I know, I know. It says "London Life" at the top of this screen, butI feel I've barely been in London for the past month. Rather, I've been on a whistle stop tour of the British countryside, some for holiday, some for work, all for pleasure. Off to a grouse moor outside Glasgow to bring back a brace of the first birds and have them cooked for me at Cafe Anglais on the Glorious Twelfth (you can read about this and see me in silly tweed plus fours here). Up to Norwich to visit some university friends (a review of the fine Georgian House Hotel will be forthcoming on our travel pages). Down to Ramsgate for the weekend. Up again to Yorkshire for a friend's 50th. Out to Headcorn to go up in a 1933 Gypsy Moth to commemorate the 90th anniversary of the first scheduled passenger flight, taken by an Evening Standard journalist in 1919 (more words, more silly clothes here). Down to St Ives for the weekend (for another forthcoming review of the charming, and magnificently located Pedn-Olva Hotel). Thing is, I really do feel I appreciate London anew when I get back. Especially when we landed in sun-drenched City Airport after leaving drizzle-lashed St Ives. Any carbon-footprint guilt I felt about flying inside the UK was, I admit, quelled by the terrific views of the Thames estuary and the Square Mile on the takeoff and approach to City.
Next week, I'm off for a two week holiday (I know, I know, "as opposed to what" as someone once asked Tara Palmer-Tompkinson when she announced the same thing) but next week you should be able to read my interview with Marc Price, the director of no-budget zombie hit, Colin, accompanied by a cinematic guide to Undead London.
In the meantime, a quick rant. I have been trying to cycle in town whenever possible, in a desperate bid to look more like a human being and less like a wodge of Playdough. ON days when it's not feasible (didn't feel I could turn up to meet Judd Apatow and Adam Sandler gasping and doing an impression of a portable shower unit, or hyperventilate and sweat my way through the sneak preview of the Avatar footage at the Imax), I like to take the bus. I'm a bus bore, a busvangelist. When they work, and when you have the time, buses are brilliant. So why is it that FIVE TIMES recently a bus I have been on has suddenly and without warning terminated ahead of its - and my - destination. The drivers I've asked are at a loss to explain it, and it makes a mockery of the supposed simpleness of the Oyster card. Because you have to get a transfer ticket (I mean, I could pay again, but it's the principle of the thing) and lots of drivers on the next bus don't seem to know what a transfer ticket is, and it wastes time, and generally destroys the calm feeling of wellbeing that a meandering bus journey should instil. And sometimes, it makes you so late, you have to get a taxi. Which defeats the whole egalitarian/conservation purpose of the exercise. Pah!
Back in two weeks...