2014 got off to a flying start, well, actually even before then. The usual lull at the Office from Christmas Eve through to mid-January didn't transpire, several people even called on Boxing Day.
I didn't return to the Office until the 28th, in the USA they go back to work on the 26th, what! I guess that’s the price you have to pay for being the world’s biggest consumer of goods; sadly, we’re not far behind in the UK.
New Year’s Eve the band (The Frantastics) had a gig, at a very large restaurant/bar in Kings Cross, there was a sound-check to be done in the afternoon, which meant my being unavailable to rendezvous with one of my long-standing regulars.
I tried to juggle the math, but it’d have meant fine cutting my timing to the point where I’d arrive at the evening’s gig all in a flurry and without having taken a much needed nap, as I wouldn't be getting to bed before 5am the next day.
I don’t like turning down appointments, as I’m aware most people have a very limited window of opportunity in which to visit me, but what to do?
New Year’s Day, G paid me his first visit, he’s presently learning ‘The Knowledge,’ to become a London Black Cab driver. I find it funny that cab drivers have their Sat-Nav’s on, I thought they knew the streets inside out, I’d guess it’s more for the company of communication. On the occasion I do use it, I like to ignore its instructions, for the amusement of hearing what other routes it might come up with, it's still never as good as mine.
G left, not nearly so nervous as when he’d arrived, returning a few weeks later and requesting I take his virginity. ‘But will it hurt,’ he asked, ‘No, not if it’s done correctly, we take our time, use plenty of lubrication and start with fingers, first one, then two then…’
‘Wow, that was amazing Frances and it didn't hurt at all,’ ‘Well, G, there’ll be no turning back now.’ I felt rather pleased having popped my first cherry so early into the year; no matter how many more times one might experience it, one never forgets their first-time, a kind of immortality I guess?
I've not heard from M for some ten months now, unusual for him, not even one of his unexpected calls to say, ‘Darling I’m in town, put on a nice frock, jump into a cab and come join me for a spot of lunch.’
M was a big fan of stockings and the finest lingerie, two years ago we’d arranged to go to ‘Glorious Goodwood,’ a yearly event for which people dress up in their finest 40s-50’s attire, a seamed stocking and stiletto heeled paradise, drive around in their vintage cars and dance along to big bands. He’d given me his credit card details to order a couple of hundred pounds worth of hosiery and stockings.
Alack, the day before we were due to go he took ill, ‘Frances darling, you’ll just have to do a little fashion-show for me in the boudoir next time I’m up, enjoy the lingerie. M had been ill but stable for some eighteen months; unfortunately, I think he may have expired; terribly sad, I shall miss him; I can only hope there's a lingerie heaven.
Still, it's good to see the Colonel is in rude health, he’ll be 76 this year. He called at 7pm one evening, sounding rather merry, ‘And where are you now, at the Office or home,’ ‘I’m at home at the moment my dear, but I could be at the Office, I replied. ‘Right you are then, shall I see you at the Office in an hour?
The Colonel was in good spirits when he arrived, as is usually the case, perhaps it was that large G & T...or two? We spent some cosy time together, after which I suggested we go have some supper at a marvelous Argentinean steak-house just across Tower Bridge. 'If that is what you want to do then we shall.'
Having consumed pretty close to half a cow, he one side, me the other, I suggested I drive him home and put him to bed, as I’d need to follow suit shortly afterwards. ‘Aren't you going to go into Soho and trip the like fantastic then,’ he said , ‘What, after eating that, I don’t think so,’ and so it was to bed.
Oh, and don’t be fooled by that photo, it’s not how I'm usually dressed for gardening, yeah, disappointing I know, but roses have thorns.
What I’m reading in bed…
Gardening Through The Year: RHS