And now about Monday night:
I don't know if it's the hours I go out, but the last few evenings I've arrived at Green Park station there has been an old dude in a tattered golden cape exiting ahead of me. I am sure he is also wearing a blue spandex outfit among other odd layers of clothing, and has a mass of curly white hair under his unravelled straw hat. Where is he going?
Anyway, I met my bestest friend Lydia and took her to the Arts Club. She was so excited! And she never fails to make me laugh.
As we hung up our coats, she said it was like being back in the school cloakroom. I said I probably hadn't been in one since then!
We went into the loo and she said the wallpaper looked like if we tried to sniff it, it would smell of blackberries, and we had a giggle over that.
Then she said she liked the new sinks, but I thought the taps were too close to the rim, which for some reason sent her off into peals of laughter.
I laughed at her for laughing and asked, "What's so funny about that?"
When she caught her breath she replied, "Trust you to say the funniest things!"
We went up to the bar and got ourselves some refreshing drinks, then went into the drawing room. Being the good host, I asked her where she wanted to sit, and she promptly replied, "At the front!"
So we plopped into two seats right at the front corner, where we could see the piano keyboard.
Mr Philip Gammon, former principal pianist at the Royal Ballet, was our guest for the evening.
He had the longest fingers and they were magic, they just flowed effortlessly over the keyboard!
The pieces were interspersed with many amusing anecdotes from over the years, like when playing in Los Angeles, the D-flat key came out in his hand, etc.
Or how George Balanchine, although a choreographer, could also play the piano and even conducted a bit (rare talents for choreographers).
He played lots of pieces performed by the ballet over the years, including themes and variations by Chopin, um someone else I forget, and some awesome Elite Syncopations by Scott Joplin.
There were many little cute "diddly-bits" in the Chopin pieces which just tickled me, so I sat there with my shoulders shaking and later on Lydia said she noticed and that's why she didn't look at me. We would have set each other off very badly....
I love jazz-age syncopations and really enjoyed hearing them live for the first time.
After the recital we made our way to the dining room where we ordered all 3 courses. Lydia had a winter root salad with truffles, which she thought couldn't possibly be chocolates.
So I said no they were rotten acorns dug up by trained French pigs. She said, "Oh, sounds appetising" which then sent us off into giggles again.
And I added, but seriously, it's one of the most expensive things after caviar! It is silly, though. Thin slivers of (mostly tasteless, slightly nutty) blackened squirrel food carefully scattered over a salad. Tut...
I had a salad with cepes (strong flavoured toadstools) and Caesar dressing.
For mains we both ordered the sea-bass on a bed of onions and artichoke hearts
Lydia had cheese and crackers for dessert, but I wanted the same passion fruit delice I'd had last time. She gave me her blue cheese, though, and we had a laugh over the conscious choice to eat lumps of bacteria that I've probably looked at under a microscope.
*sigh* so it was a great evening overall and I can't wait to take her back again, she was a wonderful guest!
Yay! I knew I was making the right decision to go to the hairdresser today. I have been commissioned to go back to the office on Haymarket tomorrow and Friday!