This time next week, I will have had my birthday and I will be another year nearer to my half-century. It’s odd, as when I was a teenager, 50 seemed so old, but now that I am (rapidly) approaching it, it doesn’t seem that old.
However, although my birthday is this week, my birthday present, which I mentioned in my last entry, was last week. Emma and I were both off on Friday, so at lunchtime we made our way up to London and to the hotel that we had booked into. The St Paul’s Hotel is on Hammersmith Road and despite its location so close to a busy road, once you are inside, you could be miles from the city.
The building itself is Grade II listed and is quite historic having been a school, attended by, among others, Field Marshall Bernard Montgomery. Needless to say it was both very nice and very comfortable.
We had decided to have an easy dinner, so we made or way further down the Hammersmith Road to Olympia and to the Pizza Express. Then we jumped in a taxi and made our way to the Hammersmith Apollo, arriving about thirty minutes prior to Billy getting on stage.
I had last seen Billy Connolly when he performed his Jock’s Rap Tour. I thought that this was in about 1986, but having googled it, it appears that it would have been 1982 or 1983! He was hilarious and I ached for several days afterwards, I’d laughed so much. He was also a very energetic performer, although nowhere near as energetic as Lee Evans, leaping all over the stage.
So on Friday it was quite sad to see Billy walk onto the stage at dead on 8pm. It was very obvious that he has Parkinson’s disease, or as he said ‘I have Parkinson’s disease, although I wish the fucker had kept it to himself’, as he had the classic Parkinsonian gait. However, that said, although his body is not in the best shape, his mind clearly is. When he left the stage two hours later, I for one had laughed so hard on occasions that, like when playing Cards Against Humanity, I thought that my eyeballs would pop out. Emma and I then strolled slowly back to the hotel, which took about 15 minutes.
The following morning, we were awake bright and early and after a very enjoyable Continental breakfast, we headed back to Hammersmith and jumped on a tube to Bond Street. The reason for this trip was that I had bought Emma a bracelet from Tiffany’s for Christmas, but had got the measurement wrong and it was too small, so needed exchanging for one the correct size.
After the exchange had been done, we then headed up into Oxford Street and to the Pandora store that is there, where Emma was able to get another charm for the charm bracelet that’s she’s had for some time.
And then it all went downhill. We jumped back on the tube at Marble Arch and made our way to Ravenscourt Park where we met up with an old school friend of mine, Tony, and his better half, Christine. I’d last seen them both when Tony had organised tickets to go and see AC/DC at Wembley in July of last year. The idea was that we would meet up for lunch and a couple of drinks prior to Emma and I making our way home.
Tony and Christine took us to their local, the Cross Keys where we had a very pleasant lunch followed by more pints and prosecco than we had intended, with Emma and I having a very enjoyable afternoon/evening and not leaving until nearly 7pm.
Sunday was just chilled, although we did take Alf (Emma’s dog) out for a good walk, but it prepared us for the return to the routine of work today. Although, as my birthday is Friday, both Emma and I have taken annual leave and so we’re only working a four day week this week, with another three-day weekend at the end. Hurrah!