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Sunday, April 25, 2004

The trouble with picking six horses is that forty-eight hours later you have to face the person who was willing to risk £2 on your selections, and explain why none of them won. But still, we'll cross that bridge when we come to it. I think I'll pretend I don't speak English.

Anyhoo, yesterday featured ice creams on the Shotley riviera, followed by a visit to the HMS Ganges Museum. Interestingly there were three people manning the desk, and only Lisa and myself in the museum, so I felt it was worth donating a pound just for the staff-to-customer ratio. The museum was fine, but once you've seen one photo of a sailor in a hat, you've seen them all.

From there we went to the Shipwreck, where I was served drinks by the lady who used to serve me at the post office. I can't get away from the woman. I think she's stalking me. We made two drinks last two hours, waited til we were both well and truly sunburnt, then returned home, where I subjected my guest to a Senators medley on the guitar. Her verdict was that I should be playing in pubs, which I think was a compliment. But possibly she just meant that only drunk people would appreciate me.

Refusing the calls for an encore, we headed off instead to The Oyster Reach, where I went on a slightly longer mental journey and avoided ordering oysters. They've refurbished the place since I was last there 9 months ago, so out are the wooden chairs, and in go the cosy booths and spicy sauces. I approve. But I regret opting for the mild spice on my steak. They don't know the meaning of the word.

With precision timing, we left the restaurant at 7:36pm, safe in the knowledge that we had tickets for the theatre a couple of miles away at 7:45pm. No sweat. And I was in the mood for a sprint from the underground car park anyway. We saw 'The Straits' by Gregory Burke, which featured yet another great set on the Wolsey stage. The whole play was performed on a high sloping quayside, with very imaginative scene and costume changes. I was very impressed. Particularly with the Sex Pistols dance routine. It was an excellent production, but yet again I was encouraged by the feeling that it was nothing I couldn't have written myself.

The play was followed by 90 minutes in the theatre bar, where we were very quickly outnumbered again by staff members, who probably hated us for not allowing them to close up early. I endured an hour long badgering about the worth of 'Internet Cafe', and was forced to agree to consider sending it out somewhere. I'm very easily manipulated.

From there it was back home for Pringles and tea, and a lot of deep intellectual discussion on the sofa. Which isn't a euphemism.