Who’s that Girl?
Cycling along the tow path from Hammersmith I very often pass a woman sitting on a bench smoking. She sits outside the prestigious Harrods development no doubt protecting her home from the fumes and the possible effects of passive smoking. So she sits and sometimes as dedicated smokers do, as she smokes ,she coughs.
She is about 40, full head of hair,slightly dark complexion, quite smart, I wouldn’t be surprised if she wasn’t an Israeli psychiatrist. There is an intensity,a know it all ,seen it all feeling about the dame.
Now I have one or two friends who live on the Harrods estate and they told me some of the back story. She is in fact Persian(Iranian). She has been living in Britain for thirty years, her family were serious merchants under previous regimes but have largely left and are based in London, Paris and California.
She had an unfortunate marriage with an Iranian doctor which didn’t last long, but long enough for her to have a daughter. The daughter was bright and motivated. St Pauls was followed by Cambridge. She had the regulation 2.4 boy friends one of whom became a lawyer another a journalist. She worked at a merchant bank for two years before coming out as a lesbian and deciding to travel with her new partner who happened to be black.
The mother-daughter relationship suffered something of a near breakdown during this transition. But needs must and although they are no longer close they are not totally estranged. Hardly surprisingly the mother is being treated for depression.
So now the smoker on the bench is alone. She has a smart flat, a handsome allowance, she travels twice a year to see her sister in Paris and her nephews and nieces in California. She rarely hears from her daughter and when she does its usually for money. She is by no means happy. Why else would she sit anxiously puffing, coughing and staring at the often grey Thames.
Actually I haven’t a clue, except for her physical presence this is all made up. Maybe she just fancied a smoke?