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The heatwave of the last week officially broke today, the temperature dropping to around 22°C outside, but the humidity and lack of a breeze makes it just under 29°C indoors tonight, according to my thermometer. I have no idea if I’ll get any sleep tonight, but I’ll sure have a go.

Tuesday night I got back from an excellent long weekend in London, meeting up with old and new friends. The newest were aged five and two, whom I had last seen seen back when the youngest was just two weeks old. I knew he wouldn’t remember me, and I’m not really sure whether his brother did, but it hardly mattered. Within five minutes of meeting up they had me face-down on the floor, gleefully whacking me over the head with the toys I brought them.

I helped take them around Oxford Street, Holland Park, and the Natural History Museum, where they got to see dinosaurs outside of books for the first time – a fairly eye-opening experience. Another first for me: the first time I’d tried to navigate a push-chair around London, through pedestrians and traffic, in and out of the Tube system. A decent workout, part of the job of being a Honourary Uncle, I suppose!

It was the first trip this year where I had nothing to complain about: no queues at for the check-in machines (hand luggage only), no flight delays except a few minutes after landing back in Dublin at a gate the airside staff weren’t expecting. I was concened about I might handle the heat but, as I found in France last month, my worries were unfounded. It was a good thing I carried a spare shirt, though – no deodorant would have kept me smelling good by the time I got the plane home, otherwise.

My friends were staying in the five-star Landmark Hotel in Marylebone, while I was at a much less exotic location just around the corner, but I got to hang out in their well-appointed room, and join them for full English breakfasts in the atrium restaurant.

On the last night, the hotel played a part in one of those strange episodes of good luck that make a nice change from the usual. We were up in the hotel bar until 3AM, solving the world’s problems over drinks. Back at my own hotel, meanwhile, the faulty fire alarm was waking up the guests, and I was spared the indignity of being one of the woozy, half-dressed unfortunates I encountered as I breezed in on a wave of Cognac, just in time for the all-clear to be given!

Just to underline how good things are going at the moment: the new Muse album is the best thing I’ve heard all year, and I’ve just taken advantage of their pre-sales codeword to get very good balcony seats at the Point Theatre this coming November. The tickets go on sale to the rest of the crowd tomorrow, but I got mine, oh yes.

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Written by brian t

July 21, 2006 at 12:06 am

Posted in london, music, travel

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