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:
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:
I do miss my hill.