Wednesday, November 25, 2009

A little bit of heaven - a unaffordable treat

The last four days have flown by - the house is heaving with female hormones again, and it is just like old times.

The senior daughter arrived back from London on Sunday night with a surprise cargo in the car - the junior daughter and Possetta Baddog. The junior daughter had struggled up to Oxford for a christening, and had run out of steam, but was supposed to be returning to London. The senior daughter had an inspiration, had made a detour, and picked her up with the Baddog and brought them home. So - I have gone from a quiet orderly life, back in time to a family life. Unfortunately, as the Baddog had only recently returned to London, Billy and Maud are having a huge sulk "What the Dickens is she doing back here again"? So - the atmosphere is charged, crackling with tension between the four-legged inhabitants.

I escaped yesterday, and had a wonderful treat in London. I went down by train, very unusual for me, but the senior daughter took me to the station and collected me again at the end of the day, so, I was able to enjoy my lunch with impunity. I belong to our Constituency Patrons' Club, which holds an annual lunch in a London Club each November. Yesterday, it was held at the Garrick Club, amazing, because it is, of course, MEN ONLY!

It is the most amazing place, the walls thick with portraits, my eyes lit upon a Zoffany, heaven - it was almost too much to take in. We were allowed to peek into one or two rooms other than the private dining room where we lunched. In a way, I rather like the idea of a Club for men only, I am beginning to weary of the, to me, strident call for men and women to be totally equal. We are not, never will be, and please let's keep some distance and enjoy a few old traditions.

I was asked to say Grace before lunch - me? What to choose, the senior daughter helped me to select something appropriate. All the way up on the train I was trying to memorise the words, I think the man sitting beside me thought I was a sixpence short of a shilling, talking to myself under my breath for nearly an hour. Anyway - when the time came, I couldn't remember a word, and had to use the crib kindly written out for me by the senior daughter - Benedic, Domine, dona tua quae de largitate sumus sumpturi Amen. Rolls off the tongue quite superbly. A short moment of fame for Aurora.

Lunch was heaven, Warm Tart of Bacon and Shrimp, Smoked Haddock Souffle with Chive Sauce, Roast Rib of Aged Aberdeen Angus with Rosemary, Shallot and Claret Sauce, Tarte Tatin of Jonogold Apples with Calvados Ice Cream. Totally divine - these days I have few such treats, so every mouthful was savoured, each sip of wine rolled round the tongue. Oh, joy! Our Chairman is a wonderful bon viveur, and takes huge trouble organising the venues, and the wonderful food and wines. Long may it continue - but probably not for me - it will be an unaffordable extravagance in my new life to come. I am lucky to have enjoyed it all thus far.

I tottered back to St Marylebone to catch my train, and dozed all the way back to my home station.

Today - back down to earth with a bump - I have to put my case as to why I need my Barrister to apply to the Courts for the restitution of my maintenance. The law is an ass - apparently it will be a fight. My finances will be gone over with a fine toothcomb, can't have this, can't have that - I have even been told thst I can't claim vets' fees, and my animal feed bill is too high. Dear God - and the philanderer runs five cars, a mistress, and hides his money. I despair. Where is the nearest soup kitchen? Shall I make an appointment to euthanaise my 6 animals - no hold on, the bill for that is not allowable.


Reluctant Blogger said...

Oh that sounds like one of those oh so perfect days. I love those. I always try to breathe them in especially deeply (so I end up looking odd on trains too - like I am hyperventilating or something!).

I hope your legal problems do not prove too long-winded and stressful. I don't think I could do that you know. I always take the "cut and run" approach because the stress of anything else is just too high. But I can see that if he has so much and you have so little and he has treated you so badly and disrespectfully, that you would feel you should/had to. Just take care of yourself as a person and remember that somewhere there is a line that must not be crossed for the sake of your own sanity and that nothing is worth crossing it for.

The Garrick. Wow. I am so impressed.

Stevey said...

I love the days that feel like a slice of heaven... Tantalisingly rare, yet delightful when they turn up.

I hope your legal money-wrangling is resolved quickly. My parents, unfortunately, have been going strong in this respect for nearly 5 years now, and I know how awful it can be and I feel for you immensely. Praying for you.

giulia said...

I'm so glad that you had a lovely time at the luncheon. But I must say, forgive me, that it is precisely because men & women are so separated & unequal (still) that you are being treated so inhumanely in your legal proceedings. So it doesn't follow. I'm not making a case for barging into some men's clubs. There are a few left in "old-time" Washington, DC--merely by virtue of the fact that most of us wouldn't want to have a thing to do with the stuffed chauvinist shirts who are members (many of whom cavort all over town & nearby countryside with young women).

I'm very glad that both daughters are with you & I bet they can give some good advice, as well.


Susan (& Julie the Cat who adores dogs)

Kate Lord Brown said...

Ooh - deep vicarious pleasure :) I find I appreciate boon days like this so much more now we're not in London. All best with the lawyers ... as they say, Keep calm and carry on x

Helena Halme said...

What a lovely day you had. And then back to money. My mother always repeats a her favourite Finnish proverb (the translation may be a little awkward) 'Lack of money may seem funny but it's never fun.'

Poor you, take the man for all he has! xxx

Marie said...

Sounds glorious and well deserved. Hope all went well with Barrister etc and the Philanderer gets his comeuppance sooner rather than later...

Elise said...

sounds like one of those rare, perfect days. Always they have to be balanced with something, shall we say, less than perfect... great post !