Wednesday, August 15, 2007

Any drinks or snacks?

Monday week ago Myself and Mrs M travelled to London.

The adventure started in the alcoholic who frittered his talent away on booze and birds airport ( George Best Belfast City Airport ).

At the metal detector/security section I must have set off a silent alarm as no beep emanated from the magnetic doorframe apparatus.

I was watching the security guard and he was watching the top of the doorframe.

I can only assume a visual signal , probably a small illuminated sign with " search this creep" as the text.

I stood for the obligatory frisking, he even asked to inspect my belt buckle.

Thankfully I wasn't wearing the one with the .410 derringer! (One can dream.....)

Then I heard " Is this your bag, sir?"

My bag then got searched. I had a book, a waterproof coat and whoops, a tube of lethally dangerous toothpaste.

Crumbs, I am awfully dangerous aren't I?

I had no clear plastic bags. I enquired as to whether I could just carry it in my hand, seeing as I only had one item.

"No, you have to carry it in a clear plastic bag. You can nip round there and buy one for 20p".

Being an tad ornery when confronted with this sort of situation and being perfectly happy to sever a few limbs never mind cut off my nose to spite my face etc...I said " just throw it in the bin".

Radical, huh?

Next thing I know, the guard takes a small circular disc of paper, swabs the inside of my rucksack (small, 25 litre) and inserts it into a desk sized piece of machinery.

Not so much GCMS as , I assume, a nitrate detection machine using similar techniques.

Naturally the bells and whistles didn't go off nor where there any silent alarms. Otherwise I would have been well and truly nicked.

Might have been different if he had swabbed the outside as there could be traces of cowpat there. High nitrate levels.

I walked away wondering why this crazy situation exists in the first place...... if someone did want to use liquid combustible materials to compromise the hull of aircraft the 100 mil rule would mean that there just need to be more of the crazy bastards to carry the crap onto the plane. Y'know, if they are that devoted to their cause etc etc a silly regulation isn't going to put them off is it?

Rules and laws being for the lawful not the criminal.

An auspicious start to the journey.

The purpose of the journey was ostensibly to go to the o2 arena to see Prince. Mrs M is a massive fan.

Since she was paying I couldn't say no.

We stayed in an Ibis hotel near Billingsgate Fish Market. Classy.

One public transport stop away from the venue.

I had booked us into London's most famous and upmarket vegetarian restaurant "The Gate" in Hammersmith on the Monday night.

Oh boy, is that a crap idea when you have a 7.30 booking and have to get across London during rush hour, on a hot day, on the tube after arriving at your hotel at 5 ish.

The restaurant was lovely, the food was lovely, the wine was lovely. The bill had 12.5% service stuck on as standard. I tip well, I can afford to as I don't eat in restaurants all the time.

I hate service charges. Especially when I am in a party of two. I would rather leave cold hard cash and I assume that the waiting staff would rather have this also.

I did leave a fiver with the bill, as I didn't have the right notes and coins to leave 20% after they had taken the first 12.5% with the card payment.

Oh, well.

The next day we pottered round Laaahndahn. We called into the HOST Gallery in Honduras street and had a sneak preview of the show that was opening that night.

Lunch was at the Wholefood cafe in Neal's Yard. Nice.

Back to the hotel to get ready for heading out again to meet an old school friend of Mrs M's.

I had never met him before but we all got on really well, a few pints were had and some insider music industry gossip was batted about before we had to run off to see the pint sized purple person.

Visit HolyMoly for the lowdown...

The Prince gig was great. I have never been in an indoor venue that big before-20,000 people.

It was "in the round" so was even more bonkers looking as we were sat way up in the penultimate row near the ceiling.

I participated in my first Mexican wave ( did they really originate in Mexico?), Mrs M bought us chips and got back to her seat just as Prince took to the stage.

Personally, I ate my chips whilst sitting down as all around me people stood up and danced, apart from the couple to my left, who didn't at all.

The whole place (nearly) danced for all the uptempo songs.

I never thought that one day I would be part of a group of 20,000 people singing the chorus of "Purple Rain" with no musical accompaniment.

They played "Lets Go Crazy" and ,I swear, the crowd did.

No 1999 though.

Getting home on the tube was.......hectic, mental,scary, get the picture, eh?

Not pleasant but thankfully only one stop away from our hotel, phew.

Getting to the tube the crowd was as bad on the escalators and platforms.

We got out at Canary Wharf which is deadsville after working hours, well, normal working hours, it still had a few coming out of buildings trying to get taxis at 11ish.


A short walk back to the hotel then to bed and ready to go home the next day.

Not so much going to London for a short break as going to speed up life a bit.

Living and working in the sticks'll do that to ya.


Blogger hootchinhannah said...

The way you talked about London made me actually have a small pang for it. I have no idea where that came from.

4:14 AM  
Blogger Mudflapgypsy said...

A pang for London, eh?
Swap ya for Tahiland, no sponges though as I chewed a bath sponge once and wasn't impressed.

4:27 PM  
Blogger Manuel said...

12.5%! oh what a magical place that London must be. Even I dislike service charges on tables of that size.

10:41 PM  
Blogger Mudflapgypsy said...

Not just me then......

So, a preference for cash then or what?

7:23 PM  
Blogger Manuel said...

cash cash cash, nowt else hits the spot....

5:28 PM  

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