Day 137

Level 2 Chi Kung.

APM Project Management. Arrived at Broadgate Tower slightly late (09:12 for a 9am start) jumped in a lift and pressed the … uh oh, no buttons. Peered discreetly around, trying to see if the buttons might be hidden behind one of the other passengers. Nope. Finally asked someone. Oh no, no buttons, you have to select your floor on the touch screens outside the lift well and then go to the lift that the screen tells you is going to your floor. By this time we were at the 23rd floor (I needed the 11th). I was advised to take the first lift going down and get off at the interchange floor, except no one could remember if the interchange floor was the 19th or the 17th. Got off at the 19th and was stuck there for 10 minutes waiting for a lift down. Finally had to go all the way back to the lobby and start again. Got to the 11th floor at 09:32 but 11th floor reception claimed to have no knowledge of the course and weren’t prepared to let me just cruise the meeting rooms until I found one full of people who looked like civil servants. They suggested that I phone civil service learning. CSL then insisted that the course was in the Piccadilly suite, while reception insisted that the Piccadilly suite wasn’t in use. I handed my mobile to reception in the hope that they would thrash it out between them but no joy. Finally CSL phoned the trainer and got him to look at the name on the door of the room he was teaching in. Course utterly dull and because CSL won’t pay for coffee and tea, every break has to be extra long because, if one needs caffeine (and believe me, one does) one has to brave the crazy lifts to leave the building and buy coffee down the street. Hey ho – it’s going to be a long week.

Not enough time after the course for it to be worth going home before the ROH live screening of Placido Domingo in Verdi’s I Due Foscari, so I went straight to Greenwich and stopped at the Rivington for a glass of wine and a scotch egg (nothing like you imagine – organic free range egg, yolk still soft, encased in delicately seasoned organic pork and served with a yummy salad). The couple at the next table heard me say to the waiter that I needed to get the bill so that I could get to the screening on time and told me that they had seen it live at Covent Garden last week and it was very disappointing. My heart sank a bit when I heard this – but in fact I loved it. Not disappointing at all. Domingo was great as the Doge and Maurizio Muraro was a fabulous (and seriously gorgeous) Jacopo. A lovely evening.

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