I woke early this morning in order to gloss the bedroom window, which I managed to do while talking on the telephone to firstly Mirinda and then to mum so I could apologise for leaving our conversation off yesterday’s blog entry. Mirinda was working from the flat today so I caught the 10:30 train then hopped on the Jubilee Line and was with her by 12 and we went for a lovely walk around Mill Quay.
Last night I finished Last night on Twisted River and, after memorably talking to mum and dad yesterday morning, and enthusing about The World According to Garp, a book which I haven’t read for more years than I can count up to, I bought a second-hand copy, which I started reading on the train. It was like embracing an old friend, though, fortunately, I had forgotten the minutiae of detail and therefore was rewarded with it all over again.
Back in my previous life as an actor, I had the great (mis)fortune to play Canon Pennefather in the adaptation of Agatha Christie’s Death on the Nile which, for its onstage version and for no reason I can think of, was called Murder on the Nile. In the book (and the numerous films) Hercule Poirot is the detective who uncovers the murderer (as he makes a habit of doing) however, in the play it is the aforementioned Canon.
I obtained the role by accident and, seriously, not by design. The priest was supposed to be old and doddery but of sharp mind and great deductive prowess – well, he’d have to be to be as good as that brilliant little Belgian, wouldn’t he? Of course I was neither old nor doddery but, if memory serves me right, the original had to be replaced and I was in the right (wrong) place at the right (wrong) time. It was not my finest hour although I rather enjoyed playing ‘ham’ games with Elise.
For those unaware of the plot (can this possibly be?), the group is aboard a boat, cruising the sights, sounds and smells of the Nile, when someone is murdered and someone else is shot. Naturally Pennefather (Poirot) solves it to everyone’s satisfaction and all but the victim return home happy after a rather adventurous and surprising holiday.
The boat they take up the Nile is called The Lotus. It would be fair to say that the only piece of dialogue I remember from the play is when everyone arrives at the boat and are welcomed by a very unconvincing Egyptian (in our production anyway) who cheerfully cries “Welcome to Lotus” as each person steps aboard. It is a line that will haunt me all my days, I’m sure. Sadly, it didn’t happen today though I prayed fervently it would…which just goes to prove the inherent failure of prayer as a wish mechanism to obtain pointless favours.
You see, today we dined on the Lotus, a stationary Chinese restaurant built on what appears to be a boat, not far from the flat at Canary Wharf. It delightfully sits surrounded by very modern office buildings and faux Victorian buildings upon the waters of Mill Quay. It also serves the best Chinese food I’ve ever had. (To be fair, this is a tricky designation as I’m sure I can’t remember every Chinese meal I’ve ever had and how it compared to today so I really should amend it to the best Chinese meal I remember having, ever.) We enjoyed crispy pork, crispy lamb, super delicious steamed scallops and a chicken mushy thing wrapped in a lettuce leaf.
It is on the right in this rather dark photograph – it was a particularly dull day today!
I then sat on a Jubilee Line train which decided it loved Bermondsey Station so much it would just sit at the platform, opening and closing its doors without rhyme or reason for about ten minutes. Annoyingly, this meant I missed the 3pm train and had to wait around Waterloo for the 3:30. Still, it also meant I could read more Garp.
When I arrived in Farnham, the rain started and, as I look out the study window in the rapidly darkening sky, it is raining even heavier.
Here’s a photo of Mirinda waving goodbye to me from her balcony…she’s under the dot.