Saturday, November 5, 2016
I awoke on Guy Fawkes Day, also known as Bonfire Night, pretty excited. It is a significant day in Britain as the country commemorates the foiled Gunpowder Plot that almost blew up Parliament. Celebrations take the form of the lighting of fireworks and bonfires--communal ones as well as individual and family ones in back gardens. By the end of the day, it felt like Diwali in India--fireworks were everywhere and although I did not see any, I could definitely hear them all around me.
My day began fairly routinely--I spent at least three hours in bed on my laptop blogging, planning travel itineraries, preparing for upcoming lectures, finalizing Powerpoint presentations that are part of my talks, chatting with family members all over the world. Breakfast and a shower then consume my time as well. This morning, I also did a couple of household chores--having done a batch of laundry night last and having put my clothes up on the rack to dry, I folded them and put them away this morning. As I also laundered my bed linen, there was the bed to be made up again. I also did some darning--pockets on my down overcoat have split and part of one of my pillowcases needed repair.
It was 11.30 am when I left home to take the Tube to Wimbledon where I was meeting my friend Murali, his wife Nina and son Angad for lunch.
Lebanese Lunch in Wimbledon Village:
It was about 12. 30 pm when I arrived at Wimbledon station on the Tube from Ealing and had a nice reunion with the lovely Menon family whom I have now known for almost ten years. They suggested we eat at a Mexican restaurant called Oxaca--but when we got there, we found its kitchen closed for renovation. Plan B involved walking for about ten minutes uphill to Wimbledon Village to eat a Lebanese meal at a strangely named restaurant called Maison St. Caisellet. It was right opposite the Fox and Dog Pub where I had once met friends, years ago, for dinner during the week of the famous Tennis matches.
Our meal was absolutely delicious--we had a variety of mezzes: Beiruty Hummus (more fiery than usual), Lamb Kibbe (meatballs), Marinated breast of chicken, stuffed vine leaves, moussaka--all served with traditional flatbread. It was all quite wonderfully delicious and I enjoyed every mouthful. More enjoyable was catching up with my friends and chatting with their very intelligent young son who is always a delight to interact with. Time flew up--I never know where it goes when I am having a good time. And at 2. 45, we got up to leave as I had to keep an appointment at Sloan Square with a consultant named Jane at Jo Malone.
Consultancy Session at Jo Malone:
My consultancy session with Jane at Jo Malone went off really well as she introduced me to some fragrances that came about as a result of combining two or three scents with which I am already familiar. I was poured a glass of sparkling wine (how special!) while Jane walked me through a number of possibilities that might work for me. She also did a hand massage and packed a small pouch of fragrance samples for me--which I thought was simply delightful. I was sorry, however, that the one product I did wish to buy--the Nectarine and Honey Face Mask that I have used for years--is discontinued and no longer available. Oh well...
Since I had about an hour to kill before I met my friends Cynthia and Michael in their home in Chelsea, I hopped into a bus and went off to Waitrose to pick up their new monthly magazine--sadly, it was not yet out. However, I did buy some prawn crackers and got a coffee and their weekend magazine before I took a bus back to my friends' home.
An Evening with Friends:
It was good to spend the evening with Michael and Cynthia who wanted to hear all about my trip up north. It was simply great to be with them and after yakking together for about an hour and a half, I left their place.
Back home on the Tube, I had dinner by 8.00--leftovers in my fridge are being consumed daily: samosas, sandwiches, lamb meatballs, a cup of soup and chocolate ice-cream for dessert--I need to finish another whole tub in the next three days!!!
I went to bed after a long chat with Llew as we talked about our upcoming travels in Israel and France.
As I said, these days are filled with reunions with fond friends...and I could not find my time better spent!
Until tomorrow, cheerio...