Being away for the weekend scuppered me this time!
Sitting on the train from Southampton to Waterloo alternately head in book and gazing out the window, I thought long and hard. I thought about friends and food, how people eat with you for a while and then leave your table.I thought about Christmas and family and thankfulness and celebration. I thought about joy and hope and beginnings.
I like the smell of the tube, of hot people and underground air. I like disappearing in the crowd and the siren son of the tracks. I like dipping in and out of London as I travel on elsewhere. I like the thrill of nearly missing your stop.
The journey from Blackfriars to Bedford was all new and all exciting. The train was battered and laid out all higgledypiggledy to help squeeze commuters home. I hopped on the slow train my mistake and then was glad of it when the fast train turned out to be much delayed. Tim and Megan met me at the station and it was all smiles and hellos.
They had bought me lovely slippers to warm my toes and box of beads and borrwed a bed for me. I felt so very welcomed. We talked into the night over curry and whiskey with ginger beer.
On the Saturday - after bacon sandwhiches made by Tim - we went into Milton Keynes to shop a little. It is one of the oddest places I have been, the tree lined suburbs with little ring roads round them giving way to a vast concrete centre of shopping and entertainment. The flatness of the landscape gives the impression of all things converging on a temple of commerce. There are no landmarks, nothing to navigate by. Without T and M I would have been horribly lost.
I bought christmas presents and we lunched and watched Bond. It is no hardship to look upon Daniel Craig's visage twice! That evening after scrubbing up we went to the Orchid Lounge at Jaipur for very posh Thai food. It was decadent, opluent and delicious. They garnished the desserts with orchid blooms. I loved how easily conversation came to us all, it being only the third time we have met in real life, the two other times being T and M's wedding and a summer afternoon in London.
The emails of Tim and I crossed in the ether after we both wrote articles for the magazone of the NAGC. We corresponded via email and msn for years. I think we almost talk everyday. It's a wonderful example of how modern techonology brings people together.
The Sunday saw more present buying and talking and fun. It was so hard to say good bye, I could have stayed all week. If you're reading guys, thank you very much.
I met up with Tom and Toddy and John and Andy and Rhiannon in London where they had been having a weekend of fun and frolics. It was nice not to travel home alone.