Posted by Tania Kindersley.
Day Three: After the Party.
So, the party. The shoes, you will be pleased to hear, were what my friend Margaret calls a Hit. I was so pleased that I threw caution to the winds and drank too many Cosmopolitans. There were many relatives and old friends. There were cabaret acts. There was even dancing. The younger niece made a speech which made us both laugh and cry.
Today, we gathered for a family lunch to do the post-mortem. We had a big table right in the middle of Carluccio's, which was packed to the gunnels. Everything was quite calm and decorous; we were all behaving well. Then the older niece arrived with news. The Man in the Hat has asked her to MARRY HIM. At which point we all burst into tears and started hugging each other. The waiter only just escaped. The other diners stared in some surprise. This was certainly not the famous British reserve. (I blame our Irish blood.) Anyway, the main thing is that we now have The Man in the Hat forever. So it was a high day and a holiday, and now I am quite exhausted and must have my rest. For some reason though I felt this good news should be shared, since The Older Niece and The MITH have featured regularly on the blog, and such a banner day must be formally marked. There is nothing like two beaming faces of the newly betrothed to warm the cockles of even the most jaded heart, especially that of this old aunt.
PS. In celebration, I treated myself to cab home instead of taking the bus. I had one of those old, unreconstructed Cockney cabbies. He had been doing the job for forty-five years, he told me. He began to talk, as fabled cabbies do. He spoke of: Saudia Arabia, emancipation for women, Ancient Greece, Alexander the Great, the current turmoil in the Middle East, prostitutes in the 18th century, and how you can't beat bricks and mortar for a good investment. It was both entertaining and highly restful; I needed do nothing but nod and smile. Occasionally, I said: REALLY? in a shocked/interested/I did not know that kind of voice.
As he dropped me in Old Compton Street he said: 'Nice talking to you. You're intelligent, I can tell.' This made me laugh quite a lot, since I had not said more than five words, but I'll take any compliment going, and I have a soft spot in my heart for the dear old London cabs. 'Yes,' he said, nodding, as I gave him an extra big tip, 'a jewel in a sad world'. Now there's a line. If I had known I could get that by just nodding and smiling, I would not have spent the last forty-four years talking my head off. Perhaps I should practise more enigmatic silence from now on. It would go against muscle memory, but who knows what one may achieve? I have always admired those international women of mystery who can speak volumes with just one quizzically raised eyebrow.
PPS Thanks as always for the lovely comments. I am writing all this on the run and so rudely not replying this week. But you know I read and keenly appreciate them all. Normal service will resume on Saturday. I should not confess this, but I am slightly missing the dog pictures.
Really am stopping now, before I make any other absurd revelations.