Generally I hate Wednesdays, but this one was swell. Finished work at 5 and tubed down to Oxford Circus; I was due to review a film at 6.30 in Soho. Walking round Noho looking for a guitar shop, I spied two hipster with instruments and asked them. They pointed me in the way of a place.
The guy behind the counter, as rude as you'd expect, was on the phone, so his assistant helped me out. I got some electric guitar strings (I have highly corrosive sweat, meaning I have to change them frequently) and he asked the guy on the phone how much they cost, and tilled it up. Then I annoyingly decided to get acoustic strings too. He had to ask which ones were best, then totallled it up. Then I realised I needed a cable. He didn't know where the cables were, so had to ask the guy. I picked one and he totalled it up again. Then I spied the plectrums (plectra?). Unfortunately he didn't know how much they cost (even the plectra! How humiliating!), so had to ask the rude guy the price yet again.
I headed along to the new Fopp on Tottenham Court road with my paraphernalia. The shop's massive, so big that they have a budget ambient minimalism section. Another nice touch: their 24 box sets cost £24. I bought R.E.M.'s Life's Rich Pageant on CD for £5. You can't pay any more than that for something you already have on tape, it'd be incredibly extragvagent.
Then on to the press screening. Went up to the screening room bar, where there were some highly pretentious movie reviewers hanging out and talking about who won the Oscar for best supporting actor in 1996, and so on. I sat down and did the London Lite sudoku. After a bit, we went in; the film was called Sleeping Dogs Lie and it's a low-budget indie romcom about a girl who once **** a dog * **** *** and her dilemmas about whether she should tell her fiance about what she did. Weirdly, it was directed by the guy who played Zed in the Police Academy films, who goes by the odd name of Bobcat Goldthwait. It was rather good. (Trailer here.)
After the film I dashed to an empty late night coffee shop and scribbled out some review notes with a pot of tea. I quite liked that image of myself, I should have taken a picture. Would've been better with cigarettes, of course.
As I walked to the Underground, popping into a few shops on the way (book shopping at 8.30pm! Thank you London!), I saw a guy riding a bike going down down Oxford Street with his girlfriend sitting on the crossframe, both laughing, and I felt a wave of happiness.
Did the Metro sudoku on the tube home - finished it by Pimlico, yesssss - and stopped off at Millennium fried chicken back in Stockwell. There was a delivery man in there wanting £60, but the boys didn't have the money for him as he was a day early. "Problem with The Man?" I asked Shiva. "Yes - normally they are come Thursdays then now they are come today," he said sounding unperturbed. I vaguely considered offering to pay the £60, thus earning myself around 25 chicken meals on credit. But that could be highly dangerous to my health. "Nandri, Shiva," I said as I took my meal and walked out. The chicken shop is one of the few times that London lets me feel part of a community, as well as allowing a short burst of linguistic posing, so I relish it. "Vannakam!" I shout, to Shiva's delight. A few words of Tamil goes a long way in this crazy city.
I got home. Jamie was watching a programme on More4 presented by transvestite potter Grayson Perry about how people spend their spare time.