Wednesday, December 22, 2004

I'm back. And in great spirits and full of Christmas cheer.

London was awesome. Its still one of my favorite cities in the world. Flew out Friday night, arrived 7:30 a.m. in London. Stayed at the London Hilton at Euston, one block from the station, very convenient, very comfy hotel.

I went for three primary purposes, The Pogues, Charles Dickens and the British Museum.
The signs were eerie from the start.

The first song to come on the MUZAK on the plane before takeoff was a cover version of the Pogues' "Fairytale of New York." The hotel was across the street from a later Dickens home called Tavistock House (no longer there).

I spent the equivalent of an entire day of over two days in the British Museum. In my opinion it is still the BEST antiquities museum in the world. The Egyptian/Sudan, Roman and Greek collections are unsurpassed in their beauty, completeness, presentation and documentation anywhere in the world.

I also found a great row of antiquities shops across the way and added a 55 A.D. Claudian Silver Coin to my collection. Another strange sign, their newsletter was called THE PHOENIX.

I went to the Dickens House and Museum and had a great study session with some people there. I also and took a Dickens walking tour. Also visited St. Pauls, Westminster and the Victoria and Albert.

THE POGUES show was absolutely amazing. Shane looked, sounded and acted great. He was on top of his game and it was amazing to see the entire original band together again. Of course I was up front in the pit dancing, bouncing, jumping and singing. I met some great people who flew in from all over Europe for the show and we had a great night out after the show.

A highlight was original bass player (and wife of Elvis Costello) Cait O'Riordan singing the duet on "Fairytale of New York" for the penultimate song.

A great weekend. I am so glad I made the impulsive move to go only two weeks back from Italy.