How time flies - what a busy week.
My lunch party on Monday was all I hoped it would be. Now I am on my own, entertaining is a complete joy. No hassle, no mulishness, no bad-tempered responses to requests for help. Billy, I am glad to say, did not get me up at 6.30 am although we did get up early, the dogs and I. The house was orderly, the food prepared well in advance, the table laid with starched white cloth, the white wine chilled, and the St Emilion opened in time to breathe.
My guests consisted of the two good friends who had taken me to Glyndebourne for my birthday treat, my recently widowed girlfriend R, another couple who have been very kind to me and with whom the junior daughter and I will be sharing a holiday in Cornwall next week, and a girlfriend, also called V, who shared the Ebury Street house in the 60's with R and I. We had the most jolly time, with much laughter, and much food and wine was consumed. The roasted peppers disappeared in double quick time, the crackling on the pork was divine, what more could we ask for?
I just love eating round my large kitchen table, a weekend or Bank Holiday lunch being the best time, and if it is with good comfortable friends, it is a near perfect experience.
I am actually blessed - many friends who we did not see regularly, the husband and I, have all reappeared now I am on my own, and I am beginning to enjoy the sort of life I was denied whilst married to the philanderer. It is becoming apparent to me that when one door closes, another slowly opens, and I am willingly trying to push it open further than ajar.
The rest of the week was spent with another widowed friend D who, with her late husband and two other couples, used to spend many hours with the husband and I over the past 15 years, at race meetings, or rallying around the world, as a jolly octet, who enjoyed each others company. It is sad now that the philanderer has been excluded, but his behaviour has been such that they do not want to have anything to do with him. When D's husband R was so ill, the philanderer was no friend, he hardly ever contacted D and went to see R only once in 18 months. I was ashamed of him.
I am now back home, and beginning to get ready for Cornwall. The most important task is to select my holiday reading, more of that later.
The sun is out this morning, the sky is blue, the breeze is brisk, and I am looking forward to a long dog walk. The dogs are already restless, I can hear them crunching on the gravel of the terrace, but I am afraid they will have to wait just a while longer, I have to finish the Daily Telegraph Weekend General Knowledge crossword first! And - perhaps have a lunch time glass of wine.
10 hours ago