Ah, big sigh. Today was the day that my best friend and her husband left us to fly home to NZ. NZ is so ridiculously far away. Like a joke place. Like Atlantis or Timbucktoo. And so we all said goodbye, once again. Now I no longer have a statuesque, bronzed, nicely highlighted, archly-browed and toned-of-thigh Amber asleep in our living room. It is EMPTY (and clean, which is a slight bonus). Honestly, look at that fabulousness:
It turns out that running gives you those legs. And three months in Europe gives you that tan. Apparently. Another sigh.
Anyway, my wallowing is becoming boring. Even the children have asked me to stop. So I will list those things that you could do with your best friend on her last week in a town she has lived in for five years and that she still loves.
Saachi Gallery. Free. Easy to get to, big, always interesting, and FREE.
The Tate. Ditto.
The Serpentine Gallery. For rooms filled with Jeff Koons’ blow-up poolside animals made cleverly out of aluminium. But do not touch, or the gallery assistants will GET YOU. I know this for a fact.
The Selfridges sale. For pink Chloe jackets for the miniscule sum of £70. The kind of jacket that is tailored, and has a little almost-bow, with clever pleats that look expensive. Bracelet sleeves and slightly cropped. Just right for tall blondes who look good in jeans. And Michael Kors wallets that are reduced at £55.00. Bargain.
The Trinity Hospice second-hand shop for Marc Jacobs metallic platform sandals. For £20.
The Old Vic to see Sinead Cusack, Rebecca Hall and a vaguely creepy Ethan Hawke in The Cherry Orchard. My first Chekov, thank you very much. Unfortunately we were about 7 minutes late and so had to sit in the bar watching a white-out monitor for the first 35 minutes (!!). We drank gin and tonic.
Dinner at Le Cafe Anglais. Which used to be McDonalds, but is now gorgeously turned out to look like a 1920’s Art Deco steamship. The starters were fried artichokes with aioli.
All was going swimmingly until we got to the mains. The roast ham that we sauntered past on the way to our table that beckoned so enticingly and crunchily was actually a little like mainlining Maldon seasalt. But the gratin dauphoise was like slipping into silken sheets and going to sleep. In a creamy, cheesy, potato-y kind of way. So it was win some, lose some.
And so the tricksy little ham gave us the dry horrors all night.
Westfield. For a Karen Walker robot necklace for about one third of the price in NZ. And stuff from the COS sale. And the very best Pho spicy chicken noodle soup in maybe the WHOLE WORLD.
Westbourne Grove. For coffee and antipasto platters from the slow, slow, slow staff in Carluccios. And birthday presents from SCP. Never, ever, get the staff to giftwrap your purchases. It is like psychological torture. It is so slow you want to bite your own arm off.
The Communal Garden. For the summer party. Where they fed us Costco burgers, and made us barn dance. The less said about that, the better.
Anyway, last week shall settle into my Amber memory bank. And I will wish for her to be here, and it too shall settle into a comfortable kind of missing.
Note: I miss Glenn too. He of the cardigan-denial.
Tomorrow we go to Dorset to camp in a tent. It will probably rain, and I may return a broken person. More broken than today, I mean.