Monday, October 06, 2003

It's decided - no more trips to London for a while. They just take too much out of me. It's mainly the travelling - even going one stop from Kings Cross to Euston involves descending into the inner pits of the tube to get to the Northern line. You could probably walk faster, and we would have done if we didn't have cases to lug around.

Anyhow. We went out shopping on Saturday, walking from Euston to Soho, then onto Covent Garden. The Soho bit was mostly quiet and nice, but CG was heaving as usual. By three o'clock we were so shattered that we could barely keep our eyes open, despite me having two double espressos (one from a lovely Italian cafe on Beak Street in Soho - the other from the truly wonderful Monmouth Coffee on, err, Monmouth Street in Covent Garden).

For dinner, we ended up in Hoxton - making it the second time I've eaten out there in two weeks. (I had an amazing lunch at the Real Greek when I was Actionetting.) So yes, the whole Nathan Barley thing there is annoying - but frankly, you see just as many Northern Barleys around Manchester these days, and if you just ignore them... ok, actually that's easier said than done. We did manage to long enough to enjoy our meal at (I think) Siegfried's in Hoxton Square - really good swordfish with homemade tartar sauce and hand cut chips. Sadly the music changed from chilled dub and reggae to 80s cheese when a Flock 'o Seagulls stylee DJ started up. We soldiered on, but when one bad song followed another and said DJ's sweater-dress-and-legwarmer'd girlfriend started that annoying swanning around the place 'NOTICE ME but I will not cast a glance in your direction' thing, we'd had enough. Besides, we had plans - onto Camberwell for someone's birthday drinks. On the last tube back into town. we played a drinking game minus the alcohol (think we'd had enough!) to pass the time - and you know, it really did work.

On Sunday, there was time to look round Spitalfields Market - hadn't been in ages. I noticed that Comfort Station is gone, having presumably moved up in the world. Lots of the stalls now seem to be run by Japanese girls selling customised t-shirts, and I could have easily snapped up a few. However I'd promised myself I'd only buy one thing - so I opted for an elegant neck scarf made by a girl who sources vintage silks. We caught our breath on a bench in the food hall and agreed that in this case, London top trumped Manchester - I really wish we had our own version. The Manchester Craft Centre is a bit too pricey and unchanging; Afflecks a bit too crap (with the odd exception!)

Then it was onto Northern Star, a bar tucked far away behind Angel tube, for an afternoon of DJs to accompany your Sunday roast (or half a bitter, in my case.) We whiled away a nice couple of hours before heading to Euston for a typically delayed and long Sunday train back, made sweeter by an increasingly necessary upgrade to first.

Fun - but I can't remember the last time I was so happy to be back home.


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