Wednesday 15 February 2017

Happy New Year!

New Year!!
All things considered, my travel to London from Split the went as smoothly as my recent Serbia / Bosnia border crossing. I began this blog post on the long road back west; at least I could understand signs without peering at them as if I'm an illiterate, mumbling letters under my breath. This bus is foregoing the logical main road route and instead we are heading into the green bit of google maps. Green means bumpy squiggly roads, and black ravines. On the bright side after 4 hours high-volume non-stop Spanish, plummeting to my death would be a relief frankly. How can ten people make so much noise...we need a some kind of sound barrier in here.


Anyway back to the 28 December. As if to remind me what a spectacular day Ives and I had previously, the tiny Split plane circled over Brač as the sun rose. I felt a wrench as always when I leave this place. Or it could have been the punč. Unsurprisingly given the state of my head and stomach I was asleep before we reached altitude. I awoke on landing in the pink haze of an icy snowy Zagreb. With a mild panic I wondered how my bag knew to change aircraft. It was probably more knowledgeable than me. Transfers were directed through to passport control and we all went off to our different gates. Efficiency followed for Amsterdam, Zurich and Munich. London flights were delayed because of fog. All normal then.

Feeling slightly shell-shocked I was over London fairly soon. I forgave them the delay because I've never seen anything like it. Not even the merest tip of Canada Tower was visible, and that is how I know I'm nearly back. The only building signposting the Thames was the Shard. It cleared a little as we went up-river but remained heavy even as the sun tried to burn it off. We landed lightly and happily my bag had found its way to the same plane as me. I hoped the foggy one had been able to find a tube in this weather. Knowing her she'd end up in Cockfosters instead.

No, all was well and it was lovely being met. We rattled home, both conversationally and undergroundly. And given everyone was in a post Christmas haze, the tube was quite chatty with shoppers and holiday makers making merry. There is always a strange atmosphere of pre-New Year expectation in this twilight December time. My huge rucksacks caused as much havoc as Lou's wayward big pink and blue cases would. But unlike her cases, mine didn't bite anyone. We hopped off at bank and made the change to the DLR and headed to Contrary Towers. And it was just like I'd never been away. 

I had plans to go to Wiltshire to see family, and there was probably going to be some champagne-fuelled dancing. But apart from that I was relaxed about stuff which is pretty standard. All I wanted to do was spend time with the Contrary one. I was supposed to be doing some work so when she suggested a stroll into the office, I was a willing squatter there for a couple of days. Glossing over certain technical hitches (ooops) I spent a relatively productive time there and it was lovely to work in silence with someone you know.

We spent a giggly few hours trying to find sherry glasses for the office mid-Christmas party. But having failed on our mission and being classy types we opted to sup our Harvey's Bristol Cream from champagne glasses. This co-incided with a mildly scruffy feeling and given I had an evening out planned with a very precise young gentleman, I decided a haircut was in order. For some reason I'd not managed to fit in a cut and colour in Split, but I found an excellent and cheap substitute in Mortimer Street. He was extremely disapproving of the asymetry but acquiesed in silent protest. And the gentleman and I had a lovely evening with Andy Saltzman at the Soho Theatre. We  also had a wonderful exchange with a tipsy Irish lady who wanted to run off with my haircut. Well worth it then.

One outcome of this catchup was a plan for New Years Eve. For reasons which aren't mine to go into, the gentleman arranged for the flirty one and I to take his booking at a local Wapping establishment. Nothing like leaving things to the last minute. Still, we got dressed up and not having a clue what to expect, we opted glamour max. So designer purple lingerie as outerwear was perfect for beardy, tweedy, doggy Wapping. I'm actually now convinced that there are country pubs which are more dressy than central London hipster joints. We drank champagne, ate miniature chicken burgers and danced to 50s tunes. We giggled at people jogging past in fairy lights. Tweedy man followed us around like a lost puppy...or maybe it was his puppy, I can't remember. We left and departed into the strange new world of 2017.  

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