They say that character is destiny and I’m old enough to look back and see the trail of character-traited decisions in my wake. I am by nature bloody- minded. My friend Margery, who has a whole different set of character traits, doesn’t allow people to read in her loo. She loudly discourages it in fact and never fails to comment about the basket of books adjacent to mine. In case you are interested that basket at this very moment contains the following: Simple Abundance: A Daybook of Comfort and Joy by Sarah Ban Breathnach, Lost Worlds by Michael Bywater, 200% of Nothing by AK Dewdney, Asian Art by Michael Kerrigan, and The Secrets of Life by Stuart Wilde. I would give you links but I’ve forgotten how to do them. I learn so much every day and only a quarter of it sticks but I guess that’s something.
But I digress. When staying at Margery’s I always take my diary into the bathroom-quite ostentatiously too. Indeed I have mapped my path through life pushing doors marked ‘pull’. That is my character and by all accounts my destiny too. And however much heartache it has given me on the way, it has also brought me to rest in a place of balance, where I live in a state of perpetual enoughness. I love it here. But I never fail to recognise that within that enoughness ( time, pension, warmth, books) lies the possible demise of my country. For Britain could soon be following in the sorry footsteps of Japan, where the ageing population takes rather than gives and the country turns gangrenous, slowly year by year, limb by limb. We all know where that leads.
So it’s good to see Egypt doing what the young do-shaking it all about, though I’m glad I’m not there to witness it in person. Cairo is enough of a hellhole on a peaceful day. I can’t image what it must feel like at the moment, as millions take to the street( they must mean millions more).
Dor and I went on a two week holiday in Egypt a little while before I started writing this blog. We had a great time floating down and up the Nile in golden sunsets and visiting all those places one does projects on in junior school. Then we flew to Cairo and I can hand on heart say I’ve never been anywhere more in your face apocalyptic. The pyramids at Giza are no longer sacred-they have been sacrificed to Mammon and have degenerated into a circus. I spent a horrid couple of hours there, dying for a pee, trying to avoid being hoisted onto a camel or photographed in a selection of cheesy poses by Osama, our guide, who with the poor horse Charlie Brown, was in charge of escorting us around the admittedly large area. What with the anxiety about my bladder giving out and fear that the buggy wheels would slip off the tarmac and send us hurtling into the arms of the Sphinx, I enjoyed the experience not one bit. I’m only glad that the next day, Dor took the matter in hand and insisted that we checked out Cairo museum by public transport. This meant travelling on buses with a whole lot of fleas and the rest of Cairo’s milling millions but at the end of the day we had learned what fine, caring and open-hearted people they are. I wish them well on their march towards democracy and a fairer society. But that said, I’m jolly glad I’m not there to witness the struggle.
Back here in my corner of this glorious planet this morning, I found myself dawdling outside Harvey Nicks with ten minutes to waste, so popped in and asked the Yves St Laurent girl to paint my lips with the brightest colour she could muster. By the time I had had my Apple one to one I had forgotten this, so was astonished to see on my arrival home that I looked like a geriatric Monica Lewinsky. Suddenly it all made sense. The smiles on the bus, the flirty banter that the fishmonger threw my way along with a few free shrimps. I had thought it was down to the unexpected flashes of sunlight after a cold grey month, but no it was luscious lips. I’m going back to buy the lipstick. It’s Rouge Pur Couture No13, if you’re interested. Forget camel toes-its camel lips for me.