Went to a party tonight in Highgate; strangely enough, in a house only situated one street away from where I was born! It seemed strange visiting that familiar road again after so long; but I was pleased to see that the houses had all remained virtually unchanged from the days I used to wander along that road on my way to school as a ‘kid’. That’s really another story, although it just somehow felt ‘compelling’ to walk back in familiar surroundings.
Not so impressive, was the sub-zero weather and the pavements covered with a thin layer of ice. Although it was not that treacherous as high pressure had kept the rain away, and a full moon helped to isolate the icy patches.
It was a “Burn’s Night Party”; albeit ‘moved’ a little to a convenient weekend date. I had known about the party a couple of weeks before from my friend Gareth who also knew the host (or should that be “hostess’ – I don’t know, my grammar sometimes!), Carrie a film maker and TV presenter, friend he knew.
I usually avoid such occasions, but as I had been to one of Carrie’s parties before and thoroughly enjoyed it, I told Gareth I would go but asked him to collect me. He said it started around 8, so I said that time would be fine for leaving, and maybe we could arrive around 9.
Now comes the ‘funny’ part – although I leave the word ‘funny’ in inverted commas!
He indeed came to collect me – but I was still in bed! That’s worse than it sounds, in fact, because I had only gone to bed at 11am that same day!
We eventually jumped on a bus some 45 minutes later, but on descending on a steep slope in Highgate on the way, I told Gareth he’d have to hold my arm as I had no confidence getting down it without slipping. He did, which made it a lot quicker for me than having to hang onto the icy railing.
There were quite a few people there already when we arrived. And there was the smell of haggis cooking in the neatly tiled kitchen.
My friend Andrew was there again with his beautiful companion; as also the editor of Pentacle magazine (whose Forum I used to write for back in 2006) and also a guy I knew who had previously interviewed me for television. Many other people were also present obviously, but I had not yet met these.
Whether any of these knew myself, I did not know, but one very attractive lady introduced herself and then proceeded to attempt to warm my hands up which were still freezing from the short trip. Her hands were warm and almost seemed to exude some ‘hot energy’ that melted any coldness.
Then came the haggis (or rather ‘haggis’s) all neatly served with swede and mashed potatoes. I had never tried it before, but it made a lovely meal and had obviously been well prepared. Red wine seemed to compliment it even further!
Midnight was soon gone, but luckily I had a lift back in a taxi.
I didn’t relish the possibility of attempting to navigate that steep slope again at that time of night!
For now, David (Farrant)