Rain and Light, a Wet Weekend in January

The weekend has been a rain sandwich. Friday was glorious; bright blue skies and sunshine flooding the flat. It was warm on the street, though not exactly bikini weather, until the sun went down and the temperatures tumbled. Tomorrow is forecast to be a rerun. But the rain gods have held sway for most of Saturday and Sunday.

I was working yesterday, inside, so in the dry, but someone had definitely decided to economise on the heating. I was glad of my long sleeved thermal vest under my presentable work clothes. By the time I finished working the rain was having a pause. Good news as I was meeting Celia in a pub prior to taking in our second evening of Lumière London. We had explored installations in Mayfair and the West End on Thursday after attending a lecture at the Royal College of Physicians about William Harvey. Yes we really are that cultured, I haven’t even mentioned last weekend’s poetry evening.

On Thursday I took some photos, they probably aren’t great, I haven’t looked at them yet. But I didn’t photograph our favourite installation, seesaws in South Molton Street. They were soooo relaxing. I don’t know about Celia but I had to stop myself from entering a zen like trance. I could have seesawed for hours. We ceded our places to a young couple and walked about until the lights were turned off, impressed by some installations, underwhelmed by others. Maybe we are picky.

Last night we began with Westminster Cathedral and some electric pedals, both fun, and then Celia was hailed by name by a police officer. I looked curiously, wondering if Celia’s criminal past was about to be revealed to me. Then the officer said something about book group and I realised it was Sara, erstwhile nanny now an officer of the law. So Celia’s reputation remains intact. Westminster Abbey was glorious. It is anyway, but lit it is even better. From there we went to Trafalgar Square where I think I missed the point, then onto the Southbank via the Jubilee Bridge and views of the river at night which made me realise for the nth time how much I love London. The Eye was turning and changing colour every few minutes. I had been muttering about chips for some time by now, or rather muttering then talking loudly about chips. We saw a place or two that probably served French fries, but they are not the same, and hungry though I was becoming, they would not do. Chips should be chunky, with lovely floury potatoes, hot as you can eat, and preferably eaten with your fingers standing watching something amazing.

We walked the Southbank, and the wind was bitter, but it was worth it for an installation called Wave. Then a bus to the Elephant and a quick hop onto another to take us home. The first time we experienced Lumière in London was two years ago. It was just after Aunt died and I remember it as a slightly out of body experience, but Lumière is now forever associated with Aunt for me. If there is a heaven I hope she’s had a go on the seesaws.

We got our chips on the Walworth Road then separated to our different homes. I don’t know about Celia but I ate until I thought I might pop, adding condiments and half an avocado for health. MasterB wanted play and food. The flat was festooned in washing. Saturday had started with the understanding that MasterB who I’d woken to find cuddled beside me had not moved from his preferred spot at the foot of the bed out of affection, but because he’d been sick there.

Before going to work I had washed the quilt cover, a blanket that lives across the bed, the quilt protector and half the quilt. Half the quilt because I have one of those which pops together to make it warmer or cooler according to season. Naturally nothing was completely dry by the evening, so I slept under the spare quilt kept for visitors and the sofabed. I slept well. Over eight hours according to my Fitbit. Just as well. Today I was initially cheered by the dry day as rain had been forecast. It didn’t last. I was working this morning, outside. Minutes before I was due to leave I watched the rain turn to sleet. It turned back to rain, then again to sleet and then snow, the damp sort that doesn’t settle but lands wetly on you and is blown into your face by the wind.

By the time I got home I’d been out of radio contact with my fingers for a while. Using the door keys was a challenge. My coat, though dry on the inside, was soaked on the outer skin, and more than four hours later is still drying. That’s not happened before. I think this week I shall re waterproof it. I gladly changed wet jeans for trackie bottoms and ate a rib sticking lunch. Had I had a bottle of whisky, believe me the early hour would not have stopped me pouring large glass of it, then another. But I hadn’t, so I drank water.

The afternoon was spent playing with MasterB, ironing the now dry bed linen, navigating the new layout of the Guardian – I’m very pleased to see the BBC radio listings have been restored to a more central position, but, as Celia says, the new paper is going to take some getting used to – and trying to recreate last week’s beetroot and split pea fritters to eat with Octavia this evening.

The quilt is now dry, reunited with its thicker half, and snug inside both quilt protector and a clean cover. MasterB, tired out after extensive feather play, has retired to sleep in a drawer under the bed.

2 thoughts on “Rain and Light, a Wet Weekend in January

  1. Love Lumiere London – do hope it comes back again in 2020. Certainly popular. I got myself out in the rain on Sunday to Waterstones in Piccadilly and took in the installations around there. Even in the rain there were plenty of people doing the same. But I agree that the seesaws were the best. And Westminster Abbey a real spectacle. I had thought that next time I should volunteer, but in yesterday’s downpour I had second thoughts!
    I added an egg to my chips – not as healthy as your avocado , but I followed up with an apple. Should you live on the Walworth Road or nearby, “Best Kebab” chips really are the best.

    • I was so cold yesterday! I think had I not had to go out I should have very happily stayed inside all day long.
      Are you hoping Best Kebab will read this and sponsor you Celia?

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