A golden week
AGAINST a consistent background of crisp weather, this week has felt both memorable and strikingly varied. It began in Cambridge and the splendour of a high table dinner. I sat with my back to the hall during the meal, which probably improved my conversation. The magic of the candlelit combination room to which we retired after dinner, however, proved rather more distracting.
Then there was a short trip in the heart of London to a house in the Dickensian street warren around St Andrew by the Wardrobe, exhilarating for its sheer unexpectedness. The following day, I cycled into Windsor Great Park, riding through the frosted stands of trees and taking in the magisterial view down the Long Walk towards the castle.
My efforts to oversee a children’s party in the crowded bowling alley in Elephant and Castle introduced an element of the ridiculous to the week, but it ended—appropriately enough—in Oxford. There the whole family walked along the river, busy with rowing boats, to a 60th birthday party at Iffley. It was a very happy occasion and ended with the hostess performing in a ukulele duet— a fitting conclusion to a golden week brought to an abrupt close by dense fog and train chaos at Clapham Junction on Monday morning. JG