Saturday, February 20, 2010

Soire En Passant

Had a lovely night last night at the London Oratory School Theatre; Cygnet Players were doing Thoroughly Modern Millie.  Stuart B was the choreographer and Johnny C (his partner) was directing.  It turned out to be a bit of a Chorus night too; there were about twenty of us in the audience.

The show was excellent; fantastic costumes, great dancing and Olly and Mark A in the cast too.  Rather unusually, they did the lines of the Chinese characters in Chinese and had screens by the side of the stage with the translations.  Great comic effect as the evening wore on.

Today was a very late start; the lie-in went on rather too long, so by the time I got up it was pretty much time to leave to meet Lee S in town.  He’d offered me a spare ticket he had for a movie called Namibia.  It was a three-hour epic charting the country’s struggle for independence from South Africa.  Neither of us was familiar with the background, so while the movie wasn’t the best I’ve ever seen, it was educational.

Stopped off at PD for a few hours on the way home.

Thursday, February 18, 2010

Rod’s Forty-First

Had a lovely dinner tonight at The Spread Eagle in Greenwich.  It is Rod’s forty-first birthday today so the four of us went out for dinner.  Excellent cuisine which we all agreed we should indulge in more often.

I also managed to get through the whole evening without thinking about the Velma Kelly quote from Chicago!

Before dinner I’d been at Karen L’s leaving drinks at work and got the gossip on her departure – which seemingly had nothing whatsoever to do with her going back to university!  I am consequently in a bit of a moral dilemma which I need to think on a bit more before choosing a course of action.

Friday, February 12, 2010

The Ronson Track

So Wednesday we got an email, Thursday we had the rehearsal and Friday evening forty of us were in a recording studio.  Mark Ronson had asked us (the Chorus) to do some backing vocals for the title track of his new album, ‘The Business’.

Hard work both Thursday and Friday nights, but I think in the end we gave a good performance.  Am curious to see how it sounds when it’s all properly mixed.

Everyone under the age of thirty has been agog when I’ve told them we’re working with Ronson.  I had to look him up on Wikipedia.  Am definitely no longer part of the younger generation…

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Feebleness and Femtocells

Monday happened but I wasn’t much chirpier.  Chorus perked me up a bit with the good music.

Tuesday I spent the morning at a Vodafone event in the City.  It turned out to be a plug for their latest brainwave; a cheap SoHo femtocell.  It’s a good idea but not much use to us at the moment; we don’t need one anywhere in the UK and they can’t be used abroad.  The event did give me a chance to get some quality hands-on time with the latest offerings from HTC, Nokia and RIM though.  And the lunch was good.

The afternoon was largely a write-off.  I gave up trying to force myself to do useful work after a while and got Rob H to upgrade my laptop to the latest test-build of Windows 7.  The migration went smoothly enough.

The upgrade project as a whole is giving me headaches though; there are various delays creeping in so we are going to have to delay the delivery.

Tuesday evening we were meeting Mark & Chris for drinks.  They are fleetingly together and in London and we’d arranged to meet up.  We started in Rupert Street for drinks along with Ping (who is consumed by the RADA production of Company he’s involved with) and then Brett and I went on with them to Bodeans for ribs.  Strangely they were both really keen on the venue and then neither of them had any kind of pork or ribs!

Wednesday more than made up for Tuesday’s inadequacy though and I got plenty of work done; confirmed the revised schedule, alerted the business heads and the training company to the change, revised all the room bookings and got our hardware purchasing finalised.  That and dealt with a couple of legal issues and yet more software licensing renewals.  I ended up staying late.

On my way home I got a call from Anthony F; the Chorus has been asked to record a track with a well-known artist at very short notice and he wanted my help getting the word out to everyone that we needed to field a group tomorrow night and Friday afternoon.

…So, I’d woken up around 4am and not been able to get back to sleep.  Shortly after 4am I discovered that my Facebook was offline due to ‘Site Maintenance.’  By the time I got home from work around 8pm I still had no Facebook and the general irritability I’ve been feeling this week, meant I could do without having to do a single-handed awareness-raising campaign.  Luckily Brett arrived home around the same time I did and he took care of things, while I dosed ahead of my piano lesson.

It all added up to me having done no piano practice at all this week, so I went in with a certain amount of trepidation.  I did okay though.  Without having practiced at all, I was better this week than last.  I wonder how much greater my improvement would be if I did actually put in the work between lessons.

Still irritable though.

Sunday, February 07, 2010

Cocktails When I Shouldn’t

Took Friday off work.  Whatever I’ve got is really sapping my energy.  Napped through half of the day.  Friday evening we had tickets for Macbeth at the Broadway Theatre.  I’d been quite looking forward to it, but it was a rather average production;  too many people reciting Shakespeare rather than acting it.

Saturday evening we had dinner with Rod and Jess and friends in Wimbledon.  An enjoyable game of Trivial Pursuit followed.

Sunday was another quiet day.  This evening we were in town at the Cellar Door at the corner of the Aldwych for Stephen B’s farewell drinks.  I discovered a cocktail called a Gingerbread Ladyboy (Cognac, White Chocolate Liqueur, Ginger Syrup and fresh cream) which was dangerously drinkable.  Came home.  Ate pizza.

Thursday, February 04, 2010


Tuesday was tedious at work.  Also I’d cycled in for the first time in over a week and was feeling a little the worse for it.  Having another workout session with Lee S didn’t help.  Need to plan me fuel intake more carefully I think.

Had a positive piano lesson in the evening though; I still need to practice, practice, practice but I am making progress – albeit slowly.

Wednesday had a nice lunch with Owen A; lots of our traditional sparring which was quite cheery. Interesting chat with Hugh J back at the office though, seeking my input on a proposed new management structure.   These are interesting times, but in a good way.

Rosie had Jess and Ruth round for their first book club session in the evening so Brett had gone to a Democrats Abroad meeting.  I spent the evening processing Mikey’s photos from the weekend.  As expected there’s a high proportion of good shots – although his first reaction to seeing the proofs was that the proportion was low.  I suspect that seeing one’s own image in a deliberate portrait (as opposed to a random snapshot) is a lot like hearing a recording of your own voice; because you don’t hear/see yourself as others hear/see you very often, your opinion of what you should sound/look like is quite different from everyone who knows you.

The run-down feeling I had on Tuesday was still with me today.  I’m worried I may be incubating the ‘flu that Rowan had. It got quite bad this afternoon when I was worn out by a flight of stairs and started getting hot and cold flushes, so I came home early and dozed on the couch for a couple of hours.  Felt reasonable this evening so worked on more of Mikey’s pictures, but am still feeling below-par.  May take tomorrow off or at least work from home to try and get shot of whatever it is.

Tuesday, February 02, 2010

The Days, They Fly On And On

What a week it’s been!  I’ve had very little time off since last Tuesday.  After a busy Monday and Tuesday and a long day at work on Wednesday,  I skipped the Gay Photographers Network event and just came home and vegetated in front of the TV.  Rowan had come back from Beverley suffering from the ‘flu and so was in a bad way on the other sofa.

Thursday was quite a busy day at work, with a selection of meetings, lunch with the other Corporate Heads and a long to-do list.  In the evening though we were off to see Sir Ian McKellen and Roger Rees in Waiting For Godot at the Theatre Royal with some of Brett’s colleagues.  It was far more interesting – and funny – than the last time I saw it as a young teenager one summer at Stirling University.

Friday night we were into Soho for Andrew L’s leaving drinks.  He’s off back to the States to sort his visa, while waiting for replies to his PhD applications.  A pleasant night chatting to the usual choral suspects.

Saturday was half spent working on Ewen C’s photos from last Sunday and half writing up the Steering Committee minutes from Tuesday.  Finished the former but not the latter before we went out to see The Magnets, an acappella/beatboxing group of six guys who filled an evening at the Roundhouse with fantastic, fun, familiar music.  I regularly had to remind myself that the sound was entirely vocal; they were that good.  We were there with Guy T and Mark F from the Chorus and Rod and Jess – with whom we’d had a (somewhat rushed) dinner at Belgo Noord again.  Everyone seemed to get on well together – Mark, as a scouser, certainly has the gift of the gab.

Sunday morning was mostly spent clearing up in the flat so I could spend the afternoon doing a photoshoot with Mikey.  He needed some headshots and I’d offered him a session so that I could use the remainder of the time experimenting with new ideas and different ways of working with my kit.  Was a very successful day; as well as good headshots, I reckon we’ve got some excellent portrait pictures.  Even the stuff that didn’t work so well is useful because I now have a better idea of what to try in future.

Sunday evening was spent finishing off the Steering Committee minutes though…

Good day at work on Monday was only marred by the discovery that a former colleague had done something infantile and malicious (and possibly actionable!) on the Internet in relation to a current colleague.  It was really quite sad, as I’d thought quite highly of them until this came to light.  It’s no wonder I’m so cynical.

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

From Therapy to the Chorus

Started the day in Brick Lane today.  I was doing a market research interview about what would make me (as an business IT purchaser) feel inclined to choose one of the Linux brands over Microsoft.  These sessions are often interesting not because of the product they’re having me look at but because of what the questioning reveals about the way I think – or rather don’t think, but react.

Today has brought forth from my subconscious the fact that I perceive Linux in all of its various flavours (and by extension probably all open-source software) as of dubious quality because I feel it’s built by an undirected group of people; imagine a loose coalition of do-gooder  programmers, each with their own agenda, pulling it in their own direction, decisions taken by a big committee and you’ve got the idea.  That seems to be what was lurking underneath my conscious belief that Linux wasn’t really worth considering as a business system.

At the end of the session, I mentioned to the interviewer that I was really surprised that this seems to be what I believed and she observed that these interviews can be quite like therapy.  I’ve never had a problem that I’ve needed or wanted to see a psychologist (psychiatrist?) about, but now I’m curious.  It might be rather interesting to have someone poke around in my subconscious for a bit and see what other gems they come up with!

Having that interview first thing though meant I had a mountain of stuff waiting for attention when I got into work though, even with clearing some of it down through my PDA.  The rest of the morning was busy.

I had my second appointment with Lee S today.  He worked me quite a bit harder than he had on Friday and at the end of it I really felt like I’d had a workout.  So far though, no excessive aches or pains as a result…

After a busy afternoon, I walked across the river into Westminster where the Chorus’ Steering Committee was due to meet.  Ciaran M, the Chorus Secretary, had recently resigned and I’d been approached about being co-opted onto the committee to cover the role until the AGM.  The meeting was remarkably civilised, a vast improvement on my last participation and, while it ran long because some (many) members can be quite verbose, it felt productive and professional.  I won’t go so far as to say I enjoyed myself, but I certainly felt it was worthwhile.  Now it’s a case of seeing how great the workload is and deciding if I want to stand for a two year term at the AGM in April.

Monday, January 25, 2010

Brief Monday

Productive day at work today; got lots of stuff done on the Windows 7 Roll-out Project.

Had Sectionals tonight for Chorus so it was a pretty intense rehearsal.  Still loving Dies Irae, but finding Carousel a bit repetitive now.  Didn’t get to sing the Money Song though.

Sunday, January 24, 2010

Linda Lovechunks’ Round-Up

Not many notable points in the remainder of the week.  It turns out that RADA’s production of Company is already sold out and I’ve had to put my name down on the waiting list for us to have a hope of getting tickets.  Since when do student shows sell-out a month in advance?  Since the Sondheim Society got wind of it I suspect!

Met with Lee S, my new personal trainer, on Wednesday for a discussion and then again on Friday for my first session.  As expected my legs are in good condition but my upper body is pretty much all jelly.  After the pro-forma medical baseline was complete, the actual workout bit was quite good fun.  He’s not a fan of the weights machines and instead had me balancing on air-filled plastic domes and high-kicking in front of the mirrors.  He even had me do a bit of sparring with him.  I was a bit dubious at first but it was actually quite enjoyable.  I came away feeling exercised, but not overstretched and am looking forward to my next session on Tuesday.

This weekend has been busy – and is only the start of a hectic week to come.  Friday evening I was in a pub with the folks from work as we said farewell to Mike G, an Associate of our company, a host of many a good summer barbeque and all-round good egg.  For once I got there before they served the food, so was able to eat my fill, and had a really nice evening chatting to everyone.  Plus I discovered unexpectedly that another of my colleagues is gay (there’s actually quite a number of us when I think about it!)

Saturday morning started slowly as a result of the Friday-night alcohol, but I eventually got my act together enough to head into town for a demonstration against the police’s random stop-and-search power and its use against photographers of all types for no readily apparent reasons.  There have been a number of patently stupid cases recently where police have used the antiterrorism law to harass someone taking photographs.

The demo was in Trafalgar Square and there was a reasonable crowd populating the steps in front of the National Gallery and the area in front of them, lots and lots of cameras in evidence but for the most part no police officers.  (Some did show up later on – a couple of very young and nervous looking constables who were later joined by a couple of PCSOs, but on the whole quite a reduction in normal police manpower for Trafalgar Square on a Saturday afternoon!)

The demo only lasted an hour or so and I headed back home afterwards to chill some more before the evening.

Saturday evening was the LGMC’s annual party (aka the Christmas Party or the Awards Party.)  This year there was a meal beforehand in Chalk Farm.  Thanks to various transport tribulations we arrived an hour late – but still in time to eat the entire meal with the group.  Well, actually, because we’d arrived late we were at the end of the table but we had a pleasant time chatting to Marc A and one of the new guys, Mark K, and Sacha K when he arrived after us.

After dinner we strolled down to Camden and the Black Cap.  The format was the same as in previous years; there was some cabaret (Alisdair L dragged-up as Linda Lovechunks, the Chorus Cleaner and did an amusing recap of the year, and Mikey did himself up as a kind of TinTin-like schoolboy and sang ‘Grandma’ to Anthony F.)

The cabaret was followed by the Annual Awards, recognising the best and the worst of the year gone by.  I got nominated for both cutest couple (with Brett) and most nauseating couple (with Mikey.)  He (Mikey) was a bit uncomfortable with that I think, but I am quite sanguine about it.  There seem to be a few choristers who have decided that Mikey and I are so close that we must be sleeping together and nothing will convince them otherwise.  To be honest, so long as Brett knows what is (and is not!) going on, then I’m quite flattered that some people believe I have it in me to attract and keep the attentions of a good-looking, energetic seventeen-year-old!

After the awards the music came on and I spent the rest of the evening drinking and mingling.  Quite a few of the new guys were there; Mark K (from dinner), Freddy C, Adam KS and Kevin P were the ones I recognised and Sean H arrived later on.  Mark C got really quite pissed (and apparently lost his coat with his flat keys in and ended up sleeping in the hallway outside his flat!)  Richard VL was trying to attract the amorous attentions of one of our fellow baritones but wouldn’t tell me who – and by then it was so late in the night that there wasn’t time to keep an eye on him to work out whom.

We left shortly after midnight though as I had to be up the next morning to get ready for a photoshoot with another guy from Out.

Ewen (the guy in question) was quite a nervous subject to begin with and seemed convinced that it was impossible to take a good photograph of him.  Once he got relaxed though he was actually quite a good model, keeping himself moving and coming up with plenty of ideas.  We worked for about two and a half hours before calling it a day.

Sunday evening was spent processing both the photos from the party and then beginning work on Ewen’s shoot.  Facebook was rather intransigent tonight; you just could not get some links to open.  The problem seems too specific to be the fault of our internet connection and has been happening a lot recently.  I wonder if they are maybe a victim of their own success and having difficulty keeping sufficient computer power online to service all their users during peak times!

I’ve got a busy week ahead of me.  There isn’t one night this week when I don’t have something on in the evening.

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Seven Deadly Sins – First Impressions

Last night was our first look at the new repertoire.  This season’s Chorus show is themed around the Seven Deadly Sins and it is promising to be quite exciting.  It will certainly be an interesting sing as the music is both varied and challenging; ranging from The Drinking Song from La Traviata and Verdi’s epic, apocalyptic Dies Irae, through Kander and Ebb (Money Makes The World Go Round, All I Care About Is Love) to Kylie (Confide in Me) and Lily Allan (Fuck You)!

After being in a really bad mood all day (see yesterday’s entry), the rehearsal totally turned me around.   I had been looking forward to singing the Verdi and we got our first go at it today and even at a first attempt, the section we did sent shivers down my spine.  Once we master the piece it has the potential to sound magnificent.

One of the new members Adam KS was looking a bit overwhelmed as he first flicked through the twenty-five-page score, but he very quickly got into it and was soon belting it out with the best of us!

We also got to try out the Money Song from Cabaret and the song, Carousel, which is actually quite sinister.  Both of them were more enjoyable sings than I’d expected.  I came home really energised and with the lyrics of the latter going around (and down again around and up again around!) in my head.

I’ve already downloaded the rehearsal tracks to the iPod.  That’s the first time I’ve bothered with them for several seasons, so I reckon I’m feeling pretty inspired.  Let’s hope it lives up to expectations.

Piano lesson this evening also went really well.  I’d managed to get some practice in this week and it showed.  Now got to keep it up!

Monday, January 18, 2010

The Weekend

Saturday was a mostly domestic day, with shopping bought, dishes washed and laundry done.  I also picked up a copy of Attitude as I’d been tipped off that the BBC Weatherman, Tomasz Schafernaker, looked better than the average meteorologist in a pair of AussieBums on the cover.  And indeed he did.

Coincidently on the front cover was Gareth Thomas whom, if I hadn’t seen him on the cover, I probably would not have recognised when we ran into him at Mike T’s 60th birthday party later that evening!  We didn’t really get to chat to him as he was being monopolised by a couple of Welsh bears, but I did get to shake his hand and congratulate him on coming out.

The party was held in the upstairs room of a pub just off Tower Bridge.  As ‘upstairs rooms of a pub’ go, it was pretty classy.  It looked like it might serve as a smart restaurant during lunchtimes.  There were the usual Chorus suspects plus a selection of Mike’s bearish friends.  Both the food and the atmosphere was good and both Brett and I had a good time.

We went on and partied for a couple of hours afterwards too, so didn’t get to bed until gone 3am.

Sunday was consequently a slow start.

We’d been invited to Luther G’s farewell lunch in East Dulwich.  As a way of bookending his stay, he was having his final UK lunch in the same restaurant where he’d had his first, so we had a curry buffet for Sunday Lunch.

The crowd was a small, but eclectic mix of Chorus bodies (Steven T, Sacha K, Gabriel C and ourselves) with his cousin and wife, a guy from Brighton (who’s name escapes me) and a lovely Australian chap called Glen.   After lunch most of us went on to CaffĂ© Nero for coffee and more conversation before eventually saying our final farewells to Luther and departing.  Brett and I had decided to walk it home as it was only two miles, so we had a bracing walk and made it in about an hour.

Sunday evening was my designated organising time.  It seems that now that Christmas is over, everyone’s having parties and organising events.  Added to that there are a number of promising shows we want to see, it all adds up to being almost non-stop socialites for the next month or so.

I got a lot of it done but unfortunately Mikey’s pathological reluctance to open his diary and organise himself meant I couldn’t finalise a couple of the things.  As a result I went to bed irritated on a bit of a slow boil, inevitably didn’t sleep well and was in an even worse mood when I woke up.

Work sucked.

The only redeeming feature was lunch with Ping who is recently back from an interesting-sounding trip to the States.

Friday, January 15, 2010

New Faces

Wednesday was another snow day; it came down suddenly over Tuesday night and by the morning, trains were few and far-between – and not even the station staff knew if or when.  I worked from home. Got stuff done but was getting cabin fever by the end of the day.

The piano lesson that evening was a bit of a pro-forma as I hadn’t done any practice since the last one.  It’s frustrating but I have no-one to blame but myself; for all that I really want to get good at this, I still can’t seem to drag myself off the sofa of an evening to put in a few minutes practice at the keyboard.  It’s amazing (and sad) how many of my aspirations get lost to laziness and lack of willpower.

Over the years I’ve developed a way of forcing myself into doing things that I want to do; usually it involves making an appointment with someone, as it’s much harder to let someone else down than it is to procrastinate on my own.  (Bizarre, eh, that I have to force myself to do the things I want to do?  Could do with some psychoanalysis on that one!)

In this vein, I am considering spending a large amount of money on working with a personal trainer twice a week when I really probably shouldn’t.  I want to get fit.  My doctor keeps nagging me about my weight and last year I did the JP Morgan Corporate Challenge (a 5km run) and it left me virtually immobile for days.  I want to be able to run 5km.  I want to be able to climb the stairs to Waterloo East without getting out of breath, or be able to carry my loaded bike up to the flat without it being an effort.

And I want to be able to play the piano at least passably well.

As I’m writing this I find myself wondering what advice I’d give to someone who brought me a problem like this and, looking at it like that, it’s quite simple; it’s Facebook and TV that keep me on the sofa.  I need to cut down on both.  It may not be the whole solution, but at least it’s a start.  There you go; a new-year resolution of sorts – even thought I’m generally sceptical of the concept.  Let’s see how far I can get with it.

The rest of the week seemed to be filled with meeting account managers from our suppliers.  Due to a couple of recent mergers and acquisitions we have new contacts in several of them and they were dropping by to introduce themselves and/or give me the spiel on the new organisation.  One of them was rather handsome and in very good shape; I shall look forward to those account review meetings in future!

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Strangely Encoded Songs

So Monday was mostly about SharePoint and what we might do with it.  It was a freebie session with some consultants as the previous one hadn’t gone terribly well and we’d had words with the suppliers.  This one seemed more productive though.

In the evening it was the first LGMC meet of the year; tonight was an intake evening though, so I was on camera duty alongside the voice tests.  After a bit of the Rhythm of Life and Bushes & Briars we all headed down to the pub.  They all seemed like nice guys and we even got a few new Baritones out of the evening.

Today was a bit of a busy day.  It started with a progress meeting for the Windows 7 roll-out team; things seem to be going okay, with the exception of the VPN client.  It has the potential to be a show-stopper, but we still have time to work it out.  Here’s hoping!

From there I went on to lunch with other Corporate Heads.  It was a pleasant couple of hours down at EV, partly social, partly discussing how to oil the corporate wheels a bit better.  Didn’t overdo the wine or linger though, as I had a 2pm meeting with a guy about mobile phones.  He reckons his company can halve our roaming bill and, even though his product isn’t technically on the market yet, I think he probably can.  The question though is whether the cost of the product will be recouped by its savings.  Someone has a lot of analysis and modelling to do on a year’s worth of mobile phone bills!

A lot of the rest of the afternoon was spent trying to get my point across without arguing too vociferously with one of our senior staff who feels a small change in our hardware purchasing policy may be the end of civilisation as we know it…

Gave up and came home around seven and somehow by the time I’d finished dinner it was 10pm.  Blah!

Sunday, January 10, 2010

Week One

The first week of the year was all about bad weather.  Work started quietly but picked up as the week went on.  Midweek there was more snow and a cold snap.  The trains were trashed.  On Thursday they weren’t even keeping to the reduced timetable and I gave up and worked from home.  Friday, I cycled in and it was a dream; the roads were all clear.

Tuesday night we had a bit of a rude awakening; a little after 1am the shelves in the bedroom came off the wall and dumped their contents all over the floor.  We woke up thinking the world was ending!

There wasn’t a lot we were going to be able to do in our dressing gowns at that time of the morning, so we pretty much just went back to bed.  The adrenaline of the wake-up though meant I didn’t get back to sleep until around 4:30…

Friday evening was Tim R’s leaving drinks at work.  I didn’t get much time talking to him, but he was fine with coming into town for lunch from time to time.  Also had an interesting chat with Chris G.  Normally he’s really quiet and retiring but somehow we got onto existentialism and ended up discussing solipsism.  It was quite bizarre, but also really enjoyable.  I should organise lunch with him too and do some more philosophy.

Saturday I’d organised a photoshoot with a guy from OutEverywhere so the morning was spent tidying up.  The shoot went well enough, although I’m feeling a bit constrained by just working with the paper background and lights; maybe should use  more furniture or other parts of the flat.  Maybe look at renting studio space.

In the evening we were heading to Chris and Joffrey D’s post-Christmas party.  Were due to meet Mikey at Kings Cross for food and a catch-up beforehand, but he got held up on the tube by someone going under a train so in the end we were at the party ahead of him.

We’d been following Joffrey’s Facebook status updates all week as he prepared for the party and he’d certainly done a fantastic job of turning their apartment into a party space.  It was a good mix of people – not an entirely chorus affair! – and we both had a good time.

Jim N (one of my ex-boyfriends from university) was there as we have a mutual friend in Chris, so we had a brief catch-up and will get together for a beer at a later date.  Had a good catch-up with Mikey when he arrived, although we still managed to not cover half the things we should catch up on.  Mark A was on the prowl during the evening and there were plenty of good looking boys for him to choose from, but he ended up not having the confidence to introduce himself to anyone.  Had an interesting time chatting to Simon R later on.

There was talk of going on somewhere afterwards, but in the end we just night-bussed home.

Today was a lazy day.  Did the processing from yesterday’s shoot this afternoon.  Ruth came round this evening to watch the rest of the first series of Glee.

Got to be in work early tomorrow, got the SharePoint consultants coming back for another go.  Also got the chorus’ new intake in the evening.  No rest for the wicked!

Friday, January 01, 2010

New Year’s Eve

New Year’s Eve was a bit of a damp squib.  Brett was at work again and Rosie had managed to damage one of her teeth and had to go find an emergency dentist.   I watched the BBC’s retrospective on Not The Nine O’Clock News on iPlayer (great memories!) then headed into London.

Spent a while wandering aimlessly around the South Bank before retiring to the foyer of the National Theatre where I drank Earl Grey and thought deep thoughts for the most of the afternoon.

Eventually met up with Brett and Rosie and we made our way down to Wimbledon for dinner with Rod & Jess.  (Jess makes some splendid curries!)  One of the upshots of the evening was that they are coming to see The Magnets with us at the end of January!

Jess had a cold, so declined the chance to come with us into town to watch the fireworks on the river. Turns out it was probably the right move; we got there around 22:30 and the ‘Viewing Area’ around Charing Cross and Westminster was already full and closed-off.  A lot of the South Bank was also closed, so we ended up on the north side of Blackfriars Bridge, from where we had a reasonable view of The Eye.  The fireworks however weren’t anything spectacular from where we were, which was a shame given the hour we’d hung around in the cold to see them.

Rather than the fireworks, I suspect my enduring memory of the night will be the smell of frying onions from the street vendors and the noise of the others in the crowd – the crazy French girls who kept getting on each others’ shoulders to call (screech!) out to/for “Alex….” (again, and again, and again!), the mixed group of students who went into their own version of the Haka at the slightest provocation, or the girl departing after the fireworks who kept yelling out, “Happy New Year, you fuckers!”

The fact that it snowed for a few minutes almost as soon as the fireworks had finished was quite a nice finale though.  We lucked-out with the trains and found a Catford train was due within a few minutes of us getting to London Bridge.

It turns out that the fireworks looked much better on TV.  We watched the recording when we got home.