Tuesday, May 24, 2011
"Too Close for Comfort" or "Never take a 2-person lift with 4 people"
Wanting to take it a bit easier yesterday, Shera and I walked - with fashionable cane in hand - to Foyles Bookstore, a very old bookstore that boasts 7 miles of books. I wanted them to prove that to me, but the clerk was not of that humor. But, it was wonderful to be in a bookstore which had such history.
Shera and I parted ways for the remainder of the day. She was going to see about attending a play and I was headed out to dinner with friends and wanted to rest up a bit.
Let me preface these next few paragraphs by telling you that I don't drink alcohol. Sure, an occasional champagne for a festive occasion and about 5 years ago I had a chocolate martini because I was intrigued by the very notion of its existence. That drink I nursed throughout my entire meal, which gives you an idea of the extent of my drinking.
When I went down to the hotel lobby, where I was to meet my friends, they had already had wine in their hands. I sat down in the bar and ordered a ginger ale. We talked and laughed. The we caught a taxi for martinis at Canaught's which is known to have the best martinis in London. WELL, how could I pass the opportunity to sample the best martini in London? Not knowing dry from wet, I left that up to my friend (I do know that there was an infusion of lavender in it). It was a good choice.
We were then joined by two more people - companions of my two friends. They ordered martinis, drank up, and off we went to hail a taxi to the restaurant.
"Wild Honey" had an eclectic menu and while I was perusing it, champagne, white and red wine had been ordered. I looked up from my menu to see 3 glasses in front of me. Naturally, I wanted to be polite.
We toasted and another person joined us for dinner. Now there were 6 of us and we knew that another couple were going to join us for dessert.
The meal was scrumptous, and got increasingly better the more I consumed the drinks. After dessert, we decided to go back to Richard's apartment for drinks. Ah, the London experience.
He explained that his apartment was around the corner, but for some reason some of us hailed a taxi and some took their car. It's in the Mayfair section of London which is a very desirable and upscale area.
So, Richard, myself and two ladies entered the lift (elevator) in his apartment building. Aparently, the limit is 2 people at a time. Those of you who get squeamish at the thought of claustrophobia, this may be a good time to turn off your computer. We guessed the dimendiond to be 2 1/2 X 3 feet. I was against the side wall and could not lift my arm, whuich should give you an idea of the depth. The other two ladies were basically kitty-cornered to the back wall, and then Richard entered closed the metal grate, pressed the floor button and up we went. A few feet up. The lights flickered off, then an emergency light came on as the lift stopped between floors.
We could hear the friends who were to join us at his apartment outside ringing to be let in. Richard kept calling his girlfriend, outside, but her phone battery had died. He managed to awaken a person who maintained the building, who said he would get in his car and come immediately. He did arrive and the lights flickered on, the lift began to move and we headed up to the top floor. Now, the smart thing to have done would have to have gotten off on the next floor up and then walk. No, we headed to the top. Just a few feet below the top floor, the lights flickered and again wecame to a stop. There was a collective groan.
Richard called the man again who was already in his car heading back to bed. The gist of the story is we did make it to the top, got off the lift, and had another drink.
I can honestly say that I feel very close to these people now (perhaps too close). We shared an adventure that may make it into my next novel.
Needless to say, we took the stairs down.