Tuesday was a funny old day.

After leaving work I had a mad dash for the train, only for it to be announced, as I sat down, that there were long delays into London. While the train sat at the station not moving for about 20 minutes I spent most of the time trying to put a money spider somewhere safe. I’d remove him from the book I was reading, and place him by the window, only for him to appear on my hand (and not the one I’d used to move him). Again I’d put him somewhere safe, only to spot the pesky arachnid minutes later on my notebook. And so on, over and over. Finally I decided that there was more than one spider, at which point he/they stopped appearing. Very odd.

Eventually we were off on a slow High Speed Train journey to London, which only sped up after we passed the station where “a person had been in contact with a train”. There were coppers on the platform holding thick, yellow plastic bags of I hate to think what.

After battling through the slack-jawed crowd held up by delays I made it to the Tube and was soon emerging into the madness that was Oxford circus. It was barely spitting with rain and yet everybody seemed to have an umbrella up, making movement little more than incremental. I dodged across the road away from the stationary pedestrians and headed for the rendezvous with my mate Sam the Illustrator. He works close by and had already sneaked a pint down while I was delayed.

The reason for the trip was the book launch of On Nature by those groovy Caught By The River people

As the event wasn’t due to start for half an hour we went to a nearby pub for a beer. Sam had been looking at the CBTR website and was waxing lyrical about the book’s cover and also a book of his own that might be in the offing.

We moved on to the venue, but apart from a poster, there was little indication anything was going on. Over a pint we chatted about the CBTR website, which to any eavesdroppers probably sounded like me trying to bore Sam about fishing and him trying to do the same to me about Gene Clark.

There were quite a few people drifting in and out of the bar without buying a drink including one red-faced, scowly looking bloke, who had the air of someone looking for his wife’s missing cat, whilst secretly wishing it was dead. He gave me a “look” – perhaps cos I was laughing at him.

“You know,” I said to Sam, “I reckon this thing’s been cancelled.”

“What makes you say that?”

“Well the barman has just told that woman that it’s been called off.”

We debated having another pint but given the rail chaos it made sense to strike out for home. Luckily the mayhem was in the final stages of clearing and we got back in good time, managing to squeeze a couple more beers in on the way.

It was an amusing enough way to spend a few hours, but it was a pretty expensive way to have a couple of pints. Perhaps that money spider had been trying to tell me something.

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