Diary – Tuesday 23 July 2002 (2)

A funny thing happened on the way to the tube…well, more of a funny photo missed due to absence of camera; a massive digger-cum-crane arm delving into a cavernous side door at the Bank of England. It looked like they were extracting rubble though, rather than bullion.

Time for another note to self: carry your camera as you carry your cash and cards.

Diary – Tuesday 23 July 2002


I’ve just lost the entry I was composing. That’ll teach me to try and be clever. but I’ll try to recreate the genius.

Note to self: Use that save button!

Here goes…..

Ooof, today’s been a long one. I paid the price for last night’s over enthusiastic immersion in the joys of MT Sparkly as I’m starting to call this pet project, and only managed 5 hours sleep before the Today programme roused me from my slumbers with news that “they’ve” selected the new Archbishop of Canterbury. Sometimes I can manage on minimal Maggie Thatcher quantities of sleep, but today isn’t one of them. I must be getting old….

Delight du Jour has been the Scanning Review (revisited). It’s proving to be my nemesis project since I returned to Simmons & Simmons in June 2001… It’s a long, long story, which will have to wait until another time for the telling. Anyway, according to my carpe diem counters, I’ve spent 7 hours and 10 mins bludgeoning my ideas and recommendations into mindmaps and visio diagrams. My eyes and brain and shoulders and achy mouse wrist could have told me that.

Still, today has had its highlights though; lunch with TC, messages from TLP, and IOU settlement immediatement internettement from bro. Life could be worse!

But right now It’s Hometime! Wonder what’s on TV…. kinda glad Emma and Robert had to cancel dinner chez Mez…

Diary – Monday 22 July 2002

Hmm, how to describe the working day to you, dear Reader? Should I? Or is it better to skip the work stuff in favour of a short recount of today’s contribution to the hectic social life (TM)? Who am I writing this for anyway? I’ve still not worked that one out.

Social life prevails:

12.45: Lunch with Caroline, putting the world and career/colleagues to rights.
7pm : Last carriage of district/circle line train rendez vous with Jess at Blackfriars station. We chatter our way round to Victoria and seek out Balf in the back bar at Boisdale. Celebrated the birth of baby Balf, henceforth to be known as Finbar, before moving on for pizza with Paul at Oliveto.
10.30pm: Departed SW1 for SW11 courtesy of a Connex (I think) train. I’m a Waterloo commuter remember, Victoria always renders me a tad bewildered.
11pm: Back at the ranch, I decided to “just check my mail”…. 2 MT-fuelled hours later I retired to bed, brain still working overtime. Thank heavens for the World Service. I listened to some programme about The Wave (thank heavens for GoogleImages!), that familiar japanese painting of a huge wave… with, I discovered, Mount Fuji in the background. Any other learnings I fear are more deeply buried in my somnambulent (sic) subconscious.

– and yes, i am writing this after the event. So the date does lie.

My Walk to Work (I)

I love my walk to work. Well, OK, so I don’t walk all the way from Clapham Junction into the City, but for the past year or so I’ve walked from Waterloo station to Moorgate on a fairly regular basis. And I love it; the opportunity to change down gear from the frenetic commuter charged melee to strolling speed along the south bank. Switching streams allows me to disengage from the cut and thrust of the Waterloo and City line and to enjoy the more varied scenes along the river.

As the waterfront buildings on the north shore gradually morph from the civic splendour of Somerset House to the gothic grandeur of Blackfriars and on into the skyscraper skyline of the City, I march past the Royal Festival Hall, the Oxo Tower, under Blackfriars Bridge subway with its fascinating tile murals, and beyond to Tate Modern and the Millennium Bridge until the Globe Theatre marks the point where I have to return to street level and cross the Thames at Southwark Bridge.

Even on my most morose mornings this walk cheers me up. Thirty minutes or so to let my mind wander, when I can easily afford to enjoy being distracted by other worlds past and present which emerge. The 20th Century viewing provided by the ITV Television Centre contrasting with the mudflats and old wharves which peek out from the low water mark as you walk along Bankside.

This morning I spied PLA barges working their way upstream, full to the brim of spoils heading who-knows-where. Some mornings there are fishermen on the jetties which reach out towards the deeper waters of the Old Thames, and I’ve spied people mudlarking alond the Embankment. Between Blackfriars and Bankside, Banksy‘s stencil art contrasts with the mindless graffiti, and there are silver disks marking the route of the Silver Jubilee walkway… reminding me I meant to see what was happening about the Golden Jubilee extension.

On those days where speed is of the essence, I can get to work within 30 minutes, door to door. But I treasure my walk to work, it’s well worth the extra 20 minutes or so it takes, and what’s that in the grand scheme of things?

Diary – Sunday 21 July 2002

Another day of r’n’r with R&P. Hollyoaks with tea and toast gave way to a train ride into Waterloo and a walk along the South Bank to Tate Modern. They’ve changed the permanent exhibition, which is A Good Thing seeing as I’d felt I’d explored the previous collection as much as I could. I’m no art connoisseur, but I enjoy wandering around museums and galleries, and Tate Modern in particular is a great space for modern art.

We all enjoyed the Czech animations on Level 3 – agreeing that it reminded us of children’s TV fillers from our youth (aka the 70s) when we didn’t have much truck with the strange silent 5 minute movies. Looking at them today we were struck by the effort which must have gone into coming up with the ideas, and actually making the short films.

Crossed the Thames by the (not) Wobbly Bridge, and took the Thames Path West to Blackfriars Bridge and thence back to Waterloo and home for High Tea.

Pottered after Ruth and Pete departed for Hatch Warren, making a stab at my tax return (and deciding to try out the online submission, which justified deferring any calculations until I’ve got all the paperwork), doing some washing, ironing the half of my wardrobe which had got stranded in between washed and wearable. Flicked between Frontier House and Where are they now … The Waltons which was a rather strange experience of too many asynchronous parallels finishing up with psychology hour on Big Brother.

Spoke to Hazel before she headed out to Heathrow for (hopefully) her final trip to Sydney, and emailed Phil.

…. and felt guilty about having missed Barney’s Arty Party 🙁