I first moot the idea of meeting up with Tee casually one Saturday evening, between getting a snapshot of her calendar for the next few months – it is chock full with work and travel – and getting tips for scaling back on my coffee drinking, after which it turns out that there are no airports in her corner of the world. That puts the downer on any inclinations to jump on a flight on my part – I famously never travel anywhere I’ll have to sit still for more than 8 hours – until she mentions she might be in London sometime over the next few weeks. It turns out I only get four days notice, and I barely have time to sort out fights and holidays, hop on a flight and appear in London.
She is someone I’ve wanted to meet in person for a while. Since we were introduced, we’ve restricted ourselves to a telephone conversation now and again, and the odd picture swap on WhatsApp – hardly enough to get a sense for what makes her tick or if indeed she just be might the future Mrs S. 🙂
I end up not getting a holiday approved, eventually settling for a quick 36 hour round trip – up to London at mid day on Saturday and back into the ‘Deen for 8pm on sunday night. That leaves me just enough time to get to the gym on Saturday morning, grab my weekly groceries, shower and catch the 727 to the airport at Dyce for my 1.25pm flight.
In the end, my Saturday morning does not work like a well oiled machine. The gym opens 15 minutes late, ASDA’s slightly more full than I recall for a Saturday morning, and I end up back home for just past 11.45am. By the time I have showered, and tossed a pair of jeans and a change of clothes in my bag, it is nearly 12.10pm; too late to catch the 727 so I high tail it to the taxi rank on Union Street and grab a cab, thanks to whose dexterity and quick thinking, I end up at the airport and clear security five minutes before the boarding announcement is made.
By the time I arrive in London, to much wetter, chillier weather than the last time, all that is on my mind is to find my way to the obscure hotel I have booked in Central London and some food. It takes me the better part of an hour and thirty minutes to reach the hotel via the Piccadilly Line to Cockfosters and the Victoria Line to Oxford Circus. Food ends up being Nandos, thankfully spotted as I made my way thanks to Google Maps via a few backstreets to the hotel. Intermittent text messages between myself and Tee end up being the inspiration to soldier on amidst all my tribulations.
As I always do on these trips, I make a pitstop at the Dominion Theatre for Hillsong, fortuitously they have a guest speaker on the day, Dr Mal Fletcher on the subject of Being a Marketplace Transformer and how Christians need to engage and transform it rather than ignore it for our bubbles. It is a fitting start to what turns out to be a great day about town.
Tee turns out to be way more gorgeous than her pictures suggest, and we have enough of shared interests to have a wide ranging conversation about anything and everything; so much so that over per-peri chicken and coke zero we talk for so long it is nearly 5pm by the time I reluctantly pull away for the wild race to Heathrow.
Three train changes later, I make it through security at Heathrow, barely in time again; thankful for a delayed flight than ever before, and giddy at just how great an evening I have had.. Somewhere in my heart, my inner romantic hopes that I may have just met theOne 🙂