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Tonight's the night

...when Lorna, Jo, Rachel and myself will finally get to see Depeche Mode in concert, after 8 long months of pre-squee and worry. We sat around watching most of Lorna's DM-dvds in the den last night, while enjoying pizza, Chinese take-out and Guinness, and it was fun; but tonight, we're going for the real thing. There's also an after-party in Edward's in Birmingham that we may go to -- Lorna wants to talk about the gig and share the experience with like-minded individuals, and with us, she's unlikely to get it (because we're mean like that and like to torture her; e.g., I've found out that she gets very indignant when I say that Martin's got poodle-hair and questionable dress sense).

So, as you've already noticed, Wednesday night I got a little tipsy. We started our pub crawl in Whitefriars, where the demon drink seduced me with a brew called Damson Porter. It was very nice. It was Open Mic night, too; and two young men -- well boys really, called Ken and Luke, set up at the back of the pub and let rip with covers of rock classics, which they did very competently. More than that, they embellished on the material as well, leading me to wonder if they couldn't do any original stuff. We didn't have time to find out though, as the pub crawl beckoned.

There was nothing much going on in The Hope and Anchor, so we went straight on to The Jailhouse, where we found that Roddy Radiation and Kirk Brandon were playing. This was too good to be true: we were on a kind of alternative 2 Tone Trail, and here we were, in our second pub, bumping into The Specials' guitarist and the frontman for Spear of Destiny! Jez, Lorna's housemate who'd come with us, introduced us to his mate Pugs, whose claim to fame in the 80s consisted of having named The Courtyard, one of the most influential venues in those days...but the sad fact is that there's not many of Coventry's famous bars and hangouts remaining.

After a while and a couple more pints we relocated to another pub, the name of which escapes me, where again, someone with talent was playing (Karl Sweet). On the way over, we passed a film crew, filming in the courtyard of one of the churches. It was for Lady Godiva, in which ASH will star. We couldn't see through the rain and the umbrellas whether he was there or not.

Then when we came home, Lorna and Jez encouraged me to go on LJ and tell you all about it. No wonder they were falling about laughing!

I slept well, and waking up without a hangover, decided to go to Nottingham and check out the shops there, which Lorna had said were better than Coventry's. I don't know about that, but there were certainly a lot of them. And, yay! a Starbucks, so I could finally have the caramel macchiato grande that I always order. That was about the high point of my day really -- the sun was shining, but it was awfully windy, and the castle art gallery and museum was closed for refurbishment while the costume museum turned out to have permanently closed. I kicked myself for not having asked laura_isaac for her contacting details, as she'd said if I ever was in the area...

One thing I've discovered on this trip of mine, is that I can't use my credit cards, and I'm spending cash hand over fist. There appears to be a new law or directive in place that all credit card transactions have to be validated not just with a signature the old-fashioned way, but also, by giving in your PIN-number. I've had my credit cards for years. I've never had to remember the PINs. So I don't know them and my cards are useless here.

Hey! Since when do we have a Current Location-field? It's crap, isn't it?


Mar. 31st, 2006 11:58 am (UTC)
I am all a-squee for Monday!

As for Chip and Pin, you are supposed to still be able to sign. I found this on the official Chip and Pin website.

>>I am visiting the UK as a tourist or on business and I don't have a chip and PIN card - will I be able to use it in shops?
You don't need to worry. Your cards will still be accepted in UK shops and by other businesses including hotels and restaurants. You will simply be asked to sign, just as before. The changes taking place after 14 February 2006 only apply to chip and PIN cardholders.


- if you are not being allowed to sign, the shop is doing it wrong.

Kirk Brandon in a pub? How the mighty fall. If he ever was 'mighty', mind you...

Mar. 31st, 2006 12:24 pm (UTC)
I would guess the problem might arise if the card has the chip in it - which many modern European ones do, I gather, but gamiila doesn't know the PIN to go with it.

If you don't have a note at home somewhere of the PINs Gamiila, ask for new ones, and then if neccesary change them to ones you can remember, before your next trip to the UK.

Actually, as it seems to be being quite successful over in Britain, you might have to learn them for home as well soon!
Mar. 31st, 2006 12:34 pm (UTC)
Yes, my VISA, Master and AmEx were all issued with a chip and PIN all those years ago, but since I never saw the need to withdraw any money on my credit cards (the rates being extortionate), I never bothered to learn the PINs needed for that service. Now it looks like I'm going to have to cancel my cards when I get back, and get new ones with new PINs -- as the credit card companies quite rightly refuse to divulge my current PIN numbers to me over the phone.

Though I can see why they've brought in the measure, I can't help but feel a little frustrated at it all.
Mar. 31st, 2006 01:23 pm (UTC)
They should just post you out new PIN numbers - then you take the new PIN to a cashpoint machine with the card, and go through the instructions for 'how to change your PIN' on screen to get good numbers!

Unless they issue you good numbers to start with - one of my old ones had a series like 5679 - which was neat!
Mar. 31st, 2006 01:50 pm (UTC)
It would be so easy if they did it like that on the Continent, wouldn't it? But unfortunately, they like to go about it in a more roundabout way. Oh well, two of these cards were due for renewal in a few months anyway ;-)
Mar. 31st, 2006 12:48 pm (UTC)
I am all a-squee for Monday!

Oh? Who're you gonna see Monday? Did I miss a post? Shame on me!

Kirk Brandon in a pub? How the mighty fall.

Sad, really. He was wearing a bow tie, too.

Mar. 31st, 2006 01:28 pm (UTC)
Depeche Mode! Wembley!

Bow tie? It can't get much worse.
Mar. 31st, 2006 01:54 pm (UTC)
Depeche Mode! Wembley!

D'oh! But is Wembley up to it -- I heard on the radio today that the Australian company building the new stadium has fallen behind schedule, and Take That have already announced a change of venue to the MK stadium...or is that an April Fool's joke, do you think?
Mar. 31st, 2006 02:29 pm (UTC)
Wembley isn't just the stadium. It has a large Arena (where DM are playing) and a Conference Centre (where I graduated), so the stadium stuff (which I believe is probably true, won't affect me).
Mar. 31st, 2006 02:11 pm (UTC)
Depeche Mode! Wembley!

Hope you are suitably excited, cause I am on the ceiling at present :D
Mar. 31st, 2006 02:30 pm (UTC)
Having seen them 5 times before hasn't dulled my enthusiasm!
Mar. 31st, 2006 02:42 pm (UTC)
Lucky you! I've only seen them twice :D
Apr. 1st, 2006 10:54 pm (UTC)
I think it was 5 times, I may have lost count. ;)
Apr. 10th, 2006 10:33 am (UTC)
I will not be jealous ;)
Apr. 10th, 2006 11:26 am (UTC)
The guy behind me this time was a real devotee, he said he'd seen them 400 times!
(no subject) - gamiila - Apr. 10th, 2006 12:00 pm (UTC) - Expand


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