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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
A difference of a few days

Since my last update I have done the following:
* See three one-act musicals
* Get offered a new job and accept it
* Look at a place at the fabulous location of Belsize Park.

So a lot has happened. One of the pluses of where the office has moved to is that it is practically just across the river from The Bridewell Theatre. It is fringe theatre but nowadays since what passes for shows on the West End have become so bland fringe theatre seems so darn entertaining. Last night's show was "Notes Across a Small Pond" - the pond being the Atlantic and the notes being 3 short musicals from writers from both sides of it.

Settling down to the first musical called "Blood Drive" it was a pointless but watchable musical about a guy giving blood. The second musical called "The Happiness of Fish" was a perplexing tale about a woman with insomnia who feels better after dreaming about goldfish. At this point there was an intermission. I was beginning to think if this was fresh new musical theatre then we were all in trouble. Neither really made sense and they weren't terribly good. The stories didn't make sense or they tried to be too many things. But after intermission there was the longest musical of the night: "Re:Love". It was a mix of jazz and blues sung a capella and told the story of various relationships between the cast of characters. It wasn't really a musical but more a piece of music theatre. It was great stuff. A pity they didn't have a recording available... But they are sure to one day.

The cast were great (and particularly pleasing on the eye) and they had loads of talent and energy throughout the night. Just as well they included the third piece however as the first two didn't really show off their talents.

This morning after getting my usual coffee (well it has been usual since Tuesday) at Blackfriars Tube and walking across Blackfriars Bridge to work I noticed upon my arrival that a sign had been put up in the office kitchen. It was basically telling people to shut up when they were in the kitchen. Whatever z-grade office designer they hired to fit out the floor, the kitchen was meant to be a "networking hub". It has bar stools and tables for this to happen and brick glass on one side to make it its own space. In reality the effect makes you feel you have stepped into some hideous bar complete with pale wooden floor panels (already marked before we even moved in) and nauseating pastel colours. It also means that it is a very noisy area where even quiet walking echoes and booms throughout the floor. So it didn't take very long for those with desks nearest to the kitchen to get the shits with it and the note was their eloquent way of expressing it.

But the note in the kitchen to me highlighted what a pack of assholes I was working with. They were probably the same assholes who signed off on the shitty office design in the first place. I guess we have all worked with assholes before, but when you are on vacation like I am, you have to limit your exposure to them.

And it highlighted that all this week the new office just hasn't been doing it for me. It has great views, but you have to share it with assholes who have no taste. The area is a sterile part of London as well. The building I work in comprises mostly of white bureaucrats with pink skin and dandruff. I could have been in Brisbane if it wasn't for the smarter coats.

I missed the hobos the mess, the piss and the squalor. It was chaotic but it had character. So it was rather fortuitous that a job agency rang me yesterday about a position in South London. I had the interview today at lunchtime and was offered the job by 3pm. I accepted it as it will get me through winter... and with more pay. It was my third interview here and the feedback was I came across darn good so the ego was well inflated for the rest of the day. I start the new job on November 17...

Tonight it was raining. Real London weather has finally come. But I had agreed to check out a place at Belsize Park on the Northern Line so north I went with umbrella in hand to check it out. The Northern Line was finally re-opened after the derailment of two weekends ago so I didn't have to get a bus to get there and the house was close to the tube. The place wasn't as clean or as beige as where I am now, but it was in a great location full of sensible tapas bars and other good establishments. Not sure if I will get it as they want somebody to move in now and not two weeks from now... But I did put in a darn strong showing as a contender for the top double room with its own bathroom...

After all that excitement of the day, I caught a bus to the O2 Shopping Centre at Finchley Road to meet up with Skye and have Nandos Chicken - a cheap but popular restaurant chain in London where you get grilled chicken. I had resisted eating at this chain for so long because its faux-Spanish motifs that I thought looked silly... But hey it does taste good and not bad value for £10... Maybe image isn't everything...

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