There is Hope for the year yet!

I have to say that I am very glad to see the back of January. There have been a few good moments but by and large, it has been rather dreadful. I spent the beginning of this week confined to bed with an awful cold. I felt truly dreadful and didn’t have the strength to do anything more than shuffle between my bed and the lounge. Mrs Kaczka fed me some dreadful concoction that she claimed was some kind of miracle cure she picked up recently from one of her friends down at this club she goes to every Thursday. It is some kind of meeting place for Easter European ladies, but if this particular concoction is anything to go by it probably has more to do with witchcraft than needlecraft.

But that said, I did feel much better by Wednesday evening when I managed to make my way to the CLub for a drink or two. Which was actually quite fortuitous as my old chum Dasher happened to be there too. I haven’t seen very much of him of late and it was jolly good to have the opportunity to have a quiet chat and catch up. It seems that over the past few weeks the old rogue has been visiting an old flame of his at her home in the South of France. They were quite an item when we were all much younger but she had married some rich American and moved to Texas. It would appear that there had been some communication between them after the American’s untimely demise last year and the old flame has been well and truly relit. I have to say I had no idea about any of this going on. Dasher is obviously much better at keeping secrets than I had realised. Of course, I knew he had been away a lot more than usual and has often been distracted, missing parties and such.

And I must say that the widowed Mrs Marshall is quite a catch. The last time I saw heer was at some social event about three or four years ago and she hardly looked any older than when she flew out to the States twenty years ago. Some say it is all down to plastic surgery, but I couldn’t possibly comment. All I do know is that Dasher is as captivated by her now as he was all those years ago. I just hope that this time she doesn’t let him down.

When he asked about my own love life, I had to admit that there wasn’t much to say. Although I initially brushed off his enquiry, on further questioning I did own up to having feelings for a certain lady of my acquaintance. Whilst I didn’t want to say too much, he very soon seemed to cotton on to who I was talking about.

Taking of which, yesterday I received a call from Hope to rearrange our lunch date. As we were both free today I made my way down to the Kings Road a little before 1 o’clock to pick her up and take her to a very cosy little place I know close to the river. They specialise in French cuisine but it is rather good and the service first rate. They keep a wonderful selection of wines and they do a truly mouthwatering Ribeye.  I was actually surprised she hadn’t been there before being quite close to her gallery.

The combination of great food, excellent wine and such charming company ensured that the afternoon fairly raced by. One thing I have noticed about Hope is how animated she gets when she talks about either of her two great passions, art and her daughters. Obviously, I already know Charlotte fairly well, but I have yet to meet her eldest, Emily. I have to say that I was quite smitten by her smile as she enthused about Charlotte and Emily’s successes in their chosen fields, but from what she says, the two girls are is different as chalk and cheese. Whilst Charlotte takes after her mother with her artistic skills, Emily is much more serious and has apparently never shown any aptitude for the arts. Much like myself really. I mean, I know a good piece of art when I see it, but I don’t get this modern stuff at all. Hope says that I just need to learn to understand what I am seeing, but I am not so sure.

During our conversation, I asked her about her about Simon. I have to admit I was a little nervous about mentioning him as I was not sure whether I wanted to hear what she had to say or not. As it turns out I need not have worried. There was nothing of a romantic nature between them. Yes, he had used his undoubted charm to try to woo her away with him, but she told me he was not her type at all. He was just convenient for a lift and as for the lunch date, that was actually a business meeting as he had some items he thought she might be able to sell for him. I have to say that I was quite relieved to hear this.

Anyway, we didn’t leave the brasserie until almost 4 o’clock, by which time Hope was running late for a prior engagement with some friends so we went our separate ways, but not before we had secured a date for dinner next Tuesday evening. I had hoped we could get together at some point over the weekend but it seems she has a lot of work to do and some people to see, so next week it is. Truth be told I am just happy to have settled the Simon affair and got through the date without making a fool of myself.

I am going to head off to the Club now for Friday night drinkies with the chaps. Cambridge tells me that they have recently acquired a couple of bottles of some very fine Chambertin Grand Cru Pinot Noir that I really must try.

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