Oi! Palewski! Touch that fucking hazelnut torte and I'll brain you
with this Louis VX Boulle Bracket timepiece.
I couldn't give a shit if you're de Gaulle's bitch. Got it?
Never apologise, never explain.
I believe Nancy Mitford trilled this, or something similar, during a cinq à sept with her beloved Gaston Palewski. I imagine she did so after a bout of red-eye-inducing sobbing, after she realised the bastard was going to continue riding her literary and social coat-tails without the slightest intention of making her his wife. No doubt he pressed his pock-marked cheek to her hot damp one and strode off down Rue Monsieur without a backward glance as she drifted helplessly into the kitchen to try and solve how the infernal oven worked.
No wonder she looked so amazing and gaunt-chic in the New Look.
Unlike Nancy, I have an adoring husband with a soft cheek, its bristles now gently greying, who gives many a backward glance. Usually to check that my well-used kitchen is not afire. The blistering summer has mercifully ended; the bots, even taller and more generous than ever with their opinions, have gone back to school.
We live in a new house now. Brand new, almost. The first place I have ever called home that is under 100 years old. I feared the silence of no ghosts, no whispers of experiences and the palimpsests left by friends and laughter. I worried that regularity of walls and floorboards that met would be dull.
What was I thinking? Things work; they fit; the kitchen is almost wholly made of glass, with toasty underfloor heating and it is like living in a forest. I have painted the floors white and the walls grey and I am contemplating learning Danish.
It has been a happy, productive, busy time since I last was here. I am writing and baking cakes. It feels less like procrastination if the end result is a complicated triple-baked affair with fruit from the cliff tops
and a crumble topping.
Unlike Nancy, I am indolent with contentment. But I will come back here now the autumn is creeping up the garden to touch the flavescent vines and rot the plump rust-streaked figs. As the skies grow leaden and the rain bounces hard off the deck outside the still-open kitchen doors. As the sharpening air carries a tang of smoke.
Like Nancy, I will not apologise for long absence caused by the beautiful unfurling of the days.
Unlike Nancy, I am in love with my life.