I don't often listen to the radio in bed, but last night something compelled me to switch it on. I needed voices in the background to ease me to sleep. It was doing its job admirably for half an hour or so. If falling asleep is a journey guided by nodding trees to a cabin in the woods, or a riverboat ride to a special place from childhood, or a steep ascent on a mythical bird up, up and up, then I was as good as there - wherever there was. I'd felt sleep's fingertips, but then - then they slipped away. Something magical was playing on the radio and it steered me back to wakefulness. My need to sleep was strong, but my need to know this song was stronger. If I didn't get up now, the song would be lost in the black hole of lost songs, or at least that's how it felt. I walked to the kitchen in a daze and found the radio show's playlist. I found her on Spotify. I can't remember walking back to bed, but it was likely I was asleep before my head hit the pillow. I knew as I entered the realms of subconsciousness that this song would transform my whole weekend. And sure enough, it did.
I've just spoken to Steven and Paul, my cousins from Essex. They got the train into London for the marathon. My aunt, uncle, Paul's girlfriend and her parents are having a full English breakfast at Tower Hill, which serves as a good point for spectators. Paul told me he hopes to do the first half in 1 hour 11 minutes and the second half in 1 hour 9 minutes, so he's aiming for a 2 hours 20 minute finish, which would break his personal best by almost five minutes. As they wombled their way overground and underground towards the start line at Blackheath, the crowd turned into a throng. It's probably the capital's busiest day of the year. No probably about it. It must be. They got to Canary Wharf when Paul thought there was something wrong with where Steve was taking him. They were walking against the flow of the crowd. Runners and their relatives walking one way, Steven and Paul walking another. Steve led them to an empty platform at Canary Wharf. They were the only people on that platform, while the opposite platform was flooded with people.
'Are you sure this is the right platform, Steve?'
'Paul, don't worry. This is right.'
'But why are we the only ones on this side?'
'Because we're the only ones who know the train opens on both sides.'
And sure enough, it did. As the train drew up and the doors opened, they stepped on with no fuss or delay, watching a squeeze of people fill the train from the other side. I can imagine Paul in fits of laughter at both the scene he's just participated in and of his brother's vast knowledge of the London Underground System - and of course Steve himself smiling casually in the comfort that this knowledge brings.
Dad texted me this morning. Royal news. We've all taken a keener interest in the Royals since I shook hands with Prince Charles and we had a chat with him at Dumfries House. It simply read:
Kate is about to drop.
And sure enough, she did.