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Don’t run in your mask

I had a lovely afternoon and evening yesterday. I travelled up to London on the train, alighting at Vauxhall and walking along the river, through Parliament Square and then St James’ and Green Parks to get to Piccadilly Circus where I met a couple of friends for cocktails and dinner. We were at Brasserie Zédel (and its Bar Américain beforehand) which were both fabulous.

Slight hiccup on entry – I initially failed the temperature test. There’s something about a fringe-and-mask-and-spectacles combo that these machines really don’t like. After a little face-furniture reorg, I registered an acceptable result.

Although I imagine the pandemic is causing management plenty of issues, the reduction in the number of tables made for a more spacious experience for us. We’d booked a table, but arrived in the Bar on spec. Our experience was seamless. I suppose I should expect no less, but it’s still nice when it all works out. We were collected when our table booking time arrived and we paid for everything at the end. There was even some live music, and we had excellent service (from behind the masks of course). It’s strange having to put on masks to move between the spaces, or to go to the Ladies etc. Particularly strange to see good friends attired like this for the first time, their lives affected just the same as mine in this respect, despite all our other varied experiences of lockdown which of course formed part of our chatty catch-up.

I noticed as we left that there was some live performance happening in the Crazy Coqs space too. Ah – remembering a previous visit there last year.

Trying to get an arty pic of the London Eye and the moon.

Having said my distanced goodbyes and once again avoiding the bus or tube, I walked to Waterloo Station for my return journey. I dallied on Golden Jubilee Bridge to take photographs of the moon, and finally arrived at Waterloo, marvelling at how easy it was to cross the road with the reduced traffic these days.

Once inside the station, all be-masked as per the rules, I noticed there were precisely two minutes until my next train departed. I was the wrong side of the station. I set off at a gallop, negotiating other mask-wearers careering towards me on similar missions, and miraculously made it onto the train with about 10 seconds to spare before the doors closed. Hurrah!

Then realised that I could no longer breathe.

I think by the time I reached Clapham Junction (two stops, in case you haven’t used this line endlessly for 30+ years as I have) I had just about determined that I would not, after all, pass out or die.

My Fitbit has awarded me all sorts of things for this.

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