Friday, 18 November 2011

The Playwright

Posted by Tania Kindersley.

Back from my little trip away. I went to London and got my hair cut. It's now very short and composed of black and red and amber streaks. I said to my dear hairdresser, who has known me since I was twelve years old, and has cut the hair of every single female in my family: 'I just can't have respectable hair.'

He runs a very respectable shop. He is not one of those trendy fly-by-nights. He does the hair of women of substance. But he always smiles and laughs when I come in and say: go crazy, chop it all off, put in magenta stripes.

I had a vital meeting, which always sounds stupidly grown-up. One of the great joys of my life is that I do a job which requires very few meetings. They are not my pianoforte. But I am so babyish that when I may write the sentence 'I have a meeting' I always feel incredibly important and adult.

I saw my friend The Playwright. He is one of my very few real life friends who actually reads the blog. I love him very much for it. I said: ‘Really, I would like to write about you every day, but I don’t want people to think I’m swanking about. Oh look at me, with my clever playwriting friend.’

He made a parabola in the air with his glass of Kettle One.

‘Sod what anyone thinks,’ he said.

He has a talent of saying things like that and still sounding like the last most charming man on earth. It’s a freakish gift.

So: The Playwright arrived with a vast bunch of flowers, like something out of a Nancy Mitford novel (although now I come to think of it, no one ever gave anyone flowers in Nancy Mitford much, there was just Fanny and those disappointing carnations); came up the stairs; admired everything, most especially the 1970s luxury snacks I had prepared (when was the last time you had a duck rillette?), tried three different kinds of vodka and settled on the Dutch, and then told the Beloved Cousin and I stories of the Upper East Side and the Welsh Valleys which made us laugh so much we shouted like navvies.

He also gave me possibly the single best piece of advice I’ve ever had in my life. It’s so good I can’t repeat it yet. Of course, the Dear Readers must have it eventually, but just now, it is so precious, I have it in a glass case of my own and am still gazing at it.

Got back to find The Pigeon missed me. She had been pacing, apparently. Of course I am mortified to discover she has not behaved more perfectly than any dog invented in the history of dogs, but then a part of my secret black heart likes to hear this kind of thing. Imagine if I just buggered off and she shrugged her shoulders and barely even noticed.

Now I am making carrot soup with saffron for the children’s tea, and the Cousin and I are going to make hamburgers. We are having long discussions about the perfect recipe. I have gone very hard-core indeed, and put almost nothing but the best beef mince. We agree the onion is always a disaster, because even if you grate it it never quite cooks. I currently favour Lea and Perrins and a dash of mustard; the Cousin looks faintly doubtful when I tell her this. Time will, as it so often does, tell. If we hit on the Platonic burger recipe this Friday night, I shall pass it on at once.


I'm afraid the camera did not come out today; there was no time. Here are a few pictures from the last days:

18 Nov 3 13-11-2011 11-45-02

18 Nov 4 13-11-2011 11-45-15.ORF

18 Nov 6 13-11-2011 16-00-12

18 Nov 7 13-11-2011 16-00-21

18 Nov 9 13-11-2011 16-00-29

18 Nov 10 13-11-2011 16-08-28

28 Nov 6 13-11-2011 16-00-38

And The Pigeon, in the evening light, looking a little plaintive. It was either because she had seen me packing, or I was just boring her with the posing, and she wanted something nice to eat:

18 Nov 1 15-11-2011 19-06-56

18 Nov 2 15-11-2011 19-09-30

I do miss my hill.


  1. I do love your blog. It is like an excellent cup of tea when you really need one.

  2. Cut my hair really short 18 months ago. Just now back to where i love it...won't be doing that again until it turns very very white and I can pretend I'm Annie Lennox.
    I add L&P, a good dijon, one very small finely diced spring onion and a handful of grated parmesan to my burgers...but it's really all about the meat (not too lean please) and the salt.

    Love that you have a playwright...can't wait to hear the secret.

  3. The eyes of The Darling Pigeon in the first photo - how could you possibly leave her?
    Does The Playwright take photos too? Would love to see your hair.

    And I miss your hill too...

  4. Try a couple of glugs of Guinness in with the beef, with some mustard and lea & perrins. A-MA-ZING.

  5. Oh, yes, please do share a picture of your hair, it sounds beautiful!

  6. Eagerly awaiting color (please) photo of you with latest hairdo!

  7. After the very funny "it's not my pianoforte", I am trying to decide if you really know it's "Ketel One" and were just teasing us with "Kettle".

    Also trying not to be disappointed that there are no pictures of your fab new hairdo. Am failing miserably.


  8. Quite right about the burgers. Raw onion is the most bullying thing on earth. Also, I had a little welling-up moment at your Kauto Star piece, + I don't even watch racing.


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