Cancer 21° (July 11)
Arrived London early this morning and hopped the Heathrow Express for Paddington in a daze. It couldn’t have been easier. Our bags were like the first two off the carousel; and there was nothing to do but scan our passports ourselves. Never have I moved so quickly through and out of an airport. I hadn’t eaten any dinner on the plane and forgot to order breakfast last evening but I did manage to have a late breaking tomato and mozzarella toastie before we landed. We needed no landing cards which feels new. Anyway we got into a black cab at Paddington and headed for Myddelton Square. M. was still at home which was a lovely surprise; he made us coffees and we sat in the garden for a few quality minutes before he had to head off to work. Dot was awake and we braved the stairs, me lugging our giant cases up one and a time. I forgot how many floors there are from the kitchen to the top of the house where our room was waiting—five—but each floor, the place has high ceilings, is connected to the next by a double set of steep landing, so it feels as if you’re climbing ten floors each time you make the full journey, which alsays turns out to be a lot.
We took naps and we headed out to Exmouth Market to find a healthy lunch. Now last time we were in New York City in May we stayed a night at the Jane Hotel and walking down Jane street we spotted Katy Kay from BBC America. No sooner had we entered into the market when, getting up from a lunch table was this older man in a business suit and a woman, dressed all in black, capri style pants and a shirt, with little black Keds like sneakers. I got a three-quarter glimpse of her face and was like it’s Katy Kay. Now I have a history of not being reliable when it comes to spotting celebrities (not that she’s a celebrity really) and it is a running joke dating back decades as I imagine notable people who aren’t. But this time I was sure so I darted ahead of her and her companion and did a one-eighty which she saw me do. It absolutely was her and she became self conscious and put on sunglasses but I did score a win in the people-spotting game.
After debating which of the dozen restaurants and food stands to alight upon we just ent to Gails, and old standby, and grabbed to containers of lentil salad with goat cheese and other things (which turned out to be more garlicky than anticipated) and two cucumber sodas which were pretty delicious to consume back at the house. The Brits do understand the value of a cucumber. Then the cleaner, who is called Fran (I was reminded later) came over for a short time, by cleaner standards, which was mainly used up by telling us all about her dog who was going blind. “She’s only seven,” is a line she repeated at least ten times. And we sat there, captive, eating, nodding while we learned the state ond fate of the lenses in her Jack Russel’s eyes. The dog was of course with her and had brought a tiny Wippet of a friend. Fran mentioned she would be coming back at eight-thirty the next morning to let in a man who was to fix and also replace bits of the woven runner lining the entire length of aforementioned stair. S. excused herself to take a bath and I learned the entire sago fo the making of the rug and how much would have had to be orded just to replace a little bit of it but luckily they had found a leftover piece that could solve the problem instead of reordering another twenty-five yards of made to order weave. I thought to offer to meet the man but figured I’d better not get involved.
I went to the top to check on S. then back down to settle one flight above the lowest where Fran was knocking about. The dogs were in this first, not ground, floor where there is a desk I thought I’d use to catch up on a little writing (oh hi!). The blind Jack Russell was very sweet and easily shockable whenever her Wippet friend would jump up where she was trying to find a familiar spot on the low sofa in the salon; once at the desk the Wippet joined at my feet where there was a little carpety dog-beddy sort of thing, which actually belongs to the resident Jack Russell, Reg. The Wippet was casually trying to destroy the thing, rigoriously digging at it as if it were a patch of land. Fran reapparead and brought up the subject of the man that was coming eight thirty a.m. I finally took the bait and said, you know, I’m fine meeting the man if you have something you need to do. She did. She was going on a trip. After reassuring her that it was fine (she thinks my name is Ben and finally remembers having met me years ago when, downstairs, earlier, she was convinced she hadn’t, she agreed to let me meet the man and I was almost pleased that was allowing me this privilege. It was a very funny exchange and I was really laughing on the inside.
It was my turn to take a bath but I was in the discombulated state between projects (writing and unpacking and trying to feel human) and with rooms and floors and I couldn’t find a linear throughline. And I thought I heard voices. Real voices not mental voices. So I went back down and was greated on the landing by someone I assumed was one of the girl’s boyfriends out of whose mouth came: do you remember me, Freddy. I gave him a big hug. I have to explain that our friends have four kids and, on their mother’s side, alone, they have, let me see, fifteen cousins. And at any given time there is some niece or nephew either living or temporarily staying in this house or other. Not to mention, as I say, that the children, and the cousins, have boyfriends and girlfriends who could easily be taking up residence at any given time. Of all the fifteen I don’t know Freddie and his brothers very well so it was really lovely to see him and chat and I was happy to hear we were going to dinner with him. I think I’ll save the rest of this story for tomorrow.
To view the original Sabian Symbol themed 2015 Cosmic Blague corresponding to this day: Flashback! The degree pointof the Sabian Symbol will be one degree higher than the one listed for today. The Blague portrays the starting degree of for this day ( 0°, for instance), as I typically post in the morning, while the Sabian number corresponds to the end point (1°) of that same 0°-1° period. There are 360 degrees spread over 365 or 6 days per year—so they near but not exactly correlate.
Typos happen. I don’t have a proofreader. And I like to just write, post and go!
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