I left LA last week (July 2nd) though it actually feels like months ago, so much has happened. I flew into JFK with bags and dog and chaos. He was waiting for me and whisked me off to a beautiful house set in perfect woodland and rolling lawns.
We ate and walked and talked. I never tire of listening to him. We have done our fair share of soul-searching these past few months and now it is time to have a few laughs. I know that at the back of his mind he worries, that he is not truly free.
I loved the countryside and delightful clapboard houses on the border of New York and Connecticut.
In distant, very white upstate town Katonah there were two very black gay men from the Caribbean eating a light lunch. They were the only black people for miles around.
Two days later we were in a taxi back to JFK and onto one of Air France’s spectacular Airbus A380. The huge plane was almost empty! Deciding to fly on July 4th was a great idea. Taking off over a million 4th July firework parties. Fireworks exploding all around us.
The first part of the journey was not without drama as we managed to get delayed for 3 hours by a bomb scare at JFK. The entire airport emptied out just minutes before we were about to fly. We were herded outside and sat around smoking cigarettes and drinking water. After a couple of hours in the sun we stampeded back into the building directly onto our planes and landed in France 6 hours later.
It is delicious to be back in Europe. Away from the tangled life I have left behind in the USA. Once in Paris we checked into Mama Shelter in the 20th, seconds from the cemetery Pere Lachaise. We loved it!
Although I smuggled the dog into the hotel-actually we had no need as dogs, we later found out, are allowed. The food and service were excellent. The only vaguely irritating thing was the Internet wi-fi connection which was linked to their rather modern but baffling Apple TV. Apart from finding it impossible to get on-line their sophisticated interconnected system meant that the TV remote would also remotely control our lap tops..hmmm.
It is so easy to concentrate on what is wrong in life or in others without noticing how beautiful things are. The staff at the hotel were gorgeous and we drooled over them everyday.
First day of Couture shows in Paris. We had lunch with William Stoddart at Hotel d’Amour near Pigalle. Gosh that area has changed so much! When I lived there with Claire Sant it was ghastly. Last week it was wonderful. The weather has been gorgeous everywhere we have been.
The beautiful Edouard joined us afterwards for coffee. We had dinner with him the night before and 6 others at Italian restaurant. Very pretty German model who was obviously rooting for Germany in the World Cup..she was tall and womanly and intelligent. We talked France’s ignominious exit from the competition and sneered at the British teams pathetic attempt to get into the last 8.
Three days in Paris followed by a train ride to Calais and a ferry to Dover after a short taxi ride home to Whitstable we were sitting on the beach eating venison burgers and the travelling companion couldn’t believe how beautiful it all was and complained that I had underplayed how Whitstable really is.
Today there are warnings that old people may overheat. We are going to take a train to London.
I am sitting writing this from my room overlooking the sea in Georgina’s home in Whitstable. It was my birthday yesterday. The day started well enough with coffee at Dave’s deli catching up on gossip and drinking his perfect latte. I left the companion in bed. He is not really a morning person. We met my mother for lunch at Wheelers where Mark Stubbs the chef there continues to surpass himself-this time with delicately spiced soft shell crab.
I really had no desire to see anyone other than who was at that table. I am certainly not interested in tangoing in front of 500 people like an eastern European gypsy. My mum and Georgina bonded over their hatred of Asylum Seekers. My mother pointed out that some asylum seekers were pretending to be gay so that they could stay in the country. If it’s not the Mexican’s it’s the Eastern Europeans..there always someone to blame for never having enough.
I thought that the fear of others getting something for nothing was an American phenomena but no! It’s British too.
After lunch Adam took my picture as part of his photographic Whitstable project and his lovely mum cut my hair. We sat in their lush garden drinking lemonade and lusting after his gorgeous, recently tattooed, diver brother. After the pictures were taken we walked the couple of miles home up the beach. I have never been so happy.
When we got home the companion had a drama unfold which he needed to deal with. When he finally tore himself away from the Internet we sat in the garden and ate dinner with Georgina. We ate huge organic pork chops that I managed to burn on the bbq. After dinner we sat outside the Neptune pub with Barry and other drunksters. The dog was tired and lay on the beach and fell asleep. The night was balmy and the sea lapped lazily over the shingle.
This morning I woke at 6am and walked the dog up to the harbor. He loves it here. The Greens who own the Oyster Company scrawl unfortunate notes on black boards all over their property. Don’t do this and don’t do that. Those black boards used to be charming now they just look vicious.
Some people like to get their own way..I am one of them. When you finally meet your match, as I seem to, it can be less than comfortable. I am trying to be sensitive to the needs of others but I am a stubborn old fool.
As for him..the traveling companion..he’s finding his feet and I am finding mine.