Home again, darlings, I’m sure you’d have missed me frightfully if you’d known I’d been away. I went to London for the afternoon and evening. Just got back. I went to a sculpture exhibition at the Royal Academy and then to my friend Lynn’s book launch. It was so good to see her, we haven’t met since Weeza’s wedding, which will be six years ago in August. She only lives in Tunbridge Wells, there’s no good reason not to see each other more often but we never get around to it.
Her poems are extremely impressive. I expected a lot, but they surpassed expectations. The subject matter surprised me, being Mary. Yes, that Mary, and from her perspective – I was going to put in a couple of quotations, but I’d end up with whole poems, I don’t want to diminish them with a soundbite. She also had a small anthology of lighter poems, which I also bought … several copies of both. I made her sign copies of each for all my children!
Her family asked me to stay on and have supper with them, but I couldn’t, because I was booked on the 9 o’clock train home. I shared a table with three cheerful blonde women, two of whom had been shopping and the third who works in London. She said, she’s about to renew her season ticket and it’ll cost over £5,000. £5,400, I think she said. Ouch. They all got out at Ipswich. The one with the season ticket is training to run the London Marathon. The other two had various shopping bags and had evidently had a successful day…
All I bought were books. Lynn’s, and before that, since I’d had twenty minutes spare I’d wandered into Waterstone’s, where the habit of a lifetime overtook me and I bought three novels. Since I’d taken two books to read on the train, I hardly needed to, but I was unable to prevent myself.