I was unable to resist a free showing of Skyfall at the Scoop, an open-air amphitheatre near Tower Bridge, and claimed it as my birthday treat. Eight of us went along, despite the forecast of heavy rain for precisely the duration of the screening. In fact the rain had already started when I arrived at the venue. Most of the party converged on me at once from several directions, and we entrenched ourselves across a section of the stone tiers, where we were joined shortly by slightlyfoxed and my One Nice Colleague from last year's temp job in Wimbledon.
I provided some snacks and a bag of wine (a new and exciting concept for me), other guests had also brought food, and we hunkered down to have a very British picnic under our Cath Kidston umbrellas. I received birthday cards, which were a little soggy when I got home but had recovered enough to be displayed on a shelf this morning, a book called The Spy who Loved, and a four-pack of socks featuring woodland creatures (today I am wearing the hedgehogs). Then we settled down to watch the film.
It was shown with subtitles, including the excellent (imitates sound of falling rats) from Silva's barmy-villain monologue. The audience was appreciative, raising cheers at the shots of London in the rain. "And they say Bond is unrealistic!" commented one of my friends. The rain ranged from drizzle to downpour, finally clearing up in time for the Scotland finale, by which time half the gang had been forced to slink away. I said goodbye to the rest at London Bridge.
Learning point: quick-dry trekking trousers are not much use unless you're also wearing quick-dry underwear.
I went home wet but happy, feeling that it had been a successful evening enjoyed by all. My friends are a random bunch, collected from various educational establishments, hobbies, holidays and workplaces along my life's path, but their common characteristics are niceness and interestingness. Thus putting them together usually works out OK, as it did on this occasion. Four of us, by coincidence, were fiction writers of one flavour or another, and foozzzball pointed out afterwards that I had the makings of an interesting little critique group there. Hmm...