Wednesday, 16 October 2013

I shlapped across the lobby, baring my sole for the good of the cause...

I have had back to back meetings in London today, commencing at 10am at a fairly swish West End hotel with a major donor. Unfortunately I missed my train, as when I arrived a Chatham railway station there was just one parking space left, and two of us competing for it.  The space was actually mine; the other car had gone past it when the driver realised there was nowhere else, slammed into reverse and headed backwards aggressively to cut me off. The air was blue and I was just about to tell the driver what I thought of him, when I noticed it was the former Bishop of Rochester, resplendent in ecclesiastical purple. I smiled deferentially, hoping he couldn't lip read.

At Victoria I rushed for a taxi and tripped on a kerb. Fortunately I didn't fall, but the impact ripped the sole from my shoe, which then flapped with each step. Having delayed my meeting once I could hardly do so again, so no time to stop at a shoe shop or even buy superglue. The taxi driver took pity and gave me an elastic band, which I placed around my foot to stop the sole flapping as I walked. As I entered the 5* hotel, the elastic band broke, pinged across reception and my sole started shlapping on the marble floor, attracting disdainful glances from the concierge, who clearly thought I shouldn't be there.

After a productive meeting I asked for bill, trying to look nonchalant when I noticed it was £14 (for two cups of coffee. I kid you not). By this time I was almost late for my next meeting in the Hampshire Hotel in Leicester Square, to discuss the Open Primary. Once again I shlapped across reception to withering looks from the pinched faced receptionist. The meeting went well and all the fine points were signed off. The highlight of this meeting was someone else paid for the coffee. As we left, one of those participating (and I will spare his blushes) spoke of a time he was invited to dinner with Ann Widdecombe.
"I arrived somewhat early to find Ann Widdecombe
wrestling with a giant piece a meat."

This revelation resulted in fits of playground giggles from the rest of us, made worse by the person who made the comment asking, "why are you laughing, I don't understand..." which just made us snigger even more.

By this time it was piddling with rain and I didn't have a coat or an umbrella. So soaking wet and with my sole flapping in the wind,  I headed off to Russell & Bromley in Regent Street where I bought a new pair of shoes, discarding the old ones in a dustbin.

Next was a quick lunch at Randall & Aubin in Brewer Street with an old friend, before heading to Westminster, grateful that I didn't have to walk across Portcullis House with my sole shlapping as I went.

Finally, at 6pm I met up with Steve. We had tickets (a Christmas gift from his parents) to watch Billy Elliott at the Palace Theatre. Before the show we grabbed a quick pizza, but just as I sat down I received a tweet

"Candidate alert; Tonbridge & Malling Agent Andrew Kennedy
in Pizza Express in Victoria Street, sitting at table in the window.
Now's your chance!"
Fortunately none turned up or they may have found themselves wearing a Sloppy Giuseppe!



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