Going backwards from today. This is to help me remember. The rain it raineth everyday. I don’t particularly need to remember that, but diarists always seem to mention the weather. I’m never particularly interested in the weather. I don’t like being too cold or too hot or too wet any more than the next person, but I usually have a coat and scarf and umbrella with me – so what’s the big deal? Anyway, it’s been raining a lot recently.
So: today we signed everything necessary to finally be able to cross some National Trust land and build our drive. Hooray.
Yesterday I went to Kings Cross with two friends. Lunch at Carluccio’s in St Pancras – I chose a vegan option which was unfortunately totally tasteless. In my excitement! I spilt my prosecco – disaster. But soon mitigated by the exhibition in the new Museum of Illustration of Geroge Him’s designs. What a great little museum and a very witty designer. I was most moved by his picture of Lwow which he painted when he still lived in Poland before the war.
The museum itself was set up by Quentin Blake and they had a lovely selection of his drawings too. (See my Instagram for more photos)
In the evening I went for a Fat Thursday meal to Sowa, our local Polish restaurant. I was convinced they would have some paczki (doughnuts) for pudding – but no – thwarted again – all sold out by three o’clock. Another Polish tradition I could not take part in this year. Better for my waistline I suppose! (The spell checker gave me coastline just now. Is it trying to tell me something?}
The day before was even busier. Breakfast in Bill’s with my son. Then we went to Turnham Green for the charity shops and I bought a beautiful evening dress for ten pounds. I haven’t tried it on yet but I hope it will fit by the time I have somewhere to wear it. Then we went to Hogarth House by Chiswick roundabout. Most significant was the noise. The house itself is really interesting and it was good to see most of his drawings and some modern pastiches. We were not there for long – it isn’t very big, and then we were going on to go to Chiswick House. But it is closed till March.
So what to do? The Jewish Museum in Camden was an interesting option, but the cinema was nearer and warmer. So off we went to see Parasite which was brilliant. Extremely well constructed, very funny in parts and absolutely horrific in others. Very clever politically too – you never quite know who are the parasites – the rich or the poor – who you are supposed to be rooting for or feel sympathy for. Very cleverly done
But no sooner had we left Victoria than we rushed back to Turnham Green to see a play at the Chiswick Playhouse. Sounds a very grand name for a very small pub theatre – used to be the Tabard Theatre and I must say I much preferred the name. Anyway the theatre itself has never let me down. We sat in the second row (of ten) and watched Tryst. I knew nothing about it before we went, and the set and the set up all pointed to a delightful Edwardian romantic comedy. But no. The end was decidedly tragic. And what was worse it was based on a very true Edwardian story.
A most eventful and delightful day.
The day before was also spent in cultural pursuit. A friend from a school I worked in rang me and we arranged to go and see the Picasso exhibition at the Royal Academy. When she arrived she led me to the Members’ Room which I did not know about despite being a member. There are two parts to this enclave. You go in to the noisy Formica tables part, where people queue. Then there is a little staircase which takes you to the soft furnishings. A few little sofas and small tables. Much more like it. People drinking tea. I too wished to drink tea and looked around for someone to take my order. No luck. Had to join the queue in the other room. But the tea was good and we caught up on a lot of gossip.
Then the exhibition itself which is fabulous. I always think of myself as quite a connoisseur of Picasso – I have visited his collections in Barcelona, Malaga, Paris and Madrid and been to many special exhibitions in many galleries in many parts of the world. I love his work, his draughtsmanship, his humour. Rather arrogantly I thought I wouldn’t see anything particularly new. How wrong could I be? It is a very large exhibition, primarily of his drawings but not only. There is also a film at the end which shows how he actually created some of his drawings. I loved it. And I hope to go again.
Then my friend took me for lunch to ZEDEL, a French restaurant which models itself on La Coupole which just happens to be one of my favourite restaurants in Paris. I’d never heard of its English counterpart, but what a find. And in Piccadilly too. Easy to get to!
In the evening more eating. Back to Wine and Mousaka in Ealing with some close friends. This time we didn’t choose the most enormous menu so could actually get up from the table!
That was Tuesday. What did I do on Monday? Can’t remember. Probably a bit of translation work.
Sunday at home, Saturday I ‘ve written about and Friday before was Valentine’s day. or indee d St Cyril’s and St Methodius’s day. Much more interesting saints, as I was to find out.
That was a lovely day. I’d been invited by my old school to attend a Feast day mass for the school at my local church. So for the first time in years i went to a school Mass. It was quite emotional. I remember when the school was so small that everyone fitted into the school chapel. now the Abbey is rammed. I was delighted to see that the uniform has changed – no more serried ranks of solid navy blue. I was very proud to hear that my house St Georges had won the sports cup – I was very surprised that I cared – amazing what some fifty years away does for you. ( I left in 1971)
The headmistress’s address was uplifting. At one point I thought she was going to break into song as she told the girls “to take a deep breath, pick yourself up, dust yourself off, and start all over again.”
Good old Frank Sinatra, always ready with the advice ( I remember giving birth to Kasia with him singing MY WAY on a loop throughout)
So altogether it’s been a very eventful and pleasant week. I even managed to make contact with an adopted cousin in Split whom I want to visit soon. So watch this space.
By the way, to those of you who notice that my writing is a bit stream of consciousness – yes it is, but I think faster than I can write and so I rush to get everything down… sorry!
If you’ve managed to read this far then please let me know – not necessarily what you think about it but just the fact that you have read it! Thanks!