Actually - I'm back now. I went yesterday for a meeting. And it was quite a good day.
I went down on the 10:00 train. which from my perspective was a nice, lazy start to the day. The train got in on time after a largely unremarkable trip down. I took the underground to Liverpool Street with no dramas. I walked out of the station - and promptly got remarkably lost. I had absolutely no idea where I was! Normally I come out of the station and head roughly in the direction of The Gherkin. I couldn't see The Gherkin! I'm not sure how you "disappear" something as large and as prominent as The Gherkin, but there you go.
I wandered around. That didn't help. I had obviously come out of an entrance from the station that faced away from where I wanted to be. I turned on Google Maps - but that didn't really help either. I think it was confused by the plethora of tall, glassy buildings around me. So I turned on my GPS. The downside to this was that it assumed I was in a vehicle. The upside was that it wasn't confused by the glassy buildings. Off we set, heading towards my destination. And suddenly I found The Gherkin. Over there. Hiding behind and peeping out over the top of a very tall, glassy building that I think had not been there the last time I was there. I did eventually get a full view of it, but there are lots more tall buildings in the Liverpool Street area than there used to be!
I got to my meeting at exactly 1pm, which was the designated starting time. And found everyone else waiting patiently for me. Fortunately, I was the chair so they more or less had to wait for me!
It was a good meeting. I enjoyed it. Which is just as well, because it was my last meeting. I am expecting to be gone from the country by the time the next meeting is due, and I will be long gone from SHU. Several other people were at their last meeting too, one because he is about to retire and others because they have moved or are moving to new jobs within their organisation. I was very glad of an opportunity to say goodbye to them. And to hand over the Chairing to a colleague who I suspect will be much more organised about calling regular meetings. For some reason I am very poor at organising meetings, which is strange really because I am quite organised about most other things.
Anyway. The meeting finished and I made my way to Piccadilly Circus to I could visit the Japan Centre for a few supplies, like curry pastes and seasonings and other bits and pieces. I pottered round to a Japanese noodle bar round the corner, but decided that it was a bit too early to be eating large bowls of noodles, so popped into a Japanese bookshop that I didn't know was there. I was a bit tempted by some of the children's books. I do need to do a lot more reading practice. I decided to leave them for another time, though. I already have quite a lot of Japanese learning materials. I feel I should use them before adding to the collection. (Perhaps I could have Tatsuki's when he grows out of them :-D )
I headed back to St Pancras and had dinner in the Betjeman Arms at the station. They didn't really have anything that I fancied to eat, so I bought a sharing platter. There was, of course, no one for me to share it with and absolutely no chance that I was going to manage the contents of an entire sharing platter on my own, so I ate the chips and the squid and some of the crumbed mushrooms and wrapped the rest up and took it home with me. The Builder had it this morning, fried up with toast, tomatoes and an egg for his breakfast. He was quite surprised to find little sausages, crumbed mushrooms and haggis balls on his breakfast plate!
It was a good day. I enjoyed it. But it was also a day tinged with a little sadness. I have enjoyed being a member of that discussion group and I was a bit sorry to let it go. Needs must, however. It was also a gently sad day because I had the news that a friend from university days had died. I had known that he was gravely ill and that his remaining days would be but few. Even so, I was sorry to see the announcement from his wife that his days had now run out. I haven't seen him for years, but we have had a pleasant little friendship over the past few years on Facebook. I shall miss his comments and "likes", which often came during the wee small hours in Victoria
I have a busy day in prospect today. I wonder why it is that things bunch up all together like this. I had a quiet week last week and I have a quiet looking week ahead next week. All these things could have spread themselves around a bit more!!