After an impossibly stressful week (I don't think I remember stress prior to June 29, 2011) I find myself at home, with the spotteds, and the cicadas chirruping in the trees, a just less than full moon in the sky, and the prospect of my two oldest male friends coming to visit in November. It doesn't take a lot to get me giddy but Giles, whom I met when I was 19, when Jenny and I would go his rooms at Balliol and drink strong coffee while listening to Mahler and staring out onto the quad, and Dom, who was about 7 when I met him, in a wood in Hook, Hampshire when our fathers were duck shooting, are coming to Los Angeles and I'm whoop-whoop-whooping with joy. Both went to an eminent boys Catholic school where they were brought up on fagging and scrumpy, both make me laugh constantly and both hold a place in my heart. Both made Catholicism so alluring that I considered converting, many years ago, when Brideshead Revisited was all the rage. One of them is a brilliant cook, especially of curry, and one has impeccable taste and a mother that I've adored since the day I met her. We spent LiveAid, 1984, together. It was the first time my husband, then boyfriend, had broken up with me, and I cried and drank wine and listened to "Don't You Forget About Me" by Simple Minds while Sting's The Dream of Blue Turtles sat by my bed (remember "Free, free, set them free"? click on the link just to see Sting in leggings). Through thick and thin (literally) and misery and happiness, these boys have been my friends and though we may not talk to each other for months (neither are on Facebook so I've become friends with their brilliant children) we are joined at the hip, catch up where we left off, laugh uproariously like teenagers, and piss each other off incessantly. Neither have been boyfriends, yet I've kissed both of them, as one does at 19, and it was lovely. Now, old and wrinkly and more interested in Loch Fyne smoked trout and aged whiskey, they are my saviors. So at the end of a stressful day in the midst of a pretty appalling week, I'm thinking of the kinds of flowers to put in their rooms when they come to stay and what kind of mischief we can all get up to, all together in Los Angeles in the autumn, with the cicadas and the big yellow moon.