I was speechless. The ballet on Friday evening was breathtaking. The sets were beautifully constructed, woodlands, complete with trees and cottages. The orchestra's performance was faultless. I had forgotten how mesmerising and captivating the ballet can be, especially beautifully and lovingly performed.
We arrived at about 6.30pm and were seated immediately for our starters and main course. Food was good, but at that price, I had expected much better quality food, I have to admit. I ordered the monkfish which was beautifully cooked but the portion was skimpy. For £19.20, I expected a larger size fish and the bones taken out.
I bought the tickets months and months in advance. For Giselle and Seasons Greetings. And now as I sat in the dark theatre, it dawned on me, starred crossed lovers, doomed. Didn't I just timed it well?
Saturday dawned bright and early and I strolled down to my local Waitrose to buy all the ingredients needed for the CNY celebratory dinner. I was determined to finish cooking and have it all under control prior to Agnes showing up. I wasn't up for her to meddle and take over.
Luckily for me, I only decided to cook 6 dishes and 2 desserts. Soup was cooked first and foremost and the rest slowly followed. I was done cooking by the time Chris came back from the gym. We walked to Belsize and had brunch at Chammomile, came back home and we sat around reading the papers and watched more of West Wing. We are so addicted to the show at the moment and we are only on Series 4.
Agnes came nearly an hour earlier than scheduled. Thats fine. She saw the car and asked me a few times about it. And the Jag. Whatever. I no longer have anything to prove to her. Conversation was a tad strained, after all what is there to chat about when her sole aim is just to play the victim and extract money out of her family members? Her friends showed up for dinner, late of course, Lai Chan, Moses, Wai Meng and Becky. Becky is a Downs kid and she is nearly 22 now. She is finally living independently in a home funded by the council. The parents do not want to pay much, which its a pity as they can afford it.
According to Lai Chan, Moses and Wai Meng, its been 9years since they had been invited to our home. And now, I can clearly say that Saturday's meal was the last. The days when I was fresh off the banana boat, looking up to them as the successful immigrant, those days are long gone. Now I remember clearly why I had decided to cut them out of our lives 9years ago. Its all about money and wealth. After calling Isabella Isabelle for 20mins, I snapped and started correcting them. Or how many times does Isabella have to say that she now goes to NBH, her favourite subjects are English, French and Sciences. She is constantly asked that evening if she is going to study medicine. And of course, what did we do with the flat in Holland Park.
Moses will be 60 in a fortnight. He will be retiring, or so he said. On and on he went about the land that he bought and the house that they built in Kingswood. How Ashley Cole nearly moved there. Whatever. Am I impressed? No. Does it impact upon my life? Nope. Now looking back when he was made redundant at Kroll, he must have been 50. I remembered Agnes, Moses, his sister Lai Chan made such a big deal out of how much he was earning then and indirectly hinted that I was such a loser, how I lacked the ambition, the drive as well as the intelligence to be in his league. At that time, I had just came back down to London from Leicester and was merely starting out at ABN AMRO. I had thought that he was at that time mid to late 40s. It was then I made a promised to myself that come 40, I would be earning that amount of salary too. And I am proud to say, I achieved it and surpassed it. And I am proud of myself for achieving that. Now I know, he was 50, earning that amount at 50 is the norm. How stupid was I to be taken in.
It was strange evening. The need to look up to them, admiration and all the baggage is all gone. I looked at them and they are so stuck in their existence. They talked longingly about buying a place back home and retiring there and in all honesty what is it that's holding them back? Nothing. They have the money. Its all a pipe dream. Moving or buying a second home means committing money, they are all way too stingy and mean to do anything like that. Look at Becky. Thats a classic example.
So, duty done and dusted. Its over. I am glad that its over.
Sunday dawned, I had a lie-in. It took us 1.5hours to travel 4km to SouthBank. It was all due to the CNY celebrations at Trafalgar Square and Chinatown. It turned out to be a story about a middle class family during the Christmas festivities. Catherine Tate bored in her marriage, felt neglected and unloved, nearly had an affair with a guest.
How tragic! Sometimes I wonder if I deliberately walk into these situations subconsciously. Strangely enough, it made me realised a lot.
Chris and I had some frank talks yesterday evening. I came to some realisation. I was back on the bike. I will pedal away at the bike until I am well again. What was the mantra? Fake it till you make it. Its not so much as faking it, its recognition, realisation and understanding.
But thats another post.