Moroccan House Boys and White Underthings
Me Old China,
Funny thing happened in conv. the other day:
Your Humble Servant - 'I couldn't have a cappuccino could I?'
Surly Moroccan House Boy - 'No.'
YHS - 'Oh right then. Any reason?'
SMHB - 'Only with lunch and dinner.'
YHS - 'But surely a cappuccino is a breakfast drink. Do you serve croissant with dinner?'
SMHB - 'Listen. I very busy. No time for this. Do you know we have to serve two hundred breakfast this morning?'
YHS - 'Oh I see. Well in that case might I ask you once again to bring me a cappuccino, only this time get me the fucking manager too. If you'd be so kind.'
I shall return to this theme anon. But,
I'll start with my heartiest congratulations. Little in life compares to seeing an old mucker take the long walk. Brought a fair tear to my eye so it did. The sight of young Ms L joining in with the declarations was as good as it gets, and a better advert for little people could scarcely be conceived, even by the hypnotist-type chap who cropped up on one of the pictures flashed about during the speeches if you get my drift. You and yours are the very finest, and signing on as one who'd been there was a privilege. Thank you.
Might I also give a special mention to your two prominent sisters'-in-law, there may be heaps more but I'm talking about young M's ball and chain and the Mem's young sib. What a fine pair, of s'-i-l I mean cheeky. Being sans the Boss I would've floated about lonely as a cloud, sort of, if they hadn't taken it in turns to look after me. Puts one in mind of Florence Nightingale, if she'd known where the bar was, known her way around the dance floor and had the sense of humour of a costermonger.
Went on to the Seat directly after and what a funny old place that's become, in a decidedly un-funny way. It was a couple of days after the Unpleasantness on the tubes and bus but dear old London was her usual fighting self. As if a bunch of lunatic book thumping zealots could do what even the Chippy Bombers failed to. Tchahh!
Pal recommended an inn that happens to be tucked in behind Her Maj.'s grocer. How terribly convenient I thought. Since this would be the first time I've ever stayed in hotel in London might as well be in St James close to the watering holes, mercers and boot makers. Hmm. Happened to be arriving from the place where that dreadful little Austrian had his bunker (more of that anon. Splendid place though) to find not a soul at the point of entry and hence no one to shoulder the Globetrotters. Not given to manual labour of a personal nature but quite content to pay for it I strolled into the sadly-trying-to-be-trendy reception area and approached a likely looking but empty desk.
Far from a comely desk frippet as one might expect a swarthy Moroccan House Boy finally deigned to appear. Dressed in loose fitting white t-shirt and cotton duck trousers he was ideally attired to fire up the hookah and then chase one round the bedroom or something. However this being the so-called reception of a St James hotel he instead asked if I could be helped. I pointed to my cases and suggested he might care to have someone bring them in. I was curtly informed that a bell boy would take care of them. As I was completing the formalities another MHB piped up from behind me. I say piped up but in fact he teetered on the edge of admonishing me. 'You shouldn't leave bags unattended,' he said wisely.
Fine words indeed, though if the little fucker had been doing his job rather than plucking his eyebrows he'd've been there to greet me anyway.
As you can readily imagine the appalling dump went from bad to worse. Witness the exchange with which I kicked off my missive, it took place at breakfast of my first day there. All right so I confess to being a trifle testy. But it was a difficult time for me with my best friend no longer around.
On the plus side I did find a super double-top oyster and Guinness pub in which I entertained the inner circle and that was worth the trip. But I don't see myself dashing back to the Seat for the nonce. Too many people looking for some argy-bargy for my taste. Have I gone soft I wonder?
I mentioned the home of the bunker in which I spent a week prior to joining you. Not having been there before I'd always fancied it what with Checkpoint Charlie and all that. Not a let down at all I can tell you. Of course after their rather unsporting redecoration of the home of the Jaguar we did do a spot of masonry redistribution, but what were the chaps to do really? And yes the Hans' on the Eastern Side did put up some rather unsightly blocs that Wallpaper Magazine thinks very highly of. But of the people one can't complain.
Keep it to yourself but I'm of the firm opinion that one of our biggest arguments with Fritz has unwittingly been that we're just a bit too alike for either of our tastes. Now don't think I shan't deny this till I'm cold and grey (like their uniforms) but that don't make it any less true. What?
Moving on, back in the Harbour once more. The OB&Cs over in the New World (with the old values ie kill and eat and then kill again) doing some shopping as a prelude to our meeting in the Tuscan hills. Not sure how the Fickle Mistress will take my absence. But she'll just have to bloody live with it. Am to dash off instanter to the Old Mates of my bunker loving pals so no time to spare upon my return. Onwards and Upwards or something.
Just one thing before I go. I'm all of a-flutter as this very morning a very dear friend of mine (archetypal Yummy-Mummy) sent me a message in advance of my giving it to hordes of the teeming masses to earn my stipend. Along the lines of 'imagine them without their worsteds' it was actually quite specific in it's depiction of standing before a hall full of sixth form ladies sitting cross-legged on the floor wearing short dresses and the whitest of white underthings. A sea of triangles was how she put it. There now I've gone all funny again.
And I speak as one who thinks sixth formers are good for nought till they've passed their A level in martini making and then honed their skill for a few years in a London Hotel. Though not the one I stayed in.
Yours in the AC with tweeds firmly in place,