Arriving at The Park Plaza last night I was very grateful for some lovely dinner invitations but decided I was going to treat myself to an evening of solitude.

There comes a time when we all need a break from “being Chris Barrow” (substitute your own name).

On The South Bank last night I felt like a single blood cell, off to one side and watching the relentless stream of fellow corpuscles, cascading along the vein of the Thames Pathway, seeking the oxygenation of conversation, affection, entertainment, food and alcohol.

A part of me yearned for the same:

“Here I am on a warm, sunny Friday night in London amongst thousands and with a community of dental friends nearby – surely I want to be a part of what’s happening?”

There were moments when the urge to buy a few beers, seek out the camaraderie and gossip of the hotel bar, just to talk to someone, were overpowering – an embedded habit, difficult to shift.

Resisting the temptation, I just enjoyed my pie and mash and peacefully watched the world flow by.

“Merrily, merrily, merrily, merrily – life is but a dream”

Later, I strolled along the pathway and stopped to record and listen to a Portuguese love song, contemplate the slow turn of The London Eye and observe families, lovers, students, joggers, cyclists, skateboarders, musicians and a few lone rangers like myself..

Thinking about the week just gone and the day head.

Speculating on the core beneath the onion skins of passers by.

Back to my hotel around 21:15 and, after a quick FaceTime with Annie and a read, off to bed for what turned out to be 7 hours of deep sleep and a 05:00 start, refreshed and ready.

Normally I would have been off in my jogging gear, either heading up to Kew or down to Tower Bridge but cerebral circumstances dictate that isn’t an option right now (cue cabin fever).

So the morning has been in my room and down at breakfast, in continued isolation, just “getting my head straight” both physically and metaphorically and now off to a busy day of B2B networking at Dentistry Live.

Just about to dive back into the bloodstream and start swimming – but I’ve enjoyed the silence outside my head and quietened the cacophony inside.

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