Saturday, 21 August 2010

London Ninja Episode 1.

Recently Gym Ninja found herself on a top secret mission to London.   Much excitement had taken place in the space of a few days, & due to the exciting nature of the opportunity that had presented itself, Gym Ninja would have to be a fool to miss out.   Thus followed many hours faffing online, visiting the Virgin Rail website to source the cheapest yet snobbiest return train ticket possible (yes, Gym Ninja prefers to travel First Class donchaknow)  and then more hours sourcing the cheapest yet snobbiest (see a pattern developing here?) hotel that would be within walking distance of the meeting venue & meet Gym Ninja's exacting demands.

FINALLY everything was booked. The train would be direct, First Class Quiet Carriage (shush everyone!) to arrive by 1pm, leaving Gym Ninja time to walk 30 minutes to meet some old work colleagues, have a nice cuppa and gossip, then walk another 30 minutes to the hotel, unpack, prepare, walk 5 minutes to the meeting which was at 6.30pm, then return to the hotel to meet a friend for the evening.  Then the following day would be another 'window' to meet another friend for a cuppa and a gossip, before walking across London to get the 2pm Virgin First Class Quiet Carriage back to Ninjaland.

PHEW!  All those whom Gym Ninja was meeting were aware of their time slots. All outfits had been prepared and everything scheduled to an inch of it's life.  Now for a leisurely breakfast before meandering to catch the train on the Big Mission To London.

Whilst Gym Ninja was cooking her mushroom egg white omelettes the telephone rang. It was the Top Secret Man From the Meeting. Aka, Mr Important. He casually wondered if Gym Ninja would be able to make it for 4pm a venue the opposite side of London? Apparently a Silverlink (or something similar sounding) train would get GN from Euston to the venue, albeit with a 15 minute walk to the building?


So, sounding casually chilled out and agreeing to the change of schedule happily, Gym Ninja went into complete meltdown upon hanging up the phone. No time to pre-plan everything!  Off came the 'travel outfit' and on went the 'meeting outfit'. Gym Ninja would not be able to change before the meeting, and having just enough time to fire off some messages letting the ex work colleagues know that tea and a gossip was now cancelled, Gym Ninja hurtled out of the door to catch her train. That'd be hurtling in purple 5" heels by the way.....!

Once on the train, Gym Ninja could relax.  Well, as much as a list-making scheduling freak COULD relax when their carefully chosen '5 minute walk to the meeting' hotel was now impossibly far away from the new meeting location and this in itself would entail a much dreaded first attempt at battling the mistress that is 'The London Underground'....

Despite being sat in front of  Cuddles The Monkey  and being drawn backwards every time the man sniffed hard, the journey was uneventful. Starvation was the only thing on the menu thanks to Virgin Trains only catering for those with a fancy to sausage or bacon rolls. The tea was like tar. Mmm.  No thank you. Then there was the 3 waves of nausea caused by Gym Ninja's inability to read and travel at the same time.   Upon arrival, Gym Ninja tottered off to the Railway Help Booth and begged the man for assistance.

"I need the 'Silver something' to THIS station & what looks like the black line to HERE. Please help me? Where do I find these trains?". Gym Ninja's eyes were all big and panicky.

The man looked amused.

"It's the Northern Line love, not the black line..." And with a grin, the man reeled off a list of platform numbers and printed out an all day return ticket. Would Gym Ninja EVER be seen again.......? He obviously didn't think so by the look on his face.

Having killed time supping on a diet Pepsi (perhaps not the best choice of tipple for someone so nervous) and plugging her iPhone surreptitiously into the wall of the bar she was sat in at the station to boost the battery, Gym Ninja eventually made her way to the overground train. The 'silver thingie'.   The phrase 'stuck out like a sore thumb' was created for such moments. The train was filled with combat/denim clad flat shoe shod folk. That'd be all except Gym Ninja who was dragging a suitcase as she tottered across the platform in the purple 5" heels and the black dress.  Of course, just in case that was NOT enough of a reason to stare at Gym Ninja, she decided to not hold on properly and stumble in a melodramatic way as the train pulled out of the station.


Once at the arrival station, Gym Ninja activated her iPhone map system and prayed for a strong signal as she began her 15 minute trek in blazing sunshine. NEVER has GN come across so many uneven paving slabs in her life. If her heels didn't catch and attempt to snap her ankle like a twig then her trolley case decided to turn on itself and start dragging, wheels-up, usually as GN was attempting to cross a road.  Of course this would not be enough humiliation. Oh no. Throw in about 4 or 5 car horn beeps and then you'll have an idea of how out of place Gym Ninja looked!

FINALLY she reached the meeting place. Great! Stairs. So, lugging the case up the stairs, Gym Ninja virtually FELL into the reception area, a fine sheen of sweat now across her face.  Again, the Humiliation Gods were smiling down on Gym Ninja today, and this meant that the Important Meeting Man wanted to do the theatrical double cheek kiss as a greeting. Yep Cop a load of that cheek sweat Mr Important!

Trying not to look exhausted and frazzled, Gym Ninja began the meeting with Mr Important feeling VERY frazzled indeed. Her memory blanked out immediately and when asked for further information that may help he get offered such an exciting opportunity, Gym Ninja came up with nothing.
This is despite Gym Ninja about to train up on a new PowerClub system that may be of interest to Mr Important, despite having an upcoming snippet published in a National Mens Fitness Magazine and also despite the fact that her photo is currently in another popular National Fitness Magazine.


Mr Important didn't look impressed. Why would he when Gym Ninja failed to tell him about the impressive stuff?  Gym Ninja would have panicked more but she was too busy wondering why her face was sweating when usually it never does? Mr Important then pushed Gym Ninja to state which was her favourite football team out of a choice of two.

"I don't follow football," Stated Gym Ninja. "I much prefer Formula One".

Mr Important wasn't having any of it.

"You MUST choose one. You must. Which one were you supporting as a child? You must have been pushed towards one? Which one is it? Red, or Blue?"

At that, Mr Important went quiet, waiting for Gym Ninja to answer.

Red or blue?
50/50 chance of saying the right thing here. Only two choices. Red or blue? Red or blue....?

"Blue!" Announced Gym Ninja, confidently.

*cue tumbleweed accompanied by a crushing heavy silence that lasted about 30 seconds*

"I'm a life long Red Fan Myself" Said Mr Important, his eyes cold.

Oh well that's just marvelous isn't it?  Bye bye fantastic opportunity. Gym Ninja may as well take her big sweaty face and impossibly high purple shoes out of the room right now!

Mr Important decided to change the subject.

"So, you don't have a regional accent. Why is that?" He enquired.

Gym Ninja, grateful for the change of subject, replied "Well technically I only live near that region, I used to travel a lot so picked up other peoples accents and anyway, who wants a horrid accent like that?" At this, Gym Ninja screwed up her face in disgust.

"I love that accent." Replied Mr Important.


*Taxi for Gym Ninja*

 Tune in tomorrow for the next exciting Episode of London Ninja.....

Gym Ninja x