Tuesday, 7 February 2006


Kidnapped I was, not in the traditional bag over the head bundled in to the boot kind of a way, it was much more subtle than that.

Chris is a friend of mine from university, well although we were at uni together we actually meet at a festival, he was camping with his girlfriend of the time in a tent next to me and my girlfriend of the time. I should have remembered that Chris is the kind of reprobate that goes to festivals and listens to that boom boom music and thus been on my guard when he emailed and suggested we met up for a quiet drink yesterday. “Only a quick one” he wrote “I have a lot of work to do so I will have to leave by 8.30”, that sounded fine to me.

I got to Waterloo at about 7pm and asked for directions, the French accent of the guy that gave them to me should have alerted me to the fact that the directions were not necessarily being given by a local. I found Chris who immediately asked what had taken me so long to get the 100 meters from the station, I pointed out that the way I had come was a lot longer than 100 meters and so 10 minutes was actually not a bad time to cover the distance in. We strolled of to a bar in which it became rapidly apparent Chris had been with his friends for quiet some time and I’m afraid to say that Chris spiked my drink. Not, I grant you, in the traditional slip some vodka into a soft drink sense but more in the “there was a two for one offer on cocktails until 7 so I bought you three” kind of a way. There they where resplendent in their garish cacophony of colours, fruit and straws awaiting my consumption. Jolly nice.

It turns out that Chris and all his friends are all law students, nevertheless they made for good company and the fact they had no jobs to be going to in the morning made for an extraordinarily jovial atmosphere for a Monday night. Wine was ordered; often.

Living in the woods has many advantages; by comparison to the frozen lumpy ground a wooden floor in a stranger’s flat is hugely comfortable. Everything I might need for such an excursion is already handily strapped to my back.

Before setting off on my journey to work I had decided; that I didn’t want to take the tube or a bus, that I wasn’t going to ask directions and that I didn’t know where I was. I knew the name of the nearest tube stop but I didn’t know where it was, a quick perusal of my tube map revealed that I needed to travel north. A nice idea but once outside it became clear that the area was so built up and the sky so overcast it was impossible to see where the sun was and thus I had no clue where north was. There where a large amount of people all walking in the same direction so I decided to follow them, figuring that they would probably be going to a tube station. Soon enough though there were two groups of people walking in opposite directions there appeared to be nothing familiar in either direction but the path to the left led to a main road. The good thing about being lost in London is that if you can find your way to a main road you will soon find a bus stop and most bus stops have maps on them, only local maps but they can at least get you heading in the right direction. When I got to the main road I caught a glimpse of the sun and realised that I had been walking pretty much south rather than north but this wasn’t an issue as I also realised that I was only about 5 minutes from work. It seems tube maps are not the best way to find your way about over ground. Who would have thought it?

I have had enough of city life and I’m looking forward to going back to the woods tonight.

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