Today R and I rode the Thames Clipper down the river to go to her play rehearsal. Now, I admit that I rather pride myself on being able to navigate and survive the Tube – but a bit of that glutton-for-punishment instinct is melting away, unable to withstand the dreamy allure of the Clipper. Not only does it dock literally right outside our door, it is also extremely comfortable, warm, and equipped with a Costa Coffee counter to add that vital vip and vim to your morning commute. Also, very few people seem to know about, or take advantage of, this service. The Clipper is the transportation equivalent of the Civil Wars: I want every single person on the planet to know about and benefit from it, but I also don’t want every single person on the planet to know about it because then it would become all popular and common and stuff. Hmph.
Anyway – so we floated down the Thames (in luxury – oh did I mention that already?) at a pace leisurely enough to allow my eyes to feast, FEAST, I say, on all the architecture. Many of the old warehouses of Dickens’s day have been converted into residential flats, office blocks, restaurants, etc., though there is still the odd tiny, rickety pub nestled amongst them. I imagined Rogue Riderhood, “wa’erside character,” straggling in for a drink at Miss Abby’s between sessions of scouring the muddy Thames for lost bodies. …But on a lighter note, with no Dickensian villains to be found we alighted near the Globe Theater and strolled across the Millennium Bridge. It was then that I began to notice something. I was out and about in a city during the morning rush hour, but for the first time in several years I was not heading to an office and not wearing professional clothes. I was in blue jeans, and that was okay. I am working, but not from 8-5 at a desk. It’s going to take me a little while to get used to this.
While R was rehearsing, one of R’s friends and I popped out for a coffee (Again: It’s 11am on a Tuesday and I am in blue jeans! I don’t have a Blackberry! We are sitting down to drink our coffee! What is happening?!?). For much of the day I read Steinbeck while R rehearsed. This was a little strange, at times. I would be chuckling and Aw-shucks-ing at Steinbeck’s pithy observations on New Englanders, when suddenly from the other room would come screaming and cursing and fake stabbings, triggering great distress and concern in my little heart. My emotions were very confused about this day. Nothing that a quiet sojourn back down the river at twilight couldn't cure, though.