There are days when opportunities fall in your lap, unbidden, seemingly from on high. Opportunities that it would be foolish to pass by.
This time yesterday morning I had no plans for today other than the purchase of a pain au chocolat to be enjoyed with the Sunday papers, faithful hounds at my feet.
As I type, I am happily devouring said pastry. But in a somewhat unexpected location. LHR, Terminal 5. A phonecall yesterday to my friend, client and fellow photographer, Warren, began innocently enough. Warren is a Cabin Service Director for BA and spends his days jetting around the globe. He told me excitedly he was off to Tokyo in the morning for three days and hoping to photograph the cherry blossom.
And so an innocent remark about me hiding away in his luggage slowly morphed into an idea. A plan even. A plan that Warren possibly had cause to regret at 3am this morning when he was still struggling to initiate me into his staff travel scheme (luckily he had one unused invite) and subsequently book me a seat on the next flight to Tokyo.
The fact that I have secured this ticket for little more than the price of a return flight to Edinburgh is joy enough. The prospect of visiting Japan on such a screwball, spur of the moment, lunatic whim makes it seem even more exciting. Loose plans to visit Tokyo for my 60th birthday last September rather disintegrated when I found myself agreeing to lead a workshop at the Sohn Gallery in Lenox instead.
In a valiant but doubtless futile attempt to deflect comments about 'the cat who got the cream' I will say that this comes at a hugely inconvenient time, midway as I am through preparations for displaying my work at Photo London, courtesy of the lovely people at MMX Gallery. It could also be convincingly (?) argued that I am taking one for the team and putting my busy schedule on hold, to dash out and do a quick recce with a view to leading a workshop there in 2021. I suspect such protests will fall on deaf ears at Chinnery Towers.
And my flight is called I am still pinching myself. I hope to update this running commentary of 'Two Camera Wobblers Go Mad in Tokyo' as time allows. I will have two whole days in Tokyo - not enough time to cram in even a fraction of what I want to do so a plan to consume my own bodyweight in RedBull is slowly hatching. Sleep is overrated, yes?
Unforseen delights - heated lavatory seats. Why did I never realise what a comfort this is I wonder? Why did nobody think to warn me about the lavatory situation here? I’d just started to mentally and emotionally adjust to the whole seat-warming situation when Warren informed me that you can have a wash and blow dry as well. And lo and behold, you really can. I’m completely discombobulated. Really don’t know how to process this information at all
Unforseen difficulties - the purchase of a pint of milk. Emerging from the 7-11 with a carton of what could have been absolutely anything. Thankfully what ended up in my tea was exactly what was intended.