Tuesday, 22 December 2009
Two days ago I arrived in Bristol on dry roads and beautiful sunshine, but overnight it snowed, and because of the cold the white blanket has persisted. But I'm hoping for a clear run when I go home on Thursday. Meanwhile all is fairytale frostiness, rather magical. And provided you keep the heating on, it's snug and cosy in the caravan.
Socially I've done well. I'd barely settled in at Baltic Wharf when Dru Marland phoned and invited me over to her Victorian residence. She lives in a character property, no question, the heart of which is a large kitchen lined with an eclectic collection of Useful Pots full of goodies. During my visit, jars full of damsons and bottles full of damson vodka were particularly prominent on the central table, around which all revolves. Dru was very hospitable, and not only cooked us both penne with a bacon and tomato sauce (very tasty) but plied me with a two huge mugs of tea and a couple of glasses of the damson vodka (smooth and heartwarming). But the main business of the evening was the creation of Damson Chocolate, involving chopped damsons and an incredible amount of melted ('fondant'?) dark chocolate. The precise process is descibed on Dru's own blog. It looked yummy.
Having finished this, Dru suggested a climb up onto her flat roof to see the night sky and the lights of the city. So up we went, using a vertical steel ladder. There was a slight overhang at the top, and then we were up and out and able to admire the view. There were chimneys all around, as in the rooftop scene in 'Mary Poppins', but no Dick Van Dyke cavorting about! It was a good thing that I was mellow from the vodka and that it was dark - I suspect that in daytime the height would be vertigo-inducing! Dru of course is a seasoned hill climber, and intended to spend Christmas Day atop a Welsh peak.
And now today I met my aunt's son R--- in the Pizza Provencale in Clifton. R--- is very pro-Lucy. We had a late lunch and a lot of talk. It was the first time he had seen me in female garb and makeup, and I think I looked pretty good. Also the voice had come on a bit, and I was struck how different it sounded, compared to R---'s own deep voice, and to the voices of the five guys on the table behind him. (They paid no attention to me, by the way, even though I wasn't exactly whispering) R--- and I parted with a kiss on the cheek and hugs. He's a real gentleman, you know.
So let me see: Dee, Louisa and Sue at Salisbury; and Dru and R--- at Bristol. Five friends in a few days. And Brighton friends Alice, Rheya and Meta have kept in touch by text or email. M--- also: she actually phoned me, as did my aunt P---. I haven't felt lonely for an instant. Aren't I lucky to have such people in my life?