Sometimes, things just feel so uplifting. These last few days in London have certainly added to my feeling of elevation - in more ways than one.
First, I had the unique opportunity to visit the BT Tower in London - a kind favour from one of the many contacts I have made through work. This now rather dated tele communication tower (built in the 60s) has become an iconic building in the very centre of London.
I regularly take pictures of it, from different view points in London. But never ever would I have dreamt of going up there myself one day.
The view hits you straight in the face as you come out of the lift, exclusively operated by professional and indeed very corteous BT staff. As the lift door opens and you step out on the 33rd floor *gulp*, the first thing you spot is the London Eye. You can see for miles up there - it is really a good vantage point for any Londoner, or non-Londoner for that matter. I could have stayed there several days, had I been allowed to. There used to be a restaurant up there and I really find it very sad it is not still up and running. The whole thing used to rotate slowly, which was handy, I guess. A bit like the Eye - but the other way around...
Fancy having pre-drinkies towards the North, mains towards the West, puddings over-looking the South and coffees with the East of London in front of your eyes? In my book, that would mean an end to boring dinner conversations.
Anyway, as it was, we did our own 'rotation' by foot and I managed to take a picture or two.
And then - there was Clapton.
As you might have gathered, he is pretty much God to me. This was my own pre birthday prezzie to myself - because I'm worth it. I had booked two tickets way back in winter time and now I only had to find a volunteer to join me. Lucky buggers! I gave the chance to various people but in the end, my daughter was the lucky one. I wish I could have taken both my children along, but it was a question of £££. They sorted it between them so - no hard feelings.
Mr Slowhands was in great shape and walked in on stage to a bustling, roaring audience which filled the Royal Albert Hall to the ceiling. Great atmosphere and - yet another great place to explore in London! This was my first ever time in the hall and I would have liked to walk around the venue beforehand. As we were on the late side when arriving, this was not to be, unfortunately.
After having kick-started with some hefty guitar riff type songs the way only Clapton can perform, he went up to the mike and said: "Hello! I always need to play a bit before I pluck up the courage to actually speak to an audience." Yeah - as if!
Then he just went on and on and on...At one stage, my daughter grabbed me by the arm and asked: "Are you crying, Mum...?" I wasn't, but I had goose pimples all over and felt that bluesy 'hit-you-in-the-guts" type of feeling. When he gets his hands on that guitar, he really does it for me. Hits the right spot, as it were.
Another highlight of this weekend was of course a lovely dinner with my children and my daughter's boyfriend. As they are all vegetarians, we went to one of their favourite vegetarian eating places - Mildred's in Soho. it is next to the John Snow, where we ended up afterwards. Always crowded, long queue but honestly worth the wait! (Referring to Mildred's) If you ever thought vegetarian and organic food consists of nothing but carrrots and lettuce - think again. This is an amazing symphony of unusual flavours and combinations. Oh - the puddings - to die for! And as an extra bonus - it's pretty healthy, too. (OK, maybe not the bill...)
So, for my last uplifting experience. As readers of this blog will know, I am an ardent fan of Twitter. I have found my 'own' favourite London cab driver through Twitter and he (@cabbiescapital) has kindly taken me from A to B a couple of times. Well, this weekend he was off duty and hence I booked in one of my 'other' Tweeting cabbie friends.
So, as Clapton played the last chords on his guitar, my mobile was buzzing away in my handbag. Message from Cabbie No 2 (aka @londontaximan), who said he was on his way and would be waiting outside within 10 minutes. This meant that, when all the other Clapton fans were queuing up to get either an autograph or a cab, we just climbed in - in front of disappointed punters. We started our Saturday night trip home through the capital in a cool, relaxed way. Excellent use of Twitter I think!
There are so many misconceptions as to what Twitter really is, mainly amongst people who have never even tried it. I would recommend it to anyone. But use it with care and make of it what you want it to be!