I refused the glass of champagne in favour of as many canapes as I could lay my hands on (not many, I was late) and tried not to talk about my children (hard, when I haven't been without them once in the past month, and my world has effectively ceased existing beyond the walls of our house) before realising that my feet already hurt. I had my phone in my hand, ready to text my husband to say I was coming home, when it was announced that Mark Knopfler and his band were going to entertain us. The name rang a bell, but still didn't mean much to my befuddled breast-feeding brain. But there was no mistaking the opening cords of Walk of Life, and the text I wrote was quite different from the one I had been going to send. "Won't be home for a bit. Dire Straits are playing."
This is a crummy photo (Sholto broke the good phone, and I'm not due an upgrade for a bit) but I was really, really close. And after Walk of Life came Romeo and Juliet, Money for Nothing, and Sultans of Swing. And all those songs are so well known to me, and so evocative of different times (pre-children, pre-marriage, pre-mortgage, pre-job, even) and different places (playing pool in Saigon, endless night buses in Mexico, walking down near-deserted beaches in Morocco) that for forty-five minutes I happily allowed myself to be consumed by a host of mist-coloured memories, the kind that entirely restore one's sense of self.
I went home barefoot, and terribly, terribly content. Music really does nourish the soul.