Friday was SHOPPING DAY, as I had a few places I wanted to check out in the Regent & Oxford street area. I hopped on my trusty number 15 bus, which took me directly to Trafalgar Square, just around the corner from Regent Street (not the shortest route, but saved me from having to take the Tube). I got off the bus and immediately lost my 4G connection, so Maps stopped working too. Then I started crossing the square and – who knows why? – just after taking this photo I was overcome by one of the worst panic attacks I’d had in years. In fact, since the whole cancer thing I’d pretty much stopped having attacks, but suddenly there I was terrified in the middle of Trafalgar Square. Somehow I got to the other side and saw two women talking in the street, so I went over and asked them for directions to Regent Street. This calmed me down a bit (distraction therapy) and I was able to carry on, but then realised the time (going on 2 pm) and decided to stop somewhere for lunch first. A nearby-ish recommendation from my Twitter pal Robin @HERMANOPRIMERO proved to be the perfect spot for solo dining.
I got a place at the bar and ordered a couple of tasty dishes, had a couple of glasses of wine, and thus fortified I was suddenly much less “panicked” and able to head out shopping…
hot butter devilled shrimps
black pork Kari Dosa with chutneys: coriander, tomato, coconut
What followed was a four-hour shopping expedition, mostly fruitful. I got some new clothes – Sevilla has very little “fat lady” clothes that aren’t awful polyester numbers better suited to grandmothers and maiden aunts. But man, it was hell walking in totally packed Oxford street, with many people staring at their phones as they walked, so bumping into everyone else. At some point I heard back from my friend Lizzie @hollowlegs who said she was able to get away from work early after all and would meet me at Noble Rot Wine Bar for their famous slip sole (apparently one of the trendiest dishes in London atm). Yes! But that meant getting there. From Oxford Street it looked a straighforward walk, but once again I got lost and – once again – Peter came to the rescue, directing via WhatsApp messages. And I finally arrived…
slip sole with smoked pimentón butter
roast saddleback chop, coco de paimpol beans and salsa verde
Lizzie chewing on a bone
It was great to catch up with Lizzie and hear all about her new job. Unfortunately she wasn’t able to join the couple of group dinners I’d arranged so I was really happy she made the extra effort to join me here for a quick bite, even though she had to get up at 5.30 the next morning. We called it quits around 9.30 and Lizzie also helped me order my first Uber! I got home exhausted and happy, and wondering how I was going to fit my new stuff into my already over-stuffed suitcase. There was only one solution – I’d have to buy another bag.