my birthday party, or company, took place in the glasshouse stores, soho. basically my only stipulation was a central london sam smith's pub, and the glasshouse has the perfectly sized and shaped table for the number of people i was expecting. i got there just after six, and snagged it as soon as the downstairs had opened.
over the next five hours, people wandered in and out, through and round, not to mention any names, and a swell time was had &c, although i had the feeling i couldn't get round everybody.
by the time kicking out time had rolled around, we'd a hardcore contingent of couples - rachel and i, ian and thalia, joel and annie - and wendy, and tommy - and a plan. soho is great. i love it now. we went to a gothy-electro night downstairs in a swiss restaurant, since we figured it would be the most likely place to play 'it's no good', and it was just round the corner. there was a beautiful, cavernous but tiny (a grotto?), stage, with the most ordinary band i've ever heard playing, while a fantasticly lithe woman in a corset professionally gyrated meaninglessly in front of them. i couldn't really bring my self to look at her. about a quarter of the people were done up in gothy wear, the rest were tourists like us. my enduring memory of the night was walking to the toilet when 'master and servant' was being played, the dj who'd played our request for us dancing, dressed in similarly bonded gear, but with cat ears and a tail. it was a good place, and we left at about three. when i got home after spurning rachel - for some reason, i genuinely didn't believe she'd want to stay at mine that night - i spent twenty minutes thinking i'd lost my keys, before finding them in a pocket i'd forgotten existed. i was wearing my nurses uniform with all it's extra pockets.
for my actual birthday, i met dan and rachel in soho again - they'd met at piccadilly circus, luckily, after my attempt at letting rachel know what we were doing was an email at half fiven which she'd recived when she'd given up and gone home. actually, the more i think about the last few weeks, the more i think what an absolutely rubbish boyfriend i am to her. it just gets worse. i fucked up st. valentine's day tragically. anyway, we went to this indonesian place i'd spotted on a cross-street, which served what one indo-reviewer termed 'home-style comfort food'. it was ok. but nethermind. dan heaped a huge amount of presents on top of me, on top of the meal, then went home (it was late and this was after band practice).
the next night, i had a school reunion to attend in clapham common, which i willingly had a good time at. there were people there who i really wanted to see again, and hadn't in the year and a half i've been in london. of course, i had to leave at 8, when most people got there, but catching up with catherine farrell and liz ainsley-smith for an hour was very nice.