The weather was minging yesterday. It did nothing but rain, and I was soggy like an old dog for much of the day. I'm wondering whether the pains in my ankles are actually a result of my needing a damp course!
My afternoon started at Mr Toppers on Old Compton Street, where a lovely Spanish lady with lustrous black curls and a thick Malagan accent cut my hair. She was keen to chat and tell me all about her planned trip to the North this weekend. "Where are you heading?" I asked. "Oh. I'm not sure how to say it... Shellfish..." "Shell Fish?!!" "Yes! That's it!" I wracked my brain to see if I could make sense of what she was saying; "do you mean Sheffield?" "Yes! That place!"
I walked from Old Compton Street to Bond Street in the driving rain. That little area South of Oxford Street and West of Soho is such a peculiar part of town. You walk down these ludicrously clean streets, filled with fancy boutiques, each of which has a thug in a cheap suit on the door and then, inside, some wistful little male model in black who pouts and looks slightly bored because he's no customers. Everyone you pass in the street around there is immaculately turned out but it all feels just a little bit soulless; probably what Soho's going to be like when they've finished clearing the area of everything but multi-national chains and ghastly casinos!
I met young Nick (the assistant musical director on Brass) for a cup of tea in a rather nice establishment lurking in one of those little lanes off New Bond Street. We had a good natter about musical theatre and then walked together to Marble Arch where we parted. He took a tube to the East End, and I walked across a darkened Hyde Park all the way to Chelsea where I did some work in a coffee shop before meeting Nathan. We tramped, for what seemed like an age, down the King's Road. It's one of those streets you get in London - like Holloway Road and the Green Lanes - which seem way too long for their own good! Just like most of Central West London these days, the King's Road is a little too swanky and soulless for my liking. This was where the sixties swung, for heaven's sake! This was where Vivienne Westwood and Malcolm McLaren created anarchy. Where the hipsters and hippies went to buy second hand clothes, smoke pot and tie-dye curtain fabric. Nowadays it's where you go to get fleeced by artisan breads!!
It was Julie's fiftieth birthday last night and she'd booked the upstairs room of a little bistro for an intimate meal with a couple of family members and friends. The food was tasty, the company was pleasurable. It was a very lovely night.
We walked to Fulham Broadway tube in the pouring rain, along the western part of the King's Road, where everything goes from being über glam to just a little bit scuzzy. It's also the part of town where all the Sloane Rangers go to party. This is where you might expect to find the cast of Made In Chelsea parading around. It's funny. Some of the posh young London set have more than a whiff of the "rural pursuits" about them. I guess their mummies and daddies have all got county estates. There are Chelsea tractors everywhere and all the young men wear wax jackets and cloth caps made out of tweed. Every body speaks the same way in those parts. They say "ya" instead of yes and words like "woh" and "way." They've all got enormous teeth as well!
Today's been a rather quiet Valentine's Day. Nathan's been at work. I've been arranging. I went to the gym and swam 50 lengths, somewhat irritated by a woman who obviously didn't want to get her hair wet, and seemed to be swimming at the most ludicrous slow pace. My osteopath tells me that it's actually very bad for a back to not duck your head under water when doing the breast stroke, so really we all need to chose between having green, straw-like hair and having good posture! My eyes are still hurting from all the chlorine they've been pouring into the water since it became a learning pool for infants. When I came out, all the lights seemed to have a weird corona around them!
Nathan got back from work and I cooked him a big roast meal. The works; from roast potatoes and every boiled vegetable in the world, to a broccoli mornay and a gravy created without any form of Bisto or Oxo.
And that's that, really. The food went down well. We've had a nice relaxed evening.