We finally got a really beautiful, wintery morning! Blue skies, real cold and even a sheen of frost on some roofs and a few parked cars.
A vast improvement on yesterday, which started depressingly dark and gloomy, with rain absolutely chucking down. When I got to work at 8.30am to discover an unexpected job that I had to do before 10am, at a different venue, I was not best pleased. Particularly when the cab company my employer uses was so busy I couldn't get through and thus had to go back out into the miserable weather and find one to hail.
And on top of that, the staff canteen – they call it a 'deli bar', but that's really rather overdoing its level of sophistication – was not able to serve any breakfasts because of a problem with a leaky sink that has apparently stretched the abilities of the building team to actually solve.
After that, the day got better, breaking out from Boomtown Rats terrain. The job in question was a waste of time, but since I had to do it, I was pretty much forced to spend an hour with a photographer we'd hired. Steve is great and it was a pleasure to have nothing else to do but wait, while supping free coffees and talking photography.
I spent part of the rest of the day trying to spy on the head of design, who was working up a leaflet using a series of portraits I've taken. It'd had been my idea in the first place – the portraits, not the leaflet – and the editor liked it and told me to run with it. I was taken rather aback last week to discover that they had been appreciated enough by others for them to be chosen to be the theme for an A4, four-page leaflet that is being produced for use at an event for MPs at Westminster next week. Thus I kept attempting to see how the leaflet was shaping up. It's shaped up rather well – and I admit to a great amount of chuffedness.
The journey home was a tad fraught – a fire in the Blackwall Tunnel did what such things always do in London, and cause snarl ups in the traffic for miles.
When I eventually made it home, I wasn't in the mood for serious cooking. Which turned out to be really rather fortunate.
Our upstairs neighbours are (unfortunately) moving later this week. At the weekend, they'd popped down to ask if we could help with their dining table. After fitting a gate to their front door, they could no longer get it out of the flat that way. So they wondered if they could lower it over their tiny balcony and into our tiny garden.
Obviously we agreed. And sure enough, just as I'd toasted myself some crumpets last night, Marie rang the doorbell to ask if we would be able to help then.
So it was that Mark found himself standing on the top of a stepladder in our garden, with The Other Half standing next to him, as Marie and I started to push the bubble-wrapped table over the balcony railings – before Marie went into panic mode, fearing that we'd break something. Or more to the point, that we'd break Mark.
Fortunately, pervs are wonderfully equipped for such occasions, with plenty of good strong rope in the toy box. The Other Half rolled his eyes, but knows better than to ask in detail about such matters. And besides, it would have been churlish to complain when I was proving to be the saviour of the day.
The rope – which I assured Marie was quite strong, since it had been designed with maritime purposes in mind – was tied firmly around one end of the table and it was an easy task from then on.
Memo to self: I must brush up on tying knots.
But we managed.
Then came the next hurdle. It was suddenly clear that it wasn't going to be easily moved into, through and out of our flat, given the arrangements of laden shelves. So we hoisted it over the garden fence and into the carpark, before leaving it overnight just inside a communal area of the block.
Good neighbourliness thus achieved, I recoiled my rope and went back to rather solid and somewhat cooled crumpets. It had been quite a surreal episode.
And now, with a lovely bright, cold day, I feel quite in festive mode. And since it's actually Advent now, that doesn't feel out of place.