An incident with limes.

So, yes, it has been quite a while since last I blogged. I will rectify this now.

The summer has been long, and quiet, and not terribly summery. And I’m glad it’s over.  The autumn is proving considerably more invigorating. I have been devouring books (although you wouldn’t think so, to look at the piles of books still waiting to be read), I have been thinking – perhaps too much – and I have been to London for another dose of culture and escapism. All of which is food for further thought, naturally, and hopefully, will feed the writing that is yet to come.

London was a particularly full-on experience this month; I went to see the Pre-Raphaelite exhibition at Tate Britain – despite having seen all the paintings featured in previous exhibitions – it was good to see them brought together in the context of their development and function within their own movement. There was a Millais landscape in particular that I was delighted to see again (although the linked image does not do justice to the colours and detail of the original). I also went to view the Tim Walker exhibition at Somerset House (a lot of the pictures can be viewed here); a lot of quite beautiful and arresting images. I’m hoping that if I drop enough hints, the accompanying book might turn up as a Christmas – or indeed, a birthday – present…

As well as gallery hopping, and shopping, I was out for three nights out of four. Dinner with my brother and his boyfriend was an absolute blast. Dinner and cocktails with an old school friend whom I’d not seen for sixteen years, was just wonderful. We picked up the conversation as if we’d last seen each other the previous week. And my last night in town was special in many ways, not least for going to the Soho Theatre to see a friend perform in Pandvani 108, high energy storytelling, and bumping into other friends in the bar whom I’d also not seen in ages. So all in all, it has been a pretty enjoyable week.

(That last sentence was an understatement.)

Oh yes, and there was, on the Sunday afternoon, a strange little moment outside my brother’s flat. I had decided to walk up to Clapham High Street to grab a decent cup of coffee (my brother Neal is not a coffee drinker), and it was raining. Neal had loaned me an enormous umbrella,  and as I was wrestling it to open (with my iPod headphones in), a middle aged man of indeterminate ethnic origin shuffled towards me from the cafe front where he likes to sit and watch the world go by. I had just become aware of him when he started to mumble something at me, whilst showing me, very proudly, the two  bright and shinily green limes he had in his hands. I think he was going to juggle them for me. They were very green, and very shiny, and he did seem so very proud, and eager. But then the umbrella decided to co-operate, and I was perplexed as to how I might extricate myself from the moment. And I was damp, and desperate for coffee. So I said, with my politest smile, ‘Yes, well done,’ and left him there, with only his limes for company. It was… odd.

(That last sentence was also an understatement.)