Sitting at Heathrow airport after a couple of months back in London. What should have been a joyous time of moving back into our old house, happily renovated and divided into two flats, has been a nightmare of gruelling proportion, admittedly interspersed with some high spots. Best of all was spending so much time with beloved Tommy. Continue reading
Tag Archives: Caine Prize
A European summer
After the excitements of the book launch, it is time to get real. Continue reading
in which I review the great British summer
Arrived back in Singapore today ready to move into our new apartment tomorrow, and to get our work and residency permits. All a bit grown up. Waiting to re-connect with delicious Chinese food (ie dinner!) provides a little space to look back on the whirl of the past few weeks.
After my lovely few days in the Lake District, we sampled the high life. Fist a vist to Jesus College, Cambridge, where friend Fi’s son Hugo was singing the Monteverdi Vespers. I never went to Jesus when up at Cambridge, but it brought back the memories all right – the best days of our lives, of course, especially as some of the other guests were fellow students…35 years on! Magical singing followed by a delicious dinner in the Jesus Hall. Very convivial.
Then Opera! Thanks to the glorious English summer we had some stupendous outings to Garsington and Glyndebourne with friends. Sipping champagne by the Lake at Garsington, or on the lawn at Glyndebourne, dining al fresco or in the Glyndebourne restaurant, we felt very privileged. Oh and the music was quite good too!
While I had a busy day of meetings (yes I do sometimes work!), Ross mananged to squeeze in a trip to Henley regatta and lunch with Olympic Gold-medal winner, Andy Hodge. Then for me a trip to Oxford and more Fellows’ Gardens for the Caine Prize dinner in the Bodleian Library. Always a time when I see old friends from my African literature days; Ben Okri gave a moving tribute to Chinua Achebe, who died a few weeks ago, and whom I represented at the Booker Prize when he was shortlisted. Those were the days, my friend… In between, a Patron’s Evening at Art First (www.artfirst.co.uk) to launch Natural History, a charming exhibition comprising 28 artists working across a wide range of mixed media and disciplines providing a thoughtful reflection of man’s interaction with the environment. Catch it at 21 Eastcastle Street , London W1.
A couple of visits too: one by a film crew, making a documentary on drugs for BBC3/Education, who wanted to talk about ketamine and Louise: we met up with some of her friends by the bench and reminisced. The film is due out in September.
My American half-sister Bonnie paid her annual visit; we also put flowers on the bench, and sat in our garden, which is looking the best ever, especially since we laid a new lawn. Pity we won’t be around to enjoy it!
And to end off, the film premiere of friend Iain Softley’s latest film, Trap for Cinderella (ready my review on http://www.vickyatthemovies.net), followed by our proper 30th wedding anniversary celebrations, first, at Petrus – menu gourmand with wine for every course – courtesy best man John Pooler, best maid Fi, and partners;
and secondly with a collection of our oldest friends and some of son Tommy’s, in our garden, where I tried out my newly acquired oriental culinary skills in combination with more British ones…
Gosh I feel homesick already…but it’s Shanghai next week.