Something for the Weakened

Tour Day Six – London

Sunday, December 10th, 2006 by

Awake reasonably bright and almost early. The brother of a friend of my brother had promised that he could get my brother, his other and I into see Primal Scream on the guestlist that night, so I was in quite a good mood. My brother had a bit of a sniffle as he made me beans on toast, but I though no more of it. Arranged to meet Simmo – I’d planned for it to be for lunch but he was watching the Chelsea Tottenham match somewhere near Bank so, after sorting out the exact location thanks to Google Maps, I head off alone to meet him. From the outside it looks like a conventional sports pub, except for the notice on the door forbidding soiled work clothes being worn on the premises. I imagine sweaty suited bankers being turned away. Simmo is easy to find and I join his posse of work colleagues and a couple of Thai ladies whose connection to the group I never did discover. We appear to be the only people supporting Tottenham in the building, which would have worried me had they not fared so appallingly in the match (Simmo doesn’t actually support them, but had a foolish bet on). I invite Jonat’ton to join us, which he does shortly after the game has finished (Josephine had already cried off sick for the day due to excesses of the previous night).

At some point my brother calls to inform me that he’s pulling out of Primal Scream, as his sniffle has developed into a full blown cold. He also tells me that there are around two hundred people on this possibly mythical guestlist, so if I want a chance to get in I should go down early. I moot the idea of trying to pass Simmo and Jonat’ton (in drag) as my brother and his other, but the idea is vetoed as Simmo has other plans and Jonat’ton (being a classically trained voilaist) probably wouldn’t be able to hear for the following day’s practice. Begrudgingly, I decide not to go. We drink remarkably cheap Guinness until Simmo departs with his colleagues (and the mysterious Thais) to a Vietnamese restaurant for someone’s birthday. Jonat’ton and I drink up and decide that food would be a good idea. We discover that it’s a poor one in the Bank area, due to a lack of any real sort of restaurants, over priced or otherwise. Eventually we hit the Barbican and dine in it’s barely quarter full Pizza Express, with wonderful views of the road it hangs over.

Having had our fill of overpriced cheesy bread, we try to navigate our way out of the Barbican. Easier said than done with it’s often contradictory signposting, but eventually we succeed and decide to head for Leicester Square to see a film. Getting out of the station we heave our way through the Saturday night throngs and get into the square itself. There are a couple of interesting looking productions going on, but on our first attempt Jonat’ton is informed that the student allocation for that screen is all gone. We are about to try again for another, when I notice that tickets are over fifteen pounds without discount, so we decide that a rethink might be in order. We try one more cinema, which is a lot cheaper but is only showing Sing-Along-A-Sound-Of-Music, before I decide that a wander around Soho would be more fun. I have a lot of time for Soho and so long as you don’t stroll through the doors of anywhere obviously dodgy, it is a fascinatingly pleasant area. After a bit of a wander we happen upon a real ale pub, with free seats and settle down for a couple more pints. From the second floor it’s amusing watching the people go by – sadly I missed the drag queens (or was perhaps too convinced by them), but did spot the flotilla of Hari Krishna’s singing and marching. Having discovered the time of the last bus from Muswell Hill’s nearest tube stop, we leave before closing time, make our way to Tottenham Court Road station, pausing only to snigger outside the offices of Tiger Aspect Productions. Jonat’ton heads back to Greenwich and I soon find myself on a bus away from the station. It’s only when I spot the signs for the North Circular that it occurs to me that I might be on the wrong bus. I evacuate, curse my luck and start to walk back to the station. My brother calls again to find out what’s keeping me and I’m about to have a go for him not telling me not to get that number of bus, when he points out that I probably should have caught a bus from the stop on the other side of the road, as those are the ones that actually go to Muswell Hill. I curse myself a fool, find another stop and am lucky to catch the prepenultimate bus back to the right zone. After a bit of confusuion finding the right flat (a mixture of darkness, flats looking the same and Guinness) I get in, find my futon already set and collapse almost immediatly into the warming embrace of kippage.

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