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McDonalds 1, anarchist demonstrators 0

McDonalds 1, anarchist demonstrators 0

So, Hyperham and I were watching the news reports about yesterday’s violence by some anti-capitalist demonstrators in Central London yesterday. Up flashed an image of a McDonalds being attacked.

The next thing you know, HyperHam has a sudden craving for McDonalds, and if it wasn’t the fact she had a baby strapped to her bosom (and she maintains that the taste of British McDonalds’ meat is sufficiently different to American McDonalds’ meat as to make it inedible), she’d probably have gotten up and biked over to our nearest McDonalds to get a burger.

My wife lies to me!

My wife lies to me!

A few weeks ago, my lovely pregnant wife tells me that she and MissH volunteered to be part of an amateur production of The Vagina Monologues. I believed her.

She said she’d volunteered me to operate the lights for the performance, which meant an all-day tech rehearsal on the Friday for which I’d have to take a day off. I wondered why it’d take 10 hours of rehearsal to operate a light, but I believed her.

She said the rehearsals would be on weekday evenings for a week, so she’d be away for four evenings. I wondered why they wouldn’t be in the afternoon, but I believed her.

She said the rehearsals were in a different pub (near Euston) to the pub where the performance was (in Victoria). I wondered why, but I believed her.

She came home one night with some shopping from Sainsburys. I pondered why I’d never seen a Sainsburys near Euston, but I believed her.

MissH came to stay overnight, because the rehearsals were starting early at 9am. I pondered why, but I believed them.

Apparently, we had to get up early because we were going to drive into town for the rehearsals. I pondered why, but I believed them.

We woke up at the crack of dawn, and my lovely wife and MissH were unduly concerned that I get in the shower quickly. I pondered why, but I believed them.

We got ready to leave the house, and just when I left the house, I realised that my lovely wife hadn’t put her shoes on at all. I pondered why, just when the door slammed in my face and it was revealed that MissH was taking me somewhere random for a lovely weekend. (It later turned out to be a fabulous weekend of muchos drinking and gallivating around Stockholm!)

Now she tells me that she’s joining in NaNoWriMo, which means she’s going to a pub in Camden tonight. I don’t believe her, wonder what’s next in store and am starting to realise that I should never have married an actress … If anyone should find this message…

Friends and family – thank you for coming to our wedding!

Friends and family – thank you for coming to our wedding!

Thank you all so much for coming, sharing our happy day, your good wishes and making it the best day of our lives! Formal thank you cards will be going out in the post soon, I promise!

Particular thanks go to our friends and family, Heledd Davies, Sarenne Kolesch, Barry, Kate Henderson, Geoff Marshall, Venus Speedwell and Zoe de Ville. And of course, to my wife. 😀

If you’ve taken any photographs or videos, we’d love to see them – please let me know!

Our wedding day with a difference...
Photo taken by Kate Henderson – thank you!

Video by Geoff Marshall – thank you!

I am *exhausted*…

I am *exhausted*…


Ever since Hyperham moved in, life has pretty much been a non-stop whirlwind of relaxing on the sofa watching Dave, running around London, trash-talking each other and endlessly re-arranging stuff in the flat without actually deciding on anything. And tripping over socks and cables. It hasn’t helped that we’re also in the midst of some redesign projects at work, and I’ve volunteered for more late nights elsewhere (exciting details to come later!)

and I am *exhausted*. Sleep has never come so easily in my life before – hell, some nights, we’re in bed snoring away by 10pm. Especially at weekends. Which has severely cut into my social media time… Yet, people keep commenting that I look healthy and happy. Which sounds rather bizarre to me, because I’m usually looking at them with weary lidded eyes.

This week alone, we’ve got two guests from overseas to entertain, a cinema screening with free whisky, a leaving do and a long night ahead for this week. Oy vey.

And yet, I must also show Hyperham the glory that is the United Kingdom, especially now that Spring has arrived.

Now the rest of my life can begin…

Now the rest of my life can begin…

Me and HyperHambecause HyperHam has finally gotten permission from the glorious British government to pop over and live with me in my West London palace for a very very long time.

After all the stressing of getting documents together for proof and all that, it did seem like a relatively easy process. Just the nail-biting wait – and we paid an extra $100 for an expediter to get an express service too.

Still, now I have three or so weeks to turn my bachelor West London pad into a place permanently fit for a Queen. so that means out with the old rotting food and the decade-old mattress, and in with a new one. Although she likes it soft and I like it hard (fnarr fnarr) so I guess this means we’ll have to compromise!

What else do I need, besides lots of new coathangers and Lush soaps?

Americans! Spend your Christmas money here!

Americans! Spend your Christmas money here!

Fancy spending some of that Christmas money on lovingly kept books and DVDs on a wide range of topics (from Neil Gaiman to Shakespeare and Superman), and other stuff?

Our very own HyperHam has got tons of things on sale, since she’s foolishly decided to move to London and be with me next year. So help her by buying some of her stuff by going to her Amazon shop!

London to Cleveland. In 37 hours.

London to Cleveland. In 37 hours.

The epic voyage of 3727 miles began with a short journey from my London flat to Hammersmith tube station at 5am. Where I waited for 30 minutes having failed to realise that the first tube to leave for Heathrow Airport wouldn’t do so till 5.30am.

T+1: Finally at Heathrow, the first long queue was to check-in, but there was a brief excitement as they said they were looking for volunteers to deplane the flight (in return for a US$500 voucher), but alas eventually we weren’t needed so two hours later, off into the skies we go.

T+10: Seven hours later, the plane touched down at JFK airport in New York at around 12pm New York time. I was expecting a long queue and harried, bored, angry immigration officials but for some reason the queues were relatively short and I got a nice Lopez-esque immigration officer, who even handled my gentle queries as to why I’d been asked to fill in an ESTA form online a week before I left (as all UK citizens who want to go to America have to do), only to also have to answer the same questions (eg have I ever been a Nazi?) on the traditional I-94W visa waiver form and hand it over to her in person.

T+10.5: Pick up my suitcase, hurl it past Customs, and then dump it to be re-baggaged. Where they tell me that my next flight to Cleveland has been cancelled, so I’ll have to go via Chicago. And that flight leaves in seven hours. Well, at least it gives me plenty of time at JFK Airport… which turns out to be relatively dull. No central shopping/food court area (as far as I can see) – instead all the shops are dotted between the various gates. I manage to secure a table for two hours at a cool bistro, but once I leave, I have to leave so I spend a while wandering between the gates.

In the meantime, I persuade my lovely assistant (in real life my friend Miss Hob Nobs) to call American Airlines on my behalf to try and find another flight out, only to find that planes have been grounded all day in New York, Chicago and Cleveland thanks to lightning in New York and storms in Chicago and Cleveland, and no planes are heading out in that direction just yet. Darn.

T+15.5: It’s 5.30pm New York time, so I go to the gate where the flight to Chicago is meant to leave, only to find the flight departure has now been delayed to 8pm. I talk to the lovely airline lady on the counter, and discover that the plane that was meant to leave Chicago to be our plane back to Chicago hasn’t even left yet.

So I sit at the gate, and generally end up talking to a bunch of St. Louis-bound teenagers, a Japanese-American grandmother from Memphis who’s just come back from two weeks in Europe, a woman with two small children who has been travelling from Pakistan to London to New York for the last two days, and a Hilary Clinton lookalike. There’s nothing like being trapped in an airport to get people doing small talk, but I note each conversation manages to last 30 minutes before people drift off bored. Must figure out an easy exit strategy for small talk conversations sometime.

T+18: It’s now 8pm New York time. The flight that was supposed to leave at 5.35pm, then 7pm, then 8pm, is now scheduled to leave at 9pm. The plane itself still hasn’t left Chicago.

T+19: An hour later, the flight that was supposed to leave at 5.35pm, then 7pm, then 8pm, then 9pm is now scheduled to leave at 10pm. The plane itself still hasn’t left Chicago.

T+20: It’s now 10pm in New York, and all the other shops at the airport are slowly closing up. The flight that was supposed to leave at 5.35pm, then 7pm, then 8pm, then 9pm, then 10pm now has a scheduled arrival time of 12.30am. But the plane hasn’t left Chicago yet.

T+20.5: The plane has finally left Chicago. Hurrah!

T+22: It’s midnight by the time the plane arrives at New York, and we all shuffle to get on board. Luckily, I find I have a first-class seat for once in my life. Unluckily, I’m so tired that I can barely keep my eyes open – but I do find time to chat to my single-serving friend who looks like a very smart business-class executive who has been travelling first class all her life. She turns out to fly around the world, sourcing new textiles and designs that she then sells to Bed, Bath and Beyond – but lives in Idaho. I think. Then I fall asleep.

T+25: We touch down in Chicago at 2am Chicago time, 3am New York time, and 7am London time. The next flight to Cleveland isn’t till 11am, so if I want to find a bed for the night, I’ll have to pay for it (since the delays were apparently caused by the weather). Fortunately, I am given a coupon that gives me a bed for $70. Unfortunately, nothing for food or water. Fortunately, I did steal a biscuit earlier.

T+26: There’s nothing like three sleep-addled strangers trying to find a bus to a hotel at 2.30am Chicago time to guarantee inefficiency. We walk around in circles, up and down until we eventually find the hotel shuttle, and slump into our rooms. Which are spacious, ostentatious and gorgeous – but have no toothbrushes.

T+31: Five hours later (8am Chicago time), I’m up, check out of the hotel (well, dump my keycard at reception) and head for the airport.

T+34: Finally, I get to board a plane for Cleveland, at 11am Chicago time.

T+36: At 12pm Cleveland time, I arrive and am warmly greeted by HyperHam. But my suitcase hasn’t arrived, it would seem.

T+37: We’re still at the airport, trying to find my suitcase. It turns out that after I left it at JFK in New York, it got sent to San Diego. As suitcases do. I don’t pick it up again for another 24 hours. But at least I pick it up!

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