After the frustrations of work this week - and every other week since the beginning of March, if I were to be completely honest - taking Friday off for a day trip to London was a very much needed break.
This wasn't a spur-of-the-moment trip as I can do that any weekend. This was a trip with my cousin to the London Diving Chamber down at the Hospital of St John and St Elizabeth, St John's Wood, in order to undergo our Fit to Dive medicals as we both suffer with asthma, and ready for returning to diving this year along with an intended trip back to Sharm El Sheikh with Emperor Divers in October - Icelandic volcanic ash permitting! *
As per the medical back in 2008, it was a general discussion about our asthma and a few tests, such as spirometry tests, pee tests and nervous tests, the last of these being to ensure I have no problems with musculature control, not to see how I react to the doc shouting "Boo!" at me from various angles. In case you were wondering.
With the both of us being certified within an hour (certified Fit to Dive, I might add), and each wallet lighter by £60, we decided to head back to Embankment to try and locate Cameras Underwater, which was supposed to be in the Ocean Leisure store. Not being particularly familiar with London, despite the fact that I live on the outskirts and have travelled in on numerous occasions, my cousin had to whip out his funky-rubber-clad iPhone to try and find some directions for the place.
Whilst he fiddled with his tech, my instinct kicked in and I suggested we walk under the bridge and turn right, but he was still looking at his phone - so I wandered under the bridge and what do you know, Ocean Leisure!
iPhone 0 - OddThomas 1, me thinks :-)
Having not been diving for a year now, entering the store was like finding an old friend in a favourite toy shop and as the smell of neoprene hit me, I realised just how much I liked it: and anybody attaching sexual references to that comment needs their head checked ... I'm odd, but not that odd, thank you very much!!
After wandering the store, I found the one thing that I would love to get my hands on, the Ikelite underwater housing for the Canon 30D, but at £1200 the most I could do was stare at it longingly in it's glass case ... and then walking out before I found my bank account overdrawn. It's dangerous, this shopping lark.
Since we'd both taken the day off for the medical, we figured we might as well spend the day in London, so decided to make the most of it and pre-booked tickets at the IMAX to see the rather enjoyable How To Train Your Dragon. Okay, it's a kids film, but I'm definitely a kid at heart and love computer animated films so I was really looking forward to this.
For me, the only thing that let it down was that we were perhaps sat a little too low (row F), so if you didn't look at things immediately in front of you, you could see the stereoscopic image itself which sent my eyes funny and gave me a bit of a headache by the end of the film.
As for the film itself, it's one I'll definitely be getting on DVD when it is released :-)
* I've heard that this could impact flights intermittently for the next six months!