I drove up to Stansted this morning to collect Nathan from the airport. His plane was delayed, which meant I ended up taking the train back to London to avoid missing an important meeting. The irony was not lost on me; I'd driven up to Stansted to protect Nathan from the misery of a long train journey home, but had ended up with the very boobie prize we were trying to avoid!
Still, I got to drop in on
my parents en route for a cup of tea and a pickled onion sandwich and that's always a bonus.
They've painted their bedroom a sort of terracotta colour, which creates a very
attractive backdrop for the open beams in the back wall.
I can only think
there's been some rough old weather in North Essex of late. The roads were
covered in enormous puddles and pot-holes and the main route into Thaxted had been closed
off with no diversions. It turns out that a set of overhead power cables had frayed
and were dangling perilously over the road. The electricity repair men were
scratching their heads, wondering out loud how anything quite so bizarre could have
happened. They couldn't suggest an alternative route into the
village ("we're from Colchester, mate") so in the end, with their blessing, I
drove through the road cordon, telling them I'd take full responsibility if I
got electrocuted. In any case, I've heard that a car is one of the safest places to be
when lightning strikes.
Another curious meteorological phenomenon
confronted me on the winding country lanes which snake
their way from the airport to Thaxted. From a distance the fields looked as though
they were covered in dry ice. Thick wisps of mist, no taller than twenty
centimetres, were drifting at fairly high speeds over the brown, ploughed
fields. It was a curious sight; one which I'd never seen on dry land before. It
was quite magical. In some places it looked like little plumes of smoke were
billowing out of earthen chimneys. I can only think that the bright, warm
sunshine (which has subsequently vanished) was somehow evaporating last night's
heavy rain. I saw something similar over a lake just north of Neath in South
Wales about five years ago, but it was much more impressive against the dark
I stopped by the side of one field and tried to take a picture, but it didn't look anything like as impressive.
I returned to London and had lunch in a Starbucks just behind my least
favourite road in London, namely Oxford Street. I hate the noise, the crowds, the tatty-looking shops, the tired-looking people milling aimlessly. Still, I was sitting opposite
Tucker off of Grange Hill, which brought an old-timer's smile to my
The meeting in town went well and I am thrilled to announce that
we've now secured our soloist for the Four Colours charity recording. I don't
want to jinx it, so will probably avoid naming names until we've actually
recorded the piece, but suffice to say she's supremely gay-friendly, has a
wonderful voice and is very much the housewife's choice. She's perfect for the
project and I can't wait to work with her. Hooray.