Off to the Opera

What a contrast, from a day of insanity at Aggie b as the countdown is on for Saturday’s big opening of the newly refitted store (and we’ve been working like maniacs) to La Boheme at the Royal Opera House. 

I’ve managed to fight off the dreaded lurgy so far (I’ve pencilled in being ill on Sunday if necessary although I do have lunch plans so that might not work) and while I’m fairly knackered, it would have been such a shame to be too tired to go. After all, I’m in London, it’s the Royal Opera House and tickets are sold out until December so why not? 

I almost didn’t make it as I left Agnes b at 6pm, walked briskly home through Regent’s Park, had the world’s quickest but most necessary shower, literally threw on a dress, slapped on some makeup and jumped on the tube to Leicester Square. Dashed up Long Acre to Covent Garden (wearing flats luckily), into the box office, picked up my ticket and then went up and up and up and up to the very top of the opera house. 

All I can say is, if you suffer from vertigo, you wouldn’t enjoy the experience. Luckily I don’t and so the view was pretty good. 

I made it with seconds to spare as the lights went down and La Boheme began. I sank into my red plush seat and breathed a sigh of relief. It was warm, dark and romantic. The voices, the music enveloped me and I relaxed. My eyes might have closed, just for a moment before the second intermission but I don’t think that’s a bad thing. 

It was a lovely performance, beautiful sets and while I couldn’t quite make out the facial expressions (or really anything in detail), the music, the singing, the opera was superb. It’s not the cheeriest of endings to be honest but going to the Royal Opera House was fabulous and definitely an experience to be repeated.

An Ominous Tickle

There’s something not quite right. An ominous tickle in the back of my throat, a congested head, a bit achy and a general feeling of lethargy. I think I might be coming down with something and that is definitely not on my list of things to do this week!

Of course it didn’t help that I spent several hours up a ladder yesterday on Marylebone High Street getting progressively colder and then several more hours organising stock in the cold, damp basement. It was a bath and an early night last night. What a glamourous life I lead!

It’s massively inconvenient though as I have a ticket to the opera this evening and after another busy day at Aggie B, I hope I’m feeling up to going. It’s La Boheme at the Royal Opera House. It’s completely sold out and I managed to get one ticket up in the nosebleeds. The stage will be practically invisible but still, it’s a ticket.

I’m dosing myself with Vitamin C and just about anything else I can find this morning before heading out. 

I’m not going down without a fight!

Part Deux

So here we go. Part Deux with Blue Corduroy jacket but first things first, a new pseudonym. I think it’s going to have to be Letad. My sister will forever call Letad, Letad and it’s actually because of her that this has happened, so the name has stuck and we like it.

And so to the details. The second date or what I’m calling Part Deux went spectacularly well. Perhaps even better than Part One and that lasted for seven hours! We met at Pearl, a lovely restaurant in Holborn ( We ate some interesting food, langoustine (always a favourite) and a good amount of cheese. We talked about pretty much everything, we laughed a lot (although I’m working on the puns) and it was a lovely afternoon even with a surprise hail storm.

I’m feeling quite excited about this and at the risk of being overly optimistic, I think this is something special. Yes, very out of character for me to admit that, let alone post it on the internet so there you go. I’m throwing caution to the wind and am following my heart.

The afternoon ended with a prolonged farewell at King’s Cross. Hard to say goodbye and yet, I feel strangely comfortable about where things are going. Too much too soon? I hope not.

Three Months In

It’s three months today since I arrived back in the UK.

I’m officially halfway through what I’m calling Phase One Relocation where I decided to give myself six months to see how I felt. Well, despite six weeks of rain, so far I’m blissfully happy and I suspect I’ll be returning to Los Angeles in August to see close friends, give up my little Venice garden apartment and ship my stuff.

Then again, it’s only May and nothing’s definite, so who knows what could happen next?

Speaking of what could happen next, today I’m meeting the guy from Nice for lunch. It’s part deux of our first date which was so inconveniently interrupted when he went off to meet someone else! The circumstances aren’t ideal as he has to come back to London unexpectedly for a funeral but there’s always a positive and so we’re able to meet for lunch.

In some respects I think the second date is actually more important than the first. We hit it off, everything was brilliant and we’ve spent the last ten days exchanging flirty emails. Lots of fun but now it’s time for a second look. Hopefully we both like what we see and we can pick up where we left off…

A Gorgeous Sunday Morning

It’s actually stopped raining and oh, the bliss, sitting outside on the balcony, drinking coffee, listening to a little Mozart (from his opera Zaide) and reading in the sunshine.

There’s a little background traffic noise, the sound of a distant train, birds singing in the tree tops surrounding me and soon the nearby church bells will start to ring. There isn’t a single cloud in the sky and it’s absolutely gorgeous!

Hello London!

Cousins United

It was Friday evening. I had spent a glamourous day packing boxes at Aggie B for the move back to the proper shop as the renovation was finally complete and we could leave the temporary pop-up shop. More to that exciting story to follow after this weekend I’m sure.

By the time 6pm rolled around, I was more than ready for a drink. How lucky was I that I had three invitations? Not bad considering I know about ten people in London.

I headed back to Gordon’s to meet up with my cousin and her friends and there we were joined by my other cousin. I think the collective noun is a clan of cousins but I might be just making that up! All was good and I suspect we may have even enjoyed each other’s company.

The good news is that no one was obligated… or should that be obliged?!

The Pig Lives On

Late last night I had a phone call from a magazine in the States. A journalist wondering if she could ask me some questions about Jess, my beloved Australian Cattle Dog who died in March last year. Known to many as the Pig, Jess was a big part of my life for a long time and holding her in my arms when she died was one of the hardest things I’ve ever done.

How surreal but also how fantastic that Jess lives on. Our vet is being featured in the magazine and as Jess was one of his miracle cases, he had referred the journalist to me.

It brought back happy memories of fifteen years with the happiest animal I’ve ever known, the dog who could smile. Jess taught me a great deal about optimism and living life. 

It has also brought tears to my eyes this morning as I looked through photos to send to the magazine. I will always miss Jess and while leaving LA has meant that I’ve been able to put her death behind me, I will never forget the best dog ever.

The Dog Who Could Smile