DISCLAIMER: Yeah, I get it...Roaming Gnome...NOT exactly an original idea. But this is no ordinary, run of the mill, garden variety Gnome. He's my TORCHWOOD Gnome. If you care to know why, read the two previous entries.
Christmas Eve! We slept in a bit, so no time for breakfast because we wanted to hit the shops in Camden for some last minute shopping before our matinee date with Daniel Boys and some cheeky muppets. We got there a little before the shops were open, so we walked a bit further down Camden High Street to see what was what. Ended up going just past the Stables and then walking back through to see what shops might be opening. Rach was searching for a monocle for one of her friends, but at one very eclectic shop we were told that monacles are rare collectors items. Go figure. Oh well...back to square one. Venturing further into the depths of the Stables be walked past a metal door half way up, not yet open, with some intriguing looking mannequins in silver metallic pants jutting out from beneath. Rach bent down to get a looksee as to what else was in the shop...that was it...we were Goners...CYBERDOG, the Disneyland of unique clothing stores.
Since they weren't quite open, we decided to get a bite to eat around the corner at a small, unassuming, outdoor sandwich/coffee stall, and it turned out to be one of the tastiest meals we'd had on the trip. Ham and cheese and veggie paninis...yum. We sat eating...and freezing, at a picnic table in front of the stall, that also happened to be right in front of some construction...Construction of a new entrance to the CYBERDOG store. Can't wait to go back and see it when it's finished!
Anyway...the store finally opens and we enter, wide eyed and thinking ahead to buying another suitcase for the trip home. Just in the first room, Rach found some really menacing looking metal goggles for her boyfriend and an eyepatch/goggley thing... a 21st century monocle. Done. There were glowing corsetts and battery operated light up shirts, pants designed to look like circuit boards...all very techno and all VERY cool. Luckily, I don't have to rely on my pathetic memory...there's a website: http://www.cyberdog.net/cybershop/pages/home.php
Needless to say, we didn't leave empty-handed.
Happy to have gotten the bulk of the Christmas gifts done, we walked back down the other side of the street past the Camden Markets again, remembering we'd seen some MIGHTY BOOSH t-shirts there yesterday. I'd known about the show for a while, but Rach only knew of Noel Fielding from Never Mind the Buzzcocks, and had never seen Boosh until last night on BBC3.
Just a taste of BOOSH: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QzTGNIiidbI
Anyway...HOOKED! So we added a NOEL ROCKS and a MIGHTY BOOSH shirt to our suitcase stuffing collection and continued down the street to the Camden Town tube station...off to Covent Garden.
More shopping...We picked up a couple of hand-painted silk ties for Mark and a couple of steaming mulled wines to warm up our hands...Have I mentioned it's COLD? Gloves, scarves and four layers of clothing cold. We walked about a bit more and then headed toward the Noel Coward, deciding to stop at the Angel and Crown on St. Martin's Street across from the theatre, for a bite to eat. I know it seems stupid, but in all the times we'd been in London over the years, this was the very first time we'd ordered Fish and Chips. It was a small upstairs room with a warm atmosphere, good food, and we were so happy just to sit in a warm place and relax. Lovely.
Over to the theatre as soon as we saw the doors open. Had to have the full color program and the T-shirt of course and then went to our seats. Fourth row dead center. (Profound gratitude again to the ladies at the Churchill theatre desk.) Perfect. Extremely clever, fast paced show. Extraordinarily talented cast, particularly Julie Atherton, often having to voice two characters in the same scene, at the same time operating one of them. Amazing! Then, Mark Goldthorp as Nickey...and Trekkie Monster...HILARIOUS! And Daniel...What a beautiful voice! Again, having to act a few very different characters, sometimes in the same scene. It has to take monumental concentration to pull off what these very talented folks achieved. I was in awe.
At the interval we got the obligatory ice cream and Rach said she wasn't feeling well, so we couldn't stay to see Daniel at the stage door. Darn. I had John's CD Music x3 with me, and since I adore the duet, "I Know Him So Well" I thought I'd ask Daniel to sign it, alas... (Perhaps John will bring him over for TorchSong? Maybe. Possibly. Well, an old lady can wish.) ;-)
John and Daniel Duet: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9F_j3yHhYEo
Back to the hotel. Rach spent the rest of the evening checking her myspace while I ventured out to the local Sainsbury's to gather some drinks and snacks. Oxford Street was still bustling with holiday shoppers and the market was jam packed with people buying last minute goodies for their Christmas dinners. It was invigorating, which felt great after several days of not enough sleep.
Back to the hotel and early to bed...we thought...but then The Mighty Boosh came on. Late to bed. Tomorrow we move to the Marriott County Hall...and, oh yeah....It'll be CHRISTMAS!
Time for pictures....
And then....THE COOLEST STORE....
(No pictures were allowed inside...DAMN!)
Back to Covent Garden...
Oh yeah...a couple of the hotel that I forgot...