Every year the free concerts at Canary Wharf get better – and more packed. People squidged into every inch of Canada Square until not a blade of grass is evident beneath the picnic mats, rugs, beach towels, discarded plastic wine glasses and feet. And this year…. brollies. For most of the first half the sun shone, perhaps not brightly, but pleasantly enough for an outside venue. Then suddenly, before the drummer could even change his beat, the sky turned black with menacing clouds drifting atop the silvery glassed structures. It was totally reminiscent of War of the Worlds: the tumbling masses of slate grey powder puffs threatened to part to allow a cosmic visitor to blast through…
Instead, the trees shook as a deep howl echoed around the square. At the exact point the singer reached the bridge of Livin’ La Vida Loca, the rain clouds burst and torrents were literally sheeting horizontally across the shiny walls surrounding us! The well timed lyrics made us laugh as we ducked for cover and kept dancing, the rain diluting our rosé as we splashed in spontaneous puddles. (Can you guess what today’s lyrics are going to be…?!! Martine will get it!)
As well as the weather, it was a social media storm! People were tweeting all around us as photos appeared on Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest and all over the place. Drenched partygoers smiling through the adversity of the British summertime…
London proved herself to excellent company again on Friday when a group of us traipsed about with Vic on his historic pub crawl. This was our second outing with Vic, an entertaining tour guide who I met a couple of years ago on Twitter, then discovered that, bizarrely, we were working in adjoining training rooms. For this, his ‘Stripper and Schooner’ tour, We met up on Friday in a seventeenth century hidden gem in Covent Garden with oak beams and a dizzying slanted floor – known in times gone by as ‘the Bucket of Blood.’ Then we walked the length of Soho (an ancient hunting cry, apparently!) to visit five more establishments dotted around the west end, including a beautiful gin palace, a sedate tavern and the birthplace of the communist manifesto!
Soho on a Friday night is about as busy as you can imagine. Office workers celebrating poets’ day, tourists shoving their euros at the barmaids, and us…. Laughing hysterically, learning less about the history of London’s ancient alehouses and more about each other than we wished to know. Carrying half full (never half empty) glasses of wine from one pub to the next, making new friends, networking, offering counselling to heal a broken relationship and generally putting the world to rights. Highly recommended!
And the rain held off, unlike Tuesday. This is what we were singing when the Canary Wharf storm struck: “She’ll make you take your clothes off and go dancing in the rain. She’ll make you live her crazy life but she’ll take away your pain.” (Whatever happened to Ricky Martin?)
Well I won’t make you take your clothes off (had enough of strippers for one week), but there’s a lot to be said for letting your hair stream down with the rainwater. I can definitely take away your pain though – especially if it’s business related. Call me to heal your social media problems, or ask me about it here: @WeekendWitch.
(Thanks to Mark Haringman for sharing the Canary Wharf concert pic!)