Intimidated By Acceptance

 It’s 11.30am.  I have researched the company and trust they will do the job efficiently.  I tell this to myself as the dentist's chair chugs into recline.  The dentist's name is Gaber.  I ask if it is Hungarian for Gabriel.  He smiles and seems pleasantly surprised “ Gaber. Yes” he replies “ it is as popular in Hungary  as Peter in England”.  We end our salutations.

He frowns sympathetically at my clumsy attempt to hide nerves  “So we take out two ofyour teeth. If you feel pain hold your left hand up. You will feel the needle,  a little scratch”. He nods when he talks but the hungarian accent is soothing.  In moments my  mouth feels like a rubber attachment. athetically at my And thirty minutes later both back teeth are out.

A little spaced out  I race to the southbank centre, there’s a deadline and a last minute matter that needs to be sorted out.  While hurtling through Trafalgar square a cyclist turns left at the junction . I pull my breaks hard. The break snaps  and  I crash headlong into him.  He was on the outside lane turning left with no indication.  I hear the collective shock ofthe crowd the cars screech.  I gashed my femur or is it tibia - the bottom part of my leg.  We were both relatively okay. Shock is a mental anteseptic though.  Shaken and stirred  I continued on to the southbank realising that my stress levels were  high. My phone battery has gone and there is some urgent business to attend.  I entered the office to speak to Rachel Holmes who  held her hand up in a manner to stop traffic  “busy lemn. On deadline.”

It was the dynamic Holmes that I had come to meet,  the sole  reason I had come in today. My leg was bleeding beneath my jeans and the pain was starting to arrive as the  umbness wore off.  But it wasn’t scheduled, our meeting. And I couldn't call because my phone was on the blink.     Thankfully we resolved the outstanding and pressing  issue .  “you should be at home” says sarah a worker. She always gives good advice.  I stayed at the southbank centre for an hour to catch breath and then cycled home. I shouldn’t have been in at all today. My leg is cut my mouth is numb. My phone’s battery had gone.  I get home for 4pm and attend to matters in a daze.

At 5.30pm I cycle over  to David Akinsanya’s  barge on the river near where I live. And by 6.30pm we are at Flowers East in  Hackney, a gorgeous Gallery where AS Byatt was launching her book to which we have invites.  It’s a gorgeous bike ride and just what Ineed towards the end of what has been a hectic and unnerving day.  AS Byatt is witty and warm and  regales the story (see Monday) to her friends which makes me feel proud. I am intimidated by acceptance.  Turns out I know a whole lot of people here. And I love the art too.  Daniel Hahn is here,  last time we met was about a week or so ago, in new York on Seventh avenue,  and so too Lucy Macnab from The Southbank Centre and so too RaPage of Comma Press.

This is turning out to be a really nice early summers eve.  I have an enjoyable conversation with Antonia Byatt (AS Byatt’s daughter) and leave at 8pm in time to meet the journalist at home to watch David’s TV programme Find Me A Family.  It is the final one of a trilogy broadcast on channel four this week. The Journalist and I curl up on the sofa to watch the extrodianry television experience.  I text David congratulations and sleep. It's a tiring week this but highly enjoyable.

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