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Christmas Mysteries: A Sherlock Carol @MaryleboneTHLDN

A mash-up of Charles Dickens's A Christmas Carol and Arthur Conan Doyle's Sherlock Holmes would seem an unlikely pairing. Yet it provides a surprisingly fun Christmas-themed adventure. These two Victorian tales (albeit separated by about 40 years) provide the basis for an inspired adventure at Christmastime that just also happens to turn out to be a murder mystery as well. With lavish costumes, a few spooky set pieces and some good old-fashioned stage trickery with lights and a lot of smoke machines, it is hard to resist. It returns to the Marylebone Theatre for Christmas after a run there last year.  The premise is that after Holmes sees off the criminal mastermind Professor Moriarty, he is left adrift in London. People thought he was dead, and he might as well be. Disinterested in the misdeeds of other Londoners, Holmes has even given up on his friend Dr Watson. It's almost as if he has become a Scrooge. Or half a Scrooge, moping about shouting, "bah" in respon
My first working week...

My first working week ended with a whimper with the headache thing... But I had Friday off to do more of the job search thing. That bought about some more promising leads so I am optimistic there. But if all else fails... temping... while it doesn't pay so well... can cover the bills for the time being...

After meeting some ex colleagues at the airport I caught my first London cab.

As a bit of an aside, cabs like many things in London are such a scam here. While they are obliged to pick up people and take them where they want to go, when it is late at night the situation is different. Cabs will often not pick people up to take them home if they live on the opposite side of town to where they want to go. This has led to a proliferation of mini-cabs - both licensed and unlicensed - to fill the gap. It is an unfortunate problem that the unlicensed mini-cab drivers have been known to rape women trying to get home. But in a typical London response nobody wants to do anything about it as taking unlicensed mini-cabs off the street would mean a huge gap in providing transport for people to get home.

In this case a cab from Heathrow wasn't such a big deal, and I wasn't paying for it so I rode backwards and kept gawking out all the windows at the scenery and the other drivers. I have made a mental note that overly tanned mid-forties women tend to drive Merc convertabiles.

What to do on the Bank Holiday Long Weekend
It is the Bank Holliday weekend. The trains are late, the city is crowded, and the Notting Hill fair is happening but this is what I did today:

* Went for breakfast at Polly's at Hampstead Heath with Skye. It was a lovely tea house and it was decked out with old English wooden advertising that I knew Nurse would have been so excited about had he had been there. Apart from marvelling at the quality decor the breakfast wasn't too bad for the price. Spent another few hours in the heath reading the newspapers and enjoying the quiet (all except for a fun fair that was going on in the background).
* Rescued Skye's mobile phone. In a moment of insanity Skye dropped her phone into what you could say was once the garden of a basement appartment. Alas there were no stairs from the street to get to it. After a quick chat to a neighbour who told us he had neither a ladder nor a rope (and he wasn't warming to my suggestion about knotted bedsheets) I decided that it wasn't all that deep to jump down (or rather delicately CLIMB down) and fetch it. A few grazed knees and a broken plastic case was all that happened. So it was all good!

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