A flying visit to London today, to see friends over from Madras for a few days. It’s nearly three years since I last met them, when I was last over there. They had a business appointment in the middle of the day and this was the only day my sister and I could manage, but at least we had a good hour together. Afterwards, Wink and I met El and briefly visited her office to have a discreet gawp before having lunch together. Then we trotted into Fortnums, reminisced for a few minutes about the griottes en cognac (brandied cherries in chocolate) that we always had at Christmas time, and that I’d break my diet and she would break her non-chocolate eating resolve for one (though we didn’t) before we went off to browse round the bookshop.
Outside, there were whole lots of people in a good-natured queue. Upstairs, there were several dozen more, most of them sitting on the floor leaning on the bookshelves. It seems that young L*w*s H@m1lt0n, having ‘written’ a rather precocious autobiography, was turning up at 4.30 for a booksigning. Two hours earlier than that, there were about 150 people keenly waiting.
I was vastly happy, when we parted, to find myself hopping on a Routemaster bus, complete with helpful conductor. I thought they’d all gone. It finished the day nicely.
I keep saying that when I come to London I’ll see if any of you lovely friends are free to meet up, but there wasn’t time – this was arranged at short notice and I had to give my Indian friends priority as it is such a flying visit. The only day I have free for the rest of the month is the 23rd, which is a Friday. Any good to anyone? If you’d care to form a disorderly queue, I’d be thrilled.