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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
The week that was...
Today I enjoyed sleeping in. It was well worth it after working up to 10 hours a day in an office that was a little bit precious. Politics and office politics combined this week to set the grounds for an office turf war that may not be worth hanging about to see result for. Working for an office where arselicking of incompetent ministers and their flunkies is de rigeur... I could do that back home!

It doesn't matter. I took a call from a job placement agency who have a few things they want to put my name forward for so I will be following those up next week.

In a box near Whitehall
As it was announced this week that Tony Blair overrode his own security intelligence advice in going to war against Iraq, the whole boring affair was being overshaddowed by American pseudo-magician David Blaine being suspended in a box nearby. While many Londoner's are asking "why the hell doesn't he do his annoying stunts in his own country?", the punters are flocking to see him anyway. It really is just another variation on people watching. I intend to go later today!

£15,000 to have their baby
More bizarre news this week was the Asian couple who set up an internet site offering £15,000 for a woman to be a surrogate mother. In the UK, there is no distinction between Asia and the Indian sub-continent like there is in Australia so that is why they are Asian (which can get very confusing here) but I digress...

Watching this news item this week with my flatmates we were fascinated at how this two ever got together. He was a bit of a looker and said nothing and she wouldn't shut up and looked like hell. We concluded that conception was doomed to fail as either he was gay or that she was just psycho woman.

Friday night drinks
Friday night I caught up with Yvette and we went to a sensible English pub called The Cock just because for some reason we liked it. It must have been the large sign outside with the big bantam on it. Anyway inside it was pretty average. We were both in the mood for a chardonnay but the woman behind the bar told us in her thick accent from some Eurotrash country that only dry white wine was available. Riiiiiiiight I told her and just let her get away with that response.

After having our dry white wine (that wasn't a chardonnay) on the footpath, feeling a little peckish we went to Soho and had japanese at one of the great communal eating places in london. There are several places around the sensible traps of town where you can get a cheap eat (for under £10) and sit at communal tables and get a good feed, and this place was one of them. I went to a similar one that served Belgian food a few weeks back as well. The communal eating is novel and a great way to hear everyone's conversations.

Yvette and I agreed on a few things as well and have drawn up a tip sheet on being in London.
* Don't let anyone get away with lumping you with New Zealanders and South Africans. They are from quasi third world countries compared to Australia. We have nothing in common with them. Even their chocolate bars are different. And reject the Antipodeans label!
* While one has to annunciate words to be understood, at all other times one should be lazy with our vowels because most people here can't write good or talk proper anyway.
* Avoid long-term Australians with their rounded vowels. They try to be sophistimicated and put you down in London but they were more than likely to be the ones back in Australia who didn't use tweezers and grew up on the wrong side of the tracks.

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