23.32 and I’m using my personal hotspot. I didn’t know what it meant either, but my personal husband showed me, in a very up close and personal way, how to turn on my settings, hit the on switch and open up the gateway to the ether, so that t’internet and all the cyber nonsense would work for me.
And why has he done that well, as I write, we’re sitting in a flat in the old ‘Bryant and May’ match factory in the Bow Quarter in London’s E3.
I was asked to sit in for Vanessa for a week starting on Tuesday. Since it was our 25th wedding anniversary on Saturday, I had already decided to take this Sunday off. I happened to ask the very dear Luke Doonan if he knew of anywhere to stay for a week. His flat came up, was free just when we needed to stay, so Bob’s your uncle..
I loaded Jim’s car up with duvet, pillows, towels, juicer, kettle, food, books, clothes, washing stuff and off we went. Johnathan is looking after the cat so with instructions in hand we set off, after my treatment with the cranial osteopath, to the East End of London.
I took loads of photos of the orchard, and two pictures of my tree, but I forgot to pack the cable to download the pics so its words only I’m afraid..
Friday was a day of maintenance for my body. Two hours with the healing Cherry in South Darenth. Then my new dentist for an hours scraping and prodding, and then an hour with Gethyn my acupuncturist in Sussex. Unlike Monica my Swedish therapist in Clapham who stabs me as hard as she can, Gethyn used three needles which I hardly felt. He’s working on my liver and gallbladder and helping me with my diabetes.
Now Saturday, apart from the packing, was taken up with hoovering and putting things away. Sunday was nearly not going to happen as the old git had a gig with his Ukulele lads. I cried and said we only have a 25th wedding anniversary once in a lifetime so could he cancel. He hummed and hah-ed and said no. I hummed and wailed so he did. It was one of hose moments when you have to speak from the heart. I could have let him come back to East Sussex and sat on my resentment until my bum hurt. But instead I told him that even though I don’t care about the marriage bit per se, what I did care about was the possibility of three days in London with him before he goes off galavanting in July for a whole year being a Thespian.
I asked him, on the drive up to town whether he was angry, he said no he was Furious….none of it true. He gave me a lovely card with a silver butterfly attached, which I lost in Hackney City Farm whilst tickling the lambs, and cooing over two of the fattest pigs I had ever seen lying in the muck and two donkeys munching on grass. I love donkeys.
When we arrived at the flat yesterday not only was there no crockery, cutlery or hot water there was no way of getting any as we had to go out. So the dawter, who lives just up the road from Bow, jumped in her car and brought me one plate, one fork, one spoon, one saucepan and two bunches of tulips and a box of chocolates, for her dad, for our anniversary.
She then drove us to The Union Chapel in Islington. London links up neatly when you know where you are going. So it was all Hackney and Essex Road, Ballspond Road and The Angel. Where she dropped us off. The queue went round the block. We were all there for the 40th anniversary of TUBULAR BELLS. In 1973 on May 25th Richard Branson took a punt on a teenager who wrote a double sided album of plinkety plonk music. The rest was /is history. Two Australian blokes with bare feet and an orchestra of instruments entertained a full house of their interpretation of the album.
I left with two pint glasses. One for a bunch of pure white flowers sent for the anniversary from two friends. And the other for B’s tulips. She collected us then five of us went for a stunning Turkish meal replete with olives, hummus, stuffed aubergine, more bread than Warburton’s and deep red wine.
The dawter drove us back to our flat. Where the under water heating had kicked into he bathroom, and my cleaning spray had done the trick; the mirrors sparkled and the towels took pride of place on the hot bathroom towel rail.
We turned the bed round so that we could read, so with the full moon shining in through the sky light that was the end of our 25th anniversary.
Today the sun shone on us. Really shone, I have strap marks and a red neck. We walked down Roman Road, a long, long Roman road, and had breakfast with the girl in Broadway Market. Then we walked through a rammed Columbia Road flower market to an even busier Brick Lane, where we bumped into Paul Young, he of chocolate heaven, then more walking down to ‘THE BIRDCAGE’ pub where we met up with several of her friends. Off to the adjacent park to sit and celebrate a fiftieth birthday. In the sun, with food, drink and a bouncy dog who kept everybody on their toes with half a saliva covered ball and more energy than Sanatogen.
Then off to another bar where one of B’s friends was MC’ing, very agreeable Brazilian music and we ate Yukka chips with salsa and guacamole. Back to he ‘Birdcage’ for some more exquisite music from B’s musical partner. I danced alone in a jam packed pub with women in lacy white dresses and wound up dreadlocks. Then we walked back down to Shoreditch where our midnight raver put us on a number 8 bus. Like two Oap’s we held hands, got off at Parnell Road, walked down passed the end of Roman Road market, left onto Tredegar Road and down back into the light of our luxury flat.
That was then, now we have hot water, and food in the fridge. The kettle on for a cup of camomile tea. I’m nibbling nuts whilst Jim drinks some fancy coffee.
It’s 00.29 and we’ve just had a call from Hollywood to wish us a Happy anniversary. Tomorrow is bank holiday, so the rain will come and we will go and see Robert Downey junior being an Iron Man.
The God’s Gift will go home and I’ll face the spectres of the old match girls alone here in the old match factory. If the hauntings get too much B will drive here with her duvet and we’ll brave them together.
After twelve hours of walking I am absolutely knackered, so it’s up the twelve stairs to our mezzanine bedroom, under our own duvet which smells of home.
25 years of wedded blitz, here’s to the next 25……