So I had a rather unusual day yesterday, but I will just touch upon the highlights. The sheer joy of the day was spending time (and dinner) with two new friends. You will hear a great deal about them in the future. They are youngish and Canadian and, as you know I am going to Canada next, after my eviction. So they are God sent, in so many ways. I will tell you more about them but not until I get their permission to use their names. So take away them from the content of the blog and the Japanese dinner we thoroughly enjoyed. So much fun we had, we laughed ourselves silly. Perhaps I was silly to start with.
Another highlight was seeing the extremely talented jeweler Leonid Dementiev, not just seeing him but receiving a necklace that he refashioned for me. It was an expensive necklace, purchased many years ago but with bad memories. Leonid restrung it, using different materials. It is now a thing of beauty and I will wear it with pride. He is off to Russia for a few days but when he comes back we will be in touch and we will be friends, I am sure. He has had a fascinating life even though he is young. His life experiences and his portrayal of Russia at this moment in time were very illuminating and even more interesting than my life. Drat! As usual, the media tells us nothing about actual circumstances. It does make me want to visit Russia again – I was there last in about 1993.
Another extreme highlight was lunch at Ottolenghi. The salads were superb but better yet was meeting Christiana, the maitre d’. We laughed and laughed and she offered me a job. Well, a make believe job but I would serve the following functions.
1, Starer – those duties would involve staring at people who were lingering too long at a table and messing with the reservation system. This one was my idea and done for personal reasons as there was no table available and we had reservations. In all fairness we were early.
2. Mingler – that would involve speaking and entertaining the people who were waiting to be seated.
3. Traffic controller – that would involve showing silly people which way to walk down the proper aisle in the beginning and not have to squeeze between tables. It would be a great deal easier that way and your meal would not be interrupted by various parts of human anatomy passing by.
4. Patrol officer – the meals are plated in an area of easy access to the general group of people who are mingling and waiting for a table. I was sorely tempted to make off with a plate and gobble its contents. I contained myself but others perhaps could not. They need a policing system just in case.
So the meal was great, the Italian waiter from Venice so charming. His shift concluded while we were still there. I saw him out the window and gave him a blow kiss. He waved and laughed.
But there was a wrinkle, there always is. I was lunching with a man. I paid for lunch and later he informed me he was off to Portugal (with another woman). I yelled at him on the phone: “I paid for lunch and you are going to Portugal?? There is something wrong with this picture!” He thought I was joking. I was not. I will never see him again, much less pay for his lunch. I am done and when I am done – I AM DONE. There were other complications, of course, but I am cruel.
I include a photograph of the oldest continuously operated factory in London as it began production in 1570. The Church Bell Foundry is its name and it is in the same neighborhood as Ottolenghi. The foundry is a charming place, staffed by a charming woman. But you know what? It is being sold and torn down. Where is this city’s sense of history? . Lost to greed. Thus endeth this posting on a serious note.