Tags: spring 2005 tour

offstage lines

Yay!...and not so yay

My photos came back from the developers, 10 days late, and very sloppily digitalised -- that's the last time I'll be making use of my local supermarket's cheap and easy process!

Still, last night I thought to give you all a chance to view them in all their blurry and weirdly cut beauty; but halfway through uploading them, a network error was encountered, and the server could no longer be found. My DSL box's lights came on steady, and as they usually flash, I could immediately deduce that something was wrong. Unfortunately, this morning, my provider's servers were apparently still down...I can't reach them from work either, so at least I'm confident it's nothing I did.

Anyhoo -- I managed to upload 74 of my pictures to Shutterfly, but now I can't work out how to share the album, and as it's incomplete...(I've still got all the Corn Mo, half the Liverpool, and all the miscellaneous to add to it -- including the one of you messing about with the speakers, freakspawn: it came out fine!), but I'll share some of my favourites with you here now, the old-fashioned way:

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Yes, I know they're blurry -- those pesky boys just wouldn't stand still!
gamiila sig #2

The Big Write-Up: last leg Liverpool

We left Glasgow after a hearty breakfast, and again encountered no delay on the motorway. We got to Liverpool and our hostel well before midday, and noted to our delight that an Internet café existed right next door, and that's where we spent our first hour in The Beatles' hometown while waiting for our room to become available. When it did, we quickly freshened up and stored away our belongings, and then we went to park the car somewhere where we didn't need to top up the meter every 1 1/2 hours. Thereafter, we were free to explore our surroundings, and off we went after leaving a note and the key for onecheekyhobbit and freakspawn, who would be joining us for the gig.

Liverpool...once you get to the Cavern quarter, it's all Beatles. Every shop you enter, if they don't sell Beatles stuff, they play Beatles stuff; every pub you set foot in, has a picture of the Beatles having a pint in it; and every shop front proudly displays the most tenuous Beatles connection on a plaque. It's also a city that's going through an economic revival, and consequently, there's a lot of building activity going on -- with added pressure from its having been designated European Cultural Capital 2008.

Personally, I was quite taken with the RC cathedral, which is great and modern and quite overwhelmingly beautiful in a 60s brutalist kind of way -- I recognized and remembered the building from my Modern Architecture classes, but not the person responsible for its design, an architect by the name of Sir Frederick Gibberd. Huh.

Anyway, we had a touristy wander and found our way to The Cavern, where we were surprised to see another band posted as support act while Corn Mo's name had been pencilled in on the poster on the door. After a while, we heard from freakspawn and onecheekyhobbit that they'd arrived, and met them in a pub. Actually, we met freakspawn outside one of the Beatles memorabilia shops, and she warned us that Eric and Matt had just gone inside, and that Eric had muttered "Everywhere..." under his breath as he passed. So, not wanting them to get the wrong impression, we retreated to the pub to wait for onecheekyhobbit, the ultimate Beatles\George Harrison fan, to finish her purchases for the day and join us.

We had dinner in a restaurant not far from the venue, then went in and joined in with the rest of the patrons and a man up on stage in the main room singing Hey Jude. I noticed a few familiar faces in the crowd and went over to talk to them, and then the band and Corn Mo walked by and said hi. Somewhat later, it was showtime.

The list was pitifully small, and the room quite big and empty. There was a large bar area to the side, where some people chose to take up seats, but most gathered around the stage and settled in for a wait. It didn't take long for the first act to come on. A local band, they introduced themselves as Redstone and started playing -- and they were fabulous. They reminded me of Oasis at their very best a bit, and the singer, Macca, mentioned that 2 of their songs would be included in an upcoming Jekyll & Hyde-movie. I was sad to see them vacate the stage after their set, and dismantle their equipment, because I would have liked to have heard a little more. Corn Mo was up next, and finally, CoRo.

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There aren't words to express how much I love hearing this band. Four nights in a row, and still I was nowhere near sick of them! And yes, I realise I'm biased now, but if I think back to that first show I saw them do at Moonlight Rising last year -- they were just so good and they still are! I mean, even Redstone were impressed (as per their bass player), and they'd done a fantastic set themselves! Ahum. Back to the report.

Just before CoRo came on stage, I knocked over a drink that someone had left on the edge of it. We quickly soaked up the fluid with tissues, but later, during the gig, Jordan suffered a minor mishap in that his sound suddenly stopped being amplified. It was the first of 3 little accidents he suffered during this show, and we talked about it later.

Of course, we hung around again after the show.

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onecheekyhobbit, roissy0, freakspawn, me, and Naomi

I went off to talk to Corn Mo for a bit; he told me of his plans to go to Norway later on in the year -- but when the band came out, followed by Brian videotaping the whole thing, I hung back. I didn't feel like I had anything of interest to say and I certainly didn't want my picture taken, because...well, you've seen the one of me and Jordan ;-)! Besides, I was wearing the hard pink cardie of yuck (slight miscalculation there -- after going out, we didn't return to the hostel for a spruce up before the gig! -- it's bad enough it made it into Julia's album).Then Jordan came over and talked to us for a long time. Still worried about possibly having caused his guitar to blow up, I confessed to having spilled a drink on stage, at which he informed me I owed him $17.50 for a new cable -- just kidding! He was certain it couldn't have been my clumsiness. Phew!

The bouncers were just getting ready to tell us to leave, when Eric came up to me, expressed his appreciation for the fact that I'd been to all four shows, and hugged me most heartily.

roissy0 left quite early in the morning of the next day; and as soon as the rest of us had had a cup of tea and some toast, we were out on the town again. onecheekyhobbit was our guide to all places with a Beatles connection, and we covered quite a lot of Liverpool centre on foot before we hopped on board of one of those touristy open top busses for some serious sightseeing. Having gone round once wasn't enough -- getting off at our starting point, we immediately boarded another bus (our tickets, the bus driver had told us, were valid for 24 hours after purchase) and took it to the nearest point it could get for picking up our luggage. And then, sadly, it was goodbye to freakspawn and anonypooh, who were driving to Coventry; while onecheekyhobbit and myself went to collect our tickets and drink a final coffee at the station. Then she boarded the train for Edinburgh, and I took the one to Birmingham.

My pictures have still not materialised. I'm getting very worried now.
gamiila sig #2

The Big Write-Up: party at O'Neill's

Because London looks so very, very different in the early, early morning, when it's all quiet and peaceful and deserted, we began our epic journey up North with a demented half an hour's search for the carpark where anonypooh had left her car; but once we had found it, and from then on, things couldn't have gone more smoothly. We had figured 7 hours, if not more, to reach Glasgow -- we did it in under 6, listening to Corn Mo and CoRo all the way. We stopped off for breakfast along the way, and drove through some stunningly beautiful scenery on the way up, notably in the Lake District, which I will have to come back to and look at some more at a later date. For now though, we were in a hurry to get to Scotland, where I had the ulterior motive of meeting up with Carol, who I'd 'met' years ago on the BBC boards, and who had agreed to meet me for coffee and a real life chat. We found the hotel without too much trouble, but were told our room wouldn't be ready for another hour yet, and so we decided to look for the venue first, O'Neill's in Sauchiehall St -- which was basically the street we were on, so it could't be too far away. It wasn't, and so 15 minutes later we found ourselves in Starbucks opposite, from where I called my friend while Julia and Sherry asked for directions to the nearest Internet café. Back we went to the hotel, and checked in. I noticed an error had been made, and they expected us to pay £70 per person for the room, but Jules had brought the confirmation e-mail that stated that the room was ours for £75 per night, and so that was changed and we got our key. The room was beautiful: light, airy, spaceous and very comfy, with all the mod cons and a little ensuite...a steal at only £25 a head!

I had first dibs on the bathroom, and I'd only just finished my toilette when the receptionist came to inform us my friend had arrived and was waiting for me in the lobby. I said goodbye to my roommates and went off to explore Glasgow with Carol, who took me to the West End and university area. We had coffee, went shopping, and had a leisurely walk through the park, because the sun was out and even though the wind was still cold, as long as you could manage to stay out of it, it was glorious. Of course, I only saw a little bit of Glasgow, but what I saw, I liked -- I will definitely have to come back for a longer stay some day. All too soon though, Carol had to go; and I went back towards the other side of town in the hope of finding my fellow travellers. I didn't find them at the Internet café in Hope St, but as I was getting peckish, I bought a sandwich and made my way back down Sauchiehall St (which Carol had told me was named for the poplars that used to line it in olden days) and popped into O'Neill's to see if they were there. They weren't, but as I came back out, I spotted them across the street, where anonypooh had again found another Internet phone booth. She was just finishing up her previous evening's report when I joined them. Eric came out, and walked down the street with his guitar case in his hand. We had about an hour before the doors would open, which meant we went back in for a drink or two.

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The venue was a large backroom with a bar to the side and a slight elevation at the back, wooden floors and a few seats, which by the time we had ordered our drinks and turned round, had all been taken. However, having walked all over town for hours, I really did feel my ankle quite badly, and I asked the German contingent to give me a little room on the bench they were hogging. When Corn Mo started We Are The Champions and I couldn't get them to sway and sing along, I joined Jules and Sherry on the floor, and stayed there for the rest of the night. I snagged his little setlist after he was done playing.

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The setlist wasn't enough of a souvenir though, and I went over and bought one of his CDs and a DVD, which he was kind enough to sign for me.

When CoRo came on, they started with Day For A Day again, followed by Indie Rockin' and

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This gig stands out in my memory because it was so intimate. The venue was by no means sold out (Adam at one point mentioned "64 and change" as the number of attendants), there was a very relaxed atmosphere, and I don't think they dimmed the lights at all, or all that well. There was also a Glaswegian fan who wanted to hear Sit Down, and shouted this out at the time the band were getting ready to perform Cowboy. "Okay", said Adam with his usual aplomb, "Whatever you want, it's your show..."

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"No", she tried again, "Sit down and sing that Sit Down song"; but to no avail, the band launched into Cowboy sitting down. They stood again for the next song, Pay Me, on which Corn Mo joined them, but after this, Adam decided we'd left them plenty of room in front of the stage and they've been doing plenty of living rooms, so next we got an extended off mic section. During his solo, eyes fixed on that screw in the wall, Eric very nearly trod on me and my bad ankle, and I barely managed to scoot back in time.

Again, the band came out and mingled after the show. We had a chat with Corn Mo, and Adam, and Jordan; and at one point, I found myself cornered by a man called Jimmy, who smelled of booze and talked complete bollocks, but who was pretty harmless and quite entertaining in his own unique way. Apparently, he's been banned from quite a few pubs in Glasgow, though I can't imagine what for. Anyway, I suppose I proved quite a disappointment to him, as I couldn't guess what celeb he was trying to impersonate; and when I came back with a tentative "Sweet little mystery?" on his expectant "Sweet mystery, I've found you", which he kept repeating while looking up at me with bleary eyes, he finally stalked off, but not without telling me I lacked education.


I went to pick up my photos earlier. They weren't there yet, so this entry is once again illustrated by pictures from Julia's Shutterfly album
kick it!

The Big Write-Up: seconds at the Troubadour

The thing with me is, I'm biddable. Ask me nicely to make a prat of myself, and I will. So, after we'd all sat around waxing indignant at latecomers to The Troubadour jumping the queue, who was it went to complain to the management? Me. Nice. Not only did I get sent from pillar to post, but Matt will forever think me a complete dunderhead, unless he's blessed with an incredibly ineffective memory.

The day had started out very well, too. We'd enjoyed a good, solid breakfast in a builder's caff in Earl's Court, gone to McD's for access to the Internet, and then, because it was such a lovely, sunny day, conceived of the idea to go for a walk through the park. Unfortunately, we took the long way round on the tube and spent half the morning underground, but we made it to Kensington Gardens at last and sort of dance-walked through them in step with Day For a Day on Julia's iRiver (what a nifty, envy-inducing piece of equipment that is! I wants me one of those).

After an hour's cavorting in the park, and a half-hearted search for Diana's memorial fountain which we saw signposted but couldn't locate, the others decided to go back to the hotel, while I hopped on the bus to nearby Marble Arch and Oxford St. Invoking the Customer Charter, I got the shoes I wanted for the price they had been mistagged as; and after a quick look round the other shops, I went back to the hotel as well. Again, we decided on eating and drinking at The Troubadour -- Pimm's and lemonade, and rhubarb crême brulée this time.

Eventually, we joined the queue as well; but freakspawn was running late, and I held her ticket...I left her name at the door, and hoped she'd make it before the show started.

After all the fuss I'd made earlier, it felt kind of funny to be there in my usual spot up front again; but luckily anonypooh thought to provide me with a mission, namely: to get Jordan's setlist at the end of the show. She'd taken it upon herself to report back to the Forum with the setlist every night -- the previous night, she'd been lucky to spot Jordan's list going begging long after the lights had come on; this time, she wanted us to be a bit quicker off the mark. For myself, I wanted Corn Mo's, so I kept a wary eye on both these items. To my horror, though, Delphine beat me to Corn Mo's list. Ah well.

anonypooh had invited some of her fairy/hobbit friends along, who hadn't been to a CoRo gig before, but who thoroughly enjoyed themselves at this one. I spotted Geoff in the crowd and hailed him over -- he'd brought a work colleague along, who stayed with me up front while he went off to sit with 'the Surrey posse'. freakspawn made it halfway through Corn Mo's set, and since she asked, I'll say she made a drunken entrance (although really, of course, she didn't...slightly inebriated, perhaps ;-)).

When the band came on (Eric, I noticed, in those battered old shoes of his that should have been binned long ago, and all of them sporting jackets which had to come off pretty soon because of the rising temperatures), they launched into the set with gusto. And what a set it was! Some of my all-time favourites, like Belfast, Offstage Lines, Post Modern and Pawn, some of the new songs I love (Auctioneer, 92 Mikes, Surround Face), the song Julia and I had both wanked about perhaps being played earlier that afternoon, Given Signs, and the UM 'Turtledove' which has been named How To Lose). For their encore, a hilarious rendition of Pay Me, with Corn Mo joining in the singing and music-making.

There was the usual meet&greet after the show, and I chatted with Corn Mo and Jordan a bit, took Lorna's picture with the two of them and Adam who just jumped in,

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and sat down to quietly observe the after-gig melée. We didn't really stay too long, as we had an early start and a long drive up to Scotland the next morning. So off we went, back to the hotel and a Guinness in room 28, while anonypooh again went off in search of a working BT Internet phone booth. She didn't find one that night...but I had fulfilled my mission: I had obtained Jordan's setlist, because even though he kept moving it all through the gig, I never lost sight of it.

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Oh, and I almost forgot to mention this: Jared Samuel joined the band on stage to play keyboards on some of the songs, as did Brian Speiser to fill in for Jordan when he was otherwise engaged.
kick it!

The Big Write-Up: the 1st night, covering old ground

It's been over a week since CoRo finished their UK tour, and I've been quite uncharacteristically lax in writing up my report. There were just so many impressions and recollections to sort through, and I was on the road for what seemed like forever, never stopping at an Internet café long enough to get them all out and on screen. I thought I'd make the effort now though, before it all becomes a blur and I forget how truly amazing and enjoyable it all was.

It all began, of course, with me flying to the UK and spending a few days prior to the shows with calove and her family, my home away from home. We had a few lovely, relaxed days together; went on a fruitless expedition to Ikea; and then on Thursday, she dropped me off at the station and I took the train up to London. Arriving at the hotel, I found roissy0 already ensconced in our room, and left her there to catch up on some sleep while I went out to sample the big city delights. We had sort of made arrangements to meet up with anonypooh and pohewa at Earl's Court tube station later in the afternoon\early evening, and although they were delayed by traffic or some such, managed to hook up with them easily enough – Sherry, who had met Julia in New York, had said to watch out for 'the bouncy one', and so they were speedily spotted. From there, it was only a short walk to The Troubadour, and as it was a nice day out, we sat outside drinking Pimm's and lemonade

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and indulging in an assortment of sweets and savoury dishes, with me, feeling adventurous, ordering their “roadkill chilli”

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just to see what it looked like. Although jokes were made as to the precise nature of the meat involved in the creation of the dish, consensus being reached on rat, it tasted fine and the plate was soon empty. All the while, we thought we were hearing soundcheck noises, but it was only the radio...

When it became too cold outside, we moved back in and were amazed to see that the place had filled up quite a bit in so short a time. We had just about enough time to put up a few flyers in the window and greet a few known faces when it was announced that we could go downstairs. At first, we took up a strategic position on the fire escape, but before too long, the others moved to a niche at the back of the room while I somehow managed to find a space in the front row, in time for Corn Mo's first appearance on stage. The audience didn't seem to know what to make of him at first, but the quirky nature of his songs and his honest delivery soon won them –and me- over (Julia, of course, already knew what to expect), and his last song, a rocked up version of Hawa Nagila, received thunderous applause.

Then, CoRo came on, opening the set with Day For A Day, and from the very first note, they were rocking. The energy and sheer exuberance they bring to each of their performances is such a pleasure to behold, which isn't in the least bit marred by Eric's frequent tuning sessions. After all, these offer the perfect opportunity for Adam's witty banter and to the point remarks, while Jordan smiles benignly in the background.

The setlist for that first night, entitled We Are The Fat Kid, a reference to the upcoming festival of Pesach, I believe, contained a fair mix of old and new favourites, with the new ones including Auctioneer, Surround Face, and 92 Mikes...and my absolute favourite of the night: Adam's solo Tired/Sad delivered a cappella to a dead hush from the audience.

As usual, they made their way to the back of the crowd to perform their last song, Cinematographer; and then it was over, but not quite – they came back out and mingled, chatting animatedly to their fans and posing for photographs in an utterly relaxed atmosphere, with Corn Mo joining in as well. I've already mentioned my convo with Eric, so I won't repeat it here – it was mostly tosh about facial hair, busking, and venue sound quality anyway.

Pictures in this post courtesy of anonypooh's shutterfly album, which I hope she'll forgive me for pilfering.
offstage lines

Tired/Sad

I've had a shower, I've had a large black coffee, and I've had a briliant time these last few days and nights, but I think my great old age is finally catching up with me and I'm feeling dead tired at the moment...And happy; happy to have seen and heard so much of CoRo in such good company -I've met and spent time with so many of my LJ-friends this past week, I wouldn't have believe it possible before-; happy to have had the chance to go to Glasgow and walk through the park with one of my oldest online friends who turned out just as easy and pleasant to talk to as exchange e-mails with; happy to be in Liverpool and looking forward to spending the day here; and happy that the tour is over and I can get back to enjoying my holiday at a more leisurely pace.

Though at the same time, I am of course a little bit sad as well; sad that the tour is over and it'll likely be a while before I get the chance to see CoRo again; sad that it'll likely be an even longer while before I get to see Corn Mo again (although he did mention to me last night that he might be doing some shows in Norway later in the year -- if he can find a promotor to sort it all out), and sad at the thought that I'll be leaving my roadtrip companions to go to their respective destination without me later today. roissy0 has already left early this morning, so it's just me and anonypooh, freakspawn and onecheekyhobbit that are left to explore Liverpool's tourist attractions...Yes, definitely a little sad.

29 Minutes left...I'm not a quick typist. I never took the time to learn how to use 10 fingers as 2 suffice, but it's mainly the constant thinking about how to cast my jumbled, chaotic thoughts into clear and concise wording that makes it difficult for me to say all I want to in just under half an hour. Which means that again, if you were expecting a precise and comprehensive write-up of CoRo's shows, you're not likely to find it in this entry. It may have to wait until I get back.

I can tell you though, that driving all the way up to Scotland and down to Merseyside again turned out not to be as daunting as previously thought or believed. We made it from London to Glasgow in under 6 hours, and from Glasgow to Liverpool in 3 -- we think the fact that we undertook this trip at the weekend is largely responsible for these record times...and, on the last journey, going mostly downhill at 115 mph may have helped as well ;-).

Except for the first show's, I managed to snag the set lists to all the others (plus one of Corn Mo's), and I'm hoping they'll help remind me of all the important bits of information to include in my big write up which will undoutedly happen some time later this week or the next, but for now I must remember that last night, the song references included songs about heaven (Heaven Is A Place On Earth, Heaven, Stairway to Heaven and others) happened in More Than Once Before It Takes, and Eric stuck a few lines of Everyday Is Like Sunday (Morrissey) at the end of Clear Channel...but no Beatles references! which I was quite happy about...I mean, every band that plays The Cavern seems to feel the need to at least do one, and I know the guys did think about it as per their own admissions, but I'm glad they decided not to do it. A snatch from Simon and Garfunkel's 59th Street Bridge Song did make another appearance again, though.

Now they're all off for breakfast and I'm stuck in here with 10 more minutes of credit...whatever shall I do? Post this, and join them, I think!
kick it!

Corn Mo

I could use the 53 minutes of Internet time I've got left on this ticket to write up my CoRo Gig Reports 2 & 3, but I don't think I'll bother with that now. Instead, I'll tell you about Corn Mo's performances, which seem to go down better with every show. He is definitely an acquired taste! The first night, when he opened the show in The Troubadour, people started to mutter pretty quick, and some in the first row even took the opportunity to text each other messages that said: "Erm..WTF?!" -- the next night though, the same people were smiling and applauding, and he definitely made some fans in Glasgow yesterday (me included). I can't wait to see him on stage again tonight -- we played the CD on the drive down from Scotland just now, and I'm very happy with my purchase.

Actually, we played his music on the way up from London as well (he'd been kind enough to burn a CD for Julia earlier), so when he started playing I already knew the words to most of the songs and could sing along enthusiastically; but the CD I have has very few of the songs he performs on stage this tour. That's fine, because I love I'll Be Your Platypus and I Wish You Were My Home, and all the others. There are some mp3s on his website (see Links section), but I don't believe they download well at the moment. He has been made aware of this by several people on this tour, and I'm sure he'll sort it all out as soon as he gets back, which will be one of these days (he's not sure of a ride back to London and the airport yet).

Apart from that, he's a really nice bloke...with perhaps a little bit of a mall fixation. Someone ought to tell him, really.
offstage lines

Report no. 1

Last night, I opened my mouth and drivel came out. You hear yourself saying things, you cringe inwardly and tell yourself you're talking complete drivel and you had better stop it. this. instant. but here's the thing: you can't. Your mouth has developed a mind of its own and it just goes on spouting complete bollocks. And so an evening that started off promising and fun ended in total and abject humiliation...

We met up with anonypooh and pohewa as planned, and then set off for The Troubadour in search of food and a good spot from which to watch that evening's show. It was quite a balmy night so we took our seats in the garden, and ordered Pimm's and lemonade. When we went back inside, the place had filled up, and we ended up among the last ones to go downstairs.

Corn Mo is an acquired taste, I think...Not bad, but his songs started to sound a bit same-y to me after a while. Still, he's a lovely guy and the stories he was telling in between the songs were very amusing and entertaining. He ended on a rocked-up version of Hawa Nagila which went down a storm.

As to Common Rotation's show, anonypooh got the set list, so if you want to know what songs they played, check out her journal. They started off with Day which has been going through my head ever since, and did a great set with quite a lot of new material, and old favourites as well. Adam did an a cappella number, Tired/Sad, and they did a country-ish song called Southern Moon which surprisingly, I liked quite a bit. They were having a few problems with the PA and Jordan didn't seem too happy with his trumpet at certain moments, but they seemed to be having a brilliant time on stage.

We hung around for a bit after the show, and then everyone got up to leave; so I went over to Eric and said goodbye...only to find out when I reached the other side of the room that the others had changed their minds and were getting some drinks in. So for the next hour, I tried desparately to make out I was invisible and not really there at all whenever I suspected I might be in Eric's line of vision, but all to no avail, alas. After a while, he came up to me and accused me of having lied to him about leaving earlier! I opened my mouth to refute him...and drivel came out -- I talked about his beard, for chrissakes! We got onto another topic quickly enough, but still...I talked about his beard, for crying out loud! ::shakes head in utter horror and disbelief::

I took pictures, of course, but it'll be a while before I can post them -- modern technology hasn't caught up with me yet and I'm still on a non-digital camera. There are some great ones up already over on the Forum, that Geoff From Surrey took.

All in all, it was a brilliant night, which ended in the four of us traipsing through the streets of London in the wee small hours searching for a 24 hour Internet café. roissy0 and I eventually gave up, but undaunted, anonypooh and pohewa successfully gave one of those Internet phone booths a try. We met up again for a builder's breakfast this morning, and in a minute will be off to take a stroll through the park, which comes highly recommended as a way to pass the time by Corn Mo and Jordan.

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