Cancer 24° (July 14)
Today is M.’s actual birthday but yesterday was the celebration. I did manage to fall back asleep yesterday morning which was a godsend otherwise I would have been a total mess. I woke up just in time to shove some toast and coffee into my gob and jump in M.’s car to Woodbridge which looked like a lovely town of which I wished I’d seen more. We went to see P.’s new shop and have lunch at New Street Market. And then we immediately drove back listening to a bunch of songs in the car including some Millie Jackson which sent me down a rabbit hole when I got back. We had an hour off so I tried to create a musical score for “You Never Cross My Mind” which M said was his favorite. I thought maybe I’d sing it for him, so I spent a couple hours on that and then got dress for the evening and went to help with the food prep. It was quite an operation and I didn’t have much of a role except for drinking some local sparkling wine we brought and making dressing and helping others get their various jobs done. E had arrived with her friends Becks and Ellie and the kitchen was quite abuzz. E. has this habit of bending down and making a screwed up face when she bids me hello and goodbye. It makes me feel like a weird, elderly and slightly odious figure. I made an achouaide and then crushed some cumin seeds into dust with a mortar and pestle.
The Newlands arrived next and the ritual barbequing began. All the girls were in the kitchen and the boys were around the Webber. We cooked the lamb first then set it in the Aga, which is turned off for the summer, so really we were just hiding it. Then we could some haloumi and some vegetable kebabs. Last to arrive were Ben West and his girlfriend Andrea Arnold which makes this a very cosmic blague indeed. You see she is the director of season two of Big Little Lies and just this very day the internet was lighting up with controversy about her versus the producers of the show. I didn’t realize our meeting was exactly timed with this kerfuffle; I only know that I had been watching the show until we left the states and had told her I was really enjoying not realizing that much of the conflict centered on the fact that (she claims) she was given complete create control over the direction of the season—she’s an Oscar- and Cannes-winning director so I’m sure she wouldn’t have taken the job if she hadn’t—HBO, I learned later looking online is standing by her not Marc Le Valle or whatever his name is who did season one and who seems to have re-edited her work. (There are calls to release her director’s cut.) Anyway this is going to make her name much more well known. But I have no idea of any of this as I’m sitting next to her (of course) at dinner. She mentions her daughter just did a performance on queer/transgender theme at Soho Theater. I tell her I run a festival which I founded with John Cameron Mitchell—I figure given the Nicole Kidman connection (he directed her in Rabitt Hole) that she might now him and of course she does and she asks how his mother is doing and so forth. She does seem a bit, how do you say, cut and dry (turns out she’s an Aries) so I stop trying to engage her in conversation and see if she pursues me which she never does. So I focus on my buddies seated at the end of the table with me, Martin and the birthday boy.
Martin is living in Vienna doing a certain kind of conflict resolution thingy, something to do with the Saudi’s, I don’t really get it but I never really get anything like that. You can explain it to me ad nauseum and I simply won’t absorb. Anyway I always love speaking with him just as I do Matt. We had a delicious meal followed by a chocolate cardamon cake that No. 4 made. And a good amount of red wine following the champagne. A.A. was having a “dry July” but I don’t wonder if her initials aren’t more telling. I was under the impression she and Ben were staying over but they left soon after we all sang happy birthday and cut and circulated the cake. (I think we were nineteen for dinner.) But suddenly they were leaving and I asked Ben why and he said “I do what I’m told” to which I replied something cheekly like: “Oh I see what this relationship is all about..” Soon after, the other Ben and M. and their brood of four headed out. B. is one of my favorite people on the planet. Actually my list of favorite folks on the planet is pretty much peopled by members of this family. I cannot tell you how much more focused and centered I feel being in the midst of all of them and it ups the priority for me to rub up against them a lot more often.
We were all cleaning up while topping up our glasses and I said to M.: Would you slip away with me to the living room so I can sing you a special song. He said we should have everyone come in which may go some way to explain why it is I fucked up the song so bad. The youngies came in with S. and me to do a quick rehearsal which was no help at all. S. suggested we just wing it. I requested another glass of wine and we gave it a whirl but I guess the wine and my nerves sent my careful plan for the song out of my head. For starters there were supposed to be spoken bits which, for some reason, my brain decided I should sing which was not a great idea. Anyway, I got through it. And then we just sort of attempted a sing-a-long which was equally bad. I actually went to sleep, purposefully staying behind so I could snooze for a bit in the living room and give S. a break from what would definitely be a night of snoring, given the rural setting, red wine and feather pillows which add up to my night congestion.
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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