Thursday, 12 April 2012

Another week in Contrary Towers

It's been a quite week in Contrary Towers so far. Sort of. The extended bank holiday provided opportunities to do different things, I concentrated on having a fairly miserable time whilst my flatmate made use of all that London had to offer as I looked on to the bare, bleak landscape of Norfolk.

Needless to say, I was really quite pleased to come out of Mile End station in to the omnipresent chaos and bustle that congregates there. But with only a single date in my calendar for the week I knew I could spend the evenings quietly contemplating as I watched the twinkling lights of Canary Wharf. Bliss.

The TFL gods were smiling on me as the mythical 323 was the first bus to arrive! Brilliant. I'm not normally that lazy (okay, so I am), but I'd brought back two heavy bags of clothes and really didn't fancy the 15 minute walk with my shoulders being shredded by the bag straps. Especially as with that weight it was not going to be 15 minutes! Whilst I digress, I did at least manage to get home really quickly.

Got in. Dropped bags. Went to make emergency toast and... Got the bread out of the freezer ;-) But the impish sprite had been at the milk too so it was a quick trudge to the Poplar's answer to Fortnum and Mason for essential supplies. Not that I was going to get any toast as I realised, after trudging back that I might have needed butter...

Anyway. Later that evening, after another run to Lidl to get said butter and a drop of Bardolino, my flatmate gave me a run down of the weekend antics. Which was fab as I was fairly sure we were going to be like ships that passed in the night this week.

It was really, really good to be home.

Tuesday. As expected. Quiet. Though I did hear from The Professor, which was nice as I had the horrible feeling I might not again. Which would have been a crying shame after getting on so well last week. But also I heard from Rugby. Who I've not mentioned before. Rugby could have been called Trader, but as my flatmate also had a trader on her roster of people-that-might-come-up-in-conversation it made sense to pick on another aspect. With me so far? So, yes, I heard from Rugby, he was back in the country and it was pretty likely we'd get to meet up on Wednesday night.

Actually, that's an end summary. What really happened was... The earlier emails seemed to say that he was expecting to come around to Contrary Towers armed with my choice of drink. Err, no. Fortunately he didn't take offence and didn't take up my flatmate's offer to be a chaperone for the evening. Which would have been, ooh, a bit like letting a fox look after the chickens. So, after a number of emails, it was settled that we'd meet at Canary Wharf underground station and take it from there. Simple.

Yeah, right.

The plan was to meet at 6pm at Canary Wharf tube station. Easy. Except that by the time I got changed, actually early, I received a text saying...

"Running late hun more like 7 gonna get in the bath x"

Oh. Okay, whatever. This meant I had loads of time to faff about and actually, for once, turn up in less than a whirlwind. I am notorious for being late. The intended our drew closer so, once more, I tottered off to Canary Wharf via the legendary 277, sauntered out, and stood by the Boris Bike stand outside the station. I chose there as there were *loads* of people waiting by the station entrance. Still a few minutes to go, I thought I'd best send a text describing where I was... bzzt, bzzt

"Running late sorry fell asleep just setting off now 45 min x"

*sighs* Okay, I said, looking on the bright side, I would go and amuse myself under Canada Square. Where there is shopping. Yay! Except I was broke. Boo. Oh well, I don't mind window shopping. I had a lovely time, eventually ending wandering around the John Lewis part of the Waitrose, if I must wait at least it was a nice place to wait.

The only problem was my shoes were starting to rub. I'd gone for some sensible medium heel shoes I'd had for some time, but had not worn in a while. Silly girl. You would have thought at my age I would know better. Nope. Not a bit of it. How bad can this be.

At 8pm (I'd allowed a bit longer) I sent another text saying where I was waiting. No reply. At least I was inside the tunnel leading to Canada Square thus avoiding the rain. Hey ho. I read the paper. Tapped my foot. Tried not to appear conspicuous and... The phone rang.

"I'm at London Bridge and will be there soon"

*sighs* This is starting to get silly. I gave it another ten minutes or so and wandered back out. By this point I'm starting to get bored of wandering back out. I really have a low tolerance to doing the same things over and over again. Waited. Tapped foot. Did that bemused thing with my face and... The phone rang. But not a number I recognised. Oh.

It turned out I could see him, he was on the phone and had used the second phone to get my attention. At least he'd turned up. And I couldn't miss him, the size of a house, mostly in a good way, and I could see that when he'd been a rugby player he might have been a scary sight.

He did at least have the decency to apologise for the lateness and for being on the phone (repeat after me: never meet a trader) and that he had to make another call to LA (repeat after me: never meet a trader) but he would get me a drink whilst I waited. Okay then. It was actually quite interesting to listen to the conversation going on, I know a bit about paper trading and it did sound genuine and consistent, so I was at least reasonably satisfied that he was what he said to be.

When the calls eventually stopped we had a good chat, and another glass, I actually started to relax, which was good and there was plenty to talk about. Which was also good. But I really wasn't sure which way things were going, in itself unusual, so I continued to wing it. Eventually though, the cold started to get to him (bless) and, after grabbing a bottle of whatever wine we were drinking from the bar, we jumped in a cab and headed back to Contrary Towers and warmer surroundings.

Fortunately, my flatmate was still awake so talking could continue apace, which is always a good thing. Also fortunately, being a trader he had to be up *very* early in the morning, having been up since 3am that day, so I knew the evening would naturally draw to a close soon, as it did. My years were definitely starting to show and I was really starting to flag.

It was much easier to party when I was young(er).

The worry was... The week was getting busier. Eeek.

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