Last night, Mark and I were invited to a Fawlty Towers things at the Charing Cross Hotel by some lovely friends of ours who were having a birthday. Not my usual cup of tea but anyhoo, we arrived and had a drink and started talking that early evening smalltalk in the middle of summer with friendly strangers – the only uniting factor being the one person you have in common – and as we were walking through to the dining room, I turned to the lady we were with and I told her that she had the most luminous hair. And as soon as I said it, I just thought that was the most stupid thing to say to somebody ever. Because what does luminous hair mean? Like the moon? Like a blonde-hair-crafted-lighthouse in the middle of the ocean, able to save the ships from dashing onto the rocks simply through its gleam and bounce? I said that I had meant to say that it was glorious and lovely, but by then my strange compliment stained the air with its offness. She laughed and said she’d take ‘luminous’ anyway, and I was left to wonder why my brain was misfiring. There is no such thing as luminous hair – only perhaps if you were
a) some sort of bearded jellyfish, or
b) if you were reacting to some sort of chemical experiment in a Marvel comic.
And then I was sat at her table and I stole glances at her admittedly fabulous, enormous blonde wavy round bubbles of cascading waves – truly astonishing, but not in any way capable of emitting light. We didn’t really talk after that.
Basil was a little bit attractive, and Sybil looked like this:
And rather humourlessly, I felt sorry for Manuel and wondered about the political correctness of making fun of an immigrant with English language difficulties. The food was unintentionally 70’s hotel-like, a lonely chicken breast swimming in an oxo cube gravy with a thin vegetable soup to start. But the wine was plentiful, and the hotel was gorgeous and old and someone told me I looked tiny, so it was win-win. We walked half of the way home in amongst the clammy, slow-walking, large groups of pavement-hogging tourists and Soho louche, and got lost in the labyrinthine Crossrail detours and pathways that lead to embarrassing pissy-smelling dead ends and once again, dear Reader, I swelled with pride at my lovely jumbled fancy city, which may well have taken on a wine-soaked luminous glow, if I remember correctly. I even held hands with Mark, even though I wasn’t actually speaking to him, owing to an awkward shouty fight to do with whose turn it was to chose the next Netflix TV show to watch. It was a Friday night awkward shouty fight which ended up with me storming out and pacing the mean streets of Queensway at 10pm, wondering where I could go. I didn’t want to have dessert anywhere by myself, because I had already eaten cake at Honey & Co, and I didn’t want coffee because it would keep me awake, and I thought it would be embarrassing and a bit late to knock at any of my neighbourhood friend’s flats, and the library was closed, and wandering the aisles of Boots looked a little bit boring, and so I slunk back home and locked myself in the bathroom and stripped off, ready for an angry bath with a face mask and a cranky leg shave and maybe some resentful exfoliating, but the boiler packed in and there was no hot water and so I had to come back out into the living room, looking all THWARTED. In any case, he didn’t look up from his Discovery Channel TV show where naked people get released into jungles with no supplies. It was very, very upsetting.
Here is a happier day, after strawberry picking – new Lee jeans, kind of stained, and lovely Otis who is very keen on summer fruits:
Ned went strawberry picking on his own, and came back with mostly hard white strawberries. Nice shirt though:
And here’s Ned again, not letting me into the flat unless I paid him to move out of the way. Handsome, but a little bit mean to his mother:
So today we have been to Surrey to let Mark look at teepees, camping ovens and small remote controlled helicopters. It was extremely boring to have to go and view these things and I feel kind of weepy for my lost afternoon. When they say marriage will be hard at times, they may well be referring to enforced camping gear excursions and selfish TV-watching quarrels, right?