Home » Band Stuff » Band Diary: London » 20/11/2010


Late night last night, so late morning this morning.

We all seem less good at doing things on the weekends, so I decided to do a little exploring online last night to find somewhere I’d like to go. Turns out there is a Doctor Who shop in the Upton Park area, not too far from London, but too far to walk.

My solution was simple, look up the directions from the Upton Park tube station, and take the underground. I was careful to avoid telling the others my plans because I didn’t want them to mock me, but it was eventually coaxed out of me by the cunningly worded question: ‘What are you doing today?’.

Resolutely decided on our course of action, we had lunch and watched the movie ‘Racing Stripes’ for no reason, then set out for what was sure to be the greatest journey ever undertaken with the goal of getting to Upton Park. The walk to Lambeth North Tube station was uneventful and brisk, but nevertheless pleasant. We passed through the gate into the station with no problems and then it was time to board the tube train.

This is the point at which a rant begins to swell inside me. What should have been a simple 35 minute tube journey with only one changeover became an enjoyable day, but one with altogether too much tube riding. After getting off at the station where we should have changed lines to one which would take us to Upton Park, we found that the line we wanted was closed. Never mind, because there was another line which went to where we wanted, and we could catch that from another station. So we tubed there, and it became clear that that line was closed as well. Never fear, since there was another line which although a distance away, and one which necessitated two more changeovers, would take us to West Ham tube station, from where we could catch yet another tube train to Upton park, or failing that, walk.

After another exhausting ride (not helped by the fact that whoever runs the tube seems to feel the need to keep it freezing outside the trains and a billion degrees inside), we arrived at West Ham and left the station, stopping at a post office for a drink, and to ask directions. We were informed that we couldn’t walk there, so we should take the tube backwards one stop and bus from there. Somewhat less enamored with the idea of another tube ride than we’d been in the morning, Tina and I opted to ignore this advice (as the stores in Upton Park would be closing soon anyway), and decided to simply take the train to Oxford street.

After some Oyster card troubles, we settled in for the long journey. Just as well, since it was about to become longer. After two stops, we were informed over the tannoy that all tube trains on our line were being held up while an ambulance came to collect a man from another train on that line. This was not a problem because we occupied ourselves with an entire game of chess in the meantime. Finally we realized that we had no idea which stop was closest to Oxford Street, so we gave up on that too, and stopped at LondonBridge.

The rest of the day was not uneventful, but I dare say things along the lines of dinner, conversation and the eternal struggle to find a toilet make less than riveting reading.

With that we come to the present moment which sees me writing my diary in the bath while everyone else is out, enjoying the London nightlife. My final point is this: Assuming I read this years from now, the one thing it is important for me to remember is Tim Vine trying to catch a pen behind his ear.


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