I am using up my annual leave so was off work today although I did have to deal with some work stuff via email this morning which was annoying.
After I'd finished trying to resolve a problem that was not of my making I did a little light housework for an hour and then caught the train to London Bridge. I needed to get a training walk in so instead of jumping on the tube I walked from London Bridge to Tate Britain where I was meeting my friend Fee.
It is very difficult to try to walk quickly through hordes of people and unfortunately there are always hordes of people round the South Bank. The area by the London Eye is particularly thronged by people who spend a lot of time gawping at those street entertainers, and I use that word because I can't think what else to call them, who paint their faces silver and pretend to be statues. I attempted to march through them which was only partly successful. Once I'd left them behind I walked down past Lambeth Palace to Vauxhall Bridge, crossed the river and arrived at the steps to the Tate at exactly one o'clock. I'd walked 3.7 miles in exactly one hour. I would have been faster if I hadn't got caught up in the crowds.
Fee and I had a lot of catching up to do as we haven't seen each other for a couple of months. The exhibitions we saw were underwhelming. Is anyone really interested in looking at busts of Queen Victoria?
Fee went off and I spent half an hour more sitting in the Members' room reading my book. I then set off walking to Covent Garden, along Milbank, past the House of Commons and then down by the river again. I do like pretending to be a tourist.
I had dinner in Orso in Covent Garden with someone I worked with several years ago. We had a huge amount of catching up to do as it was two years since we last met up. N. has become a grandmother since I last saw her, unexpectedly and not in the best of circumstances, but already the child is a complete delight and has enhanced all their lives. She also told me some gossip about someone we both worked with who while I was in that job was very unfairly promoted over me. In the last year she was suspended for 6 months and although she is now back at work spends quite a lot of her time crying. She behaved really badly to my ex-collegues so I only feel a tiny bit sorry for her. (Her marriage has also ended.)
N. commented on how much happier I am and I realised it's true. I think I'd be even happier if I could stop working though and spend every weekday hanging round in art galleries and meeting friends for meals.