I ate an Italian meal alone.
Not a good look, since Italians are all about family and conviviality. Still I had an appointment at 4.00 and had to fill three hours until ‘OUR BOYS’ at the Duchess Theatre in the evening.
I took my seat facing what I thought was an Italian mama awaiting her family until I realised that I was looking at myself in a large mirror.
I changed seats and sat diagonally opposite an American on my right and a young Swedish couple to my left.
Behind were four frightfully smart ex-militia. She piped up, in a far louder voice than was necessary.
‘White wine and we were in the LOIREEEEE.’
I choked on my soft bread roll and Anchor butter. I had difficulty unwrapping the little square of burro since the tips of my fingers are mashed with all the loading and unloading I’ve done over the last three weeks. They are so dry that I’ve used up all me hand cream on the kitchen window sill.
I wasn’t hungry, feeling heady and queasy, so I ordered a salad of smoked salmon. I waited, nibbling on me pane e burro, and tried not to look into the eyes of the American who was writing in a notebook and biting into his garlic bruschetta.
When his meal of spaghetti pomodoro arrived he tore bits off his bread roll and dipped it into the sauce then used it as a fork to push the pasta into his mouth.
When he left he said goodbye to me, picked up his notebook and slid out from behind his table.
The Swedish couple were young and still listening to each others conversations. He ordered some kind of chicken thing and she ordered the same as the American.
They cut into their bread rolls with Scandinavian precision, and spread on the butter evenly. Our young female Swede, who had high breasts and long blonde hair, used her knife and fork to eat the pasta.
She carefully cut the spaghetti into bite size pieces and popped it into her pert little mouth.
My salad was a mound of lettuce, three pieces of tomato four pieces of cucumber, a slither of onion and forty three tons of smoked salmon.
I did not leave tip.
I sat in row ‘K’ right near the American, and enjoyed the sound tape that was playing. Really good songs from 1984.
As my head got heavier and my quease got queasier I had to leave, squeezing past the four military folk. I breathed in the cold night air which stopped me throwing up.
It took me precisely eight minutes to get to Charing Cross, I caught the train with 2 minutes to spare.
Rachmaninoff got me to Tunbridge Wells.
I don’t remember getting into bed I felt so awful.
The alarm went off and I rolled out of bed feeling a lot easier than the night before. Although my eyes were so puffy and small l looked like a Mongolian herder. Not ideal as I had a days filming….
My driver turned up at exactly 10.30 to get me to Wandsworth. Three minutes from the old flat. Two hours from the cottage. I was going to link some stuff for the Food network.
A real camera crew, makeup, lighting, even a clapper board.
I had less than nothing to do but it was a wonderful Friday afternoon. Three hours of old times. Laughing over Gino De Campo’s nuts and Lottie’s mince pies.
I was back. Not with a vengeance but with a smooth sobriety that even I noticed.
Just the ticket for the first Friday in November.
By the time I got home I had organised my life in the back of the taxi. Rachmaninoff got me to Tunbridge Wells.
And today I was bought lunch by a life astrologer in Carluccios. Had my body rebalanced by The Bibby, then set about the last leg of the big shift.
Emptied all the photographs from the hall cupboard, brought back all my diaries – thirty odd years of ’em – and put them where the pictures lived. Then used the rest of the space to put in all the towels folded and clean.
The dawter painted her new little room white, whilst Gods Gift git helped the man mend the washing machine in the cellar then set about making his perfect pomodoro sauce for the troops.
It’s now time for a cuppa, a rest and then up for tomorrows show.
Should be a good one I have a delicious comedienne Ava Vidal doing my papers. She is sassy and funny and I love her.
Tony Haynes founder and composer of the Grand Union Orchestra who are playing their new show ‘Liberation and Remembrance’ as part of the London Jazz Festival on Remembrance Day.
Sophie Walker author of ‘Grace Under Pressure: Going The Distance as an Aspergers mum’. A painfully good read.
Melanie Masson the 44-year-old from The X Factor and David Grindley the director of the play ‘Our Boys’. I hope he understand why I couldn’t get to see the whole play, which I’m told is good.
Do join me from 9.00, you’d be a fool to yourself to miss it…..
This e-mail (and any attachments) is confidential and may contain personal views which are not the views of the BBC unless specifically stated.
If you have received it in error, please delete it from your system.
Do not use, copy or disclose the information in any way nor act in reliance on it and notify the sender immediately.
Please note that the BBC monitors e-mails sent or received.
Further communication will signify your consent to this.