Living Ghost Gets to Party
A friend of mine was having a thirtieth birthday party in the evening and I really wanted to go. However, being pretty exhausted after the bike ride and tour and having had another meal high in carbs but low in any other nutritional value (the fishfingers were 52% ‘minced fish’!) I was wondering if I would be able to manage it.
The party was in Streatham which is a good few miles away, and the prospect of another 10 mile round trip by bike was not all that appealing having only just got back from Highgate. Moreover, bike helmet-hair and B.O. are not a winning combination when schmoozing with complete strangers at parties. But Anna decided to go by train and meet me at the station near their house with deodorant to mask the worst of it.
Anyhow, I cycled in roughly the right direction and despite a few wrong turns, a number of unexpected hills and some run-ins with aggressive taxis I arrived at the station not so very long after I had agreed to meet Anna, sweating considerably (me that is, not her). Seeing me she looked slightly guilty and said, "Oh hello darling. I’m really sorry. I forgot your deodorant…"!
And so it was that I breezed into the party, buzzing and self-conscious. But I soon forgot this embarrassment when I saw the spread! Seconds later I was tucking into cakes and pouring a big glass of lemonade. However, despite my initial enthusiasm I couldn’t maintain my appetite. Perhaps my stomach had shrunk? Maybe I was full of pasta and minced fish? Whichever, it was most disappointing and I ate nothing else all evening.
I am off alcohol for Lent, so I couldn’t even take advantage of the free booze. I ended up collapsed on the sofa trying not to let air waft from my armpits, watching as the more inebriated guests "throw some shapes" on the dancefloor (their words, not mine – they were certainly rather odd looking shapes). Life and soul of the party I was not, and I would have probably left earlier had I not been thinking about my sore buttocks and the pounding they would take on the ride back.
Oh to be able to be able to afford the night bus home... I have never really appreciated my reliance on and need for public transport in London. As the mileage racks up day by day I realise that even essential journeys have taken me distances that are not possible to walk. And I am lucky enough to have a bike - for a Living Ghost without an independent form of transport life must be incredibly difficult - and very restrictive.
Come back loyal Oyster card - all is forgiven.