overcast, cool, highs 10
We had a wonderful dinner last night with Alan and Anne Craft. Never met them before but as you know Michael's writing a book on a massive screening for neuroblastoma (a tumor in infants) that he was involved in. It had quite startling results. So he's doing research. How great is life when researching a book means sitting in a terrific Knightsbridge restaurant with two delightful people? He's a paediatrician and former head of the Royal Society of Paediatrics and she's a former head nurse (matron as he kept kidding her) and very involved in hospice care here.
He was also recently knighted - which he explains they give to you after you've collected 273,000 Wheatabix boxtops. He said his elderly mother and her fellow residents at a seniors home helped.
I told them the story of my agent Teresa, who is actually Lady Teresa someone, married to Lord Someone - a hereditary title. For some reason no one finds this quite as extraordinary as I do. I think I'll have to stop telling this story. Can't begin to imagine what Teresa's husband, Charles, had to do for his title. (beyond winning the familial lottery).
I think I was raised in the wrong century and perhaps even the wrong gender. I was raised to believe in chivalry and sacrifice and courtesy. I hold doors open, and say 'thank you' and mean it. I remember my mother impressing on me that a 'real' lady or gentleman makes others feel good about themselves. Makes them feel safe and comfortable. Cared for and about. Not patronizing, but equal.
That made sense to me.
But I'm constantly surprised, especially here in the UK, by how few Lords and Sirs and Ladies I meet who are courteous to others.
Alan and Anne were last night.
Perhaps I need to understand that what my mother meant was the generic 'noble' spirit, not the actual 'nobility'. And perhaps, despite vigorous denials on my part, I really am a product of the colonial mentality, who expects Lords and Ladies to have been brought up with the same appreciation of courtesty as my mother, whose family were butchers in Wolverhampton.
Or - perhaps - I should just worry about my own behavior and let others be who they are.
Now, that sounds noble.
Off to a cafe this morning with Michael. Am taking the edited manuscript for book 4 with me to work on. Nearing the end of that editing. It's an amazing feeling to be promoting book 3 (The Cruelest Month), doing the final line edits on book 4, and writing book 5 (at 85,000 words)
Then meeting Teresa for lunch at Tom's Kitchen on Cale Street.
Sometimes, when I'm feeling overwhelmed, or very pleased with myself, I look at Michael and remember his job. Working with children with cancer. Or I listen to the conversation last night between those two charming men, Michael and Alan. Doesn't diminish what I do, but it sure puts it into perspective.
Be well, and I'll talk to you soon.