Yesterday was my fifty-ninth birthday, which Demon chose to celebrate by cutting off my Internet connection, so I had to spend much of the morning calling various points in India. In the afternoon, Elaine and I went across to the Medici Gallery in Cork Street, where my sister Caroline has exhibited – and where today we bumped into one of my favourite artists, Paul Slater – and his wife Sophie. They were in the process of helping to hang a new exhibition there, including a number of Paul’s paintings. Oddly, I had emailed him a couple of days earlier, to see if a painting he had done for the Financial Times colour supplement was available for sale, but it had already gone. Showed a woman in a diver’s suit, with a giant octopus behind, and she was drinking a glass of champagne, underwater.
Then we went on to the London Review of Books cafe (where we had a pot of the most delightful green tea) and thence to Roka, in Charlotte Street, where we had a perfectly glorious dinner with Gaia and Hania, before going on to see the latest Indiana Jones film. Abominable plot, but the special effects were extraordinary.
Then today the SustainAbility team surprised me with a birthday tea, to which Astrid (Sandoval) and Charmian (Love) of Volans also came. Earlier, Sam (Lakha) had given me a wonderful green tea pot and – a wonderful idea – a blank canvas. Will leave it blank, I think, and hang it on the walls at 2 Bloomsbury Place, and in a Dorian Grayish way hope that the filling in happens in the real world meanwhile.