Flashback

Toca’s Miracle

There are certain songs that instantly pull you from the present and whisk you off down memory lane in an instant. Toca’s Miracle by Fragma is but one of many that can initiate instant time travel for me, with a memory so vivid that it’s hard to believe the moment it takes me to is nearly 11 years ago at the time of writing. It’s Saturday, March the 4th 2000. The very dawn of the new millennium and my first day in London after flying down to Luton the day before to start a new job on the Monday. Until then, I hadn’t spent any appreciable time in the capital, save for a brief visit when I had been a child. To say it’s an overwhelming city is an understatement to a newcomer. But there I was on Oxford street with Cousin Iain, shortly after emerging from Oxford Circus underground station. It’s like that scene from The Matrix where Morpheous is with Neo in a simulation of the matrix, walking effortlessly through the crowd as Neo negotiates and bumps his way through the oncoming tide of pedestrains. Not that Iain had spent a huge amount of time in the city
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Journal

Five of the best

A couple of weeks back I made it down to The Great British Beer Festival at Earls Court in London for the 5th time running. The usual suspects were present and correct, with Cousin Iain, Nicola, and their friends helping Thursday night along after I’d flown down in the afternoon. Friday was the main event, though, with myself, Iain and Charlie meeting up for a fine breakfast at Cafe Continente in West Kensington, before heading in to Earls Court just after 1pm. Much to our surprise it was already quite busy, but not so much that you had to queue too long at each bar. The bars themselves were differently laid out this year – in alphabetical order instead of the usual regional layout. This was initially confusing, as one of the Cornish breweries (St Austell) was where I remembered Cornwall being in previous years, so it took a while before I realised that they were in alphabetical order. I could wax lyrical about all of the great ales we tasted, but the truth of the matter is that I don’t really remember. Not because we were staggering about in a┬ástupor, but because the day was so packed with good
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Journal

The Great British Beer Festival 2009

On Friday I flew down to London with my brother for my fourth time at The Great British Beer Festival and his first. With myself being low on finances this summer I had decided back in June that I wouldn’t be going this year, but Cousin Iain was kind enough to buy me a return flight, which left me only having to find spending money. The flight to Heathrow and ensuing journey into London went without a hitch, and after meeting up with Cousin Iain and walking to Earls Court, we met my mate Charlie and wasted no time in getting in there for our first half pint of the day. (more…)
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