the smartest guy in the room

'Twas early up and out this morning to get to the station to catch the train to get to the Cambridge to go to the barbecue, gig and 17-day early birthday party of Chris (above), physicist/mathematician/nanotechnologist, keyboard player in uni-band and general hyper-intelligent jovial beardy gentleman (now with More Hair).

I should have maybe researched the location of shops in which case I would have found out that there was a little co-op less than one hundred metres from his house and would not have had to carry a bagful of beer and meat across the town on an extremely hot and sunny day. From the minute I stepped off the train I started sweating profusely, a condition not improved by the station's cunning design whereby the roof is partially made from heat-retaining corrugated perspex. I managed to stick in the shade whilst I found some sandwich and coffee but still almost burnt my forehead in the time it took to walk a couple of times around the town centre looking for a meat-shop. I expect it was a normal summer's day for them down there but it's way hotter than the hottest day so far this year in Edinburgh and I was thankful for my hat on the walk to Chesterton.

No-one else from uni had turned up so I ended up speaking to people I didn't know which is always nice when I manage it although I find myself doing unnatural things such as over-using verbal inverted commas and speaking far too quickly. Everyone was very plesaant, no-one was excessively drunk and it stayed nice and sunny but just breezy enough for the rest of the evening. After a while the band struck up and I had to up the ISO and start finding surfaces upon which to steady the camera. As bands go they're fairly listenable; It's just slightly offputting that the singer not only sounds like David Gray but also appears to have adopted or independently evolved a similar head-wobble to go with his roll-eyes-upwards and tuck-two-fingers-under-the-microphone shtick. I've never been into deliberate outward signs of Getting Into It (be they bicycle-pump-motion strumming, head-bangs or Affected Vocalist Contortion) but I suppose if it works for you then there's no harm in it. Anyway, the band's website announces that they are on the internet wireless this evening (Monday 6th) at 9pm.

I was fully expecting to have to stay awake until the early-middle hours or indeed go without sleep but most people had drifted away by one-ish. There was then a short period of cleaning away the majority of the bottles and cans whilst Chris snored on the sofa followed by a shorter period of looking at old cartoons via the internet. Unfortunately they didn't have any Bagpuss so other people were unable to appreciate how sinister it seems when watched as an adult; I reckon it's all down to the timing - nowadays there are hardly any gaps even to draw breath in a children's cartoon but they used to be full off odd pauses and the occasional silence between the breathy narration.

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