Do you believe in fate?

Well gentle readers, if things had gone according to plan I would be sitting in a bar in Edinburgh right now, as is often the case, things didn’t go according to plan!

On Sunday I headed off to see the Caravaggio exhibition at the National Gallery – it was breathtaking! After a spot of lunch with William and Cleeve I headed over to see Cecile and Fred but there was no one home, so i walked to Covent Garden and had a couple of pints, then I got a call from Fred – they were home. I said I wouldn’t go round as I was closer to home and I still had to pack but being easily persuaded I said OK, I’ll pop round for a few oysters and some champagne…

We laughed, we drank, we ate, we finished the champagne and had some cherry vodka from Poland – it was delicious then we had some whisky…then we had some more… I woke on the floor of William’s place on Monday with no real recollection as to how I got there – I had missed the train to Edinburgh…

So, checked online and a replacement train was too expensive so i figured OK, I now have a week off in London. I called Cecile to see what she was doing – she was going to the pub to meet a colleague – a drink seemed like a damn fine idea. I called Aurelie in Edinburgh to let her know I wasn’t going to see her after all – it transpires she’ll be in London on Thursday – so perhaps I will see her after all.

Sitting int eh pub with Cecile and Caroline I noticed a rather attractive girl sit down, white t-shirt and white trousers, drinking red wine…yes, you can guess what happened, wobbly table, pretty girl in white, red wine… So old habits die hard, my first thought was to find an open shop and buy her a pair of trousers so she didn’t have to walk around looking like she had just poured red wine over herself, but then I thought – “Don’t be so bloody stupid!” so I argued with myself for a bit more then asked Cecile if it would be really crazy for me to ask the pretty girl for the size of her trousers to get her a replacement pair… Cecile thought I would indeed be crazy and stupid and few other choice French phrases… So I asked the pretty girl for the size of her trousers.

Ran off to a store opposite the pub and tried to get a pair but the owner said we really needed the girl, so ran back to pub to collect girl. She thought I was funny for wanting to buy her something, I figured that was a good sign :-) Pretty girl turned out to be called Julie. Originally from St Louis but now resident in San Fransisco. Julie was in London for only a few more days before embarking on a Contiki tour of Europe – she asked what I was doing on Tuesday, “as it happens,” I said – “nothing!” so we arranged to meet for lunch.

Met Julie for lunch, went to La Perla and had a most enjoyable day, we chatted and laughed and had a mini pub crawl finally saying good bye at about 7pm, almost 7hrs after we met. If I had caught the train I’d never have met her, so perhaps fate intended for us to meet, certainly she didn’t have to ask me to have lunch with her but she did and if nothing else she has a story to tell of the strange Scottish guy who insisted on buy her trousers when she was in London.

Now home and about to head for bed, so tired and in need of a rest. It’s been a hectic few days but a good hectic, i made a new friend and I feel alive again. How many times do we have the option of talking to a stranger who catches our eye but we don’t? On Monday I did and it wasn’t as painful as I used to tell myself it would be. Have a great time in Europe Julie and come back again soon!

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