Don't think I am unaware of my reputation as a merchant of perpetual gloom and misery. Life is shit, don't bloody blame me for pointing it out, take it up with your God or gods. However, since you stick with me regardless, I thought it only fair to report on life's little joys, when they crop up. So: I had the best day EVAH today!
Was 8.30am stand-by at Marble Arch, which, for the uninitiated, in winter generally means standing on the street for eight hours pushing leaflets onto unwilling passers by. Not my favourite shift. However, since we're busy for the Christmas holidays, I was only on stand by until noon; time which passed quickly what with my being shuffled from Marble Arch to Green Park, and there being other guides milling around between tours who I could talk to. Then I got sent up to Hyde Park Corner to start an extra tour at 12.07 (I love how precise they are with their timings. 12.07pm and not a minute before was that bus to leave). Top deck was maybe two thirds full, and most of them stayed on for the whole tour. They were undoubtedly the best crowd I have ever had. Most were native speakers, those that weren't were totally fluent (really helps with the nuances), all were competely engaged and attentive. It's like being a very minor rock star with a tiny crowd of hard-core fans.
One couple pre-emptively tipped me a fiver about 20 minutes into the tour, despite staying until a few stops before the end. I like that kind of condfidence in my abilities. About half of them at the end of the tour asked for comment cards so they could praise me - one woman even filled it out in front of me so I could hand it straight in to the office - everyone clapped and someone asked for my full name and said they were going to give me a rave review on Trip Advisor, which would be my closest brush with fame since Peter Hitchens called me a Stalinist. I'm going to so disappointed if it doesn't happen now.
Then I had a half hour break, came back to the stop and was told that I wasn't needed any longer as there weren't going to be any further extra tours and I could retire for the day on full pay at 3pm! Was home by 4.30pm, discovered my new iPhone had arrived far earlier than expected (huzzah!), and was sprawled on the bed with a Crabbies and a bowl of peanuts (really good for healthy weight gain, apparently) by the time I'd normally just be knocking off.
So that was my very good day. Enjoy my childlike excitement at the simple pleasures of life. Just don't get used to it, you know it won't last...