Tuesday 14 December 2010

Almost there

It's getting dangerously close to mid-December, and we're already getting into the swing of that most excellent of British traditions: the Christmas party. For us, it started a couple of weeks ago, interrupted only by a couple of "normal" days. It has resumed in full force last weekend, when we had a delightful dinner with one of our authors, and continued yesterday with another great dinner with an author/friends and today with one of the most elegant parties I have ever been to. It was organized by the excellent Pushkin Press, and it was the launch of Marella Caracciolo Chia's The Light in Between, a book I loved when I first read it in Italian a couple of years ago.

One of the chaps who was serving wine was called Alex Estorick – and his surname didn't strike me as entirely coincidental in the context of the party room (we were at Robilant & Voena), where the most amazing paintings were hanging. He was remarkably slow in pouring Prosecco into my glass, and apologized by saying that he'd been asked to be careful about the seven-figure Boucher behind him. I peered over his shoulder: it was a real one, not a copy – and signed.

To be honest, I was afraid of brushing against some of the guests, which seemed even more precious than the paintings. Sophie Lewis was not so careful and poured an entire glass of red wine on her evening dress, which she said she had borrowed from her sister.

Tomorrow, for a change, it's panto day in Richmond – Thursday we've got a Christmas party in town with some big-shot stand-up comedian – Friday it's school disco I think . . . Thank God our own Christmas party is a full week away.


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