Saturday, 18 December 2010

White out

I'm returning as quickly as I can from the hell of central London on the busiest shopping day of the year in the biggest blizzard London has experienced possibly ever. Heaven knows why I thought Christmas shopping was a good idea today. I shuffled miserably around the shops on Tottenham Court Road, failing to find anything that looked interesting, whilst listening to Christmas song after Christmas song, many of which seemed to be covers of covers. You haven't died a painful death until you've listened to a female session singer indulging her way through I wish it Could be Christmas Every Day or stood in the longest queue in the world whilst that prannie from The Goons sings I’m Walking Backwards for Christmas, which I think might just be the most irritating song ever written. If you don’t believe me; click here and spool to 1’58” which is the part that made me throw down what I was trying to buy and run out of the shop.

I’m over-heating, incredibly hungry, needing the loo, and have just found out that no Northern Line trains are running north of Archway due to the adverse weather conditions. I knew this trip to the West End would end in tears!

Charles II in Soho Square today

I reached Archway and was forced to trek up the A1, ankle deep in snow towards Highgate. London has ground to a standstill. The Archway roundabout was gridlocked, and cars were going into wheel-spins almost everywhere I looked. A bus had broken down on Highgate Hill, and blocked all north-bound traffic. There were snowmen all over the place and the air smelt disconcertingly of burning leather, which I assume is the stench of car engines blowing up. The likelihood of my going to Julie’s tonight to watch the final of Strictly Come Dancing is diminishing by the second. After yesterday I’m convinced I won’t even manage to get into my car!!

The A1 from my window

I went to Nic’s Christmas do last night. That girl knows how to throw a party! She’d laid on the most incredible spread of food, which featured the best chocolate chip cookies I’ve ever tasted. I only knew about three people there, so it was interesting to get a chance to make some new friends. The room was full of creative types. I met composers, directors, playwrights, singer-songwriters, photographers and actors and spent the majority of my evening asking them questions and listening intently to the answers they were giving. It is, however, fairly interesting to mention that it was only the very last person I spoke to – right at the end of the evening – who asked me what I did, or what made me tick. A room full of creatives will often do nothing to dispel the myth that our industry is jam-packed with neurotic, self-obsessed individuals. A shame, because individually I know all of them would have been very wonderful people.

Tuesday 18th December 1660, and Pepys wrote his shortest diary entry ever, which I shall quote in full:

All day at home, without stirring at all, looking after my workmen.

Entering Highgate tube (now closed!)

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