So, let’s go back to the dark and rainy and neon-lit Clapham High St, midnight on the verge of Good Friday.
‘Oh my god!’ I say, ever so wittily.
‘Oh my god,’ she returns, also demonstrating an enviable mastery of the English language.
Before the feeling of enchantment fades — going the way of my love of taking the tube and amusement at double decker red buses — I’ve decided to delve into the london theatre scene in earnest. As best my budget allows.
We’re here for Chandler’s thirtieth birthday. He’s been given a big gaudy birthday badge and he isn’t shy about tapping it and issuing birthday commands. His first? Everyone must order a full litre of the local beer, Dreher at lunch. This, plus a Weiner schnitzel the size of birthday boy’s face apiece, costs each of us about 3000 Hungarian forent, the equivalent of less than ten quid. It’s a revelation. After being persistent paupers in London, we feel like emporers in Hungary.
At 4.45am the alarm went off and I was out the door by 5.15am, to make the very first Circle Line tube of the day from Kings Cross at 5.31am to make the 6am National Express bus from Liverpool St to make the 8.30am flight from London Stansted to Budapest. All going well.
Angel Islington is one of the pretty pale blue properties on the Monopoly Board. It’s nestled in near Euston Rd, Pentonville Rd, Kings Cross Station, Chance and Jail. For years I idly wondered, whenever I landed on this cheap little property, what angels had to do with it. These were the days before Google, obviously.
It’s been tumultuous, welcoming but life-expectancy-shortening week. A brief rundown is below. No doubt more details will arise in subsequent entries.
It was this little realisation, made at freezing cold Paddington station as Sunday’s sun gave up on its feeble attempt to warm the day, that threatened to evoke my first panic attack. And it’s the equally little things that are helping to settle my jiggling ‘what have I done’ anxiety.