Tuesday, April 13, 2010


Tuesday 13 April 2010

Today I wake up ahead of time.  I need a piss.  Having taken my watch off last night I have no idea just what the time actually is but with the sun already out in force I can’t imagine it is far from 6AM.

Eventually I murmur and the time is 5.56AM, which feels like some kind of kick in the balls by nature.  From here I flip on the TV and brace myself for the latest spew of news for morons.

GMTV picks up today as Clare the weathergirl resembles a honey again (former glories).  Maybe things are starting to trend upwards.

I leave the flat slightly late this morning and I do so wearing my coat in full realisation that by the time I reach London the sun will probably be out and this garment will be rendered unnecessary.

The train ride this morning turns out to be a relatively quiet one, none of the fun and games of yesterday, only bliss and no sign of plate crowders within the ranks of the extras.  Likewise when the train reaches London the tube ride across town from Liverpool Street to St Johns Wood turns out to be another smooth, eventless journey offering a relaxing voyage and lack of stress to take into the office with me.

As I step into the restaurant and up the stairs into the office things pick up further as the angry boss hands me a cup of coffee for being “first in.” 

Thankfully this morning the computer network is still up as I arrive.  Makes a change.

In general work runs a bit better today although there are a few wages queries that get in my way, issues The Girl would ordinarily deal with.  Slowly I begin to polish off yesterday’s To Do list just as another for today begins to come together.

For lunch I opt to the sausage, beans and mash option.  Yes, I am eating from the children’s menu.  This meal comes coupled with helping my boss deal with internet logins and the Easyjet website in general.  Cheap airline websites aren’t the most user friendly of sites.  I defy you to find a contact telephone number or email within them.

Today I find myself on the Millwall website again coming very close to paying £370 for a season ticket.  In the grand scheme of things it is not an obscene amount of money.  I balk though, what if they don’t go up?

Eventually the afternoon gets going and with it more distracted productivity.  For some reason our office is caked in static these days and often when we touch stuff (metal stuff) we get small electric shocks.

In the end I find some kind of groove only to realise that there is just an hour left in the working day.  There is very little that I can do with this.

Late in the day I come across a letter reproduced online from my old Gringo Records cohort from his job (real job).  It displays a level of professionalism in him that I never encountered in our “working” relationship with the label.  Maybe he has changed.  Then again leopards don’t change their spots.  Is it really seven years now since the California holiday?

By the time 5.30PM arrives I am almost flying but still I down tools at the close of the contractually obligated time.  Never accuse me of being a salaryman.

Tonight I am heading to The Lyric in Hammersmith to see GHOST STORIES so as a result I am in no rush to leave the office considering that curtain time is 8PM.

From here I potter for a while, doing some personal writing while trying to kill time.  Eventually I leave the restaurant around 6.45PM and head for Hammersmith.  As I walk to St Johns Wood station I spot Vanessa Feltz waddling coming up towards me seemingly being carried (held up) by two young girls.  Relatives I guess.

I get to Hammersmith in good time and after a brief bearings hiccup I easily find The Lyric.  Hammersmith is an area that is still slightly foreign to me.  I think I could grow to like it if only it wasn’t so arduous to get to on the tube, the journey feels as if it takes forever.

Quickly after purchasing a Lipton ice tea I find myself inside the theatre taking my seat.  The setting is excitedly eerie with the walls littered with cobwebs and graffiti and the only sound being piped from the PA being something Kranky or Constellation would have happily released a few years ago when hip people were suckered into thinking that it was all the rage.

As people slowly filter in as ever there is the sound of a camp gay person sat behind me whining about work in conversation.  It’s a theatre thing I guess.  Elsewhere while I wait for the show to begin I spot Paul Gambaccini in the audience.

In the end I find myself sat between a disco tart WAG wannabe and an old mummy.  This makes for a tough decision as to whom I’ll be hugging out to when the fear begins.

GHOST STORIES begins with screams and a sheet of white noise.  With this opening a ghost expert (Andy Nyman) takes to the stage, accidentally dropping his pen in the process and begins giving a lecture, expressing his doubts regarding the existence of the paranormal, writing it off as the impressionable aspects of the human mind.

From here the vocal sceptic rolls out various examples of nonsense, of potential paranormal activity and ghost sightings which he proceeds to dismiss as being down to perception, of how if a mind wants to believe it is seeing a ghost it will believe it.  The most chilling picture he holds up is one of a wedding photo from Scotland that appears to have a small child creeping behind the father of the bride.  As the photo becomes increased the shadow of the child becomes clearer and clearer even though the family insist that there was nobody around at the time.  Was this the presence of child from the past or just an optical illusion?  In the sceptical conclusion rules out although such an image does royally give cause for question.

Soon Nyman is leading us into three examples of other paranormal encounters explicitly re-enacting them.  The first incident features a night watchman (played by David Cardy who featured in Birds Of A Feather) as recounts a late night experience he had at a time where he was being subjected to much family pressure.  As the incident plays out in a tense manner that causes much of the audience to eventually scream (and me to most definitely hop in my seat) Nyman returns only to dismiss the meeting as a trick of the mind.

Moving onto the second example it features a young man driving home late at night from a party where he hits something while talking on his mobile phone.  Once more things occur at a time whereby the witness/victim is experiencing some degree of guilt/tension and as again the story unfolds in a masterfully chilling manner more terror takes place again deriving screams from the audience and another genuine skip in my heart.  Of course once more Nyman dismisses this as the imagination of the lad working overtime.

The final tale features Nicholas Burns (Nathan Barley) as a father dealing with an incident in his child’s bedroom.  After more vibrations and apparent tricks of the mind this scene mutates into all kinds of nastiness as the show strides to an explosive twisting conclusion.

It all ends very noisily with a gnarly conclusion as all the stories are terrifically executed using the kind of trickery you would expect from a magic background.  All in all it is a very visceral experience.

As I emerge back onto the streets of Hammersmith there is a crazy lady asking for help outside the theatre, which invariably leads to a request for money.  Is this an extension to the Ghost Stories experience?  Is she employed by The Lyric?

From here I board the Piccadilly Line, which from Hammersmith feels a very long ride back to East London and civilisation.  As I change lines at Holborn my heart is still pumping from the show, the adrenalin is still flowing.

Once back at Liverpool Street I find myself making the schoolboy error of boarding the 10.30PM Norwich train when easily I could have made the 10.18PM.  Much to my annoyance slowly Norwich City supporters begin to swarm the train with their hick accents and inbred appearance.

Tonight was a big night for third tier football.  Most importantly (unfortunately) I discover that Millwall have fouled up at Yeovil only drawing 1-1.  This score is however slightly improved with the knowledge that our equalizer came three minutes into injury time and things could have been much worse.

Themselves these Norwich supporters are emerging from a surprise 1-0 loss at Leyton Orient.  These people don’t look good and speak in slow, soft accents that only make them stupid.  Elsewhere Colchester United have tonight been playing at Charlton against their former manager.

Ironically I wind up sat opposite/next to a couple of Leyton Orient supporters.  With so many opposing supporters from clubs in my division it really does not appear to be the time to nail my Millwall colours to the mast.  Thankfully the train eventually pulls into Colchester and I gain escape from this gaggle of divs.

As I exit the station I bump into Ben the old music promoter in Colchester who used to have the most amazing record shop called World Class Records.  He asks me if I have just been to the Colchester game at which point I remind him that I am a Millwall supporter.  He apologises.

Eventually I get home.

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