City skyscape Odd view of Gherkin, but I quite like the accendality of it Hoarding passed en route – combination of setting sun and angles meant I missed the ‘world’ Soseki restaurant, under the skirts of the Gherkin Hania’s photo of fish in Spanish river printed on canvas Emma (Bond), me and Turkish Delight Gassan-no-Yuki sake, Hania, me, Emma Looking for the third eye
A rather unusual start to my sixty-first birthday, with typhoid jab at the surgery, delivered by a trainee – but scarcely felt a thing. Had broken a tooth eating muesli first thing, but managed to enjoy insanely delicious a couple of five honey mangoes Sam had given me last night, with coffee, in the sun. Then made my way across to Richmond in the early afternoon to see dentist. Train late, so had to run in some afternoon heat, so arrived hot and flustered. Different dentist took me in hand, was merrily drilling away, then there was a power cut – probably a combination of everyone turning England-vs-someone World Cup match and their air-conditioning. Got a temporary patch and have to come back tomorrow …
Later in the day, Elaine and I make our way across to the City, walking through their extraordinary streetscapes, with quite a number of raucous England supporters roiling around the streets. Arrived on time at Soseki, a remarkable Japanese restaurant at the foot of the Gherkin. Passing through the roar of the several hundred people drinking around the Gherkin into the calm of Soseki was extraordinary. The food and drink was truly out-of-this-world, including wonderful raw fish.
True, if I were – to quote Gandhi on a billboard we passed by the Gherkin, being the change I want to see in the world, I wouldn’t be eating fish at all, but gave up meat and poultry 35 years ago, and still feel a bit of fish now and then is acceptable. But given the state of the oceans, that may well have to change.
In the process, the girls told me that they had bought me a collection of 13 West Country ciders, including Orchard Pig Cider and Burrow Hill Cider; they gave me Hania’s fish photo she took from me in Spain some years back, this time printed on canvas; Emma (Bond) gave me an amazing collection of Turkish Delights; and I opened a quite extraordinary gift from Zheng Jieying, which I will cover separately.
At the end, Gaia put Elaine, Emma and I into a taxi home, which gave us a wonderful chance to see London’s embankment in the mid-summer evening light. All’s well, as Shakespeare might have said, that ends well.