Having been swallowed up by a wave of work and socialising, and only recently been spat out, and coughed myself into consciousness, I am just now getting around to writing my first entry for the month. However, many more waves are looming on the horizon and I am frantically digging holes in the sand into which I can place my pate and the water keeps filling up the hole and the sides of sand are slipping in and soon I will be drowning.
Think happy thoughts.
Many happy thoughts.
Think about all the boots you’ll buy when you’re next in Bath.
So, getting a grip. Just when I was commending myself on going for so long without a rant, the London Tube went on strike. Now, my commute has only just become bearable, since the bus route has been extended and I don’t have to walk quite as far to get to the bus stop, and I am reading far more than I ever used to, because somehow one has to fill in the hour it takes to wend through London’s indigested innards. So to finish work at 7pm after doing overtime, and to get to Aldwych and be passed by three buses, all with Londoners breathing against the windows like fish, or spilling out the doors like a catch released on a ship’s deck, made me feel very, very tired indeed. Too tired, in fact, to be particularly angry.
The following afternoon I tried a different tack and caught the bus from Euston. Unfortunately, in my sheeplike rush to get to the door, I failed to see where the bus terminated: just down the road at King’s Cross. Lovely. At King’s Cross I poured out the door with many other unhappy passengers. The next bus that turned up was also terminating there and I thought, fuck it, I’ll just get on the next one that turns up. By this stage I was nearly crying with tiredness and harassment. So the next bus rolled up and I queued, patiently, in the manner for which the English are supposedly famed, but the bus driver wouldn’t open the front doors. He was having an altercation with a man halfway down the bus. I couldn’t hear what was going on, but I assumed the man had got in the back door without a ticket and the bus driver was telling him to get off. I could just see the man’s face, and it said, ‘I’m not going to do what you tell me.’ People in the queue started shifting their weight, and I hung onto the railing, ready to droop, when suddenly a big, burly old fellow sitting beside his elderly wife got up and rushed down the aisle with surprising speed, and barked, ‘Get off the fucking bus!’ The man was so startled he scuttled off immediately - almost with a hop and a skip - and everyone in the bus began laughing, cheering and clapping, and I got the giggles.
Seeing as it took two hours to get home, I only had an hour in which to cleanse and beautify myself for the GQ Man of the Year Awards party. That was irritating, but on the plus side I was too exhausted and busy to be nervous. H and I had dinner with his boss and lovely girlfriend at a fish restaurant near the Opera House, which was very pleasant but I’m not used to eating fish (having grown up 8 hours’ drive from the sea, pretty much the only fish we knew was that in fish fingers) and found it a bit rich.
After dinner we tottered up to the Opera House and found the paparazzi clustered around the red carpet like blowflies drawn to blood, and Jamelia walking out with a bloke on her arm. Then it transpired there was a queue, which annoyed H’s boss, although I wasn’t bothered by it, since the whole thing was all so novel. On the corner were some acquaintances of H’s boss, whom he and his girlfriend didn’t like much, and I could see why. ‘Oh, we don’t do queuing,’ one of the acquaintances said. What a twit.
I was glad I couldn’t hear the conversations of the people around us, because they were inane (H repeated one of them to me later: ‘Oh you know, now she’s going out with Mark, who’s the guy who went out with, you know, Shelly, you know.’). An annoying boy kept asking H’s boss for his lighter, and when I commented on this to H, he said very loudly (as is his wont), ‘Tell him that in exchange for the lighter, he can have some sex.’ I said discreetly that the boy had probably overhead this and H shrugged and replied, ‘Oh well.’
Inside, H and his boss’ lamps were lining the walkway leading into the bar area. Unfortunately, the overhead lights were on which meant that you couldn’t really see the way the lamp diffused light as it moved up and down. However, there was another lamp in the dark bar where Godiva chocolate was being dispensed, and there it worked beautifully.
So in we walked, and there was Lily Allen barking on her mobile phone in a floor-length bright red gown which I thought was rather boring, but H liked it because it stood out. As we sank into the crowd, we saw Elle Macpherson, Helena Christiansan and the beanied Edge, whom I knew nothing of, until H explained he was the drummer from U2. Later, I saw him again and said to H, ‘There’s that man in the hat who’s in that band,’ thus revealing my complete and utter want of knowledge regarding popular culture (thus I will be attending H-‘s trivia night for the Literature questions only). Then I glimpsed Orlando Bloom’s cheek (and my heart fluttered, even though he’s a brainless boy and has nothing on Tony Leung), and H saw Jude Law, although I sadly missed him. But perhaps the most exciting part of the evening was when I was waiting with H at the bar for another free cocktail and I made eye contact with Elle Macpherson. Oh, sad creature that I am, I was happy to be noticed by not only a star, but someone I respect and admire because she’s a brilliant businesswoman.
For the most part the eye candy was disappointingly dull. The men were good looking and well dressed, but they all looked like clones. Likewise the women were young and anorexic and dressed in the latest fashions, but no-one really had an individual style. Which made me think that money isn’t all that it’s cracked up to be. It was a fascinating evening, but I would hate to live among such superficial people; one would die of boredom.