Friday, September 02, 2005

Quelle Jour!

What a day I've had, and all a well-deserved treat. So put your seatbelts on because this one is different!!!

I went to H's new house today - it's light, bright, neutral, nicely appointed. Took 3 months and £35,000. He moved in last week but is mostly settled. Helped him with a bit of tidying up, and we made a light rustic lunch. He also did a nice steak and tried to make me eat half, "protein...fatten you up a bit." It was nice, I had a bite...but medium rare! (Indeed, this week I have lost a bit of weight and have dark circles, it doesn't take much...)

Oh why must he understand me so well??? He reads me like a book, every time. Speaking of books: Lord Henry he is, indeed, but also like the Daniel Deronda to my Gwendolen Harleth/Grandcourt.
Anyway, scales fell from my eyes yet again.
All sorts of things he wishes he could have done to help, but there - he can't go on my dates for me, can he.

While I was waiting for my tea to cool down, one of his friends who's into property development, and oversaw the work while he was in Europe, came by to check on progress.
Then we met his possible new girlfriend - a former member of Cirque du Soleil - when she arrived to go swimming, and then we all did the tour of the house again.

**********

I headed back into town for phase two of my day:
I may never tell H that I am doing this (see next paragraph), as he disdains his own ya-ya green wellies crowd, as he calls them. (Anyway, this club is now more democratic; me, as ever, with a foot in two worlds.) But people from old families can't leave it behind so easily, I mean to say.

Anyway, I finally did what I've been delaying since last winter: I applied to join the Arts Club on Dover Street.
Founded in 1863, it boasts illustrious past members. Artists, authors and those of that ilk such as: Bram Stoker, Charles Dickens, Camille Pissaro, Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, Degas, Franz Liszt, John Everett Millais, Sir Edwin Lutyens, James McNeill Whistler, and the list goes on.

Of course, now the male-female ratio is close to equal now, as it was one of the earliest London clubs to accept women. It's also younger, a haven for young professionals in related fields, or just people interested in art, philosophy, literature, and culture.
The oldest person I saw was at the reception desk. And every time I visit, they are preparing for a wedding...

So I signed the papers and all that, and in a couple of weeks I will hear of my admission. I have certainly charmed the membership secretary, and she and the director are only too happy to stand as sponsor and seconder for me. Name dropping helps a bit.

**********

After leaving the Club, I felt a mixture of delight and wistfulness, I don't know why. Then, as I walked into Fortnum & Mason, I felt like weeping...possibly for having left one era behind to enter into a new one...

I distracted myself on every level of the establishment. The upper floors, away from the mêlée in the food hall, are very hushed and relaxing. Such exquisite and luxurious merchandise. It really forces one to slow down, examine, smell, touch, caress, appreciate.
I've been looking for a classic monogrammed handkerchief for ages, so I bought one. And a very cool tea strainer which slides open on a handle so that I can drink the Chinese rose tea I got in York.

Wandered on further and nearly walked past Hatchards (London booksellers since 1797), but doubled back and went in. You know me and bookshops...Uh-oh.
I walked out with a calendar and a book.
She offered me the catalogue but I said no, that would be dangerous.

I should have gone to Christie's to see what's coming up, but I forgot it was September already, they had no auctions in August.

**********

With my precious purchases I took a ramble in Green Park and as the grass and benches were mostly full, I perched on a lovely low-sweeping tree branch.
Seeing the couples on the grass did no end of good to my heart...as the next time I'd planned on going to a park, it would have been with someone.
I sat with my thoughts and resolutions, and the squirrels burying nuts, until the breeze blew cool and I headed back home.

Oopsie daisy...how to end on a lighter note today?

Check this out, you will not believe your eyes: Julian Beever Pavement Art.

17 comments:

Jia Li said...

hmmm, more spam?

JP said...

Dear, you've put me in the mood to watch Amelie again. Your the British version that learns her lesson the hard way. Can I write the screenplay?

JP said...

I meant you're, or even yours is! ARRRRGH! I'm bedeviled by grammar!

Olivia said...

Jia Li - *singing Python-style* spam spam spam spam...
You see, when we talk on MSN, we have no comments left for our blogs. *pout*

JP - Ooh. Spam from friends is a good thing, however.
Me as British Amelie! I like, I like! *clapping hands*
(I suppose that would make me Emily.)
Write the screenplay? Anytime.

...it took you a whole 4 minutes to figure out your grammer?
Oops. Grammar.

M. said...

re: Julian Beever's Pavement art - this is really really cool stuff - I'd seen other pieces previously on a different link. He's quite unique - a different vision to many. Thank you for sharing. It is a good "light" note to end on.

re: life - not much I can say, but offer -hugs- but alas only virtual ones. [my arms aren't long enough to reach you from where I sit... ]

Olivia said...

Neil - welcome, and thanks. Have I seen you around on 20Six?

Jia Li said...

true liv, v true

Olivia said...

Jia Li - When I was out yesterday, I saw this cat *everywhere*.

Anonymous said...

wow, you had a lot going on. I am glad you finally signed up for the membership.

see you soon.
vanessa

Jia Li said...

really? this was a homage to smokie, my cat. Who is sleeping uder mz bed.

Olivia said...

Veeeeee -
How's Eire? So sweet of you to check my blog from there. Only 3 days to go!!! I'm tidying up this weekend.

Jia Li - yes, it seems that particular vintage poster is popular.
He is always sleeping under your bed, chica. He must like it there.

Hope to Skype with you when Vanessa is here.
Today, Jia Li and I conferenced on MSN with Sean. Wayyyyyy too much Engrish.

M. said...

[have you seen me on 20six?] yep - I've popped by a couple of times under the monicker "Mas"

Olivia said...

Neil/Mas - lovely. I thought your drawings looked familiar!
Glad you can make it over here too ;)

B. Z. Herzel said...

This was a wonderful post, and really did have that Amelie spirit in it. But I'm afraid it was mostly wasted on me, for I was stuck on thinking "Woman from Cirque du Soleil in a bathing suit."

Men are pigs.

James said...

A voice coach taught me to sing, he couldn't teach me to love.

Anonymous said...

Damn, Olivia, your post made me feel as if I had gone back in time and had a glimpse into a genteel lifestyle. Your elegance delights me. What an oddcouple we'd make hanging out together...as eccentric as I am.

I miss you!

*hugs*
Alohalani

Olivia said...

BZ Herzel - Welcome back, glad you enjoyed the post. I reserve comment on men...

James - ...you CAN teach an old dog new tricks, however...

Alohalani - always happy to see you over here ;) I've gathered a surprising variety of friends over the years, and we all have many facets between us. TTYL.