I felt slightly disappointed to hear that he wasn't going to arrive until the day after I returned home, and that I would therefore miss the demos. I haven't been on a really great demo, and for a cause I felt really strongly about, for ages -- not since the early 1980s, I don't think. Back then, we marched through Amsterdam in our hundreds of thousands in protest against the American administration wanting to station nuclear warheads in our backyards as part of Reagan's ludicrous Star Wars defense shield -- whatever happened to that idea? It must have cost billions to develop, then it was probably binned as soon as the Soviet Union broke up a couple of years later.
But here I was in Oxford St, with a tight schedule to keep and things to buy; so off I went to Tesco's to get Mum the items on her grocery list (we have been seriously deprived of all our favourite edibles since M&S finished trading in the Netherlands a year and a half ago); after which I wandered somewhat aimlessly through the department stores of John Lewis and Debenham's, popped into a bookstore and snagged a Spike calendar for 2004. Pity it's all the same pictures as the one for 2003, but there you go.
Finally, I remembered my original errand and hotfooted it to Bloomsbury. Although once in Russell Sq Gdns, I allowed myself to be distracted from it by my growling stomach. I went into the caff, and had myself a lovely fry-up done: eggs, bacon, sausages, beans, mushrooms, tomatoes and chips, with toast, washed down with copious amounts of freshly steeped Darjeeling. An hour later and I was browsing the shelves of the art shop for the picture hangers Anneke wanted. The shop assistant came and told me they weren't in stock at the moment, and I phoned Anneke to give her the news. As there were a few hours remaining before the start of shabbos, she thought she might try a few other suppliers in and around Edgware that she knew of herself...
I went into the British Museum and amused myself there for an hour or two, before becoming aware of the fact that the blisters that had been theatening to form earlier, had indeed done so. I hopped back on the tube, and made it home just before the family gathered to light the candles for shabbos.