So, because I’m a moron, I booked tickets for Mark Thomas’s 100 Minor Acts of Dissent. This would have been an awesome idea, except for the fact that we’ve already seen that show. And a comedy show a second time is not as funny as a comedy show the first time. By a fairly long way. This is because for some reason in my brain he was doing March to March not May to May, so when I saw that the show was on in London I thought: “OhMyGodWeMustGoIMustBuyTicketsNowYay” thinking it was the one-off-final show. Despite the fact it was running for several nights. What’s that you say? Idiot? Yes.
Thus we flew into London on one of our days off. Cue debate abount Minor vs iMiEV. Thanks to Virgin killing our internet* we ended up taking the Minor which, I think, was probably a wise plan in the end. Because of a long, long phone call with Virgin we headed off late, flew to [special super sekret cheap daylong car park outside London] and got our return tickets with good old travel cards attached. Since we’re such infrequent visitors to London now, our oyster cards are both dead, like dead dead. So the good old paper tickets, whilst marking us out as country bumpkins, were our source of transportation.
First we hit up a shoe shop. Bristol’s ethical shoe specialist has, it turns out, closed. And my battered converse were looking, well, sad. Very, very sad. I’d been trying to get some Ethletic runners**, but everywhere seemed out of stock. Today I found out why – apparently they raised their wholesale price fairly markedly, and lots of places dropped ‘em. Thankfully the awesome folks at The Third Estate in London had a few pairs in my size left, so I walked away with some olive colour high-tops for only marginally more than the online price for the normal runners, bargain, and I was supporting a fantastic ethical shoe place. There were so many shoes in there I wanted. So many. And had I not have just bought the awesome hoodie from Uchi, I would have probably got one there, and a tee (they’ve some great screen printed tees). Also, the woman who is part-owner from Leeds, incredibly friendly. Many recommendations.
Then we fled the scene of our spending spree and headed over to the British Library. We’d been planning to go to a couple of museums but were foiled by the delay in the morning caused by Virgin and me faffing trying to get it sorted. In the end we barely crammed in the British Library’s Data Visualisation exhibit and a little entertaining glance at their philately collection before we had to dash across town to get food.
A brief but very pleasant stop at Polpo’s Covent Garden restaurant*** before we headed over to see, what turned out to be the same show we’d seen.
After feeling somewhat sheepish and trying to keep up more mirth than was really being felt (to be polite to the people around us who’d not seen the show) in the first half, there was somewhat more differentiation in the second half as he talked about more new things that he’d done, which made it better. But afterwards the idea of heading straight back having forked out £25 on petrol, £6 on parking and £20 on train tickets seemed a bit distressing. But there, in that self-same theatre was the solution.
Bill Bailey was up for a 1hr show. We could watch that and get the train back to [Super Sekret Car Park] and make the whole day seem less of a long trip to buy one pair of shoes. But it was all but sold out, two tickets at virtually opposite ends of the theatre. We, neither of us, felt that was what we wanted. But we milled around outside watching the sell-out-full queue of people wandering in. And then, in an astonishing twist, the ticket-person asked the security guard to come and let us know that two tickets had come up as a pair. Second row, right in the damn centre. That is some pretty-damn-good seating for a last minute buy. And really very very good service. I didn’t expect them to do that.
And he was excellent. I’ve never seen him live, but would happily do so again. I laughed and laughed until my cheeks hurt.
And between them I came away feeling like actually, I can make a difference to the world. Something I’ve not felt for a very long time.
Then we began a very long journey back… and at 0245 we slid, very tiredly, into bed.
* Long phonecall: It’s being upgraded. Thanks for telling us first… Also, discovered that we don’t have a working phoneline because somehow in the order process our phoneline disappeared. However, realisation: We now have a good enough data service that we can have a VOIP phone again :) Cue saving money…
** Or some Blackspot sneakers but I’ve never tried them on, and want to be sure I size them correctly, since they come in US sizes.
*** Very nice, but not incredible. But then the prices are very reasonable. Their mocktails were really ace, and so were their desserts.