Sunday, August 30, 2009

August wasn't quite what I expected. Part One

August has been a rollercoaster. Still homeless in America, through an unfortunate combination of other’s caprice and my fiscal incompetency, I was living in New Jersey with a pair of heavenly hosts and two Basset Hounds when the call came to tell me that one of my mother's oldest friends, my godmother's husband, & a man I loved very much had died.

My father very generously bought me a plane ticket home and, three days later, I was being driven to Newark at 6am to catch a flight to Heathrow. I had booked it a day and a half early to avoid any delays – the weather on the East Coast has been atrocious this summer, with electric storms turning airports into hi tech plane parks most weeks.

Arriving late into London, I headed to the post-work calm of Clerkenwell, and the loving welcome of old friends.

I spent the first morning in my home city in back to back meetings, followed by an epic eleven hour lunch fuelled more by streams of converstion than by rivers of booze, although I’d be lying if I said we weren't well-lubricated. I blame Charlie McVeigh for choosing lots of delicious wine for our meal at his glorious Café Anglais and setting Mrs Trefusis, IK & myself off on the path of badness, which ended up with plates of chips and guacamole at Lucky Seven at some very advanced hour, via seats in the sun & buckets of wine at The Westbourne.

The next morning I dressed carefully and caught a train from a heaving Kings Cross, packed with children and tourists and police, arriving in Sandy in the rain.

I handed out my mother & sister’s birthday presents from the back seat of the condensation filled car and we headed to church.

The next few days I spent at home in the country with family & other animals, before heading to London to see, variously, Miss P and her family playing on the grass in Regent’s Park, BA & her husband M in Chelsea for a Saturday dinner party at their glass & light filled first marital home (I had been a bridesmaid at their wedding in Cap Ferrat last October and hadn’t seen them since).

I forced literary L to Shoreditch House at an unearthly hour for a Sunday, and we spent the morning slathered in conditioner & moisturizer in the steam room, before hunkering down on an outside bed on the sun terrace. Lunch was spent with C at Dim T in Highgate, wedged between two delightful infants, each of which carefully laid a sticky, loving set of paws on the arms of my new silk shirt. The joys of Godparenting.

Which continued next day, when they considerately checked that I was awake bright & early. After all, I wouldn’t want to miss a single moment of the dawn, now would I?