Well it has been very lovely - weather wise.
My brother and I used to have a descriptor for the perfect day. It was called a Halifax cash card day. This was based upon an advert at the time for the Halifax Building society, as it was called then. Like the polytechnics becoming universities – I think they’re all banks now.The advert featured a docklands type having a day of ease in the sunny city, smiling, skipping, grabbing a coffee, walking by the river, nice chambray shirt, laughing – head thrown back stylee, lunching with friends at Pont de la Tour – that sort of thing. And to help him with all his fun post Thatcher activities and Jermyn Street shirt purchases, he jogged to the cashpoint to use his Halifax Cash Card. Oh how happy we were.
So whenever we are kicking back, as our American chums used to say, well that’s what we’re having, a Halifax card cash day. And very nice they are too.I had a couple of HCCDs recently, stealing a cheeky day off last Friday and immersing myself in the sunshine, an entirely new wardrobe of tailored gems, a walk through East Dulwich, chatting with the lady who makes the jam on the market stall, trying new cheeses – god I love being so terribly middle class – it’s liked cooked cocaine to me. Then off to lunch or brunch as they say, with a young lady who works in the arts, then checking in with one of my old Grande dames for some wise wit and walnut cake. Oh how my cup runneth over.
I’m pretty certain that life is good at the moment. I’m even enjoying work which means I must be coming down with something. I feel purposeful and content. And importantly I am slim; slimmer of the fucking year and I love it.Now this brings me onto blonds, because gentlemen certainly do prefer blonds, and I mean many things by this. But the gist is that the young and the pretty shall inherit the world. Now I’ve dined on my wit and my charm for many years, I could even turn a head in my heyday (very different to one’s prime) like maturity and sex drive – rarely arrive in tandem. But it is true I did get up to a size 12/14 over the past few years, and even though with the beard it was socially acceptable, it wasn’t, I think my true being. I think being slimmer is more me and I feel like I have returned to my equilibrium (aqualibra) rather than reduced. But I have noticed some very interesting things. People have been paying more attention to me. And I don’t mean in a how’s your father sort of way (he’s very well thank you for asking), although I was blind to that even when I was 25 and gorgeous. But I mean in life in general, at work, in the street, etc. etc., people are paying more attention to me and I am in people’s radar more, just in ordinary ways, and I really think it is because I am looking better and I think people respond and react to that. Now as well as being terribly interesting, it is quite shocking. This a) means that people are that shallow, and that’s scary in a work situation where prospects and respect are concerned, but b) it means that the ignorant workshy could carefully alter/adapt their image to enhance their staged existence and in doing so obtain advancement over those who were quietly performing and being non manipulative. I suppose I knew this, but it has really brought it home. You can see this across society with people trying to stage their lives to be things they are not, in order to achieve a perceived higher standing to obtain things they haven’t earnt or deserve or to smoke and mirrors their work, art or ideas to appear as something new, relevant or worthy, when it is in fact not.
It takes more than a terracotta tile and a bottle of balsamic vinegar to make Tuscany my dears.
(Reads back to check whether rant has been exhausted? Yes)But the young and the pretty will inherit the earth, and good fucking luck to them.
Where was I? Oh yes HCCDs.I accidently joined the 2 minute silence lest we forget, i.e. the radio was on and I wasn’t talking to myself. Silence on the radio is a very strange thing. I once heard a documentary about it – to be avoided those in broadcasting circles tell me. I then read the paper. The paper was of course 5 weeks old, but still, an article on Margaret Atwood is an article on Margaret Atwood, whenever it was published. I have put aside the Observer guide to writing your novel – for closer attention over an alcohol free cooking sherry at a later date.
Did I mention that the sun was shining? It always does on HCCDs. I had one of Robbyn’s gorgeous rolls which she purloined for me via her emporium du fromage and which I had sliced and frozen ready for toast one day. And that day was that day. I had them with butter and bon mammon berries and cherries, a cup of Yorkshire Gold and the resonance of Nimrod saluting those who had fallen.Also, the National Trust – did I mention I was middle class? They sent me their holiday cottage brochure. This was ordered when I was first researching for my Cornish sojourn with Gloria next year. Now NT places are very expensive, but if you don’t have kiddies and are not averse to sharing with two dustmen from Cleethorpes, the rates can be very reasonable. I am now pondering March in North wales.
HCCDs for me are all about being out and about, exploring, the sunshine, just some gorgeous music for company. I don’t need the Pont de la Tour (wasn’t she is rising damp). Don’t get me wrong I don’t mind others. In fact some of my best friends are a bit other.The weather, well the sunshine had to break and it did finally yesterday. So when I found myself in the lift with a need for small talk I said.
‘These cloudy days, they really do make you want to snuggle up under the duvet with a good book’
And he said,
‘And a blond’
He didn’t look the type!