Friday, August 19, 2016
I had to get out the house by 8.45 am for what I thought was a 9. 30 am doctor's appointment. So packing my Mac and other valuables to deposit at my friend Cynthia's home in Chelsea, I rushed through a muesli and yoghurt breakfast (minus coffee or a shower) and waited for the bus to take me to Bethnal Green Tube station for the Central Line to Holborn. I decided to cut down on the walking by connecting from Holborn to the Piccadilly Line for one stop to Russel Square from where I could walk the short distance to Lamb's Conduit Street to my doctor. I have to say I felt a bit foolish because my lower back ache is so much better than it was last week--and I am now fully convinced that it was the result of carrying a really heavy backpack en route to the UK as well as using a cross body bag for the past two weeks. I have since switched to a smaller backpack for daily use and the difference is startling. My back ache has all but gone...still, I decided to keep the appointment anyway.
But when I got to the clinic (or 'surgery' as they say here in the UK), I found that my appointment was at 10.30! Crumbs! There was nothing I could do except wait and since I had a heavy laptop in my bag, I could hardly walk around the neighborhood to kill time. Instead, I hopped into Tutti, a snazzy coffee shop, ordered a cappuccino and waited.
At 10. 20, I went into the clinic, only to discover that the doctor was running very late. It was a wait of over an hour when she finally saw me and since I really was already in far better shape than I had been, she did a quick physical examination, confirmed that additional strain on my spine had caused the painful inflammation and then suggested I do Pilates for general back health and to keep pain at bay! Not bad advice at all--but I need hardly have waited for 2 hours to hear that!
Off to Chelsea on a Gloomy Morning:
It was a wet and drizzly morning--the type we think of when we hear the phrase 'English Weather'. Since I was headed to friends in Chelsea, it was fortunate that I could pick up a No. 19 bus right at Theobald's Road which took me practically outside their building in about half an hour! Brilliant! And I had still kept walking to the minimum in my attempts to avert PF.
I have to say that I liked the feel of the soft spray on my face. I have actually missed rain--given the sunshine we've had for weeks on end. That said, it was lovely to get out of it and just watch it through a window or listen to the pitter-patter of raindrops against a pane.
Once in Michael and Cynthia's house, time flew. I find the warmest welcome among these friends. It is always like returning to the bosom of my own family when I cross the threshold into their home. Aidan, their son, had taken a day off, so I also enjoyed the pleasure of his company.
Lunch with dear Friends:
Cynthia had a smorgasbord of items for us to tuck into: roasted red pepper hummous with toast, beetroot salad in mayonnaise and sour cream, Boursin cheese, Brazil nuts, spring rolls, chicken fingers, and a pepperoni and chilli pizza from Pizza Express that she heated in the oven and served piping hot. How delicious! What a lovely change from the slapdash meals I have been having all alone!
After lunch, we chatted some more. Then when I told them that I had a couple of errands to run (I have to find a cheaper plan for local calling as the one I have is charging me an arm and a leg for local calls), some groceries to buy and the vintage shops to browse in, they suggested I go to a number of local places on the King's Road and Fulham Road with which I am unfamiliar.
Shopping from Vintage Ware:
So while the rain kept up a steady beat, I zigzagged in and out of vintage shops browsing through all sorts of bricabrac to find that hidden treasure. Of course, this exercise is always the luck of the draw--and I did not have much luck this afternoon. But it was a blast and I had a good time.
A Quiet Evening of Work:
It was 5.30 when I got home to have a hot cup of tea and some Coffee Walnut Café that I had bought from Waitrose as I chatted with my Dad who was jubilant about India's silver medal in womens' badminton! Between mouthfuls, I caught up on my email and then began working steadily on my paper and brought it to a conclusion. Of course, this is only a first draft but I have at least the coming weekend to edit it, cut it down to size and prepare it for presentation. I then decided to take a shower, do some laundry, have a speedy home manicure and get ready for the weekend ahead.
Dinner was chicken with a new soup (Thai Chicken and Sweet Potato) and rum and raisin ice-cream with praline roulade for dessert. While I ate, I watched Highlights of the Olympics on my laptop,
It was a good combination of play and work today and I ended it feeling pleased that I had enjoyed great company, a fun-filled browse in shops I hadn't scoured before and actually finished the first draft of a new research paper.
Until tomorrow, cheerio...