I had the perfect day yesterday. Last week was not fantastic. It seemed like everything that could go wrong did. I had a cold sore. I got a cold/flu. I had to cancel Oslo. I didn’t have any material ready for my teaching gig even though it’s happening really soon. I was behind on the pro bono work that I’m doing. I fell and sprained or strained one finger and got a couple of blood blisters on my left hand. I also did something to my Achilles while playing badminton and subsequently couldn’t play football.
This week, on Monday morning I got a message from one of my brothers that the middle one had just fainted. In broad daylight. In the morning. Luckily he wasn’t alone. I don’t know yet what went wrong but he’s currently OK. Not great but it could be worse. I guess by the time Thursday rolled round, I was desperate for a positive day.
Started off with a bit of work
I had to wake up ridiculously early – 5.45 – but as I walked to the tube station, the sky looked wonderful and I felt joyful to be alive. I had decided to prepare for a meeting at the office so got in at about half 7 and left after a super productive 90 minutes. I met my clients, showed them the updates, and talked about an important meeting that we will run next week. Then I waled with one of them from Euston to Belsize Park. The weather was the perfect combination of sunny and cold.
Then my mate and I walked a lot
I met my mate at Belsize park tube. She’s one of my favourite people in the world and now lives in Glasgow so I don’t see her quite as much anymore. We walked through Hampstead Heath in an exploratory mood. I haven’t got a clue how to navigate and she wasn’t too sure either but neither of us had any deadlines or were in a rush to go anywhere.
After a couple of hours rambling, we stopped off to have some seriously good crepes. She got a cheese, tarragon and mushroom one and I just had the cheese and garlic mushroom one. They were both ridiculously delicious and we enjoyed them so much that half an hour later we circled back and got some milk chocolate and banana ones. The chocolate was Belgian and just the right amount of milk and the banana was the perfect amount of ripeness to offset the ‘chocolateyness’. It was utterly delicious and I’m glad I don’t know what the place was called so I won’t be able to go back anytime soon.
At this point I thought to myself, this is what early retirement will be like. I’ll go to popular crepe places in the middle of a Thursday afternoon and there’ll be no queues. Bliss!
We headed back from Hampstead through Camden, Primrose Hill and Regents park. It’s the first time I’ve ever seen three parks in the same day.
Finally, we chilled at the Picturehouse members’ bar
I don’t know if I mentioned that in December I got a membership at Picturehouse central with one of my mates. We paid £160 between us so it cost me £80. You get 4 free tickets and access to the bar which has 2 indoor levels of great seating, decent music and nice views as well as the rooftop terrace which will be terrific in the summer. It’s rarely busy and I’ve only ever struggled to get seats once. I’ve used 3 of my free tickets but have visited the bar about 10 times now. It’s more than paid for itself for giving me access to a nice place for catch ups in the middle of London.
I’m doing Dry January so only had some water for the 2 and a half hours while we rested our legs from our epic 24 000+ step day.
I had a day doing things that give me joy. Intentional, productive, good work. Hanging out with clever, funny, good people. Walking through gorgeous landscapes with nowt to do but admire the scenery and enjoy the walk. I ate indulgently but it was the only significant thing I ate all day. Finally, it was almost free. The crepes cost me £10.
I want more days like this.