Monday, 30 March 2009

White House calling

It was when they served up the cup of hot water and the tea bag at breakfast that I started thinking of Charlbury. How I would be sitting down with the Guardian, a delicious croissant from the splendid Good Food Shop and a properly brewed pot of tea, Hound gently sleeping at my side. Instead an admittedly passable Brunch in a deli in Chelsea, downtown Manhattan. It's true, there's no place like home! Spoke with partner- off in Scotland celebrating Auntie's 80th, though with a damaged knee! Not happy! Prefer to be here.

But whilst eating I had spotted a charming Dog shop across the road. Now New Yorkers love their dogs. And they are pampered. Dog shops cater for all your doggie needs. So The Hound has a marvellous new leather collar and cute knitted coat for those chilly days. The Hound is holidaying again at my sister Sara's; its becoming like her second home.

We had a good meeting at The British Consulate on Friday. A bit disconcerting to be greeted by an enquiry as to whether I had enjoyed the Opera. But no, not MI6, but the power of the Blog. Glad it was being so avidly read. And yes, the opera was superb. Roberto Alagna in the title role. A superb tenor, at the peak of his power, we were lucky to see him.

Whilst there we got news we have been asked to go to the White House Centre for Social Innovation to meet with the newly appointed head. It will be a fascinating meeting. It means having to reschedule other meetings and get the train back to Washington but if The White house calls it’s the least we can do. That will be our last meeting before getting onto the plane back to the Mother Country.

I went to Mass at NY's Anglican Cathedral of St John the Divine. A contrast to the Washington Cathedral. Whilst they finished theirs in 1990, NY's is still being built. And whilst Washington is the 5th largest in the world, NY will be the 3rd; when it is finished (and it shows no sign of that yet). A good service: high Church, incense etc and a good Sermon. Though quite why the Dean thought he should parade around the Altar when there was a perfectly good Pulpit I really don't know. He told a rather moving tale.

He said he had spoken to Vanessa Redgrave the night before. She had said how moved she was when she heard that a small girl had been saved because her parents had realised there might be a problem (because of what had happened to Natasha) when she had banged her head and she complained of a headache. Rushed to hospital; they caught the blood clot.

Well, Barack heads for London on Tuesday and I head for the White House!

PS: My article for Philanthropy UK, where I have been asked to tell their readers the three books that have most inspired and shaped my thoughts on philanthropy, is now out. To read it click here.

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