Half full

I like to talk to all the people I meet and listen to their stories. When I do, I’m always struck by how much more dynamic and high powered their lives seem to be when I compare them with mine. And they’re wiser too. Socially they know what’s in and what’s out. They wear great clothes and mix with such other interesting and intelligent people. They go places where they have heated debates. They finalise business transactions over lunches at Sky Garden and dine out at Beaufort House and then they get legless on heady cocktails at The Jam Tree. I tell Guido this and ask him why we never go to those places and if he’s completely sure he wouldn’t prefer it if we did.

“Are you kidding, who needs all that? Our lives win hands down every time,” he said last night shaking his head. He was laying on our sofa wearing only a pair of old ripped underpants at the time. “Hey, have you seen the television remote?” he yelled.

There’s a familiarity, and a distinct predictability about our lives. Let’s just say if you put bread in the toaster you know what’s going to pop up out of it. If you get my meaning. Sorry to give you yet another food analogy but that kind of neatly sum us up. And as sure as sure can be when I get into bed at night, no matter how late it is, Guido will already be in it. I can guarantee you I can predict there’ll be one of two things that’ll always happen next right after I slide between the sheets. Either we’ll have sex, or, we’ll just switch out the lamp and pull up the blanket and have a heated debate about whether French Toast tastes better with a sprinkle of cinnamon. Trust me, there’s something really terrific to appreciate about each of those separate outcomes, even if both of them leave me feeling starving hungry when we’re done.

We signed the lease for the new café in Denmark Hill on Wednesday. Now that the ink is still damp on the papers the reality that money is going to be even more tight than it was before is slowing beginning to sink in. We’ve got a restaurant to renovate and rooms upstairs to make habitable and The Spanish Onion to try to keep afloat. I’m going to have to work harder, and Guido is going to have to cook faster. Momentarily, that imaginary cocktail glass still sitting waiting for me at The Jam Tree bar was ominously half empty.

“Well for what it’s worth, I think the secret to a rich and happy life is to have an exciting new beginning once in a while,” Guido said later propped up between the pillows.

We were in bed and we weren’t having sex and we weren’t discussing the merits of fried eggy bread so there you go, maybe our lives can have some unpredictable surprises after all.

“But you know what?” he rolled over right next to me, “all that really matters is that we’ve got one another to try new things out with.”

He was right of course. And I loved him for reminding me my imaginary glass should always be half full.

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45 thoughts on “Half full

  1. “all that really matters is that we’ve got one another” – yep, that’s the secret to life. also “it’s not having what you want, it’s wanting what you have” (sheryl crow).

    congrats on the new restaurant! you will decorate it tastefully, I trust.

    my friend john gray of the blog “going gently” just visited your city; he sums it up thus: “Breakfast in the Skygarden, a visit to The Courtauld Gallery at Somerset House, a bit of shopping, lunch at Dishoom and a snooze in Green Park.” I had to google the skygarden – OMFG!

    regards to all at the spanish onion!

    Liked by 1 person

    • You can read us like a book I think. It takes two to tango. I like that dance, it involves nifty foot work cheek to cheek.
      Decorating tastefully? Hell I’ve got a mood board!
      London is a pretty amazing place. Your friend obviously has impeccable taste.
      JP

      Liked by 1 person

  2. All those people perhaps spend a little too much time wanting to see and be seen. What you have is genuine, authentic and you contribute to the local community, providing a service and good food. 😊💜

    Liked by 3 people

  3. I love the toaster analogy; it’s perfection.
    Carlos and I often get into that same-thing-different-day rut, but I agree with Guido, I’d rather be in a mild rut with Carlos than any other life with anyone else.
    All that said, Good luck with the new cafe!

    Liked by 1 person

      • Right back at ya Mister! When I listen to your stories, I’m always struck by how much more dynamic and high powered your life seems to be when I compare it with mine 😉 You, the stylish interior designer, and your dark and handsome chef, getting out there, taking chances and starting your empire *sigh*

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  4. The images you conjure up in your post. Guido as Onslow on the couch, you both living on Coronation street not fashionable Southwark. Then we are flash back to Guido the boy toy Chef in the Kitchen wearing a thong. You sounding like Wallis Simpson wanting another diamond necklace. But the last image is Vera Lynn singing keep the home fire burning. Your life is like one of those great movies of Britain from the 1950’s saying to the camera, we’ll be alright Gov. We read with delight from PEI of your adventures and looking forward to the next chapter Denmark Hill.

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    • I do love your comments. Onslow! Brilliant! If only you could see what I see (nothing could be further, trust me) – he really must darn his knickers. He’s definitely a boy toy with a torque. Wallis? I’ll take that as a compliment! And, I can think of nothing better than being compared to Vera. I’m glad I delight in PEI. Long may that continue. Thanks Larry.
      JP

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  5. Congrats on the new lease. Sometimes change is needed to keep moving forward. As you’ve seen from my blog, I’m going through the same thing.

    Also, I can’t imagine French Toast without a touch of cinnamon.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. I love the idea of wanting what you’ve already got. I also sometimes find my imaginary cocktail half-empty, but usually only for a little while. The truth is, a lot of those bright, shiny people with their bright, shiny lives probably wish they could run a resort on an island somewhere, or work in a coffee shop, or do something that leaves them more fulfilled. . .

    . . . Have a loving husband full of pearls of wisdom who can argue the finer points of ‘pain perdu.’

    Congratulations on your new lease. What an adventure you’re about to have. Thanks as usual for a great read.

    Liked by 1 person

    • You gave a cocktail glass too?
      Great – hope your hubby mixes a great combination when you need it. Pain Perdu? Oh you have no idea – Bombay Toast, German Toast, Gypsy Toast… the list is endless. They all taste great. Thanks for reading.
      JP

      Liked by 1 person

  7. People tell me I’m boring, and I suppose it’s true. But I know what I like, and my daily habits keep be grounded and stable. Some of us need that, some don’t. Seems like you and Guido have found your own balance.

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    • Trust me, you’re not boring. I think you must have been one of those people I was describing… interesting, intelligent, clever (and I’m guessing you’re well dressed) great poet, need I say more?
      JP

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  8. For some reason you’ve just reminded me of a song – now Larry Muffin will tell you everthing is a song cue for me but…. You’ve given me an idea for one of my Mercoledi Musicale postings. This coming Wednesday will be dedicated to you and Guido – and LIFE.

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  9. Congrats on the new cafe. Never get too comfy. Complacency is a terminal disease. You will be glad you took a leap of faith! Just like nutmeg and cardamom instead of cinnamon😃

    Liked by 1 person

  10. New opportunities always bring anxiety. I know when I left the education field and entered working for social equity I was riddled with worry that I’d never be able to fulfill my goals, and reach the potential that I wanted. It was never failure that I was scared of, but success – that becomes the new norm that is expected by those around us; and ourselves. It takes a little while to accept the new success that has come, and transforming it into the routine. Good luck on the new café!

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  11. Congratulation on the new café. It’s the second step in building your empire. Please don’t read any business books from the Trump man who is currently trying to ruin the United States

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  12. I often feel that others have a much more exciting life than I do, but then I am no good at socialising anyway so have no clue as to what the right clothes are to wear to those fancy sorts of places you mentioned!
    You and Guido sound like you have loads of good times together anyway regardless of where you are!
    Good luck with the new restaurant 🙂

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  13. Oh my word. You signed the lease?! Something tells me you won’t have a lot of time for underpants repair in the next little while. On the other hand, as an interior designer do you not have a bunch of experience with renovation hell?

    Remember to take before and after pictures of the new place, even if you don’t share them with us. Midway pictures might be good too.

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  14. Having each other is what’s it all about. That glass will always be half-full while you got each other. However, if it were half full of babycham, and I was there, it’d be almost empty.

    Congratulations on signing the new lease. Now, the real fun starts.

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  15. Pingback: Mercoledi Musicale – Willy Or Won't He

  16. So thrilled for you by the prospect of the new café and I’m sure you two will make it a lovely place and why not even with tango nights so you can get to dance too. I know a few bankers who live the glitzy life and have confided in me that they actually hate their lives and loathe going home because they are alone even when in couple because all their spouse cares about is their paycheck so yes, not all that glitters is gold

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  17. It’s funny – I’m an atheist, a pro with computers and the like, and also have lock picking skills and hold both my amateur radio and commercial radiotelephone licenses. Rather shocked I haven’t been head hunted by a three letter agency to be honest. Or placed on a watch list.

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