Wednesday, 11 April 2007

The Touch Typed Diary - Encounters

Some background to what follows can be found here. Other installments are here.

I started this as a way to train at touch typing (hence the title) which I have finally taken up learning more or less seriously. At first I was typing what nonsense came across my mind and deleted it once I had finished. Gradually, it just turned into a diary relating the events (not very numerous) of my life. This has also the advantage of keeping me relatively busy at work when I have nothing else to do which seem to happen rather frequently these days.

30 January 2002

Thanks to the bus or the tube or whatever, I was late at the gallery where I was supposed to meet MPB and her former mother-in-law at 6.

The paintings, by Henry Moore, apparently a major British artist of whom I had never heard before, did not particularly appeal to me. They reminded me of a painting I know but I can not pinpoint which; perhaps something by Matisse or an early Picasso (a woman holding a baby).

Anyway, I did not really get a chance to look at the paintings as Monika and her friend had already been around the gallery when I joined them.

The mother in law, whom I had already met once when still working at the museum, is Scandinavian and a painter of some sort. Although rather nice she assumes the air of a Grande Dame and seems quite pleased with the sound of her own voice. She also can be rather patronising as MPB pointed out to her at some point, although she does not seem to be aware that this is more due to the way she puts her questions to people rather than from her asking the question at all.

I finally took my leave but after MPB had asked me to accompany her to a party on Saturday, somewhere in Kent, and where she does not know anyone…

I was late too at the book launch and arrived while someone, an American guy in his forties with a moustache and long hair was reading from a book about the military. The storyline seemed rather complicated and understanding was not made easier but the fact that the guy was obviously not a very good reader. An old woman then started to read from another book (heroic fantasy type) about, I think, a hermaphrodite. The reading was much better.

Finally the audience was invited to ask their questions and, that done, the event was declared over. I started to talk to Jim (one of the staff of the shop with whom I had already been I contact regarding the reading group), we talked about the books that had been discussed recently and he offered again the shop as a venue for the meetings. I bought the book for next month’s meeting.

An oldish customer, himself former member of a reading group and a writer, hearing that we were talking about a reading group, joined in and asked for details. While Jim was attending to customers, we then went on talking about books and other more general arty things. When everyone started to leave, he offered to go for a quick drink with a friend of his whom had joined the conversation.

We started to walk rather aimlessly towards Russell Square and then Holborn, chatting away as we went in a most enjoyable fashion. He presented his friend as being involved with filmmaking. It later transpired that the friend has received an Oscar for his work as a decorator for the Indiana Jones films and for Titanic

As we did not seem to come across any bar or café, and after trying to get my phone number for at least the second time (or am I imagining things?), under pretence of wanting to join the group (I told him each time that everything was done through the website), he finally decided to call it a day and after shaking hands we went our own separate ways… Although he did not say anything to that effect, my feeling is that he does not know much about computers let alone own one.

They both said they might come at the next meeting which could prove rather interesting as they are both, or the writer at least, colourful characters who seem to have seen a lot and known many interesting people now part of our history (Peter Wildeblood, Quentin Crisp,…).

They might have been bragging slightly or making things look better than they really are, but you never know.


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