Diary – Sunday 28 July 2002

Another lazy morning, with the juicer coming into its own for breakfast on the terrace. Off out again in to gorgeous weather, aussie style skirt and t-shirt weather in fact, and north to Regent’s Park to see what Indian Summer had to offer.

Only the Cricket it transpired’. So we stretched out in the shade of one of the trees for an hour and chatted some more before walking on to Camden Town, bussing back to Euston and tubing to TCR. Thence to the British Museum ‘ and after an irritated interlude resulting from out-of-service toilets, long queues in smelly subterranean substitutes and my nearby favourite the Museum Café not being open, we explored the Great Court (with camera this time!) and (re)visited their temporary exhibition of North Vietnamese posters from the Vietnamese War.

Our flight on the London Eye was booked for 5.30pm, and after collecting tickets we queued in the shadow of the Eye in between a denim-clad extended family of eastern European origin, and an asian family with telltale brummie accents. Once aboard, our capsule companions included a holidaying American group, and the glamorous eastern Europeans.

A quarter of the way round, vertigo struck. It was the fourth time I’d been on the wheel, and I’d spent the weekend telling Catriona that the capsules cater for those without a head for heights and looking forward to taking some birds-eye photos of London. And there I was, gripping the bench with white knuckles staring at the floor, in a panic-driven and panic-stricken attempt to rationalise away my fears. Fears that the wheel would topple into the Thames; that the pod would become detached and plummet into the river, leaving us in a submarine tomb; that someone would fall through the entry/exit doors.

Only once we’d passed the zenith did the panic start to wane, but it was the longest 45 minutes I’ve endured for a while – yes, 45 mins, 15 minutes longer than the standard flight due to numerous halts to allow for the embarkation and disembarkation of less able passengers.

Waved goodbye to Catriona at Waterloo, hoping she’d not encounter and glitches taking the bakerloo line as far as Marylebone. SMSed phil to alert him to my likely tardy arrival chez moi, but still had 20 mins for a swift swoop into Sainsbury’s for supplies and a cooling off shower.

Lovely evening with TLP, aperitif-ing on last night’s left over bhajis, black olives and crisps out on the terrace, before munching on chilli pasta with veggies in front of the Frontier House, then moving onto strawberries with The West Wing and balancing out the disappointment of the Big Brother’s Little Brother award ceremony with the remaining two squares of Millionaires Shortbread, finishing off with the scary ‘evil is a virus’ X Files. Very relieved Phil stayed over to protect me