Saturday 24 March 2012

Sleeping with the enemy..........

When did lovers get to be like buses: you wait around for ages and then suddenly the bed's full?I started seeing someone, he's not my boyfriend..... I'm not ready to use the B-word yet ..... he's my Special Friend. Now I know you don't get to a certain age without a bit of baggage ...... or else you'd be weird..... and frankly in the Louis Vuitton department I'm doing pretty well myself. However, there's the past and the present and the stuff that just won't go away. So just when I thought I'd let it go, moved on, opened myself to the bounty of the universe........ the Most Recent Ex started turning up: at the restaurant, in the cinema, Tate Modern, catching my eye while I'm trying to be fabulous and flirtatious, smiling at me, leaning over and whispering in my ear:

"Remember when we came here?"

It's quite annoying.

"Remember how much more fun we had? What laughs. Does he make you laugh? He doesn't really make you laugh does he?"

I've asked him to stop obviously, to please leave me alone, to go mess about in somebody else's head. But he isn't listening. Then he showed up in the bedroom, just sat in the corner at first .....which is never helpful ...... but that wasn't enough:

"Budge up, move over, room for one more. It's freezing out here. You don't really like this bloke anyway, do you?"

Mind you there isn't much room for him in the bed as it happens, not with my Special Friend, his ex-wife, estranged wife, his six kids and his ex-lover.......

And not a lot of laughs.

Top tip: It's an old one but worth remembering: Carpe Diem!!

Friday 16 March 2012

One fine day........

On my way to the bus stop I passed a catering sack of long-grain, Chinese rice; ripped open, half empty, it stood about 2' high, leaning against a school fence. Why?

I took the bus to the train station and noticed the hazy dome of St.Paul's looming above a Victorian terrace, flanked by the cranes of much new building work in the city; the sun bouncing off the the gold, reflecting the past into the future.

I went to Hertford to film a hair salon and discovered, hidden down an alley, Manic Munchies: a red and white, spotted cafe full of delicious, homemade cake.

I had dinner with my dead friend's husband and kids, the eldest has learnt to cook and made a fabulous supper with these excellent oven-baked potatoes.......

....and cookies her Mum would have been proud of. It was an evening full of fun and food and wonder at how much can happen in a year.

I went home, too sad to sleep and watched Luck, recorded from Sky Atlantic. It is utterly amazing. It's about horse racing, I think. Actually, I have no idea what is going on at all and I have watched several episodes. It has Dustin Hoffman and Nick Nolte and Ian Hart and Michael Gambon and Joan Allen. In a telly show. But everything about it is brilliant, the acting, the music, the characters..... you don't need to know what's going on you just disappear from your own world and hang-out at a race track in the sun.......

To tip: Lucian Freud Portraits at the National Portrait Gallery, catch it while you can.

Tuesday 6 March 2012

They did shoot the messenger......

I sat in the cafe, turning the pages of the newspaper, feeling very sad. I have been reading a lot about the award winning American journalist, Marie Colvin, since her death on February 22nd 2012, whilst covering the siege of Homs in Syria. I read her reports when she was alive but not avidly. I knew who she was with her distinctive eye patch, always reporting from the front line of any conflict, but I wasn't a fan in the way I am now. It must have come as no surprise to her friends that she died doing her job. But I'm sure it was a terrible shock. Marie had made a career out of getting into trouble spots. As foreign correspondent for The Sunday Times, she had been to some of the most dangerous places in the world to tell us about the bad things that were happening there, to bear witness, so we can tut and shake our heads with anger at the horrors going on around the world from the comfort of our clean-sheeted beds and cozy kitchens.

Marie Colvin 1956-2012

Marie Colvin cut across gender and age, as a 56 year old woman in the testosterone fuelled world of hard-drinking-chain-smoking war reporters, she cut a glamorous figure in a flack jacket and eye patch, manicured nails and pearls. She did not conform to the stereo-type of hard-bitten hack but was instead warm, funny, generous and compassionate, always willing to help whether it be to inspire younger journalists or aid East Timorese refugees besieged by Indonesian militias. And always there 'to bear witness'.

The woman lived a big life, committed and brave in her work and relationships, she was, apparently, a girly girl when it came to love and boys, weaving as dramatic a web in her love-life as she did in her work-life. A role model in anytime, there was clearly nothing that could stop Marie from doing what she wanted to do, certainly not her age or sex.

I looked around the cafe where I sat, safe and warm in north London, wondering about the choices we make with what we do with our days on this earth. I watched a women struggling to eat a sausage roll with a knife and folk and thought how ridiculous, has the world gone mad? And then I thought it really is not enough to bear witness to just this.

Top tip: Mad Men is back...... season 5 starts on March 27th on Sky Atlantic...... I know, I know but it's just too good to miss!