Monday, May 12, 2003

I'm back, and what a productive visit it was. It's left me pretty drained though, so I've forgone my volunteer work today to recharge.

The two days at the London office of my new job were amazing - I couldn't get over how progressive, approachable, friendly and helpful everyone was. My days were packed with half hour slots so I could meet as many people as possible, and every single person was lovely. I was overwhelmed with offers of help, "call me anytime" and visits to our Manchester office once it's up and running. Yay for jobs that just seem better and better! Looks like I may get some more hours in the fall, too...and as the living on part-time money has gone from pinching pennies to full-blown annoying and occasionally worrying, I can't wait.

The social side of my trip was ace too. On Saturday, my host Mick showed me round the lovely Dulwich high street before we headed to Phil's to record some more songs. In less than 6 hours, we had another three done complete with quite a lot of double tracking and harmonies. I'm not sure when or where I will be circulating a Songs:Two cd, but we've got a nice handful shaping up towards some sort of finished product.

Then it was on to Kings Cross for Sophisticated Boom Boom, where I stayed amazingly sober (probably because of the evil hangover I'd suffered just days before!) and concentrated on crowd watching and enjoying their sets. It was lovely to see all the girls again, and they all cooed over my vintage specs, a present from my host.

(If you'd like to see a 20 second AVI movie of one of their routines that I filmed, download it here. I view it in RealPlayer, but I'm sure it will work with most viewers...)

One set was all Elvis songs, and one was a tribute to Nancy Sinatra. Although the Elvis set included a great version of "Devil in disguise" with Black Elvis singing while the girls danced around him, I enjoyed the Nancy set the most. I just prefer her music and, best of all, the girls were all decked out in blonde wigs. The good mood meant that everyone was quaffing drinks at an amazing rate, and by the end of their encore the Water Rats was a drunken chaos - including the girls! By that point I'd been on the go for about 13 hours, so I said my goodbyes and we nabbed our night bus back. A few pictures are below...

Delia, compere extraordinaire...

Emerald and Sue managing to dj and balance their wine glasses at the same time...

Simon and I, in the coveted specs

Sunday was basically just a travelling day, but one event of note was my complimentary upgrade to first on the train back. I know it's snobby and horrible, but I really hate travelling in the standard coaches on weekends. For some reason Sunday trains mean a crammed carriage that is usually filled with crabby people who've had to fight for a seat, drunken football fans and the constant yammering of mobiles phones and/or inane conversations bellowed out by gobby young girls. 3 hours of that is just too much to bear...


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