He and his friend had driven the 800 miles from Austria to Essex in one day. They arrived in a zombie-like state at midnight. I don't know how they did it. I was delighted to see them, but in truth they couldn't really string a sentence together. They declined all offers of food and drink until I'd given up and gone to bed. At which point they sat in the garden for half an hour drinking a glass of whisky before they too headed for bed.
Of course it's brilliant to see The Boy again, and I've loved seeing him at home...but there's been little time to relax. We had to sort out his student loan, plus organise the application for accommodation for Edinburgh University. He spent some of the week doing his new found love - climbing...there's a new 'boulder' park for him to practice his skills. Edinburgh strikes me as just the place to be for his enjoyment of outdoor pursuits.
He's now headed off to Newquay for a week with some more ski friends...they are a great little community together; no wonder he has enjoyed himself so much. Hopefully he'll be back at the weekend and able to relax a little. I think he's back to Kitzbuhel for the summer a week or two later, but getting a firm fix on that is a challenge that I'm not up to...
We had a couple of days in Brighton...braving the traffic on Friday evening. The journey took a frustrating three hours, but I guess that's inevitable, even when the weather was promising so little. As the Open House month was coming to an end, we had a couple of pieces to pick up and find new homes for in the flat. We managed to defeat the invading fruit flies by taking the pot they were appearing from outside, emptying the soil and washing as much as we could before repotting the plant.
As part of the Festival, we went to listen to a couple of talks. Lynn Barber, the celebrity interviewer was talking about her new book. She seemed very pleasent, her talk meandered around without revealing any great insights, and I came away being none the wiser about what makes it a worthwhile profession. Or why a celebrity culture is either good or bad. I did learn that she very much dislikes PR people, so I was tempted to ask her whether there was a PR involved in setting this up and promoting her book, but then I realised that might embarrass The Cat's Mother so I stayed stum. Having described her interviews as 'like one-night stands' it seemed a shame that she seemed to lack a sense of humour when one of the audience then asked if she had ever wanted a one night stand with one of here interviewees, snapping back that she was married. We didn't buy the book.
Tony Parsons (no that was Nick Hornsby who was played by Hugh Grant) was a different kettle of fish. We hadn't been sure we'd recognised him in the bar before hand because he has a bit of a bald patch and we thought he was still youthful...as it turns out he's 61...but still looking (apart from the hair issue) fit and young. Of course he's cocky, but actually very engaging indeed. I'd gone there ready to dislike the man, but found him fascinating. Clear and forthright in his views, he had the confidence that has come through having had success and talent since a very young age. His new novel, now no1 in the Sunday Times best sellers list, is a piece of crime fiction that has been very well received indeed. Of course most people sat there open mouthed at some of his tales...meeting Debbie Harry in his office and taking drugs 60 seconds later, being advised by Keith Richards that he needed to stay healthy when on tour with the band, so drink plenty of orange juice with all that vodka. Was it Keith Richards? I'm not sure, there was just one escapade after another recounted. Anyway, back to the book. We liked the talk, we bought the book.
To round off the weekend, we visited The Regency House. A Regency House that is slowly but surely being restored and turned into a Museum. Beautiful, utterly beautiful. Although there's a long way to go. It was being used as an art space reflecting on immigration in the local area.