Work this week was very similar to last week; only the names had changed. Rather than the shipbuilding firm of Dennys, I was researching and cleaning up the Doxford records. Like Denny’s, there’s a lot of name changing, growth and shrinkage. It took up most of my day.
Unusually, I didn’t have to race off to catch the 4:23 train home. Ages ago, Sally (from Orange) told us she would be holidaying in London and we arranged to have dinner. Sue said she could look after the dogs so it was all planned. Apart from Sue, this dinner had been arranged about six months ago! Who knew the changes that would be wrought in betwixt the planning and the execution?
Anyway, we decided to eat at Canteen which was easy for them to get to and easy for us to get home from.
So, after work, I hopped onto a Tube train and headed into town. In the week Mirinda called me while walking between meetings and suddenly, mid sentence, informed me that a building at Covent Garden was floating away. I had heard, vaguely, about this new art installation by London artist Alex Chinneck. It’s called ‘Take my lightning but don’t steal my thunder.’ It looked intriguing. So, armed with my camera, I headed to it.
And it is extraordinary. Apparently, it’s achieved with counterweights. However, it’s done, it looks exactly like the top half of the building is floating away. Amazing.
Lots of people were posing in front of it while friends or relatives snapped their photos. Lots of people with lots of quizzical looks. There’s no explanation, just a big floating building.
There are spotlights in the rooms so it must look pretty amazing at night, too.
Eventually, I left the tourists to their combination of awe and amazement and headed down to Starbucks. I was an hour early so I sat in the park and read for a bit before heading across Hungerford Bridge.
I managed a bit of perfect timing. As I was about to walk into Canteen, I heard a very Australian yell of “GARY!” and there was Sally, ready with a big hug. I was then introduced to her husband, Mark and kids Kate and Will before we headed into the restaurant to take our seats.
It wasn’t long before Mirinda joined us, fortunately, as I saw their eyes start to glaze over as I told them about my researches into shipbuilding of this morning.
The last time we saw Sally was at Lillianfels when we were last in Oz. She drove from Orange and met us there for morning tea. (Regular readers may remember the intrusive woman and the toasted ham and cheese sandwich.) We’d never met Mark and the kids.
We had a lovely evening (though somewhat early for dinner) eating, drinking, chatting, filling the kids’ heads with anarchy. Sally is such a happy, positive person. Always a pleasure to chat to. Mark is a lovely man though, according to Sally, he turns into a bit of a Mr Hyde when he’s at work.
Kate and Will are two of the loveliest kids I’ve ever met. While they joined in the conversations where appropriate, they were never rude or sulky or demanding. They were never bored…well, not obviously, anyway.
All round, we had a fabulous evening at Canteen, finished off with a short walk along the Thames to Westminster Bridge where we parted – them for their little three chair flat in South Kensington and us for Waterloo and the train home.