The daughter put her hand on my shoulder at 7.30 this morning, I had actually been up but had fallen back to sleep, she jiggled me awake.
I put on the same clothes as yesterday, packed a little shoulder bag and went down to the garage to pick up Nellie.
I unlocked the postbox on route. A bill, so I thought, from BT, the relief when it was just one of those letters that starts to tell you how much you can save for family and friends if you play Twister on a Monday , eat fried beans on Tuesday and share a mobile with a mobster in Streatham on the last Friday of every month. I didn’t get beyond the fourth line.
Drove the car out into the morning sunshine by which time B appeared on the stairs.
I drove left onto Battersea Bridge Road, over the Bridge down into Beaufort Street. Barely any traffic and the air smelt of the river. The warm wind was perfect at 8.30a.m. Right onto the KIngs Road, left down Sloane Street, right up to Hyde Park Corner, left down Piccadilly then left again into Windmill Street. A sharp right onto Archer Street, nowhere to park and a Gambian Traffic Warden doing her thing, so a quick right into Winnett Street. Soho felt like Paris. Nobody around, the greengrocers on Berwick Street market just setting up their stalls. The sun as warm as a hot croissant. I phoned in my payment and left my little red car parked safely, opposite my favourite little 5* coffee shop.
Off to Pierrepoint’s hair salon, and Dan was just putting out his bench, a tub of lavender and finished setting up his cool music system. B fell in love with a metal floor lamp that looked light a big leafy plant. Dan had bought it in Paris. When the cuckoo clock struck 10.00 we laughed because the cuckoo was stuck outside its house – no popping out for Dans little cuckoo, the poor little bird never went in, only stood on guard outside his little Swiss Chalet. B said she could smell wee. Dan said it was an occupational hazard of living in the centre of Soho. That when people got drunk on a Friday night they used whatever corner they could as a urinal. I must admit I couldn’t smell the ammonia but then I always have my nose so far up my own howsyourfather that it went over my head and my olfactory organs.
Dan worked between me and B. He put my ‘getridofthegrey’ on first, I sat in one of his trendy red bucket chairs. B had her curls snipped and shaped. I went to the sink and whilst B swept up her dead ringlets I had my hair washed. Dan is firm and comforting. I closed my eyes and B and Dan talked about her music which he had put through his jellyfish system. Don’t ask!
I sat back on my red chair whilst B had her hair washed.
I then sat in the adjustable chair and as Dan pumped me up to his height I fielded some calls.
He trimmed me and wiped the staining off my forehead. Blew dry my shorter trim and I slid off the chair.
B filled my placed instantly as Dan finished her curly cut. After a few moments under the diffuser B looked Charka Khan and I looked like Julie Andrews. We left having visited the italian ice-cream parlour opposite.
They do gelato’s of distinctive gorgeousness pine-nuts,ricotta and coffee, for instance, or Amaretto, or pefectly blended lemon citron.
We decided against ice-cream and walked to Berwick Street Market. I bought a smoothie of cucumber, spinach and ginger. Then we walked back to the car and B bought a flat-white from the 5*coffee shop, a New York ciabatta which contained everything a New Yorker gets a stroke from which she ate it in the car.
Down came the lid of the red Nellie and we set off for Hertfordshire. Arrived at my mothers, in Borehamwood at 12.30. She didn’t want to leave her little flat so B and I bought salad from M&S and clothes from a factory outlet which I put on straight away. My existing clothes were too hot for comfort the pair of shorts and a strapless jobbie I purchased makes me look like a Greek Cypriot sheep dressed as a very young Kleftiko.
We set off from my mothers and twenty minutes later, after a row with an incredibly rude white van man, arrived at Dan the mans house.
The sun shone, the conversation flowed, the barbeque smoked, the salad crunched and the departure took place at 7.30.
We arrived back in Battersea in time for a few almonds, then I set off to Victoria to pick up Bonnie, our lovely girl/woman friend.
She and B are now yacking on the balcony drinking iced cider and having a fag.
I am off out to a party in Battersea Park, I have to change into an Arabian outfit and put on some more lippy, although my hair has held out well. I may well decide to skip the Arabian Night as it’s all systems go to collect the old git tomorrow from Liverpool Street.
I think the sun has singed my shoulders and I think my body is reacting to too many nuts.
But it has been a long day that has felt like Soho was last week and Hertforshire was so last century.
Talk about staying in the moment….The flat is as hot as a Pizzerias open oven and the ‘oosbind hasn’t called to tell me what time I’m collecting him so it’ll be bed and snooze before the phone goes and he shouts at me.
Better to be shouted at than have the silence of a non-existent – HOLD UP – The phone has just rung;
‘I have to go luv I’m having me supper.’ he shouted.
‘What time am I getting you tomorrow?’ I asked gently
‘I don’t know yet but I’ll call you from Stanstead, say 10.00.’
So I’ll leave here at 9.00 and by the start of The Archers Omnibus I’ll be a married woman again with everything that comes with it.
The washing, the wrangling, the hugging and the sheer joy of having an old git to argue with.
Roll on 2morrer.