On Saturday I cracked a bleary eye open at 7.15am and rather grumpily cursed myself for agreeing to a 10.30am appointment for Voice Coaching with Christella Antoni. Crawling out of bed, I made my way to the bathroom and started my morning routine and by just after 8.30am I was ready and left the house. This was despite having chosen my clothes the night before and laid them out. Getting ready in girl mode takes so much more time than guy mode!
I had a good journey and by 9.40am I was parking up at the Westfield Shopping Centre. I like to park there because it is easy to get to via the M40 and you hit very little traffic (it’s motorway then dual carriageway the whole way), and it has good tube links to the rest of London (Shepherd’s Bush for the Central line, and Wood Lane for the Hammersmith & City and Circle lines) and also has a flat rate for all day parking. Sadly that rate has been steadily increasing and has now gone up to £9.50 which is starting to feel a little steep – it was a more reasonable £7 not so long ago.
I briefly considered doing a little shopping since I had so much time in hand, but decided to press on with the journey. I’m glad I did, because I messed up my exit a little and ended up coming out of the South side of Westfield, and had to walk round and ended up at Shepherd’s Bush Market to get a Hammersmith & City line train, rather than Wood Lane as planned. Then, due to a reduced service, I was waiting for a while for a train, and suddenly all the time I had in hand simply evaporated and I was starting to worry I would be late.
However, I got there bang on 10.30am but found the place locked up.
I sent a text to Christella, and also an email, and it was whilst I was in the email client that I saw the date. 17th January. Not 24th January. I was a week early. I am a div.
I was due to meet my friend Mark for lunch at 12.30pm so sent him a message asking if he was available earlier, and he said that he was, and to meet him at Somerset House (which is ironic, as I was wearing the same jumper dress as the last time I was at Somerset House back in October 2013) and he suggested taking the Jubilee Line from Baker Street to Westminster, and then it was just “5 mins walk” up from there.
What I didn’t know is that Mark is a keen walker and, for my little legs in block heeled boots, it was one hell of a walk. We were in contact whilst I walked and he decided to set off and meet me partway, and as we got closer phoned me and we easily found each other. I sometimes wonder how we managed without mobile phones.
Mark suggested we went for a drink in the American Bar of the Savoy Hotel (oooh, posh!) even though neither of us were really dressed appropriately. Especially as Mark was wearing what can only be described as “+10 Shoes of Awesome” (my description, not his 🙂 ). But we were allowed in and were soon at at the bar.
I’m a little bit clueless about cocktails so Mark asked me what I do and don’t like (for the record, I can’t stand gin and I don’t like cucumber, grapefruit or coconut) and he suggested an Old Fashioned made with rum rather than whiskey. It was an excellent choice – I really liked that. Later on we had another cocktail whose name escapes me, but was also really nice. I could get a taste for these.
We were in there for what felt like ages and talked about all sorts of stuff, but actually not a huge amount of time actually elapsed.
After that, Mark asked if I was up for a quest. A quest to find a cake, purchase it, and deliver it to a friend of his who was unwell. Only he wasn’t sure if she was in or even where precisely she lived. It sounded like a giggle so I readily agreed. Random Cake Delivery Quest – Challenge Accepted!
We set off, and to cut a long story short we were successful in our quest, although I had to ask him to slow down a couple of times because I couldn’t walk as fast as him, and in the end he took pity on me and hailed a cab. I was very grateful for that as my feet were really starting to hurt. I’m not used to lots of walking!
During the walk we passed along a canal and I asked him to take a pic of me for my blog and for Flickr. Yay! Thank you, Mark!
The recipient of the cake was overjoyed and not long after we left a nice Facebook post from her, tagging Mark, popped up. Mission accomplished.
It was lunchtime by now and we were near Paddington Station, and there is a Yo Sushi there, so we popped in there for some lunch. And then all too soon it was time to part as Mark needed to be elsewhere.
It’s funny, but normally when you’re with someone for only 3 hours yet it feels like all day, that’s a negative thing and implies the time dragged. But quite the reverse was true in this case. We managed to cram in an awful lot of interesting chat and had a really nice time. The Savoy was a real experience for me too – I loved it!
I considered heading over to Old Spitalfields Market at this point, but my feet were getting pretty sore so instead I headed back to Westfield. I made sure I took a Hammersmith & City line train and got off at Wood Lane, so that I could fix my bearings and know for next week where I should head to in order to exit Westfield at the correct place. Turns out it is at the end where the food halls are, and also where Next is. I will remember that for next week and it should save me some time.
I passed the Disney Store, and saw that they had a full size Elsa, so I just simply had to take a selfie with her. I’m a little gutted that it came out so fuzzy though. That little Panasonic camera I have is rather rubbish despite having a Leica lens.
I think Elsa might actually be trying to pickpocket me in this photo!
After that I decided I would head home and I had a pretty uneventful journey, stopping on the way at Sainsbury’s to pick up some food and drink for the evening.
When I got home I got my boots off and discovered that my toes were in a pretty bad state – several had been rubbed badly, and one was rubbed raw (I will spare you the gory details but it wasn’t pretty). Also, according to my Fitbit Flex, I had walked a total of 8 miles (estimated by the pedometer function – it doesn’t have its own GPS). No wonder my feet were hurting so much!
Next Saturday I have to go back up to London for my actual appointment. However, Christella has asked me if I wouldn’t mind changing my appointment for one in the late afternoon as it would help one of her other clients out enormously who needs to catch a flight. I was happy to accommodate as it means that next Saturday I won’t have to get up at 7.15am again. However, I will have to be careful not to tire myself out in the day or else I will be knackered by the time of the appointment.
Update: I wasn’t well the following weekend and so cancelled my appointment with Christella. She very graciously waived a cancellation fee and I am very thankful to her for that.