"A Little Bit of Sunshine" - Reamonn, 2003
As many of you who read Lord Celery know, I travel quite a lot for my job. I run training courses all over the place. But the place I teach the most often is in London's Canary Wharf, and when I do I stay across the Thames in Greenwich. The hotel where I stay in Greenwich has almost become a home-away-from-home for me, I stay there so often.
I should say that I stay here so often. I'm staying here in Greenwich as I write this. My third day of teaching in Canary Wharf is tomorrow, and I'm headed back home to Oxfordshire tomorrow evening. I can't wait!
The staff at this hotel are so nice to me, and it always surprises me how many of them seem to recognize that I've become a "regular". But my very favorite member of staff here is Vitalis, one of the waiters in the hotel's restaurant. Vitalis brings me my room service dinners. ( I hate eating in public all by myself -- it's one of my worst phobias.)
Vitalis is my little bit of sunshine when I'm away from home. He's a funny, smiley, philosophical, interesting man. He aways has something nice to say that cheers me up when I'm tired and homesick. And we always chat about our lives when he brings my food.
Once last year, John came over with me when I was teaching at Canary Wharf and played tourist here in Greenwich for a couple of days while I taught. So Vitalis has met him. He refers to John as "The Boss", by the way, and then throws his head back in laughter at the thought that anybody could even try to boss me around!!!
When I last stayed here, it was mid-January, only a few weeks after John had his neck surgery. And I wasn't very comfortable leaving John to come here to teach. I remember telling Vitalis the story, when he asked how I was that trip. He told me to tell John that he'd pray for his recovery. And given the man Vitalis is, I'm fairly sure he has very special connections when he prays.
Believe it or not, when Vitalis brought my dinner up to my room last night, the very first question he asked me was how "The Boss's" neck was doing! I was floored. But then again I guess I wasn't. This is the kind of man who remembers those sorts of things.
So tonight, when he brought my dinner, I asked him if I could take his photo. And here he is -- my bit of sunshine when I'm working in London. Lord Celery readers, meet Vitalis!