London, United Kingdom
For the last few days, the Furzedown family has been feeling a little under the weather, myself included. This made yesterday’s decision to go to the gym even more impressive. Before leaving Sydney for this trip, I had uncharacteristically become a bit of a gym junkie and was convinced that I could maintain my efforts whilst travelling. To that end, I froze my membership and got a pass to use Virgin Active gyms around the world. Up to this point, I hadn’t gone once and this concerted effort was more about justifying the hold fees in my final weeks than any delusions about clawing back my pre-trip fitness.
I eased myself back in with a gentle pilates class then roamed the streets of Streatham hunting for treasure which I found in a Polish deli – just what the doctor ordered – Krupnik! Krupnik is a Polish honey vodka that I first came across in Krakow several years ago and haven’t been able to find since. There are other honey vodkas but none so sweet and smooth as Krupnik. It’s more like a liqueur than a vodka. I managed to keep the cap on until after I presented it to Vic and Pete but only just!
In the evening I met up with the always effervescent Sophie in Fitzrovia. She too was a little under the weather which made me wish I’d bought a hip flask, though I suspect such behaviour would have been frowned upon in the Thai restaurant where we dined. We chose instead to self medicate with red wine over dinner and then at an old stalwart of mine, The Fitzroy Tavern. I had all but forgotten about this place until we walked through the doors. It was strange to be somewhere so suddenly familiar and be hit by a flood of memories of the very many evenings spent and misspent within it’s four walls. I had a fantastic evening with Sophie chatting away and putting the world to rights. It’s a shame it had to end with so much still to discuss.
Tonight, after an uneventful day, I met Erin in Tooting for a curry as we had been threatening to do since I first arrived. For lack of imagination, we returned to the Apollo Banana Leaf and then to the local Wetherspoons pub to discuss our bright futures as concert cellists. He may be ahead of the game with his ability to read music and play other instruments but I have a great concept for a fringe festival show where I play and cry at the same time – it’ll be very moving!
I don’t know how much longer I can hold at bay the swelling emotions arising from these penultimate encounters with friends who become dearer each time we meet. I intend to hang onto my denial as long as possible so I can go on making the most of my 11 days remaining.