Tuesday, 19 June 2007

Fucking shattered.

Fucking shattered.

But very, very happy indeed.

Where shall I start... I'll start on Friday. Friday, myself and Boss went in to Hong Kong. Our flight was at 0:50am, so we planned to spend the day shopping in HK and having a mooch around.

Problem is, our flight was at 0:50am Friday morning. Travel agent had completely fucked up, so Boss had to buy two new tickets back. Which were only £260 or so, which is excellent. Highly recommend Oasis Hong Kong, our flights out were only £365 return or something. Not bad.

Anyway, then we went mooching and shopping, after marvelling at how slick and uncomplicated our travel exploits had been thanks to great staff and airports, and common sense.

In HK, we went to Stanley Market, which was a real experience. I bought a load of stuff for SLF and The Daughter, which I think will go down well. Also, it was a fun experience. Haggling prices down, having a good laugh and just enjoying it all. Of course, I was fucking knackered still, as I woke up at 4am that morning, but that's travel for yuz.

Flight back was good, again I sat with nice people. I watched the truly fucking awful Mission Impossible III, a shitfit of… shitness and no mistake. I mean the flight was good apart from that movie.

Saturday morning, plane lands at 6:30am ish. I leave, say seeya to boss after a good trip, and make my way to central London. I go to a hotel near Hyde Park, where I'm staying with SLF for the weekend. The staff were wonderful, they made me comfortable and were really helpful despite there being no room for me for a while.

SLF arrived around 5:30 or so after a long journey. She looked fantastic, I was so pleased to see her. We walked down to the hotel, and had a very relaxed evening indeed. Well, ish. We went over to Chiswick to a Greek restaurant I'm fond of (Kalamari on Chiswick High Road, Fact Fans), as I thought she'd like it. She did, it was as friendly there as usual and we had a great table in the window. I was really shattered despite a two-hour nap in the afternoon, but I held my end up. So to speak.

Sunday, we went for a short run in Hyde Park, which was nice. Busy, but nice. Lunchtime we went into Soho to meet old mucker Mara for lunch at Itsu, probably my favourite place for sushi in central London. It was lovely – I'd been excited about the two of them meeting, as I am when SLF meets all my friends. It was good – great food, lots of chat and the time flew by. We met about 1:30 and next thing you know it's 4pm.

That evening, we went to an Italian restaurant near the hotel. The hotel was (and probably still is) in Lancaster Gate, quite a posh wee area as it's right on the park and very central. It means you get a mix of the famous, the posh and some right tossers, which is always interesting. There was an actor in the restaurant and I still can't think of his name. Craggy, old, and not that well known – the kind of actor I probably know the life story of, I just can't add it up in my head.

Anyway, SLF's food was good, my pizza was very disappointing. Ah well. We went back and got an early night, as again, I was shattered and needed to be on good form the next day, which we shall call 'Monday'.

Monday arrives, and we mooch about for most of it. After 12, we head for Wembley to collect Pearl Jam tickets. On the way, we stop for pizza (at Bella Italia, I think it's called – a bloody chain place and it does the best pizza I've had in ages. Gah).

We get to Wembley Arena, and the lady asks for a booking reference. Now, I'm pretty sure I was just supposed to bring photo ID, which I told her. She said is it a fan club booking, I said yes, she directed me to the right place. At the right place, I had one lovely moment, though I did not know it until later. Two tossers had been walking in front of us; one threw his Coke bottle down on the ground. I hate littering by anybody, but by someone in their late 20s when there are fucking tons of bins in the area… that's just childish.

Anyway, he got to the head of the queue before me. He had a printout with a booking reference on it… but no photo ID, which is what you need to collect a fan club booking.

Ha ha. Tosser.

So I got the tickets, and we were all excited… And tired. So we went back to the hotel for a nap in the afternoon. How old are we?

Nice kip though, I must admit.

So we mosey on out at about 7:15 and make it in perfect time. We miss the support act and get in line for the right entrance. So far so good. We get in, find the right stand, walk in. I clock which row we're in… and it's right at the front, Row C. In front of us is only standing room, and we're a good 10 feet higher than them. So there's nothing between us and Pearl Jam.

There was a minor falling out, when a bloke two seats down decided to have a cigarette. In an enclosed auditorium, with massive, glowing 'NO SMOKING' signs. Sadly, all grace left me, and I did not look around before saying very loudly the following:

"I can smell a cigarette. Who the fuck would light up in here, for fuck's sake? Now which cunt is that? Look, there's giant fucking 'no smoking' signs over there!"

The chap waved his apology (in the most manly way he could, which was quite amusing), and stubbed it out. Dipshit was caught again by the stewards later, as they came over to him with a torch and he held his hands up to say 'Me? No, if I were smoking I would have a cigarette in my hands, surely! You are mistake, Blue Collar!'

They pointed the torch down and smoke was hanging around his feet from where he'd just stubbed it out. What a dumb cunt.

Oh yeah, Pearl Jam. I may do a post on its own about the gig. Even with my hopes and expectations, I was blown away. They were exceptional, really something very special indeed. Yes, more on that later, or tomorrow.

We got back to the hotel about midnight with no problems whatsoever on transport, which was excellent and then some. We had a couple of pints of Guinness, which went down a treat. We were both sore and parched after much shouting and singing. Did I mention we'd gone to see Pearl Jam?

Today, we got up, packed and went over to Tate Modern to see the Dali exhibit, which is brilliant. Not that I expect anything else from that place. The highlights for me were his wonderful Shirley Temple picture, which was way ahead of its time, and the collaboration between Dali and Disney, called Destino. It's bloody brilliant – even better in the exhibition because you can see the working ideas the two men had put together. The film, seven minutes long, was finished in 2003 by Disney after being shelved in the 30s. They've obviously worked hard to create the exact vision from the working notes and Dali's exhaustive working sketches and paintings. It's great.

The whole exhibition was bloody good. I was surprised by how good his fine detail is in oil, it's really something. And there are a couple of bloody enormous abstract compositions in there that are surprisingly good, and quite simple.

Then we picked up our bags and got the train home. And here I am.