Friday, February 12, 2010

Back in London

So after a day's sleep, I was recovered from jet lag.  Well, a night's sleep.  Maybe if I can't adequately distinguish night from day, I'm not totally back in proper mental shape.

Today we got up early.  Well, by about midday we'd left the house and headed to Horniman's, to look at the great walrus, peer at some very strange fish in the aquarium (the frogfish is a contender for strangest-fish-that-looks-like-a-piece-of-coral) and watch some skinny, furry starfish crawling around their tank.  By four o'clock we'd put in a visit to Crystal Palace as well, and having seen the dinosaurs it was time for fish and chips.

Except the chippy was shut, so that was no go.  I drove home and burnt a pizza as some sort of reprisal against food in general.  Then there was just enough time to waste thirty minutes on the internet, then take a train up to town for an accidentally enormous Greek meal on Charlotte Street, and then a slow wander down to Leicester Square to see Richard Herring perform.

On the way down I was taken aback to see so many shops shut.  Granted, it was 8:30, and it was a freezing Feburary night, but I remember shops in London being open all hours, desperate to take my money.  The last time I was there was at Christmas, which must have had something to do with it, but the building work at the end of Tottenham Court Road, where they've demolished the Astoria and shut all the shops near it, must be contributing a little.  Borders has shut too.  Although it was a pretty rubbish shop compared to Foyles, and never really seemed to do a good job of selling things.  The Virgin Megastore is a going-out-of-business shoe shop, and everything in Covent Garden was shut.

If they can't be bothered to keep all the shops open until 9pm in the hope of a single bit of passing trade, no wonder the economy is in the toilet.  I'm going to put my foot through a shop window, and send Boris Johnson the bill.

Richard Herring's Hitler Moustache was great, although kind of battering: an intellectual assault, rather than the comfortable agreeableness of Wali Collins in Hong Kong last week.  It was incredible to see him hold sway over the crowd, at one point going without a single joke for several minutes in order to get his point across - so different from the set-up, punchline routines I see back in Hong Kong.  But then not everyone gets to do that.

Afterwards, got a signed copy of his new DVD.  Now I don't have to pay the postage from Cardiff for one.  That's at least £1.50 saved.  If only I'd bought 400 copies, that would be the air fare from Hong Kong to London made up for.  Curse my lack of forward thinking.  Why didn't I take six thousand pounds in used twenties to a comedy show in Leicester Square?


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