A few days after Freddie’s Mad Hat Party. Queen were back on the charts with ‘Who Wants to Live Forever’. This kept Freddie feeling on top of the World as we took off for our Japanese holiday at the end of September 1986. It was the trip of a lifetime and cost Freddie well over a million pounds. Joe packed Freddie’s cases. He’d been to Japan before and loved to regale me with stories of his previous visits. ‘Really, the best time to go out is the spring when the azaleas are in bloom,’ he said. Azaleas were his favourite. He also said he was looking forward to buying things in Japan for Garden Lodge. He had finally set his heart on transforming the house, which still had bare walls and empty rooms, into a proper home for us all.

Jim Hutton