When I moved some 9 years ago from Central London, where I had spent most of my life, to the south coast my closest friend – sadly no longer with us – took the view that I would be back in two years.
Well, not only do I not regret my decision but I find London trips are highly-stressful and expensive.
Yesterday I had a much re-scheduled lunch with one of my oldest friends to take in the Italian Futurist collection and Morandi exhibition at the Estorick Collection in Islington.
I had various appointments en route.
At the final one, at Dunhill in Davies Street, I realised I would be pushed to be on time if I took – as planned – the Tube from Green Park to Islington, so I hailed a taxi instead.
This proved a huge error.
Oxford St was closed off, diverting traffic.
Upper Wimpole Street was closed altogether, creating yet another diversion.
Marylebone Road was gridlocked by a prison vehicle with police entourage proceeding slowly to Pentonville.
I detest unpunctuality in myself and others.
One of the few wonders of technology for me is the texting facility, enabling me to update my pal with ETAs.
The taxi driver, as most now do, fulminated against the Mayor and the state of London but he was £40 the richer for the slowness of the journey.
After visiting the permanent collection and Morandi exhibition my friend ordered a Uber to Noble Rot in Lambs Conduit Street.
The driver would not shut up and I assumed his familiarity was based on being a regular driver for my pal. Not so.
After an excellent lunch I took a train from St Pancras to my home in which I was fortunate to get a seat as most were standing. Two hours later I was home… and greatly relieved to be so.
Viva coastal life!