House & Garden | Diary of a Somebody

John Pawson

The architect helps celebrate the birthday of a mystery man

John Pawson

Image: Cindy Palmano

January 17 2011
John Pawson

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Saturday night was Catherine’s brother’s 50th birthday party. Dominic has a wonderful place with the artist Cathy de Monchaux on three floors next to Hoxton Square, underneath the dome of the old lighting showroom. I am delegated to drive three generations of the family over there. Before we leave, I bump into Rachel Johnson, my neighbour, on the doorstep. She is off out too, to the Frontline Club. I am not quick on my feet and she is gone before I have worked out what it is, never mind a witty riposte.

The food Dominic rustles up is delicious. Later Gavin Turk’s wife, Deborah Curtis, gives an exemplary speech. She says they love Dominic, but that his life is like a mystery novel to them. Veronica, my mother-in-law, is a huge success, even getting into conversation with the bouncer on the door of the club next door. When we get back west, I fall asleep sitting upright, watching the Las Vegas gadget fair on TV.

On Sunday we had offered to help my son, Caius, and his wife, Molly, move into their new home in Shoreditch. They married in New York last August. When they say they would prefer to meet up in Kew Gardens, I am flattered that Caius wants to show off my bridge, but I should have realised that they also want to look at potential wedding party locations. The gardens are always impressive, but snowdrops are currently the only seasonal attraction. Syon Vista focuses eyes and thoughts on a possible venue, but I wonder if the London home of the Percys isn’t a bit grand for an intimate celebration.

Catherine is excited about her work trip to Paris next week. She loves the city and has been relishing the prospect of a few days off from me, so she looks a bit crestfallen when our mutual client rings up on Sunday to ask if I can come too. When she says it will be less of a shopportunity, I suspect she is only half joking.

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