Saturday, 22 April 2017

Here's hoping for a somewhat less eventful day today!

It is about 7.30am as I sit down to write this blog entry, and thanks to our cat – who wanted to be fed and made sure that I was awake at 6.30pm by gently 'batting' my forehead with her paw – I've been awake for just about an hour. So far I've managed to put my camera on charge to make sure that the batteries will not run out during my visit to SALUTE, and I've also installed a new SD card. I am going to have breakfast once I have finished writing this blog entry, and with luck I should be on my way to the ExCel Centre by 9.00am.

I am hoping that today is going to present me with fewer problems than yesterday did. It all started when I was on my way to central London by train. I arrived at Woolwich Arsenal Station to find that a direct service to Charing Cross Station was due in because it had been 'slightly' delayed. As the journey to London by mainline train is much quicker than the alternative DLR/Underground service, I jumped on the train as soon as it arrived.

Big mistake!

At every station on the way towards the centre of London we were held up because other trains were ahead of us. In fact it took thirty minutes to get from Woolwich to Blackheath (it should have taken about ten minutes) and by the time we reached London Bridge Station we were so far behind schedule that the train terminated there and we all had to get off and change to another train to complete our journey. That in itself wasn't a major problem, just an inconvenience. What happened next - however - was a major inconvenience.

Having reached Freemasons Hall late, I only missed a few preliminaries to the rehearsal for the meeting that was due to start at 5.00pm. The rehearsal was fine, and I went over to a nearby pub with a couple of the other attendees for a quick drink before the meeting was due to start. On the way back to Freemasons Hall I noticed that my brand new shoes felt as if they were getting very loose ... but thought nothing more about it. What I had not realised was that they were beginning to fall apart, and by 7.00pm - when the meeting ended - the top and soles of both left and right shoe were only attached at the toe and the heel!

I would like to say that I dashed up Long Acre to the nearest shoe shop to buy a new pair ... but dashing was the last thing I was able to do! Luckily for me the sales assistants in the nearby branch of Marks and Spencer lived up to their job description and kindly assisted me to find the only pair of shoes that they had in stock that fitted my size 11, extra-wide-fitting feet. £59.00 changed hands ... and I was able to walk again without worrying that the two halves of my shoes were about to part company!

I managed not to miss the after-meeting dinner (which was excellent) and got back to Woolwich a few minutes after 10.00pm ... just in time to see the bus I needed to catch drive off as I got to the bus stop. Luckily the service is not too infrequent, and by just after 10.30pm I was home.

As the song title says 'Things can only get better'; I hope that this statement is true!

14 comments:

  1. Bob,
    Trials and Tribulations at every turn- hope your journey to SALUTE is uninterrupted by inconveniences and your shoes hold together! Cheers. KEV.

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    Replies
    1. Kev Robertson,

      So far so good! Other than some rain, getting to ExCel was easier than it has been in the past ... but queuing for thirty minutes to get in was a bit of a drag.

      The show is better than I remember, and it took me over two hours just to walk around looking at the games.

      All the best,

      Bob

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  2. It's not about what happens but about how you handle it.

    Sounds like you overcame all obstacles. Proponents of extreme "friction" with no recourse take note!

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    Replies
    1. Ross Mac,

      It brought a whole new meaning to the expression 'being in a flap about something'!

      As I was walking towards the shoe shop and the shoes felt as though they were about to completely fall apart, I kept seeing the vision in my mind!s eye of Confederate troops marching in bare feet or foot rags. It sort of put my problems into perspective.

      All the best,

      Bob

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  3. Replies
    1. Brigadier Dundas,

      I did ... and have bruises on my feet to prove it!

      All the best,

      Bob

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  4. Hi Bob,

    I'd like to be there when you return those shoes to the shop, talk about not fit for purpose! Thank goodness for extended opening hours or you would have been stuck!

    Have a good day at SALUTE, I'm afraid I can't do crowds or noise these days due to my anxiety, but I did used to enjoy the shows. Please report back on the Perry's Travel Battle set?

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    Replies
    1. 'Lee,

      If they had been a cheap or old pair of shoes, I could have accepted their sudden 'failure' ... but these were Clark's Shoes and had never been worn before. I look forward to hearing the reaction to my complaint.

      SALUTE was less crowded than I expected ... but the trains weren't! You made the right decision not to go. Having suffered from a similar reaction to crowds, noise, and artificial lighting in the past, I know how you would have felt.

      I hope to write a review of the Perry's new Travel Game by the middle of next week.

      All the best,

      Bob

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  5. Sounds like Murphy was working overtime (Murphy's Law; I think it's called Sod's Law in the UK?).

    Last time I was in London, making my way through Heathrow, my shoes started losing their soles. So I know about flaps. At least mine were old shoes. But I had to wait until I could collect my checked baggage to get my spare pair of shoes.

    You're right though. It's a whole 'nother level for a soldier in a war to have their shoes/boots wear out and fall apart.

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    Replies
    1. Fitz-Badger,

      Yesterday certainly was a series of examples of if things can go wrong, they will go wrong!

      It sounds as if your experience at Heathrow was almost as bad as mine was ... but without the need to buy a replacement pair of shoes!

      All the best,

      Bob

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  6. My mother still refers to a famous diatribe in a letter from my school headmaster to all the parents complaining about the state of the pupil's shoes and made reference to the retreat from Moscow and Charlie Chaplin.

    I have been watching the Sky programmes on Freemasonry. What do you think?

    Guy

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    Replies
    1. Guy,

      That sounds like the sort of letter a headteacher would write! Having been a deputy headteacher myself, I know that one can easily become too concerned about minor things like ties being done up and shoes cleaned than major issues!

      I have yet to see the programmes about Freemasonry (I don't have Sky!) but I understand that the first episode has been uploaded to YouTube and I will watch it ASAP. As my appointment as Provincial Grand Orator for Hertfordshire was announced yesterday, I'd better know what people are asking me questions about!

      All the best,

      Bob

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  7. V many congratulations on your appointment. I have seen all three episodes so far and surprisingly I think they are well done and most participants come out of it looking pretty normal for a change. A real broad cross section of members although I do doubt non masons will sit through all 6 episodes. I'm sure they will do a DVD.



    Guy

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    Replies
    1. Guy,

      It was great to meet you, and thanks very much for your congratulations. I'm still finding out what my duties are ... but they can best be described as varied and various.

      I've yet to see the TV programmes about The Craft (we don't have Sky TV) but the reaction on the discussion groups has been interesting. It ranges from indignant outrage ('How could those at the top allow such an expose of our secrets?') to mild indifference ('As a non-Mason I can't see what the point is except to allow men the opportunity to dress up.'). I hope to watch it on YouTube or on DVD at some point in the future.

      All the best,

      Bob

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