Sunday, 29 March 2015

Tyres, trenches, tea and tarts

I was up incredibly early this morning and on the road before 9am, taking the westerly M25 route around London to a little village just outside Gatwick Airport.

The car journey was eventful for two reasons. Firstly, because I overshot the exit for the M23 by a miserably embarrassing twenty miles. I was in some kind of trance, listening to ABBA, and suddenly realised I was in Kent! I might have got all the way to Dartmouth, had one passing car driver not beeped his horn obsessively as he passed me whilst pointing down at my car wheel...

It turns out I was driving with a flat tyre. That was the second eventful aspect of the journey. It didn't seem to be having any affect on the car's steering, so I decided to crawl to my destination before stopping to change the wheel. I'll be honest: the process made me feel quite manly! I realise I've actually never changed a wheel on my own before.

I was in Surrey to see a reconstructed trench system, which has been dug into a field behind a farm building. It's hugely authentic: in fact it was created by First World War archeologists, so the attention to detail is staggering. There are dugouts, braziers, support trenches, and even a little railway system. We're definitely going to be using it for our promotional film for Brass.

I drove from Surrey to Catford, for the latest episode of Craft and Cake, which found me working on a project for my brother's wedding next week. Speaking of which, from about mid day today, we were blessed with a plethora of first anniversary greetings, which was a little perplexing as our anniversary is actually tomorrow. Of course we then realised that the first messages were coming from Australia, where, of course, today is tomorrow.

Craft and cake was fun. Julie had created an amazing raspberry and mango mousse cake, which was messy to serve but absolutely delicious.

From Catford we drove to Covent Garden. Jem, whilst waiting for his American visa to arrive, is living with a friend in the most beautiful penthouse apartment just off Upper Saint Martin's Lane. He cooked for six of us today, all wonderful people that we must make a huge effort to keep in touch with once he's no longer here to bring us all together. The food, as ever, was sublime. Jem is one of the best cooks I know. We're going to miss him bitterly when he joins Ian across the pond. Ian Skyped us all today from a Starbucks in the lower midtown district of Manhattan. I think he was on about 30th and 8th, which instantly made me want to be over there with him. It's far too long since I've recharged the New York batteries.

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