Dear Emma,

Wednesday, 22 June 2011

Back from France! A brief thrill of excitement as I made ready for Amsterdam in my Paris-bought outfit, and then the inevitable disappointment and tedium of Dutch Social Life. Party in the famous Schreierstoren, a 15th century tower overlooking Amsterdam harbor and the Central Station – very poor service, as one is used to in Amsterdam, rain (also used to in Amsterdam) and, at dr. Veltman’s party: old people practically disintegrating into their constituent parts, increasingly many of which are made out of durable plastics.
Did give me a chance to see Donald S., former ambassador to Albania, who as you know has had his eye on me for many years. Have you seen him around at all, lately? His conversation centers primarily around the visual arts, and culture in general, which is painfully boring - but I do rather like him, mostly at the moments I am able to interrupt him and talk about myself. So much more rewarding, as a subject.
I was glad to see him looking so good, and not at all surprised that his crush on me hasn’t abated since my torrid affair with Burke (now so much less torrid.) It’s not exactly that he’s one of those men who desire one the more hotly if one is ‘romantically attached’, as the horrible cliché goes (there isn’t all that much of romance anymore between Burke and me, after eight months), but he simply does not view relationships or marriages as legitimate obstacles to his sexual feeding frenzy. He’s been married to Marjory for positively decades,  but the two of them don’t live in the same country. In fact, as he likes to say, enjoying his wine and his popularity amid a small group of devotees at social do’s: “No wonder marriages fail. People insist on being in the same country. I wouldn’t even want to share the same continent with Marjory!”
So he shoots off on a plane to her a few times per year, never mind the hours it takes him to get to Belize. Did you know, by the way, that Belize is one of the most dreadful places to live in the world? According to a survey into World Happiness, anyway. Supposed to be at or near the absolute bottom. I suppose it’s a matter of personal taste? Marjory is apparently perfectly happy, living there. Sunny weather, lovely house, staff entirely devoted to her…It’s what you make of things, isn’t it? I think one can be happy anywhere.
Oh darling, more tomorrow – just got another call from Moffat, the unhappy artist. Insists on seeing me today, because he happens to be in town. Well, there are about 700,000 people in town, right now!

Oh well, I suppose I’ll let him take me to the seaside. Will have to listen to more griping about his personal and financial hardships…I do so hate it when people complain. If they only knew how unbecoming it is…
More about the Schreierstoren party will have to wait! Will get back to you soonest, off now, love,

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