A very good year

It was my friend Tony’s 50th birthday party tonight. It was at the Troyeville Hotel and he had a fantastic band called Them Particles. And I wore high silver heels and it was a little painful, but I shook my booty with great tentative vigour and felt like the almost tallest person in the room, which I was.

And now I am home. I feel the last, retreating waves of buzz from the evening, from seeing people I have not seen for ages, and in spite of the fact that I am sitting in the chaos of my own recent activity: books papers pieces of dress patterns fabric some pins overlocker sewing machine cotton reels more books still in the bags from Exclusives, I have a sense of order and… reason.

I wonder if it is natural that the significant and recent life-choices I have made should come back to tease me in the form of people I hardly remember meeting but who were embedded, somehow, in a universe that drove me crazy. And then I ask myself, what is natural these days? And really, does it matter? (I should write up my thoughts on In Defence of Food soon. But this is an aside.)

Tony made a great speech, based on Sinatra’s It Was a Very Good Year.

And quite rightly, he pointed out that on his way to… fifty, he did not have (passing seventeen) small town girls on the village green on soft summer nights. Neither did he know those city girls up the stairs with the perfumed hair that came undone when he was twenty-one. OR the independent girls in of independent means driven by drivers in limousines at thirty-five.

He was a bit indignant that the song stretched from “thirty five” to “vintage wine” without any additional possibilities that he might have lived up to, but he was funny, and people laughed, and after all, we bought the fact that fifty was a good vintage wine year.


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