It was a sad sight to see Croydon’s bastion of cheap and cheerful Chinese cuisine, the oriental equivalent of a greasy fast food restaurant (which, in our youthful exuberance, we considered to be a good thing), Noodle Time is no more. In its stead they are constructing what appears to be an identical establishment of dyslexic literary pretentions, the “Oriental Xpress”. In its defence, at least its colour scheme exhibits something resembling taste.
With such things weighing heavily upon my mind, it is perhaps excusable that I did not notice Haseeb & Co. who bumped into me (literally) on the way home. Their extended shopping trip had led them out of the confines of Cambridge to Oxford Street, and from there to Croydon via Streatham. They appeared to find this bizarre arc as perplexing as did I.
Yesterday was the Bird & Bird Summer Party which, due to the chance timing of our placement, we were invited to attend. It definitely confirmed our impression that this is a firm that knows how to have fun. As well as mingling with trainees, it also gave me the chance to chat more freely with members of my department whom I did not usually see. Despite the freely flowing champagne and the liberally stocked open bar, the vac scheme students all remained with the realm of respectableness. The same cannot be said of one future trainee who, rumour has it, may have jeopardised his contract. Arguably the riverside view of the Westminster Boating Base was not quite as pretty as last year’s Kensington Roof Gardens venue, and the indoor steel band idea was somewhat poorly conceived, resulting in a packed balcony outside. But despite these few quibbles, it was a great event that left us all thoroughly merry and thoroughly impressed.