Monday, October 6, 2008

Waiting for Auntie

Good morning. .. . what a glorious morning . . .

Did I tell you that I’m meeting Beverly this afternoon for tea at The Royal Garden Hotel? It’s our quarterly act of sheer self-indulgence. To sit there, sipping tea, gazing out over Kensington Gardens, and being thoroughly spoiled . . . it dissolves anxieties, puts life in perspective, and sets you up, refreshed and revitalised, for the next three months.
If the English version is anything to go by, I can fully understand the value placed on the traditional Japanese Tea Ceremony.

Which reminds me, did I ever tell you how once, in my youth, I spent a night at the world-famoous Carlton Hotel in Cannes?
Sit back . . . it's a good story!
I was working as a grape-picker at the time, was totally impecunious, and was awaiting the arrival of an equally impecunious friend at Nice airport. Her flight was delayed and, when she did arrive, we'd missed the last 'bus back to the vineyard in Frejus.
Where to spend the night? It was hardly possible to sleep on the beach.
Then inspiration struck. After tidying ourselves up and straightening our skirts (there weren't any jeans in those days), we polished up our best English accents and strolled nonchalantly into the lounge of the Carlton Hotel. We were, we told the porter, waiting for 'Auntie'. `He smiled indulgently. We smiled back. We then settled down in the comfortable chairs and 'waited'.
The hours went by, the afternoon turned into evening . . . no 'Auntie. Evening turned into night . . . and still 'Auntie' had failed to arrive. The Night Porter took over from the Day Porter, but, as he'd clearly been told that we were waiting for 'Auntie'. he didn't disturb us. Come morning, with still no 'Auntie' in sight, we apologised profusely to the staff, said that there must have been some misunderstanding . . . and hurried off to catch the bus back up the mountain!

Scandalous behaviour . . . I'd never tolerate such duplicity in my god-daughter today!!