Celebrating many birthdays at The Narrow

Jabbed

…and to pick up the vaccine cliffhanger from last time, I’m happy to confirm the exciting news that Randi and I have both now received our first doses.

My experience was quiet, orderly and quite British: I turned up at Guy’s Hospital at the appointed time and waited for a few minutes on a socially-distanced chair at the end of a corridor while a succession of nurses came out of one of the little adjoining rooms, asked “well, who’s next?” and paused until someone gained the confidence that it was legitimately their turn. Before long I was called into a room of my own, read the formalities and finally injected with my new favourite mRNA. Next day: a slightly sore arm, nothing more. Thanks very much!

Not being quite eligible to book yet, Randi had a more entrepreneurial journey. On Bank Holiday Monday, shortly after saying goodbye to Josh, Anna and Cora, they gave us the heads-up that the giant pop-up centre in Twickenham Stadium was throwing open its doors to over 18s for the rest of the day. In the spirit of adventure, we decided to chance it and engaged in madcap dash to the stadium… but by that point, so had everybody else in the 18-29 age group, and by the time we got to the end of the giant queue it was already too late. We consoled ourselves that it was nice to see so much enthusiasm (and it really was a lovely crowd) and went home again. But a few days later, just as work was wrapping up, Randi got another tip-off about another centre vaccinating over 28s until 7pm and then it was a solo dash -> train -> Tube -> sprint -> jab -> job done. Next stop: second dose August 😊

Celebrating many birthdays at The Narrow
Celebrating many birthdays at The Narrow

Before any of these vaccine runarounds, on Friday night we celebrated birthdays for mum, Tash and Randi at The Narrow restaurant by the Thames. I haven’t been around the Limehouse basin much, and had equal love for the food, the cocktails, the view and the company. We also had a chance to finally see Tash and Cormac’s flat in person beforehand, which has been a very long time coming! I think it speaks to our elite Escape Room training that we were able to master the instructions for the building’s doors without using a lifeline.

The long weekend was also perfect for catching up with friends and especially friends-with-babies. Baby #1 took us to Romford to visit Simon, Fleur and Cleo, which also gave us an opportunity to admire their almost-finished house! Baby #2 was Cora, of course, but this time we lured Josh and Anna down to us as part of a general strategy to raise everyone’s immunity to crossing the river. Randi cooked up a vegan storm, Cora repurposed my knee as a drum and we all walked the Waterlink Way to Blythe Hill for some blissful sunshine and fresh air.

Welcoming everyone to Forest Hill
Welcoming everyone to Forest Hill
Looking back over the city
Looking back over the city

To be clear, having a baby is not a necessary condition to hang out. In the last couple of weeks we’ve also met up with Jamie, a colleague of mine, in a Ladywell pub garden and caught up (sadly only virtually) with Melissa in New York. We’ve also walked Capital Rings 3 and 4 on either side of Crystal Palace – and I have to say, Crystal Palace might just be one of the most beautiful railway stations there is – and treated ourselves to dinner at parlez outside Brockley station. (parlez serves brunch by day and Indian fusion by night, which is scarily tailor-made for me.)

Katie and I also ran a successful experiment with Zoom’s screen share to resurrect our Doctor Who Nights virtually, and very much enjoyed the debut outing for both The Master and Jo Grant in Terror of the Autons. If the threat of a Nestene invasion isn’t a good reason to reduce unnecessary plastic usage then I don’t know what is.

Strips of woodland along Capital Ring 3
Strips of woodland along Capital Ring 3
One of the famous dinosaurs in Crystal Palace Park
One of the famous dinosaurs in Crystal Palace Park
You can't tell from here, but inside Crystal Palace is like Natural History Museum levels of grand
You can’t tell from here, but inside Crystal Palace is like Natural History Museum levels of grand

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