre Hotel. He promised to pay the bill, but instead left me with it, saying that he did not have the money. My mother was furious I believed him. Well family life is never ever easy.

    9. The only thing I know, Amanda, is that having a father who behaved as yours did, is incredibly affecting for a child. Having heard your story I think you have done very well to survive so I take my hat off to you.
      It’s often very difficult to forgive bad parents, but if we don’t we remain prisoners of their awfulness.

      And I speak as one who knows


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