A few weeks ago, I received an email from a total stranger asking me if I would be a guest speaker at an offal night he was planning in his restaurant in Bournemouth. I didn’t know the restaurant but I liked the tone of his email. I also liked the idea of going to the seaside not to mention his enthusiasm for the Fifth Quarter. So, I said yes.
Many of us have now parallel virtual lives and with that come difficult decisions about becoming friends or friendly with complete strangers, not knowing how it will pan out when you meet them in real life. Often, people are quite different from what you expect, sometimes nicer, other times not so. Luckily, in the case of James (the total stranger), he was even nicer than I had imagined him to be. Sweet and soft-spoken, and enthusiastic about what he is doing without being pedantic. And his partners (Quentin the chef who has 5 children at the tender age of 34 and Jo, the barman) were just as charming. As were his suppliers who I sat with during dinner: a brilliant young fishmonger who promised to bring me the freshest fish when next in London and a jolly charcutier who makes boudin with dried blood (he explained it was difficult to get a regular supply of fresh blood; I hope I convinced him that he needed to use fresh blood).
And I got my beach walk the next morning after a lovely sunrise behind a cedar of Lebanon which I could see from my hotel window. Not only that but as I was walking down to the beach, I also found my ideal flat, that is if I want to move to Bournemouth.
I used to be an avid collector before I got rid of everything but there is one collection that I would like to have and that is beautiful historic homes all over the world which I would restore. This one is art deco with a sea view although I am not sure how full the view is but I guess it is a moot point as I am not about to buy it.
And here is a video I shot of my walk on Boscombe pier (I didn’t want to get sand in my shoes, so, I avoided the beach), down from the hotel. Nothing much happens but I love how watching the video makes me feel seasick!
The other interesting thing is that every time I travel out of London, I am surprised by how lovely everyone is. Uniformly. I wonder what it is that makes people behave so badly in the capital!