Thursday, 7 November 2013

Free tickets in the stalls to see One Man, Two Guv'nors? Yes, please! So off to the West End on Monday evening. While waiting for the curtain to go up, a jolly semi-skiffle band entertained. The man second from the left is playing the washboard - not something you see every day - or maybe it is if you're in this play. The old London theatre's are such a treat. Small, ornately decorated, as the Victorians were so keen on lots and lots of patterns and carvings, and always laid out like rabbit warrens. Even the safety curtains are interesting to look at. And the play? Some bits laugh-out-loud funny, other bits maybe not so much, but the price was right!

Not sure what to say about yesterday's drive to Birmingham and back on behalf of a non-driving friend who needed the lift. Was lovely to spend time chatting with the friend, but Birmingham on a wet, cold, November afternoon as the daylight finished 'round about 4pm? Well... I struggled to find the positive. The best things about it? The number of independent coffee shops (I counted four at the little intersection where I whiled away the time while my friend was at her appointment); the big, beautiful, mostly Victorian villas on the side streets; and the helpful Parcel Force man who said, "Follow me!" when we asked for directions after neglecting to take the right turn during jam-packed rush-hour traffic. The brutal, concrete downtown; giant motorways intersecting the city and general air of downtrodden despondency didn't appeal. Sorry, Birmingham. Am sure your fans will support you, but I was ever so pleased when it was time to leave.

It was about 9pm when I dropped my friend at her home and I was tired, but I was also aware that down in town were a group of workmates - all freelancers like myself who have met each other at various jobs - gathered for a pre-Xmas drink or three, and I couldn't resist! So off to the West End, where I found them in jolly mood at the Crown & Sceptre on Foley Street, W1.

And then off into the night to tube it home, laughing and rollicking down the street together and, wow, check out Oxford Street, looking like someone coughed a bunch of cotton-wool balls along its length. Maybe living in London isn't so bad after all...

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