Sunday, August 23, 2009

Word is...


Word is that a certain person is in Cambodia at the moment. I haven't seen her although I was at the Elephant bar, Raffles, where she stays when she is in Phnom Penh, for sundowners last Friday. Since July 2005 she has held Cambodian citizenship and has made various donations to both humanitarian and environmental causes including the Maddox Chivan Children's Centre and a forest conservation project and wildlife sanctuary in northwest Cambodia and done her bit to help highlight the issue of landmines. She has a stilt house in rural Cambodia somewhere too.

J met Matt Dillon waiting for his driver at the front door of Raffles last year and they exchanged a few sentences. His association with Cambodia goes back to a visit in the early 90's inspiring him to debut his directing abilities with the grungy movie City of Ghosts, filmed in Cambodia, in 2002. Since then he reportedly flies back into the country fairly frequently to catch up with his friend Snowy who has a bar on the 'other side of the river' called Maxine’s Pub after his Daughter, The Blue Bar ( because it is an old blue house ) or simply Snowies.

Apparently Hugh Jackman and his young family holidayed in Siem Reap just before his 40th birthday last year. The rumour was corroborated by a couple of Australian magazines I read while in Singapore that had pictures of . Of course we were here, 5 hours away by road at the time.

The only international movie star I have 'meet' in person is Billy Connolly who I bumped into, literally, on the street in Wellington in the mid 80's. I was working in a continental cake shop at the time and still wearing the uniform- a blue dirndl with puffy sleeved white blouse. With minutes to spare till closing time I was racing around the block on an errand I'd put off and then forgotten about. I cut the corner and smacked straight into his belly. After peeling myself from the footpath, dirndl akimbo and cheeks firey hot, apart from saying a rather blurted 'sorry' I didn't dally. Years later, while living in Samoa, I whistfully admired a photo of Billy and our friends on the beach at Tanu Beach Fales (a much loved holiday spot) and regaled my tale of 'meeting' Billy. His wife, Pamela Stevenson, was sailing the steps of Fanny Stevenson, Robert Louis' wife, and writing 'Treasure island'. We had seen Pamela and the ships chef in the only store resembling a deli earlier in the week and like most of Apia had seen the huge luxury yacht in the harbour so had been hoping to catch sight of Billy himself and get myself another tale not involving a dirndl wrapped around my waist.

Tanu Beach Fales photo from


Sarah Lee said...

Fabulous 'star gazing' stories!

Joanne said...

haha, I can claim to be a (former) relation of the great Billy C...he was once married to the sister of my Aunts ex-husband. Figure that one out! Still makes an interesting pub story.