4 a.m.

It isn’t everyone’s idea of a holiday. Thing is, I am at an age that entails proximity to death and dying. Not to mention disease and decline. So, that’s what this trip is partly about. Visiting friends and family, many of whom are old, and quite a few of whom are sick.

Why else would a California visitor get on the #36 bus for New Cross? For me, there’s not much in New Cross except Barbara, Ed and the kids. Mind you, ‘the kids’ are now in their 30s and involved in international development, molecular imaging and other rather adult pursuits. Me? I am headed for The Rosemary, a redoubtable restaurant that is both Hungarian and organic, if one is to believe the claims. And let me point out that what separates Paddington promise sthis part of south London, Deptford if one is to put a fine point on it…is more than one hour on the bus. I must really be interested in having lunch with Barbara. Which I am.

The tourist sights of London…I don’t know. I’m not even sure what they are. After all, I feel that by sheer luck and good fortune I have seen one of the best art shows possible. ‘Monet and Architecture’ at the National Gallery. Honestly, I don’t really know that much about art. And I thought I’d seen plenty of Monet. But I was wrong. Turns out that Monet’s pictures of buildings are utterly fascinating. They also tell the story of his travels, even his economic ups and downs.

Anyway, that show and three plays in the West End. Which includes tomorrow’s matinee of ‘The Ideal Husband’ by Oscar Wilde. I have never read it. Never seen it. An utter mystery, so I might as well try it. Edward Fox stars.

It will be nice when Jane and I reconnect. I am tired of waking up at four in the morning, no particular reason. Still, I can also report that my self-care expertise has blossomed. I can get my socks off at night. And tools, as any primate knows, are important. I ordered a grabber, also known as a reacher, from Amazon UK. The thing is quite useful. Vis-à-vis socks and anything that has gone all gravitational. I’m tired of picking things up. I’m tired of picking myself up too. But that’s part of the process of being on ones own.

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