-in which your humble narrator spends 2 consecutive evenings attempting to entertain a lot of people who won't remember what they were doing when they were watching him.
Friday 5.30p.m. and after what felt like a particularly long day working in the shop I'm waiting for a tube train. It's been raining and the tracks are wet so the trains aren't running. It's only been a couple of months since it was sunny and the tracks were hot so the trains weren't running- funny old life sometimes eh? Eventually I make it to Victoria station and ask around for directions to the Victoria Park Plaza hotel where the rest of the lads are in the Indian restaurant next door. Not many people speak English, and those who do have never heard of it. After 30-something minutes I find it, all of 250 yards from the station.
After a couple of minutes ranting I calm down for long enough to find out that we're playing at a Formula 4 awards ceremony- should be interesting... after food it's pub time; heroically resisting the charms of The Elusive Camel we end up in the more, shall we say, traditional surroundings of The Lord Burleigh for what feels like a much-deserved drink.
Back at the hotel we ready ourselves for action- no horns tonight so Gary's playing all their parts on keys, something he does remarkably well. After the usual 'you're on in 5 minutes... er, actually they're still eating/presenting awards/watching a video of themselves' stuff we start with 'Green Onions' to the unlikely sight of people dancing- a rare event in corporate-land. It was around this moment that I realised that we were in for a good gig- not least because it seems that where there's up and coming racing drivers there's a healthy supply of extremely good looking young ladies (sorry Shirley if you're reading this!) many of whom are dancing in a rather energetic manner a couple of yards in front of us. Details are necessarily sketchy at this point although both of the young ladies who joined us on stage will stay in my warped mind for quite some time, albeit for very different reasons... as we finished with 'Sweet Home Chicago' the DJ put the first record on (I still call them records don't you?!? Much better than 'discs' or 'tracks' isn't it?) and they all carried on dancing. I wonder how many of them noticed we'd finished?
As I was leaving for the night bus Gary very kindly offered me a lift home. Good man; but it took us over half an hour to find his car. He'd forgotten where the car park was; if it wasn't for the fact that a limousine driver waiting outside the hotel had a map of the area I fear we would still be there looking for it. It was nearly 2 o'clock when I got home- it had indeed been a long day.