Days out, for loads of reasons, have been a bit scarce in the life of a Japes. My new academic year resolution is to amend that, and get out for a full day at least once a month.
September’s was already booked, and had been for some time. I’d been invited to a wedding and eventually accepted on the grounds I was likely to make that one of my four Sundays off a year, and would go to London for the weekend. I was still working in Old Job, as the thought of the travel there and back in a day, playing on Sunday, then kicking off the new term properly with the long commute and an unknown timetable until 8.30 a.m. on the Monday morning, was not filling me with great enthusiasm. Anyway, one of my best friends was living in Central London and was always happy to accommodate visitors.
Things have a knack of changing… New Jobs appeared on the horizon, for both me and my friend. I reduced my commute dramatically, he moved out of Central London. (It’s OK, words have been had.) The thought of doing what I once would’ve done without a second thought, doing London and back in a day, and had become an unbearable thought, became thinkable again.
The train journey was positively pleasant. It’s amazing how much more enjoyable a journey is when the quiet carriage is actually quiet, and it all happens on time. I was less impressed I’d forgotten a lot of the shops I wanted to visit didn’t open at 9.00, but that just means my local bookshops will get the benefit of my book tokens.
Then, on to the first bit of socialising. A chance exchange on another place on the Internet presented me with another opportunity when in London… meeting someone I’d always wanted to meet, and so we did. It was a lovely chat, good coffee, (nice new cafe upstairs in Waterloo Station with fantastic people watching opportunities from the balcony) and an amazingly rapid hour and a half went by. It also kept me calm before the wedding, as this was a bit of a throwback to a former existence, and much as I loved all the people, I was kind of dreading possible difficult conversations about Why I’d Done What I’d Done. I need not have worried, they were just delightfully accepting of why things had to change, and were far more interested in life as it is now. And, I did much, much getting up to speed on their lives. Facebook helps with facts and pictures, but it’s no substitute for the Proper Catch-up. Why I’d worried… well, I do know, but I need not have done so.
The wedding was also delightful. I possibly am not meant to sit in a church just before a wedding starts and suddenly muse out loud. “I remember the sermon I preached here. It was all about sin.” Luckily, it made perfect sense to those who knew me!
And, so, wedding over, catch-ups all done, I wended my weary, but very happy self back. Train journey worked just as well going back. Can’t say I was the most alert organist ever this morning. We will gloss over the moment everyone sang unaccompanied for two lines.
It’s still the first full working week starting tomorrow – the difference is, I know my timetable, I know half those I’ll be working with, and I don’t need to worry too much about the ones I will meet tomorrow.