Saturday, November 25, 2006

Oops, I did it again. Twice.

Two days without the blog is unheard of. I can only tell you it was not part of the plan. The last two days have been so jam packed that the blog was left flailing and alone by the wayside. On the other hand, this is a good thing because, having picked it up again, now I get to fill you in on all that's been happening while we've been gone.

Thursday was a delectable day. The Chief, Miss Sally, Lisa and I all journeyed up to the big cheese, London, for a day of poshness and musical wonder. We worked in the morning, although Miss Sally and I were so over-excited about going that we had to struggle through our daily duties until Lisa and the Chief arrived and we were off.

We listened to disco divaness all the way to London and went straight for coffe when we arrived, in this lovely place called Tinto's, which is an old favourite haunt of the Chief's. It was busy when we first arrived but calmed down when we took our seats.

We relaxed with lattes and then Lisa opened her book and brought out a copy of.....................

That's right, the first hard copy of her new book. Every writer knows, or has dreamt about what this moment means. It's the sum of all Lisa's hard work and more than the hard work, I think, is the consistent faith that she has had in one central idea. I feel really proud of Lisa, and so lucky to have met her. She is a constant inspiration to me, especially because, like all the best people, she has no idea how amazing she is.

Can't wait for my copy. Have I mentioned you can advance order it from Amazon? And don't forget to grab a regular slice of thinking pink on Lisa's blog:

From the coffee shop, we caught the Tube to Harvey Nichols, which was an entirely new experience to me, as you can imagine. It's a crazy shiny world in Harvey Nichols, every beautiful item you could imagine is in this shop, and it's polished to within an inch of its essence so that it gleams from the shelves at you. The perfumes float across the air in sweet clouds, the clothes drape themselves luxuriously over their racks, and every kind of bijou nestles temptingly on its shelf, winking invitingly under twinkling Christmas lights.

For me, so much beauty begged the question, why doesn't everyone in here - especially the ones with the bulging bags of shopping from each floor - look happier? And why does everything have to be so expensive? I know it's a silly question - Sarah, it's Harvey bloody Nichols - but I come back to it all the time. Why does it all have to cost so much? Was it made on the Moon and shipped in; are we covering the cost of rocket fuel? I can't help but think sometimes that the rich make these places in order to justify having so much money, I know it's a wild idea. A self-fulfiling prophecy, if you will. But doesn't anyone see the irony of putting a £5000 price tag on a Buddha?!

My favourite part was less the things in the shop - although and perhaps because, I'm as partial to temptation as the next person (there was a lovely purple coat with skulls embroidered onto it that cost £2000 or so) - than the pink sparkle we drank in the bar on the 5th floor. I sat people watching next to the Chief (who has the sharpest eye for observing people, he's a regular Sherlock) and felt utterly over-indulged. It was wonderful. Although, of course, if I went there every day, Harvey Nichols would eat my soul clean out of my cerebral cortex, with sharp and expensive teeth. Fact.

But the overwhelmingly, back-archingly, soul-achingly best part of the day was the evening. We went to see a performance of Wicked (did you guess this already?) at the Apollo Theatre. I won't tell you too much about it, it's the self-billed 'Untold story of the Witches of Oz' and is based on the wonderful book from Gregory Maguire of the same name. The story follows the life of the Elphaba, Wicked Witch of the West (Maguire named her by taking the initials of Lyman Frank Baum - eLFaBa -you see what he did) and Glinda the Good of Oz. But it's really about much more than that.

The first scene contains the lines:

Ozian: Glinda, why does wickedness happen?
Glinda: That's a good question; one that many people find confusifying. Are people born wicked, or do they have wickedness thrust upon them?

Wicked asks the fundamental question of what good and evil really are. Is anyone entirely good or entirely wicked? The story is also about love, insecurity, the arbitrary nature of personal evolution, our notions of beauty and virtue, loss and for me, most of all, friendship. The song that had Clarky and I crying surreptitiously was a duet between Glinda and Elpheba called, For Good. But of course, you'd have to go and see it to hear it (as it were), and believe me, you should. But should you need further proof, check out the website:

Thursday was one of the best days I've had for a long time, for so many reasons. I don't make new friends often - most of the people closest to me I've known for many years - and spending the day with these three people, the Chief, Lisa and Miss Sally, made me feel very lucky.

Today's Beautiful Things

1. Forgetting the blog, which means I get to do three posts in one day to restore my virtue

2. The best ships

3. Watching the Chief dance in the car on the way to London

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