However, I did manage to pull a little act of showmanship which seemed to make a lot of people happy and happy with me to boot. I would be perfectly up front about this to anyone who mentioned it. I noticed something good and made sure that the right people celebrated it. Everyone felt good about themselves, and I was the genial host who made it all happen. Now they're treating me almost as though I did the good thing. I can cope with that. Maybe the matchmaker who introduces the people who come to be the happiest couple would also feel a sense of pride in a job well done.
With a train to catch, I couldn't stay in the office for the backslapping. I had to go. GNER and time wait for no man. I made the train and spent the majority of the journey writing episodes of this blog. I'm still currently writing it out of sync with the site. The site is currently on March 26th. This entry is being written on May 8th. As I write the entries for now, in as up-to-date a mode as I would intend to do all the time, I am also writing old entries (backwards from mid April) and very old entries (forwards from the end of March). At some point, all of this will join up and I can just blog what occurs to me on a day by day basis. At present, there are some 16,000 words, covering 20th April - 8th May, which haven't been published. It's not bad to note that I put a lot of words into this blog. It's also a waste of even a small percentage of those words to blog too much about the act of blogging.
Needless to say, the train journey sped by, with plenty of words spewing out of my fingers, and with some very tasteful music playing in my ears from the reduced MP3 collection on my laptop (the majority of the MP3s have been transferred - often rather unsuccessfully - to my MP3 player, which is currently sitting at home with no charge left in it after the highlands weekend a week ago).
At some point during the journey, I got a text message from Orange with a SIM update for my phone. When I restarted the phone, the strange number 1 with a curious line under it disappeared from my screen. This unexplained icon had appeared during my trip to the states where I had been using the phone on remote mobile networks. I assumed that it was some sort of weirdness I'd just have to live with. Apparently I don't have to anymore.
Arriving in London, I found out that my date was late. A late date eh? No problem, we replanned the meeting point and I headed off to the hotel to drop off my stuff and work out where the hotel actually was. It was pleasantly located among the myriad embassies in the particular part of London where there's green grass and "mystery discount hotels" - Lastminute.com is a good way to upgrade your life - I wouldn't have chosen to pay full price for that hotel.
With the sounds of the bar pianist ringing in my ears, I left the hotel lobby and returned to Oxford Circus to wait for the lady of the hour, who had been delayed by heavy South-London traffic. It's a very eclectic crowd of people who saunter by you when you're standing at Oxford Circus - many of them wouldn't last 10 minutes in a bustling Newcastle street, but it's nice that London provides sanctuary for the more unconventional of our human brethren. Perhaps my favourite of the curious strangers was a rather obnoxious Australian besuited gentleman who was trying to direct a colleague. He didn't seem to know what this guy looked like and sensibly had him go to a particular landmark. However, rather than cross the street and meet this guy at the landmark, he stayed on the opposite side of the road, he then waved at the other guy and seemed to be treating him like a fool. Before the visitor had chance to cross the road and meet his "host", the man in question returned into an office building near the station, expecting his visitor to come to that office and ring the bell to be allowed in. Weird.
Anyway, my own visitor - well, we were both visitors, but I was waiting there first, so I'll use the phrase - arrived after a short wait and we headed in the direction of our accommodations. We had a quick drink in a pub on the way - largely as a way of getting access to a nearby toilet. When you've got to go, you've got to go. I drank a Bailey's - not sure why. I just thought it might taste nice. It did. Result!
We had a busy weekend ahead of us. The plan was to see Acorn Antiques on Saturday night and perhaps catch an exhibition at the Royal Academy beforehand. It was quite important not to make this a weekend of running round getting tired. Our last time together had been hurried and good company doesn't want to be chivvied along.
I also finally wrote my review of Spamalot today. The review wasn't published on the website I submitted it to. However, you can see the review here. I don't mind disagreeing with all the people who have raved about this show and even given it awards. It was ok. That is all.