From my newsletter this month

April has come, just like in the song, and it’s still lockdown. There isn’t much to tell – my world has shrunk to the size of my apartment and balcony. Thanks to the dog, we walk a little every day, but Auguste is old and cranky, and won’t go very far. We go to the store once a week, but it’s a dash in and out – and some days we go to the bakery around the corner. So for some good cheer, here is a funny story from my past and some books I’ve read this past month:

 

The day I met a drummer

I’m not very good with faces. My husband will tell you I hardly recognize my own children. That’s a lie – but it’s true that I’ve got a problem with identifying people.

When my husband and I were engaged, we were invited to a tour of English military bases to play polo as part of the American team. My husband is French, but he was engaged to an American (me) – he was already in Europe – he played polo – so he was asked to replace an American player who broke his arm. We received a long letter with the schedule, what clothes to bring (nearly every stop had a black-tie dinner organized), and there were various official functions we’d been attending, which meant suits and ties for Stephane, evening dresses for me, along with his polo gear and casual clothes for touring the cities and travel.

When we arrived in England, the first stop was at Tidworth, home of the British Army Polo association, where we were invited to lunch. I was seated by a tall blond man, who, to my surprise, was not English but American. We started chatting, I learned his name was Stewart, and I asked him what he did besides play polo.

“I’m a drummer,” he said.

“A musician! That’s terrific.” I nodded sagely. “It’s so hard to get a break in that business – I have friend who has been trying for years to make a living with his music,” I continued. “I wish you the best of luck.”

“Thank you,” he said gravely, and we switched to another subject – (I didn’t want to make him feel bad about his chosen profession.)

After lunch, we watched a polo game, then said our goodbyes. In the bus, heading back to London, everyone wanted to know what Stewart had said to me.

“Why? Who is he?” I asked.

A collective gasp. “Stewart Copeland? You don’t know who Stewart Copeland is?”

I admitted I hadn’t recognized him and was teased mercilessly for the rest of the trip.

A few months later we met in Palm Beach. He saw us first and came up to greet Stephane and me – (and I recognized him this time). I grinned up at him and said, “I’m glad to see you’re doing so well with your music.”

He said with a laugh, “I have to admit, it was the first time someone was worried about me getting a break.

 

News from the Lockdown:

I have been spending every sunny day outside on the balcony. Stef has taped white lines on the rug and practices his chips and putts – I read, paint, nap, think of what to make for dinner that won’t add kilos – I’ve already gained one since lockdown started, and that is despite doing my exercises and cadio workouts, so I really have to stop snacking every time I get bored. (Update on the balcony putting green: every night a bird comes and takes a strip of tape. Somewhere nearby there is a nest with twigs held together with white electrical tape.)

Books I’ve read and enjoyed lately:

Felicity at the Cross Hotel by Helena Fairfax

An Uncomplicated Man by Colette McCormick

Rise of the Petrol Queen by Jon Hartless

Mid-life follies by R J Gould