Monday, 2 November 2009

You've got to pick a pocket or two

sunny, mild, temps 17

Gorgeous day here in London. And a fun day. We're just off for tea at Harrods. bought two big bunches of tulips at a stall along the King's Road and they're now on the tablein front of me. wonderful flat we've rented in Chelsea. We're here until Saturday. Fabulous view...we're on the top night we see one of the bridges all lit up. And the sun just streams in.

Day didn't start out so great. I discovered my wallet had been stolen last night in the pub. Quite upsetting. But after scouring the flat and realizing it really was gone I called Visa and cancelled the credit and bank cards. Need to alert other places. But I was actually very lucky that there was absolutely no money in it. I hadn't yet put in British pounds...and I consider Michael my bank machine anyway, so as long as the pickpocket doesn't steal Michael, I'm fine.

Went along to the pub to make sure I hadn't just left it there by mistake, then off to the police station. They were polite, but clearly were not going to put a cordon around London. Stop the flights. Then we went and had a big hot chocolate at Starbucks. We go to a very specific one - again on the King's Road. We went to it, and sat upstairs looking out the windows, before Still Life was published...before I had an agent...just a dog-eared manuscript, filled with all my thoughts, my characters, my dreams. I remember sitting in that very Starbucks editing it. And so every time we're in London we return. Today I sat there with the editors notes for Book 6, reviewing them, thinking about them. Making my own notes.

Michael's sister Carol gets home from the hospital today...we're so looking forward to seeing here and hope to tomorrow. She had a serious spine operation and had a bad reaction to the medication. Went quite nutty, apparently...but is fine now. Thank God. We were very worried for a while. She's a really wonderful person. Very smart and very kind.

Off now, as I say, to tea at Harrods...our regular treat when first we arrive in London. I realize how much I like routine, and how rich a place becomes once I've established one. We went, for instance, to Tom's Kitchen off Chelsea Green, for breakfast this morning...another favorite place. I'm not very adventuruous. I find people and places I love and pretty much stick to them.

My needs are simple. Great friends, luxury surroundings, a husband-cum-bank machine. Yes...very humble life.

No word about John today. But will let you know. What lovely comments you have sent. Bless you.


Marjorie said...

Tea at Harrod's? Oh, now my cup of jealousy doth overflow! Have a scone with jam and clotted cream for me, Louise. There is nothing like British dairy products, IMHO.

--Marjorie from Connecticut

lil Gluckstern said...

Oh no, what a bummer to have your pocket picked. but as you point out. He didn't get the important thing, Michael and his wallet. And all your joyous memories and routines of the London you know. And the memory of Still Life. What a wonderful, time.Strange how there are always the hard things to balance life out. the more to relish the good times, I guess. I will have my
Canadian Delight tea (seriously) and think of you.

Shelagh said...

Dear Louise, What an absolutely positive person you are, and how smashing is it for us to be enjoying, with you, tea at Harrod's. I lived in England for the first 14 years of my life so, of course, underappreciated everything! I've never been back (am now 69) so I really enjoy reading about your visits!
So glad to hear Carol is doing well.
Hugs, Shelagh

Bev Stephans said...

Dear Louise,

Ah, Fagin still is around to snatch the wallets of the unsuspecting! So sorry that happened, but at least your bank machine is still intact!

Your culinary journey through London sounds great. I always wanted to take tea at Harrods or Brown's hotel (that's my Agatha Christie/Miss Marple coming out).

So glad to hear Michael's sister is now doing well.


Jeanine said...

Dear Louise,

I have only now been able to read your posts from yesterday and today. I have a huge lump in my throat from reading about the tender moments between Michael and John. Letting so is such a hard thing to do, yet we all must go through it. Knowing you have done all you can makes it a little bit more bearable.

Your time in London sounds delightful and a much-needed change in pace and place for you right now.

Love and lessings upon you both.

PS: Does that full moon look as glorious there as it does here in New Hampshire tonight?

Louise Penny Author said...

Hi all,

Yes - Afternoon TEa!!! And not for the last time. But now we must sign up for the marathon just to begin to work it off...and yet, I don't really care.

My very first trip to London - with my mother when I was 17 - we stayed at Brown's. Amazing. Did it because of Agatha Christie using it...was it the At Bertrum's Hotel book?? Must have been. And tea at Browns is still a huge treat. I suspect it is looming on the horizon.