Sunday, May 13, 2012

Fret, familiar and matrons.

Today was the launch party for Grayson Perry's Taste series -- six tapestries about class taste. Two of the -- the middle class pair -- are based on his visit to Tunbridge Wells last year. He spent some time sitting in our kitchen during an NCT coffee morning. We were invited to go up to London and have an exclusive look and mingle with other people whose taste he examined.

The documentaries based on the tapestries will be screened soon -- I'll let you know as soon as I know when.

1. I've been fretting about leaving Alec -- who may or may not have chicken pox -- to go out enjoying myself. But I explain to him the night before, and in the morning that he's going to stay with Dad-dad this afternoon while I go to London. I think he understands, because every so often he says "Bye!" to me, in a 'haven't you gone yet?' tone. Later, walking on London Bridge platform, I realise that I have never been further away from Alec.

2. To see familiar faces in a strange social setting -- I'm so glad most of the other mums came: I was so nervous that I would be the only one of us there.

2b. The tapestries are amazing, full of colour and humour and very well observed. We stand in front of them and try to spot details from our own lives. The director asks me for my reaction, and I tell them: "The middle class ones are like coming home."

3a. I slip out early because I told Nick I would be back for six. I walk through the garden alone, and because it's quiet and I've been in a hot, busy room all afternoon, I stop and listen. I noticed the silver balls floating in the pond on my way in, but I was being rushed and whirled. Now I have time to observe with my whole self, I can hear them click as they bob together.

3. Matrons of Tunbridge Wells in smart summer outfits in coral and lemon and mauve, with National Theatre leaflets tucked in their handbags. One of them reports that a friend said: "I can't believe I'm marrying a man who drops his aitches. I won't let him do it in front of the grandchildren."