An evening out at Shrublands. This has been a well-known health clinic for the last 40 years, beloved by those who visited for their annual pick-me-up, but which has now been closed and sold, and of which the contents, family silver, furniture and china, is being sold by Sotheby’s next week.
We had an invitation for the private view. As did most of the poshenista of Suffolk. Lots of ‘Darlings!!’ of greeting to be heard. “Do you know D.? He and L. have only just got engaged.” “Oh! That is the best thing, the very best!!” We arrived early and hung around for a while before the doors opened. A delightful lady engaged me in conversation. She was most upset at Shrublands closing so abruptly, depriving her of her annual visits after 20 years. We met lots of people we knew. Lots of mwahs – though I am oikish enough to actually kiss those I like. I’m not much of an air-kisser.
We were parted for some time. Then met by chance, going in opposite directions. “See you at the top of the stairs in a few minutes.” Yeah, right. We did meet again, eventually. I overheard one lady “Oh, I’ve lost my husband! …………. Oh, there he is!” “You’re luckier than I” I remarked, “I haven’t seen mine for half an hour.” “Could be, you’re luckier than me.” The Sotheby’s girl and I laughed. Later, I passed her again – “Found him!” I said.
There was one woman wearing a covetable suit. Brown, discreetly checked, the jacket’s checks going straight and the skirt’s diagonal. Just right. But so was she, half my age and slenderer – I was that size ten years ago. Won’t be again. Don’t aim to be, everything would droop horribly.
Wine flowed. I drove there. We accepted second glasses of wine. “Who will drive home?” I asked. “I will, you finish mine.” And so I did. And a very nice canapé, fillet steak on a bit of toast.
I’m too busy to go back next week for the sale. But the Sage isn’t, and we’ve registered. There is one lot we are really interested in, and a couple more that I would frivolously like, but we won’t really go for. Keep your fingers crossed. We have decided on a price to go up to.