Monday, December 29, 2014

Human Kindness

When I think fun, upbeat material for a New Year's Eve special, this is... not exactly what I come up with.  But then again I'm not the Smothers Brothers, and it's not 1967.

And on the whole that's probably a good thing all around.

I don't think, these days, that one would dare put something so morose on at holiday-time - the lawsuits arising from rash acts undertaken as a result would put any network out of business.

Still, a gorgeous song, gorgeously sung.  And somehow apt for this week, always an uneasy transition between two kinds of festivity, each with its own shadow of melancholy ever lurking.  That it's gray and rainy in Our Nation's Capital only makes it more so.  Not, of course, that we're not quite jolly in our own way, the Mister and I, me not least because I remain blissfully on leave, getting a sampling of what retirement, heading my way in the next few years, might be like (in case you couldn't guess:  I can't wait).

We've had what passes for us as something of a social whirl this past weekend, with two dinners in a row out, the second yesterday in what was for us a new find - a little boîte seemingly stuck in time, that time somewhere in the late '70s, when chic restaurants were all high-ceilinged white rooms decorated with vintage French advertising posters and hanging ferns.  The mixed Italian-French menu was as well a little time capsule of Ford-era elegance, when the mere introduction of a hint of ginger in a wine sauce for fish seemed the ne plus ultra of daring.  Needless to say, we were entranced.

We dined with our friends The Retired Bikers, two gentlemen of a certain age who alternate between dark hints of wild-goings on of a most improper sort (and involving, I have a feeling, a wide range of accoutrements) and a quite incongruously Pymmish cosiness.  All I can say is that in bomber jackets and camouflage they provided a piquant contrast to the place's more ordinary clientele in twin sets and tweeds, and that I was not one bit surprised that we were sat in a side room all on our own.


  1. Barbara Pym meets the Hells Angels. I don't know what to do with that.

    1. The conversational shifts - from jumble sales to slings, for example - can indeed be a tad neck-snapping.

  2. Broker fascinating dinner guests such as those, and you'll retire in one year.

  3. What a beautiful song. Somehow I've never heard it before, amazingly.