Mirinda wants to add a bit of colour to the Canary Wharf flat. Having been a corporate let in its past life, everything is very muted (there’s even a beige rug in the middle of the living room which has a beige carpet) so a bit of colour would be a welcome change to the endless sea of bland. To that end, we had the brainwave of enlarging some photographs onto canvas and hanging them in place of the cappuccino variation picture that dominated the living room wall.
In choosing the images, Mirinda decided she’d like some close-up shots of flowers from our garden. That way they would not just lend an air of brightness but also be personal to us in that I took them and we grew them.
After a long, painstaking selection process, we came up with three images that (we thought) complimented each other beautifully. I ordered them online and they arrived two days later. I use Photobox for our calendars every year because, not only are their products first class but they delivery ridiculously fast. True to form, they all arrived and looked fantastic, though I left the plastic on them for any pre-hanging viewings in order to protect them.
The three white boxes have sat in the dining room ever since they arrived as I haven’t been up to London since we put the house on the market. Today I remedied that.
And what a magnificent day to visit London. Brilliant blue skies and 27°. According to Carol on Breakfast, we are having a true Indian summer and this should keep up all week and into the weekend. I was not the only one lapping it up. Hordes of tourists were doing the same. Clearly everyone is taking advantage of the summer we never had.
I arrived at the flat with an hour to hang the photos. Plenty of time, I thought. Until I found that, while the canvas prints had screws and fittings, they didn’t come with picture wire. While this wasn’t an insurmountable problem, it would make me late for my lunch date with Mirinda so I did as much as I could, intending to return afterwards.
We had a lovely lunch, sitting outside in Embankment Gardens with thousands of other London workers and then went for a walk before Mirinda had to return for a meeting.
As I walked back to the Tube I noticed a whole series of wonderful art deco statues carved into the corners of a building just down from her office.
I then had an interesting if somewhat circuitous trip back to the flat. Getting a District line train from Embankment, I decided to try Tower Gateway to change for the DLR. The first train I boarded decided it was going to terminate so I quickly left that and caught the next.
Getting off at Tower, I found out that Tower Gateway is a good ten minute walk away from the Tube. At least it wasn’t raining. Finally arriving at the DLR station, I soon realised that it was a different line which didn’t go to Canary Wharf! So I took it one stop to Shadwell and changed to one that did go to Canary Wharf.
The reason I took the DLR rather than the Jubilee Line was because the hardware store is closer to the DLR stop. It was all very easy to buy what I needed and then make my way to the flat.
For the second time today, I went to work hanging the photos only to find that the light fittings I was hanging them between are not at the same height! There is ten millimetres difference. While this isn’t much, it does look a bit odd when the pictures are level. The job then took on mammoth proportions as I made little adjustments here and there to try and make it look level with the ceiling AND the light fittings. Here’s the result.
Finally it was just a matter of running the vacuum cleaner around the flat and then take my leave for the ferry. I had decided to treat myself to a river cruise back to Waterloo after Mirinda texted me this morning declaring how lovely the river was. And she didn’t exaggerate.
It was a gorgeous trip back and not as crowded as it can get during half term or school holidays. Mind you, in order to be outside, I had to stand up for most of the trip.
I overheard a woman on the train back talking to the guard. She was explaining that she had been in a rush to catch the train and accidentally bought the wrong ticket. At first he was confused, thinking she was on the wrong train but he quickly worked it out. She had wanted Farnham but had purchased Fareham. Easily done when you’re in a hurry but the fare is almost twice as much – I assume she used a card and didn’t even look at the price.
Anyway, she told the guard she was worried she’d be fined for having the wrong ticket. He laughed and said she’d actually paid too much rather than not enough so, in a sense, she’d been fined already. She smiled but didn’t laugh with him. She wanted to know about a refund. He scribbled something on the back of her ticket and told her to try at the ticket office in Farnham. He told her that, while South West Trains don’t generally refund people’s mistakes, they might be feeling generous because the day had been so lovely.