Sunday, April 17, 2005


Today is a bad headache day, and I didn't even touch the champagne. AND it's gloriously sunny out and I can't go anywhere, the tablets aren't working and I'm a bit light-headed. Another "and", and I'll scream. [Cue scream here.]

I've never gate-crashed a party before. It's not bad, but explanations get long as to how you know or don't know the guest of honour.
Well here's the story, my friend H came over for tea (we got halfway through the brownies) and his old school chum Andy (a lord no less) called inviting him to a party he was at, so H dragged me out with him. One cool bit - we were going down a curving road off Sloane Square. H asked if I drive, I replied in the affirmative and he said, "Take the wheel." So I did. Then he said, "Say: I am in control. Say it." I said firmly, "I am in control!" Then he exclaimed loud approval, which made me jump because he's never shouted before.

It was at the Cheyne Walk Brasserie down in Chelsea, with lovely night views of the Thames. So alright, it wasn't a party, more like a reception with champagne and canapes, and loud music that no one danced to.

H and I spoke to the bartender in French simply because we couldn't understand what he was saying in English! He obliged us by responding en francais, and we rattled along quite well. As he was driving, H had orange juice and Angostura bitters. Anyone else know what that is? Only if you've been to the Caribbean - as my mother is from Guyana, and H's parents have lived in Barbados and Guyana - do you know.
I was impressed by the choice, and made the bartender concoct for me a combo of OJ, Perrier, and Angostura. Very refreshing.

I can't remember how A. knows Jo, the birthday girl, but it generally went like this:
-- So how do you know Jo?
--I don't know Jo, I came with H.
--How does H know Jo?
--He doesn't know Jo either, he came because of A.
--Who is A.?
--The guy with the glasses.
--How does he know A?
--They went to school together.
--How does A. know Jo?
--I don't know!

I did this a few times, it was quite circular.

At the beginning I'd been chatting with Jo's
brother Nick, and we were having a good laugh about how weird French is, and how fun it is to muddle up other languages. He told how at a dinner once his mother was chatting up a storm in Italian to the person beside her, who was speaking in Spanish, and neither of them realised it until they noticed the people around them staring in disbelief!
He studied French and business (I thought of you, Vanessa!) and is moving to Paris next weekend to be with his girlfriend who is also working out there.
One girl I spoke with teaches English to French businessmen in Paris. She encouraged me to come out there in a couple of weeks, visit H who will be at that point of his tour, and try to find a job. What a temptation...I would still prefer Italy though...

I hadn't realised until just now, but ... at this point I am compelled to point out that H is much more lordly than A. In fact, he was the most distinguished person in the room - gather everyone in the room and he'd be the one to point at as having a title. He certainly does ooze a certain je ne sais quoi and said it baffles even him sometimes.

Fortunately, I was not the shortest but there was an overabundance of tall blond people and I wish I'd worn my higher boots. The other short girl (way shorter than I) was someone from the wine department at Sotheby's who encouraged me to apply to their HR. Then it occurred to me that I am much more assured at Christie's functions because, not only are the people of more manageable height, but we have a few things in common even though we don't know each other.

Andy was in the car with us on the way back, and as we entered St John's Wood, commented that he'd honestly never been on this side of town before. Well, SW London is where the titles tend to congregate, but the NW certainly rivals it for money any day.

I am sooooo ready for another Christie's reception....*sigh*
Preferably one where I can win another DeBeer's diamond. Just kidding, one is enough. Maybe something else really nice ;-) A nice fellow perhaps?


Anonymous said...

Angostua? can't say I know what that is.
I love the dialogue with the bartender.
An opportunity to go to france...I say GO!!!!!

Jia Li said...

Guyana! I have a girlfriend from there! You are a wounderfull mix livvy dear!

And the 1st Gate crash! God love ya!