31 January 2013


Glorious day, tramped and tramped and snipped and raked and measured and massacred. Sam in 7th heaven.

Also in waspish mood, reminding me how I am not ageing well. At my smallest minded petty-fogging nitpicking.

I felt like spending my birthday dining and entwining a dear lady who loves me most muscularly, and suggested either Bistro Boileau or Taki's.  

Her tart reply was that both were closed for the winter, an unwise gaffe from someone who is usually precise and informed. 

Before I even mentioned a rendezvous I'd need to see proof that the joint was jumping and that they did indeed have a fire blazing and that our table was booked atop the embers.

I am mulling my reply and it will be one to endear or elongate me.

But back to buggery, now that I'm back to fooling with the fone tapper: I recall some hilarious incidents, one concerning my supposèd host of friends:

"He has more friends than me," my mother would breeze, rubbing it in all the more that I actually knew no-one close.  I challenged this often and the response was always, "Well, you know more people than me." 

In that case, where are they? Where's the phone ringing off the hook, the crowds drifting from room, the cars blocking the drive? 

I used the 'talk to the hand' gesture as 'look in the mirror, look at what you're saying. I first used it about the jewels theft, how we both should look each day into the mirror of what the house had become - theft of time, of manners, of respect ... the double-theft of my property was a mere physical manifestation.  

 So when I listened in to a conversation with a pal who was visiting the next day, I knew how to run with this 'more friends' bit of blarney.

As we were chatting genially on the terrace, I confided,

"The way to handle the nonsense about my having all these friends is to listen to the incessant ringing of the phone and the jostling of vulgar pals, my invisible nights out and non-stop socialising ..."
This gave the impression that I was privy to the phone conversation and when I included my mother with a
"Yes, I was just saying about the way to nip my boasting in the bud about my wild social life and bulging address book of friends is to count the phone calls and  never-ending mob of 'friends' charging thru the house.",
thus giving the impression that the pal had confided in me.
Endless japes in this direction, quoting direct and seamlessly inserting my eavesdroppings into conversation as if we were one big sharing family ~ 'as you know, my mother prefers my brother's medical advice and diagnoses, but all it takes is lip-service in that direction and holding steadfast to mine and Yiorgas' plan.'

A vital ingredient of simpering is to agree and many actually did hold critical opinions which they'd even lower their voice en phone to deliver. These I'd recyle with the breeziest smile, as if recalling that day's weather forecast. 

It really is a most excellent device, no tape to run out or rewind. The only trouble is that I haven't worked out a filing system by which I can mark where conversations and content start and finish. I'm told that with my Tascam music gizmo I'm able to insert a single note at a precise place in a bar.

Speaking of music, Ben Harper and Charlie Musselwhite have a new album out ... a well-timed birthday. 

Found another lover - story of my life.

Erratum ~ fair do - I was wrong about Takis but the Bistro had outer lights blazing. Didnt see inside but it seemed to be open. 

Anyway, drop it. She's usually right and I have no intention of giving her satisfaction of being right here. Pretend I was thinking of Harry's, or suggest Famiglia

Anyway, Dido has a new album out so I was playing her and Grafton Street is a cute little numero. Wonder what the story behind that is.

When I went back to Hong Kong around '95 I was asked to write english lyrics to a local band's cantonese lines so i just went a bit wild and wrote over-soppy mysterious little stories to the tunes. They seemed to fit so I banked the cheques and thought no more.

The band got locally famous and I was told the lead chanteur wove a whole history round them to the point where the music press were actually trying to track down the women in the song. In two cases the chicks  owned up, 'yes it was me' and their lives fitted the lines which was weird. 

I also wrote fortunes for each Chinese New Year (Feb 10, this year, Water Snake, name day of my pals Hara and Zinonos.) 

I was so fed up with churning out the same old roobish that, for the Ramada Inn Wanchai, I decided to get detailed: "You are foolish to be away from your desk [very oriental, resonates from CEO to pupil], hasten home where family and business need your strong guidance. Fie on the mini-bar! But you will never learn, will you? Even bullish partners are not to be trusted. Remember what made you the success you are and retrieve that strength." Blah blah.

Eh bien, seems that a certain money-bags Mr Abe was staying, wrasslin' with alcoholism (minibar) and so out of touch with his own business that a palace coup was in place during his 5-day absence. Abe-san cut short his visit, returned in time to catch his trusted partner (Year  of the Ox) fiddling the books, heart to heart talk with wifey, routed lover, and saved the day.

Made lifetime booking with Ramada, donated moolah for new decor of the Wanchai and built another hotel ... declared their fortune teller a genius.

 My boss was pleased and said that a room in the new hostelry would be named to my choice, so I chose Stephanie which translates badly into See-tai-fun-lay, of which the Fun Lay amused us until they stopped being fun.

Little things like that. I believe there's still a Stephanie room, 6/F, harbour view.