What’s the worst I can do? Lie.
Well, it wasn’t exactly a lie. Somewhere deep inside my addled brain I really thought I would go to India but here’s what happened. For three nights I haven’t slept. I’m not saying I am the New Messiah, but when I rose this morning I knew that something had shifted.
I showered really early. So early that the dawn chorus was just clearing it’s throat. Then I jumped into my little car and set off for London. Don’t be silly – of course I got dressed first.
I have a two seater red Mazda MX something or other (I don’t care about that bit) with a soft top and a very good sound system, although Jim reckons his controls are better than mine. (What is it with boys and their knobs?) I clambered into my seat, put on a wooly Tibetan hat that makes me look like a very sad old meer cat, checked the time, 7.00a.m., and put my foot down.
It wasn’t exactly cold but it wasn’t warm either. By the time I reached Streatham, I’d thawed out. I arrived at the flat in time to check my emails (lovely people you are), strip the bed and change into my trainers.
Then I walked very briskly. So briskly that when the white van men honked their horns, I knew it was less about my hour glass shape and more about certain body parts wobbling and my little legs taking me as fast as they could. I arrived in Sloane square with 30 minutes to spare.
I went into Chelsea’s Parish Church and sat in a pew on my purse. Fancy me – thinking anybody would nick it in a house of God. But anyway, I sat unevenly, closed my eyes and had a jolly good meditate.
When I opened my eyes, the parish council were quietly mumbling round their big table. It was a little like the Vicar of Dibley without Ms French. The huge stained glass window was incandescent. I tried to leave as quietly as I could but my trainers squeaked on the floor. The parishioners ignored me in that obvious way groups do when an interloper has interloped and I left the smell of lillies behind me.
I then met up with my literary agent and a young woman, who are both setting about shaping my memoir. I asked for a camomile tea with a little pot of honey and got an Earl Grey instead. The girls asked for one cappucino and one latte – two cups of identitical coffee arrived. I ordered a croissant. Something resembling a dry ferret landed on the table, and that’s when the aforementioned literary agent lost her trolley and demanded a plate, a napkin and a little respect. All I wanted was my tea.
We discussed me and the book and that was it. I sauntered off. Well, less of a saunter and more of a trot. Then I called Jim, who was walking Jackson in the woods 50 miles away. The 239 bus arrived and I decided to jump on it.
A very loud young woman, reeking of old vino, entertained us all with her beery ramblings about taking her trousers off in the public lavatory so she could blow dry her gussett. Dont ask.
In the car on the way home I started thinking about what my problem was with India and it became clear:
- Why go somewhere so beautiful without Jim?
- April is just about the hottest time.
- My resistance is so low at the moment, what with GFL coming to an end and me having sudden bouts of deep sadness, that I thought I would come back with malaria, sleeping sickness and a large hole in my bank balance.
By the time I got to Crystal Palace, I had made a decision.
Now, the thing about ironing is that the gentle monotony of the task enables you to think things through. Although, ‘The National Theatre of Brent’ were on Radio 4 at the time and they are so brilliant and funny that I nearly burnt a hole in my underlay. When they had finished, I dived back into thought. Where could I go that would give me the retreat of Cochin and the sun of Kerala with peace of mind?
I decided to go to San Diego where The Optimum Health Institute resides. It’s meant to be quite the place. So, using Jim’s credit card I/he booked three weeks in the Californian sun, with four days in La La Land with my mate Sybil the Soothsayer, and the cheapest flight in the history of aviation. I just hope the email tickets arrive on time.
In the middle of all this, I had a back tooth out. Right horrible it was, but the Tibetan’s believe that when somebody pops their clogs a tooth dies in sympathy.
GFL and my tooth have, like all good things, come to an end.
So, dear friend, that is why I am now going to the manaical US of A instead of the magical IN of Dia. My gum hurts, my tongue hurts, but I am all of a quiver thinking about three weeks of vicious de-toxing. Carol Vorderman watch out – the old girl is on the juice again.
Jackson will be cared for by my eldest step-daughter, Hanna. Jim will be rehearsing at the Globe and I get back just in time to watch BBlicious strut her stuff in Lewisham. Hurrah!
I am going to bed now because my gum is nagging (Jim says not unlike me, the cad.)
Sleep well, y’all ( just practicing my yankee) and cu2morrer.