Last Wednesday was the first “official” date for Chelle and I, and it turned out to be a great night. I’d booked tickets to see Avenue Q in London’s West End on the advice of Lisa, who hadn’t seen the show but had heard form her sister that it was good.
Chelle had arranged for her friend to babysit from 5pm onwards, and I agreed to get to hers at around 5.30pm, which would have given her half an hour to explain what to do, how to do it, how often and, more importantly, which twin was which!
Early on Wednesday this changed to picking Chelle up at about 6.30pm as the babysitter, a girl that Chelle used to work with called Gemma, couldn’t get there until 6pm. No problem. I’d originally planned to drive to London, park up somewhere, stroll through Leicester Square, possibly grab a bite to eat and certainly a drink before getting to the theatre around 20 minutes before the performance started.
By the time I got to Chelles at 6.30pm, she was still getting ready (Grrr, bloody women are all the same!), and though she didn’t have much to do, we didn’t get going until about 6.50pm. What I’d estimated to be about a 45 drive showed on the sat nav as just under an hour. That was fine though, as the sat nav never takes into account the true mathematical calculations taken by drivers everywhere (effectively, go at least 20mph faster than the speed limit, unless you’re passing by a speed camera, in which case you must ALWAYS go 2mph slower than the speed limit, just to be on the safe side). Coupled with the expected inability that everyone in London has to drive, plus the unexpected delays along the Embankment, we parked up near Pall Mall with 5 minutes to get to the theatre. That kind of distance is fine for a meandering stroll, but not best suited to a quick dash, especially when yours truly has forgotten the exact location of the theatre, and also how to get where I had a feeling it may be located.
“Do you recognise where abouts you are?” I asked, part hoping that Chelle would respond by telling me that we were just around the corner from somewhere that I recognised.
“Nope. Not a clue. Apart from ‘London'” she replied.
Bugger. I mentally followed a map, walking a route through my head. I knew that, despite being a bleak back street, Leicester Square was somewhere to the left, and Charing Cross was somewhere ahead, and that I needed to continue straight on. Confidently striding through the thin streets which were devoid of life and roadsigns, I didn’t let on that I wasn’t100% sure of where I was, as this would, I felt, only detract from the date.
Fortunately, after a couple of minutes, we appeared on the road near Leicester Square that I recognised as being the right one. Hopefully. We went left and followed the road, and thankfully Wyndhams Theatre was on the right hand side, with massive adverts showing Avenue Q was on there. I’d gotten mixed up on the way to London after following a bus that advertised Avenue Q at the Gielgud Theatre, which was somewhere else in town. I found out later that it had moved to the Wyndham Theatre the week before.
Chelle, who didn’t know what we were doing, seemed to enjoy it. I had a great time. I’d never been to the theatre before, and though it wasn’t exactly Phantom of the Opera, it was a good and funny night out.
After getting out of the theatre at about 10.30pm (and bumping into Chris Evans, no less, who is a HUGE hero of mine. I decided against going to say hi, what with being on a first date and running the possibility that I may have wet myself with excitement) we decided to get something to eat and ended up in Chinatown getting a Chinese. History tells me that you should only ever get a Chinese in Chinatown, having had a bad stomach following a bad Indian meal in Chinatown over a decade ago.
We finally got home around midnight. The evening had been fun, but tiring. The meal wasn’t fantastic, but being with Chelle put a smile on my face nonetheless. The next night out is for her birthday, which is in 3 weeks time. That’s with her sister and her bloke, and we’re going into London again, where Chelle wants to go on the London Eye, and I think there are plans to go to the Dungeons too. Could be fun.