An Irishman in London

This past Wednesday morning – and I do mean “morning”, since I left the house at 5.30am – I set off for England, for two days of sun, sightseeing, sweating, swearing and interviewing a lovely and talented indie songstress. Here, I document my travels, in the form of small updates I wrote as drafts on my mobile telephone while walking the streets of London. Lor’ luv a duck, what a world we live in, etc.

One might think that it strange that of all my time in London, the most substantial conversation I had was with an American lady, but then, one is probably unaware of London residents’ seeming lack of awareness of a single person in their surrounding area, making walking through – say – a Tube station akin to a game of Frogger, except without the frog, or the water, or the lilypads, and instead of wheely-traffic, it’s foot traffic, and really, this metaphor is too tortured for its own good anyway.

Anyway, good fun was had by all.

London!

Wednesday

9.10am: Weird urge to applaud flight crew. May be sleepily imagining this flight as performance theatre.

10.26am: On the “Tube”. Feel sort of like an extra in that Human Centipede movie.

11.47am: Fire alarm at hotel. Evacuated, and immediately regretted not bringing my netbook. May need to reconsider priorities.

12.01: Safely back in hotel room. Unsure what ruckus was about – devising plan to weld netbook to body.

12.58: England – a noisier, crappier version of Ireland. At least the shopping areas. To the architecture!

14.19: Westminster Abbey – I don’t share their faith, but I sure share their love for ridiculously opulent buildings.

14.51: New decision. Ireland now requires an underground train system. However, everyone on board must wear miners’ helmet, bright torch thingy and all.

15.50: WiFi isn’t even free. This hotel is the underwhelming thing.

17.52: Man. The British Museum is huge, intimidating, and full of excellent history. Weird, contorted mummies! And their children.

19.30: Ooooh. Nice fresh Spaghetti Bolognese. Or at least, I presume it was fresh at some point. Still, the waitress is lovely. I tip extravagantly, because I can’t be bothered doing proper maths.

20.00: A long night of drinking and writing ahead.

21.30: Whoops. Nope. A long night of sleeping ahead. I’ve been up since 5am, on less than two hours’ sleep. Only Ray Foley can delay my sleeps. Um. His podcast. Um. On iTunes.

22.07: Oh man. Shouldn’t be laughing out loud while wearing headphones.

23.15: Awake suddenly, having fallen asleep sometime in the last hour. Blast!


Thursday

8.00: Woken by phone alarm. Remember that Day Travelcards don’t come into effect until after 9.30. Roll over and fall back asleep. UNTIL!

8.50: Woken by a door-knocking cleaning worker. Well-meaning, I’m sure, so I deflect with a polite “Yeah. Yeah, I’m sorry. Were you – no, I was asleep. Do you – no? Okay. Bye!”

9.20: A buffet breakfast consisting of flavourless pork products and soggy scrambled eggs. Feeling profoundly British.

10.30: To the ARCHITECTURE!

11.25: I have missed the tour of St. Paul’s by 10 minutes. I charm an old lady into allowing me to join the current group. Feeling profoundly Irish.

14.00: 1060 steps later, St. Paul’s Gallery has been scaled and descended. My legs do not enjoy my company. The sign for entryway into the stairwell fearfully boasts: “Once you start, there is no way down until you reach the top. People with heart conditions should not attempt climb.” Sounds like a funfair. I treat it similarly, shouting “Whee!” at semi-regular intervals on the descent.

14.15: Time for a sit-down. These church gardens really are quite splendid. Stupid wifi is stupidly overcharged. Shall not partake, thanks. I’m not stupid. Time to formulate some rough questions for the Rubarth interview that’s quickly approaching.

17.05: Four pounds for a Morgan and Coke. I do like England. Ray Foley show downloaded for later listening. Must try the Chinese restaurant soon.

17.40: Mmmm. Curry. Runny, weird curry.

18.00: Okay, time to get ready. The hotel shower gel had better not give me an allergic reaction, or I will not be delivering a very nice Customer Survey tomorry.

18.00 (a): Okay, I probably won’t be delivering any Customer Survey, because I suffer from an inferiority complex that means everything I say is worthless.

18.00 (b): Not that you care.

18.50: At the 12 Bar. I’m very capable of being early for things when things are excellent.

19.20: About to interview Amber Rubarth. Life does throw me some amazing moments.

20.20: So I spent the last hour or so walking around London, and sitting in a tiny little bar, talking to Amber. She is this: lovely. I don’t know enough complimentary adjectives. Curse you, shockingly limited vocabulary.

20.30: And what nice people she’s introduced me to. Hello everyone!

20.45: Support band, Good Weather Girl, are bad. More alcohol incoming. Fourth drink of the evening.

21.35 (or thereabouts, I dunno): Just had a song dedicated to me. I’m enjoying this even more than I expected.

22.14: End of set. Am ridiculously enamoured.

22.50: Hey hey, this Jim Bianco chap is pretty good. Funny, funny man – a song about a girl who wants to be an elevator operator, complete with door-opening PING sound effect.

23.50: A hug and a fond farewell to Amber, and I’m heading back to the hotel to get this stuff transcribed.

23.55: Oh balls.

0.00: This may be a long night.

1.00: Hooray! This won’t be a long night.

2.00: Does this count as a long night? I’ll go to sleep in half an hour, after Foley.


Friday

9.00: Awake. No, no, this won’t do at all.

10.12: Awake. That’s better.

12.30: Right, probably time to get some lunch and blow this popsicle stand. This swelteringly warm popsicle stand.

13.20: Listening to Amber’s New Green Lines on the Tube, flicking through the lyrics in my newly acquired CD sleeve. Also, reading her little note to me. D’awwwwww!

14:20: Heathrow Airport, you are huge, but I have conquered you. I AM STRONG LIKE OX.

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