Thursday, 21 April 2011

Don’t cry for me......

On extremely Good Friday I fly first to Madrid and then, 14 hours later, arrive in Buenos Aires. Over the next two weeks I will make four more internal flights, not so much a carbon footprint as a carbon Ugg boot. Hell, I don’t have a car or a dishwasher.....I must have some Brownie points? I so need a holiday and now I’m going to get one with my mad, bad but amusing to know travelling companion. We have puffy jackets and bikinis, woolly hats and sunglasses, the Rough Guide and Tamazepam.......Happy Easter, see you in a couple of weeks. Has anyone told Argentina?

“Where are you?” he said as she heard the clack of his Cuban heel behind her.

She turned and saw him approach, his phone pressed to his ear, eyes scanning the commuters scurrying about Kings Cross station. Would it be wrong, she wondered, to just leave now? If she stepped back into WH Smith he’d never know, she could move fast in her Converse, she could double back and nip out the front and be on the No.30 before he’d even realised she’d hung up.

“Hi,” she said, pocketing her mobile and smiling the thin smile of disappointment. His joy was palpable.

“You have been waiting?”


“For long?”


“We go.....”



“Yes, fine....”

“I know a Spanish bar, you know...”

“No. Yes.”

“You have been...?”

“A long time ago.”

He may have been 6’1” but he was definitely not 41. Why use a picture of yourself that has got to be at least ten years out of date, she wondered? His Carhartt jeans, faded and tight to his narrow hips, were ironed; his white t-shirt fitted and high-necked, the dark-denim jacket stretched across his broad shoulders and round his neck a large, beaten-silver cross hung on a leather thong. He moved ahead of her, leading the way, and there it was: yes he did have a full-head of thick, short hair but at the back, the tiniest of pert pony-tales...........Already, she was out of conversation.

Top tip: a bit of spontaneity can do wonders for blowing away the cobwebs.

Thursday, 14 April 2011

I'd just like to thank the academy.....

Thank you so much to Hestia's Larder for awarding me this award......
The rules of the award are that you should pass the award on to a handful of blogs with under 300 followers and provide a link back to the person who awarded it to you. So, in no particular order.....
And thank you all so much for your warm wishes of bon voyage. I shall endeavour to report back as faithfully as the censor will allow and hopefully, with the help of the divine Christina, fromFashion's Most Wanted learn how to put up a photo or two.......

With holiday in the air.......whether like me you’re jetting down to South America or planning an Easter staycation sandwiched between two super-sized bank holiday weekends..... there is no better time to dust yourself down and spruce yourself up. It’s not called Spring Clean for nothing. The sun has shown it really can shine and, hopefully, will be back to shine some more........ oh please don’t let that be it..... raising the temperature and our spirits. After the longest winter in recorded least that’s what it felt like ..... with the endless dark, desolate skies clagged in drizzle and the damp-rot of dull grey days, it’s easy to let the beauty routine slide: complexions become pallid and sagged, limbs plump and flab with more than a hint of winter mange. It’s not a good look.

And so I hastily made the necessary appointments, have started walking to a bus stop further away than usual.....every little bit helps.....and am refusing all solids till after take-off.....after my low-carb-holiday-of-Malbec-and-steak I hope to return fit –for-summer. Now waxed and polished, so to speak, I do feel a whole lot better, lighter, brighter, fit for purpose. And so I got to wondering, why didn’t I pay more attention to myself sooner?

“Well,” she said, twisting the phone cord around her ring finger, “You know, the type who are trouble.”
“Trouble?” he said, his words in English, his accent in Spanish.
“Drink too much, too many drugs,” she laughed nervously, had he missed the joke? Did he even understand anything she was saying? And anyway, what did he mean what type of man did she like? When did choice come into it?
“Aah.... trouble.” He did get the joke. “Maybe you need a different type.”
“Yes, I think maybe I do.”
She looked at his picture again. This had to be a joke. A Spanish joke: tall, dark and somewhere between Javier Bardem and Antonio Banderas. It was a good joke.
“So,” she said, “Where are you from?”
Barcelona, she thought, Madrid perhaps?
“Me,” he said, “I am from Argentina.”
“Argentina!” “Yes, I am from Argentina.”
“ Oh. My. God. But I’m going to Argentina.”
“You are going to Argentina?”
“Yes, I’m going to Arentina.”
“Then I think we should have a coffee,” he said, “yes?”
“Yes.” She said.

Top tip: don’t wait for the sun to put it’s hat on, treat yourself to a trip to the beauty parlour.

Friday, 8 April 2011

Wishin' and hopin' and thinkin'...........

There are few greater pleasures in life than sitting upstairs, at the front of the bus on a beautiful sun-beaming-down-bright-blue-day; St. Pancras illuminated in a golden Gothic glow, budding trees skimming past, blossom blowing a blur in the breeze.....well perhaps a few.....but not so many when your head, too, is filled with thoughts of holiday, as mine is.

A couple of weeks ago I began to complain bitterly that I would never again go on holiday because I didn’t have a boyfriend. And I didn’t want to go away on my own to walk up a mountain, or learn salsa, or do yoga, or go kayaking with other enthusiastically single-Billy—no-mates, or billet myself with good-friends-who-live-abroad and have to sing for my free-supper by bouncing their children on my knee while balancing my glass of rose on the corner of the table-full-of-couples.......and that boyfriends really only are for Christmas and holidays and that what I wanted to do was go to Argentina because I’d always wanted to go to South America and soon I’d be too old to travel anywhere and I’d never see Patagonia and I’d always wanted to go to Patagonia because it’s one of my favourite words and Buenos Aires always sounded so romantic and......then someone I was working with randomly mentioned she was going to Argentina for a week over Easter to visit a friend....

“How wonderful”, I said, “I wish I was going to Argentina.”

“Why don’t you come,” she said, “I’ll change my flight, stay for two weeks, we can go to Patagonia.”

“Because..... how much is it?”

“Here’s the number, call them and just book it, it’ll be great....”

So I did.

My travelling companion, an energetic 35 year old, built like Barbie but eats like a horse, with a possible thyroid-condition, is the bi-polar opposite of me in pretty much everyway: petite, blond and not so much glass-half-full as cup-runneth-over, everything is extended: hair, eye-lashes and heels......she was once engaged to a Tottenham Hotspur’s player and so is a qualified, if non-practising, WAG. But she has too, backpacked across India and knows her way around any bargain-basement-budget- flight website. She parties hard but is always first in work and has informed me, in her fluent Yorkshire, that she has scored a rake of Temazepam for the flight.... In short, a perfect travelling companion.

And so we’re off to tango; the snap of Gaucho in the air, the tang of pampas on the tongue. We fly to I believe it is known...on Good Friday, renamed Spectacular Friday for the purposes of the trip. When, many years ago, I went to Mexico I married my ex-husband, after a similar rant: ‘we shall find our husbands, I want to marry a writer, an American....’ And I did. However, I married the wrong American. There are loads of them, it was an easy mistake. This time, I’d like to marry the right American. I shall eat steak...the travelling companion’s and mine, she’s also a vegetarian....and drink Malbec and Mate and watch the world tango by......and see what happens.....

Top tip: be careful what you wish.......but if you do want it then think it, say it and don’t give up on it.

Saturday, 2 April 2011

Notes from the edge......

Why does society blame single mums for all of society's ills.......... yet when we see a single dad with a toddler we say aaaaah........
Why is a single man of a certain age the most wanted guest at any dinner, a single woman of a certain age a social pariah?

I had to email an A Gill to re-direct an un-delivered DHL package..... is AA Gill moonlighting?

Last night I went to a party at Mrs Jones Emporium, hosted by the fabulous Fee Doran, full of fabulous people and even more fabulous clothes, really, if you live in London you really must get yourselves down there. Check out KEEPING UP WITH MRS JONES And I finally met up with the divine Christina from Fashion's Most Wanted We have been circling each other for sometime, paths criss-crossing out of time, so it was with much excitement when she rocked into view, a vision in a multi-coloured kaftan. For those of you keen to know....... she is not the
impossible beauty with an impossibly perfect life, that some might imagine, she's even better. In real life she has a warmth of heart and a generosity of spirit that is the true beauty.
And we drank vodka tonics to celebrate.........

"Black Americano" he said.
"Me too" I said.
Sitting in the over-sized armchairs, spring sun warming the glass, outside the number 19 stops and in the distance a siren.
"I'm a single father" he said.
"Aaaaaah" I said.

Top tip: For all that glitters......... go to Mrs Jones Emporium