Postcard - London Revisited
November 2000©Nigel Spiers

We are descending through dabs of fluffy clouds into Los Angeles en route to London. As we glide over endless miles of bland suburbia I am reading the concluding pages of Michael Connelly's latest page turner. His hero - Harry Bosch sums it up best when he says what depresses me most about Los Angeles are the signs on the front lawns - "Armed Response". Thank god I am just passing through.

It's day one in London and I find my one square foot of space on the tube at Kings Cross. As the train moves off I reach up to grab the rail to find myself eye to eye with the most flawless complexion. That peaches and cream you only find in England. As the train lurches we are thrown together - see that wasn't so bad was it Nigel? Londoners don't complain at all about the heaving, sweating, overcrowded underground which makes you wonder if they don't enjoy it in a peverse English way. As the world's most congenitally distant race maybe this is their daily dose of team building.

I go through France, around the Al Garve, skirt Armenia, on past Sri Lanka and across Namibia - yes it's also day one of The World Travel Mart at the Earls Court exhibition centre. What a buzz - like going to work on LSD.

It's now official - the British Meteorological service has confirmed that a ray of sunshine was spotted over London this morning. Sunday afternoon and it's raining again so I think I'll get out the brolley and go to The National Portrait Gallery. You can tell it's Xmas time again in London because Selfridges have put up their famous decorations, more than 50% of the tube escalators are out of action and Leceister Square is awash with chunder. Of course if you were to drink a couple of pints of Baccardi & Coke and a few Creme De Menthe chassers through a straw you may also leave most of it on the pavement. The 101 Portrait Masterpieces of the 20th Century exhibition is even better than expected and I'm feeling rather virtuous. I therefore treat myself to a visit to Denmark Street - the home of the London music industry. There are about 12 music shops in one tiny street off Charing Cross Road. Some are 6 story musical instrument emporiums however my favourites are the speciality shops such as the Rare and Vintage Electric Guitar shop. Afficianados gather here on the weekend to lovingly stroke these most precious and beautiful instruments. Every guitar has a hand written card laying out it's pedigree and famous owners. Bloody hell - is that Alvin Lee's guitar? - I hope they havn't seen me wiping dribble off it. I wander home in a reverie - huming "Going Home" and playing one of my finest air guitar lead breaks. To their credit the poms on the tube simply turn their heads from this pathetic site.

This has to be the greatest town - wit, charm, fun, culture, history, peace, safety, harmony, jobs for all and fabulous wealth. On the news this morning it was announced that the British Government has a record cash surplus of 35 billion Pounds Sterling and they are currently investigating ways of getting rid of it.

"Maybe it's because I'm a Londoner that I love London so" goes the old music hall song. I'm not a Londoner so what's my excuse?

There ain't nufink wot I can put me finger on - naa-wot-I-mean-guv?



















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