Despite getting off to a shaky start at Shabsted, my visit to London last week was very productive. It's amazing what you can fit into a day. First stop, an 8.00am session of Alexander Technique with Noel Kingsley, who over the years has helped to sort out everything from whiplash and a torn knee ligament [skiing] to an ankle injury [falling over in high heels]. Noel is one of the things that I most miss about my old life in London, since 40 minutes of posture adjustment with him seems to magically undo the damage of hours slumped in front of a Mac.
Second stop, the John Frieda salon, where my colourist Gary was on excellent form. I was doubled up with laughter as we both mapped out what kind of plastic surgery we might sign up for, further down the line - despite the fact that he doesn't look a day over thirty. This was followed by lunch with a dear travel editor friend [and fellow Francophile] on the newspaper for whom I used to work. Then some frenzied shopping in the sales, which I am feeling very guilty about [with my house renovation fund in minus figures, I so should not be buying cashmere sweaters, no matter how big the discount].
In the evening I met my American friend Sylvie for drinks at the new Whole Foods Market on Kensington High Street. While waiting at the bar, I overheard a woman, whom I presumed was the PR, revealing that ‘thousands’ of customers have left feedback since it opened. I am not surprised. West Londoners probably cannot believe their luck that this has landed on their doorstep. It’s AMAZING. I have never seen so much fresh produce in one place ever, although the wastage must be phenomenal. The cheese shop was particularly impressive: even in France, I have never seen such a vast selection of fromages. I was also hugely impressed by the friendliness of the staff and the plastic pull along shopping baskets – what a genius idea. And how annoying that his place did not open while I was still living there.