I need other people to give me encouragement at the moment, and as usual they do. My new friend Ann from the clinic points out that if Agerwall’s 98 per cent failure rate were true, the Garry Weston centre would be overwhelmed with patients. It is crowded but that’s because it’s in such a small, narrow space.
I enjoyed pottering around Fortnum’s, a thickly carpeted shop which sells groceries at unfeasibly high prices. It is strangely soothing just to move about between the stacked shelves of crystallised ginger (£20 a box) past the small chocolate Santas, (£20) and the packets of tea with accompanying silver strainers and spoons. I bought myself a 100 grammes of peanut butter fudge. The girls selling it were very pleasant, not sniffy about my little bill among people spending hundreds of pounds.
The customers always seem to be men, large ones in crombies, and young city gents who look as if they might be dining with the Camerons. It reminds me of the old El Vinos on Fleet Street, a rich but rough place with a masculine atmosphere where ladies definitely weren’t welcome. Women shoppers presumably prefer the safer less pungent climes of Waitrose.
I allowed myself a small triangle of
The staff in there are friendly, but many of the clients are not. I said “excuse me” to a large ox like man, who looked a bit like Princess Caroline of Monaco’s husband, Ernst August, Prince of Hanover. He glared at me as if I was a fly on a bit of
Geoffrey Though partially sighted.
Just what I have been feeling the last few days, about ambition, failure, unwanted change and the unknown future.
I have a different attitude to old age now, and to old people, like Simpson himself at ninety one. If they complain about their lot or about life itself I think they might have missed the point. What wouldn’t those people in the Garry Weston clinic and I give to know that we will live to be old?