London, United Kingdom
With so experiences behind me to consolidate and so many adventures ahead yet to plan, the last week and a bit has been spent tending to odds & sods and indulging in quality time with Vic, Pete, Rollo and a small host of other beloved characters, some to whom you’ve already been introduced and other with whom I will now acquaint you.
There was the night Vic, Pete and I seemed to have arranged a bring-your-favourite-physical-therapist -to-dinner-night. They invited their masseuse, Alice and I invited my physiotherapist cousin, Erin. Luckily there wasn’t any shop talk, just a lovely meal in a controversially not-Chinese-enough-for-Pete restaurant and drinks at a pub afterwards to calm him down. Good thing we had Alice and Erin on hand to sooth the savage beast!
The following day was Dapper Dan Day. For a while now, the universe has been out of kilter as a result of Dan not working at Elsevier, them having made him (and just about everyone else) redundant some time back. They have realised the error of their ways and put him back in his rightful place, only this time even higher up the tree as head of production for the Lancet.
The decision was made (primarily by Vic and Pete I’m told), that such a promotion requires a fancy new wardrobe. Unfortunately, Dan seems to hate clothes shopping more than I do so it took quite a bit of insistence and a Sunday roast to coax him to the high street of his local Wimbledon.
Luckily for Dan, Pete is a gifted stylist who claims Vic as his greatest work of art to date. In less than an hour, Dan was indeed looking very dapper in his assorted new threads and although he pretended to be grumpy about it, we all knew he loved it!
We went back to Dan’s flat for beer and muffins and it struck me as incredibly odd that Dan being one of my best friends in the world, I’d never actually been to his place before. It was exactly as I imagined it though. Kind of like being in Jerry Seinfeld’s apartment only if Jerry was just as funny, far more cerebral, British and loved Charlie Brown instead of Superman! So extraordinarily neat, a place for everything and everything interesting.
The next night, I went with Vic and Pete to visit Vic’s mum, Marilyn, in hospital. I’d been meaning to catch up with Marilyn having met her previously both in Sydney and Hong Kong but this wasn’t the venue or circumstance I had in mind. Fear not, this is a planned visit and I’ve got to tell you, as far as hospitals go, St Thomas’ in pretty darn nice! In fact, if you’re in London with a good travel insurance policy, you might want to do yourself an injury and land yourself in one of the wards with million dollar views overlooking the Thames and the Houses of Parliament! On a more serious note though, it was wonderful to see Marilyn again and I wish her a speedy recovery.
We went for dinner afterwards at a Turkish restaurant on the South Bank up passed the Tate Modern (where I saw a fox!) and nearby The Globe theatre. We ate until we thought we would burst. Nothing that a thick as mud Turkish coffee couldn’t help digest. Years ago, Liz and her sister went through a phase of reading Turkish coffee cups as opposed to tea leaves. We tried to channel those powers and at least had fun trying.
I also found the time to catch up with another of my favourite people, the happenin’ Ms Hazel of Ham, whom I also worked with at Elsevier back in the day. The thing that has to be said about Hazel is that she is one of the coolest people on earth. She doesn’t try to be cool, she doesn’t think she’s cool, she just is cool! And I caught up with her just in the nick of time because by the time I get back from my next trip, she’ll be two people! She’s eight and half months pregnant and good to go.
I like to see my peeps have babies to help counterbalance the multitudes who pop them out, slap them in pink or blue, imprint them with the corresponding half of limiting stereotypes and then claim they came out that way! Nope, Hazel and Jay’s little one will be given full access to all of humanities hopes and dreams, an unparalleled music collection and all the guidance it needs to become its own supercool human being.
Wow, for someone who thinks they haven’t been up to much, it appears I’ve been quite busy after all. The cracks in between have been filled with fun times in Furzedown and making final preparations for tomorrows trip of a lifetime. I am beyond excited about the early morning arrival of the mother of all travel companions…