Z lunches

More snow in the night, but the roads had been cleared by the time I left home just after 7.30.  We’d had a frightful night’s sleep, or rather lack of it, we both tossed and turned and, in the rare moments one of us slept we twitched, rolled over taking the bedclothes, kicked, you name it.  The bed looked in a right pickle when I left it and some major bedmaking will be required before we can sleep in it tonight.

And so I felt tired and dispirited this morning, not helped by the need to clear the car of snow, which took quite some time with a broom before I could even tackle the windows, and it seemed a jolly good idea to cheer myself up with a hot bacon sandwich on the train.  They’re not mean with the bacon, I’ll say that for them, and I ended up eating the rashers and leaving the bread.

This evening, Elle says that she and her friend are planning a joint party – Elle’s leaving party and Em’s birthday – next month and they’ve been trying to find a suitable venue, without much success.  Of course, they’re welcome to use the bungalow again, I’ve said, so they’re very pleased.

Lunch was at Simpson’s in the Strand and I arrived first, so spent a little while in the National Gallery before going to waylay Wink outside Charing Cross station – and I missed her, so she got there first after all.  I was reminded, as I looked on the other side of the road, of the time I was, for some reason, in London on my own when I was about 17 and my mother needed me to run an errand for her at her bank.  I could hardly, at that age, have felt grander, sitting in a taxi and asking the driver to take me to Coutts (440, Strand, if I remember right) and please would he wait?  But then, on my way out I wondered if I’d recognise him because I had the worst memory for faces (and names) of anyone in the world ever – but it was easy of course, because I hadn’t paid him and he made jolly sure he recognised me.  It was about my pinnacle of grandeur I’m afraid, I’ve steadily come down in the world ever since.

It was a ‘literary lunch’ we went to – my birthday present from my sister – and we had a very good time, not least because everyone was so friendly.  Neighbours chatted to each other – Barbara and Shirley were opposite us, Richard was on my right and we met a delightful man beforehand, though didn’t exchange names, who lives near Guildford and enjoys the theatre but not the cinema.  Richard and his wife are expecting their first baby and he’s slightly apprehensive about it, though looking forward to being a father.  He’s 41, though looked a lot younger.  Barbara and Shirley live in Newbury.  There you see, I can remember casual conversations with people, and their names.  Usually, that’s Wink’s speciality and I’m hopeless.  Or I used to be.  I’ve worked on it over the years.  I’ve even got better at remembering faces.  

15 comments on “Z lunches

  1. Z

    It really was, we think we might do it again. Entertaining speakers, too – which was the purpose of the whole thing of course, and whom I didn’t get around to mentioning!

  2. Anonymous

    Ooooh Simpson’s! I’ll never forget dining there 30 year ago-delicious!
    You had me worried re: joint party–thought it meant something completely different.

  3. Z

    Don’t think there will be any of that, Anon, Lena’s quite down on smoking and drugs. Plenty of alcohol, I daresay (though she tends not to drink either, unless there’s a bottle of champagne open).

    No, that’s probably why she changed banks in the end, Rog. Though their diaries were very good.

  4. Blue Witch

    Have you ever considered getting a larger bed, with two separate mattresses?

    You often write about sleepng badly, and it might just improve things. I can wholeheartedly recommend the ones that raise and lower their heads and feet. I couldn’t survive without mine now.

  5. Scarlet Blue

    This weather has certainly had me reaching for the comfort food. I had no bacon for sandwiches [which I was craving] so made do with left over sausage rolls from Christmas, which had been taking up too much space in my freezer.

  6. Zig

    When i worked in a clearing bank, the Coutts cheques had to go in a special envelope up to the London clearing houses, they were that posh. I’m surprised you didn’t have to go in a special taxi.

  7. Z

    Thank you, BW, that is a thought, especially since my hip can only get worse. Although even when, during periods of especially bad sleep, I’ve moved into the spare room so as not to disturb the Sage (or, kindly, he has), I’ve still spent several hours of the night awake. I’m afraid that my sleeping rhythm has completely gone awry over the last couple of years or so.

  8. Z

    I haven’t felt like eating anything much today, still quite full, Scarlet! Though we’re still chomping the Christmas chocolates – fortunately, Elle likes chocolate so I’m making sure there will be none left by the time she leaves.

    When shops had those little machines that took cheques and imprinted their details on them, the Coutts cheques had to be put in very carefully as they were a different size. They continued to send your having-been-presented (if that were Latin, would it be the Ablative Absolute?) cheques back every month with the printed statement years after other banks stopped doing so.

  9. Beryl Ament

    No, it would be the past participle passive in the accusative case to agree with the accusative noun plural (i.e.) cheques), since they are the subject of “send”. I hope.

  10. mig

    I once had a (very fleeting) acquaintance with some Coutts. I’m not sure if they were the actual bankers or just members of the family. Mrs Coutt was actually very nice indeed for a rich, horsey, Devonshire lady.

  11. Z

    Beryl, I love you.

    I have a friend whose maiden name was Money-Coutts. Her father was a younger son, sadly. No matter, she’s lovely.

  12. Blue Witch

    Tempur beds used to (don’t know if they still do) offer a 3 month free trial – if it doesn’t suit, you send it back, and get all your money back, no questions asked. They are totally different to normal beds and you sleep differently.

    Might be worth investigating, as you said you had to buy a new bed for the bungalow – why not treat yourselves and put your bed in the bungalow?

    They’re not cheap, but it’ll last forever. We’re in year 10 or 11 and it’s still like new, whereas before we were buying new (good quality) matresses every four or five years.


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