Life at № 42 by E.M. Coutinho
It’s been a thoroughly pleasant few days. Some of our favourite people (former neighbours and friends) from Sotogrande came to stay. We had lunch at home, we went out to get (good) wine, we had Michelin starred food (some of which was smuggled out of a restaurant in a Prada bag for later!) They’re now heading back South.
I never celebrate my birthday because I find the concept morbid- Happy birthday, you are now one year closer to your death! Fortunately the visit actually made me forget the fact that today I’m 38- and that I pulled a muscle coughing a few days ago. If there’s a sign one is ageing, that’s surely it.
The house was a success even though it’s far from done… A comforting notion because the opinion of this particular guest is tremendously important to me. She was the creator of the magnificent Casa Alba. Look at us, all proud, showing it on French Channel 5 for La Maison France 5:
I did an exhausting multilingual simultaneous translation (Spanish/French/English) so everyone knew what was going on during that filming.
She had some really great ideas for number 42, including a Cole & Son/Fornasetti wallpaper that’s to die for:
Arches and monkeys. Who could ask for anything more? I’m not sure if I want it for the scullery or for the dining room. They got me a fabulously huge bottle of Russian vodka and a chocolate bar that’s the size of a baby’s leg. They obviously know me well. They gave me a slight yearning to build another little house in Spain. Nothing like Villa l’Africaine, of course- just something small, maybe for winter months when it’s cold here? I’ll keep quiet about the idea until the apartments are finished lest Mike decide to stab my throat with a paintbrush. Maybe a little folly with a cute garden and a pond: