We had a busy weekend. Friday night was quiz night.
Last year we won, and this year we were the 'swats' table, so the pressure was on. Or not in my case, because I refuse to be competitive. That's my excuse for us coming fourth. At least we helped raise £2000 for the NSPCC.
Saturday, we met with my dangerous friends in Camden. They're dangerous because without exception, they encourage an over-indulgence of drinking and behaviour. We will call them Mr and Mrs Chip. That's a reference to one evening in Brighton when Mr Chip fell into the gutter and would have been intense pain if it hadn't been for the beer anaesthetic that we had consumed all day long. A dozen years later, he still has a lump on his shoulder from the incident. I may yet devote a whole post or two to them and our exploits. On Saturday, we were more civilised than usual, and were in mid-debate about the diminution of artistry and the supremacy of concept as the defining moment in modern art when The Cat's Mother and I realised we were about to miss the last tube home so had to run away.
And on Sunday we were at The Tramshed, a restaurant that features works by Damien Hirst to celebrate a friend's daughter's 18th birthday. There was twenty-four of us, and we were really quite noisy...so apologies to the other diners.
I have said for a very long time that if the house caught fire and I had time to grab only one thing, it would be a perspex cube which contains picture of The Boy and me from when he was about eight years old. It's always been quite a treasure. Assuming I was upstairs, I would also grab the picture, not quite a family portrait, that I had done for The Cat's Mother fifteen months ago. And now I think I have one other thing...I could just about manage to carry it under my one free arm as I dashed down the stairs, flames licking at my heals, smoke choking me on the way. It's this:
It's a watch box...
I know it is the absolute height of luxury and extravagance (96' yacht, Ferrari and ski chalet in St Moritz excluded), but I absolutely love it. I have quite a few watches. Not expensive ones...in fact most are Swatch watch price, but over the years I have collected them and enjoy looking at them...sometimes even wearing them. Some I can no longer tell the time on - because they don't work, they're too complicated, or the markings on the dial are too small for my fading eyesight - but I do like them. My favourite is the one bottom left, made by Braun and inspired by the design genius Dieter Rams...it was a fiftieth birthday present from me to me. Until now, they've been shoved in a drawer, but are proudly displayed in the polished wood box above which I received on Friday. One day I will pass this on to my son....providing I'm upstairs when the house burns down.
So if your house was burning, is there one thing you would take with you?