Waiting at the Dorchester
"Good to see you. Meet me at the Dorchester tomorrow - 2:30 pm."
Was he serious? I've always wanted to have afternoon tea at the famous Dorchester Hotel next to Hyde Park. He wanted to talk to me. Okay, so I'll go.
I arrived at precisely 2:30 pm. He wasn't in the lobby, so I waited. And waited.
Finally, I got up and asked the front desk to find the phone number of his hotel -- was it the Regent Hotel, Regent Palace Hotel, or The Regent?
At 3 pm, the first of three pianists started playing. It was to last until midnight. I observed him. He had the lid down and his fingers were lightly caressing the keys. Like ripples on a quiet lake, he played his rendition of Andrew Lloyd Webber's show tunes. It was faint but recognisable. He played from memory and improvised. After Les Miserables, he played pieces from Phantom of the Opera.
It was so different from the way I usually play! I usually have the lid up, and I sightread music. I play with such passion and varying dynamics that my music would interrupt conversations. Mine is hardly background music but sheer indulgence on my part.
Goodness! Is THAT the way I SHOULD play? If so, I have a long way to go.
After leaving the Dorchester, I learned much later that my business contact was already inside the hotel --- from 12 noon. He stayed till 4 pm. We missed a good afternooon tea.
19 February 2003 Wednesday