December 05 2012
I have not avoided
I am amazed at how people behave with their children on their way to school. I always step out of the way to let children pass – whether on foot or on their scooters – with their parents. Yet no-one, other than unfailingly polite Eastern Asians, says thank you or even nods.
The roads are also choked with huge, shiny black cars made for circumnavigating the world, but which have only travelled 300 yards to drop off the heirs to some opaquely acquired fortune, before their drivers go to the gym to make their legs even thinner and their biceps even knottier. With a telephone stuck to their ears they are oblivious to the children scurrying around that they are likely to run over. I think I am becoming the sort of misanthrope I used to howl with laughter at.
We sell a piece of jewellery this morning that is very dear to me. I bought a stone some time ago and initially couldn’t decide what to do with it. In the end it went into a Phi pendant. The Greek letter phi is the symbol for the “golden ratio” – the ancient Greeks’ formula for visual harmony, and the law that all great classical architecture obeys. It also rules the Greek idea of perfection of the human form – not mine, I might add, which now is governed by the rule of pie. (I have a pasty for lunch and it is delicious.) Phi has since become symbolic of harmony; I like this idea of a sign that is not denominational or political and just stands for getting along. Ommmm.
The third test match between England and India starts tonight in Kolkata and I will record it through the night so that I can watch it very fast before I leave for work tomorrow. This, however, makes me very restless when I go to watch the cricket at Lord’s, as it seems absurdly slow and I have no control over it. I was hoping never to lose the love of watching seemingly timeless test matches unfurl, but I seem to be getting more impatient, rather than mellower.
Later, I go to see my tailor, Brian Staples, to have a vulgar suit made. This is one of life’s huge treats, as is being taken to the Tate to see the Pre-Raphaelites exhibition with Andrew Lloyd Webber as my guide. He is so passionate on the subject that he moves me to tears. We are both big blubbers and are banned by our wives from watching together anything that might set us off.
In the evening, I settle in to watch the first two parts of a new Channel 4 drama called The Fear, as I am out every other night this week – and pretty much up to Christmas. There are decorations now in the studio and I feel the magic upon me.