Tonight there was one other person waiting for the 10:08 Thames Clipper home. She was a sixty-something woman with a beautiful grace-filled face, a soft smile, fading blond hair that fell to her shoulders. She wore a floral patterned skirt, ballet flats, and and a big butterfly broach. For a while we all sat in silence; R and I were shattered (there's some Brit lingo for you) from the long day, and the woman was flipping through a magazine. However, at one point I opened my eyes and she said,
"Would you like this magazine?"
"Oh - that's very kind, thank you!"
"Oh not at all -- Here, would you like this cupcake as well? I was just given it at an event, it hasn't been touched."
I took the cupcake. It was frosted in pale green icing and topped with pink flowers. Now, I have reservations about cupcakes. They're fine, but I wouldn't go so far as to say they're amazing and deserve to be a global phenomenon. I've stood by in bewilderment as the Cupcake Craze has grown and simply refused to die. Can anyone help me understand what it's all about? They're actually rather messy to eat and don't present me with anything I couldn't enjoy in regular cake form, eaten neatly with a fork. But...when an absolute angel of a woman hands you a cupcake on a night when you are particularly missing your mother, cupcakes...really are...kind of wonderful.
So we fell to talking. Denise recently moved from peaceful Dorset to bustling London and literally could not be happier. Her eyes shone as she told us all the things she loves about London. We boarded the boat and encountered an Australian named Simon and his English wife Heather, who knew R slightly. The five of us sat chatting, basking in the delight of stumbling upon friendships floating down the river - and my joy was made complete when a woman crossed the aisle and said, "Can I join you all? You seem to be having such a good time." So Nicola from New Zealand was added to our merry band. We all swapped email addresses before parting and plan to have a pub night soon.
It made me happy. ...And also rather annoyed to find myself indebted to a cupcake.