Jamie arrived on time and we set off on the tube to meet Gerry and Jim at The Royal George, a cosy little place on the Charing Cross Road right by the Astoria. Already the place was swarming with Hawkwind fans, essentially, fat old men and the odd punk. The road reeked.
We had a few sharpeners and made our way in almost as soon as the band came on. They opened with one of my favourites (Master of the Universe to those of you who give a flying fuck) and launched into a mixed bag of ancient classics drawing heavily from the Calvert period which is a little more ‘punk’ than the earlier swirls of psychedelic heaviness. It was fantastic, so good in fact that Jamie dragged me to the front where a load of large men were slamming into each other. From my new vantage point the band were only a few feet away and I was somewhat stage struck. I’ve been a fan since I was 14, it was a big deal. They ended with a frenetic version of Silver Machine, to the layman this was probably to be expected but in the 20 or so times I’ve seen them this is only the second time I’ve heard them play what has been regarded by John Lydon as the inspiration for the Sex Pistols.
It was also the end of an era, The Astoria is due to close in a couple of weeks which is a crying shame, it is/was one of the best venues in town and I’m very sorry to see it go. Balls. Nonetheless, full of joy, booze and as deaf as posts we were forced onto the tube as the pubs were no longer serving (us?) and Jamie and I arrived back in Tooting in the freezing rain determined to have a Shawarma before we called it a day.
I woke in the morning with a headache feeling awful. Jamie slipped off and I lolled in bed for a while trying to sleep but decided instead to get up and take a much needed bath. After a brunch of Tortellini and this tomato sauce I’d knocked up on Monday evening (fry off some onions and garlic in olive oil add a tin of tomato and grate in some parmesan, sensational, yeah) I was feeling able to face the fucking shopping. I was wrong.
As soon as I entered the vast Sainsbury my head began to swim, I almost lost my balance by the Crackers and bending down to retrieve some Christmas Pudding nearly saw yours truly sprawled on the floor all fainted and shit. I abandoned the desire to run out and maintained the task in hand largely by concluding that whilst the place wasn’t rammed now it would be later and the dreadful experience would be a thousand times worse. I left with a rucksack on my back stuffed full of Christmas based cack that was heavier than cement.
When I got home I had to undertake what I consider to be the most awful festive fuck in the whole of the seasons gitterings. Wrapping. I hate wrapping more than puddles of sick, I just don’t understand it. Why for fucks sake? It took over 3 hours to wrap 9 things, I nearly cried twice, I screamed once and narrowly avoided quite deliberately stabbing myself in the hand. It was only because ‘Ice Cold in Alex’ was on the box that I remained sane. After all this effort the 9 items of varying sizes resembled a MacDonald’s bin. The rest of my non-family presents will be thrown to their intended recipients, unwrapped, I can’t be fucked. It’s the thought that counts right?
IC and I had been invited to a party in town but due to work on the part of the former we were forced to veto the plan. No bother, I rustled up a semi-sort of Christmas dinner and dug out some crackers and when IC arrived we had supper consisting of a nut roast (bought from Marks, it was bloody nice much to my surprise) peas, carrots and this roasted onion and tomato sauce I made on auto-pilot that IC said was marvellous. We had Christmas Pudding for afters (marks bought again, fucking lovely) then played chess. I lost. Blast.
So, that’s about it for 2008, there will be a chart tomoz and not much else and at some point between now and next weekend a long moan about turning fucking 40. Eat that.