Sunday, 7 June 2009

The Big Smoke...

I am back from a fabulous two days in London, made so by two of the Gathering Nuts in May; firstly Kristen and her truly exceptional family who tended to my every need and embraced me as one of their own - a privilege indeed and secondly by Caro with her vast knowledge of London culture and shops.  

Usually my visits to London are more than rushed and turned around in a day, due to other responsibilities and deadlines that require my attention in Dorset.  However, I gave myself another two days off, something I seem to be doing more of lately, and indulged myself with a reward of two days of friendship and culture due to a kind invitation to stay the night with Kristen.  Not forgetting the real purpose of the visit, which was to pick up my UnLtd Award for 'Sequel to Cannes', the summer film networking party for film industry professionals.

The Award ceremony and workshops took place over in EC4 and again a star must be beaming down on me, as I met some fabulous colourful individuals who are totally driven and passionate about their excellent projects.  The range was endless and worthy, from digital photography workshops taken into primary schools, to a gay online helpline for support groups in Brighton, to crazy dance classes for the 50 - 75 age group by a dancer who had a personality larger than life itself; I would sign up for them if I qualified for that category - but of course I do not...   ;)

After a quick fix in Harrods on my way to Kristen's, I travelled on a bus with Miss Marple, Geraldine M, who held as much intrigue and presence as the character she has played.  Elegant poise and precise simplicity.  From Hammersmith bus station I didn't trust myself to find their home, so I flagged down a taxi and within no time at all arrived at their door.  A ring on the bell and they all sprang forward to welcome me with open arms and huge smiles; how could I not feel at home.  Excited chatter, talks of meals, drinks and awards were interspersed between a tour of their lovely home, which is exactly how I imagined it to be, impeccable taste.  A marriage of new with traditional, as well as a cook's kitchen to die for in the hub of the home.  Beyond, a wall of glass looked out onto the delightful garden with its exotic plants.  I was fed the most delicious red pepper soup with creamy herb drizzle, followed by strips of the finest cuts of sirloin and duck, lovingly hand trimmed by Kristen, that I gently turned on the hot stone under the perfect tuition of John and Avery.  At some point we were entertained by a flurry of cats with views of their 'persona' made possible through an overhead sheet of glass; an angle of feline derriere that I have never before witnessed... which reminds me, I must sharpen my pencil... The Frederickson's (or the other name which I dare not reveal) are fabulous natural hosts...  I slept in a magic bed that swiftly brought sleep and ensured I didn't wake until morning.

Then on to spend a whole afternoon with Caro, whose knowledge of London along with every culinary emporium and exceptional tucked away restaurant, in every nook and cranny, is faultless.  I wish I had sufficient money to just sit in the Wolseley every day and write... the characters, the gorgeous Russian waiters who were busy eyeing up Caro through their smouldering looks... and the food wasn't bad either... but the conversation was excellent.  On to the Royal Academy and a glass of Pimms.  Viewings on buyers day... I fell in love with a masterpiece on linen, and sadly having spent £8K on lunch meant I could not stretch to the £8K price tag from the piece - I think it was called 'Quiet Reflection', although I was too mesmerised to absorb the title as well -  one day that painting will be mine... trust me I am determined, it was haunting...  Then Caro accompanied me back to Victoria and frogmarched me to the Coach station just in time to be one of the last on the coach, not a moment of friendship time wasted.  All too brief and definitely a promise of either another visit soon to town, or a visit to Dorset from Caro, where she can stay awhile.  She is an exceptional character, full of knowledge on EVERYTHING, a razor sharp mind and wit, with a gentle kindness of spirit.  My mission is to locate a man worthy of her talents; I shall work on it.

Returning to Dorset and leaving London, I felt the dream floating away, yet once we hit the New Forest it was like a love affair rekindled.  For as much as I find London as exciting and as raw as I did when I first went to work in Harrods at the age of 18 in the 1960's, I fear a week would potentially wear me out these days.  Dorset is calm, serene, reflective, spiritual and soothing, it is where I am in my life now, where I need to be and I am reminded about the conversation I had with Kristen where she said that she couldn't imagine herself living anywhere else outside of New York except in London, it suits her/them, they are cosmopolitan, trendy and totally at one with the city and whilst I envy her the advantage of being able to shop in some of the loveliest food markets and shops in the UK and mingle with colourful characters, I know I would soon yearn for the sea and the freedom, as well as the natural beauty that surrounds the area I live in... I would miss watching the sun set over a vast expanse of water, or the squally grey skies as a storm is about to break at sea, or the blinding summer glare as it bounces off the vast plateau of water as clear and smooth as glass... 
It is official I am a water sign through and through... but taking in the Big smoke has jiggled the imagination, shaken up the grey cells, reminded me there is another dimension to life.
R xx

3 comments:

Kristen In London said...

hi darling! just read your darling commentary, thought I already had because of your lovely email! how we loved having you... I only wish I were as cool as you make me out to be.

Kristen In London said...

i can't believe it's been a week since we saw you!

Foxi Rosie said...

I know... time flies... I had the best time and the cats made me howl too... Trusting that fur is restored to its former lustre....