Saturday, February 28, 2009


Today was one of those extremely rare Saturdays when the calendars are empty, mine in particular.  I had no meetings, appointments, writing deadlines, and not even a phone call to answer.  It was an empty delight.  To celebrate this rare jewel I cooked a full brunch with linguica, Irish bacon, grits (well, Sandi did those,) mushrooms, grilled tomatoes, scrambled eggs with chives, and rye toast.  And so the day meandered on ...  As did I.

Sheila is, not merely a parishioner, but a friend, confident, and a most renowned artist.  Not one of those "struggling artists" of the Hamptons, but one whose latest exhibitions have been in Moscow and Miami.  Her husband, Hayward, was once the U.S ambassador to many places, including the Soviet Union.  (I am privileged in that, next week, I will begin proof reading his manuscript memoirs, for publication.)  Sheila and Heyward, by the way, are both in their 80s.

Sheila had a "showing" in her Southampton studio today.  I had seen the works before but out of duty went along to support her.  One of her visitors was Peter, who had known her for 59 years.  He had also been recently praised by the Financial Times for his essays on wine.  Yet Peter was the CIA station chief in the mid 1950s - in Berlin.  Let me repeat that. In Berlin. When it comes to espionage and running spies, in the Cold War, this man, with whom I was sipping tea, was in the absolute, and incredibly dangerous, front line of the world which today, fact and fiction celebrate.  And which  Peter and I will soon discuss some more.   Over dinner, and wine.  Of his recommendation, of course.

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