Monday, 2 November 2009

Home at Last!

I'm so happy to be back to my lovely home in London! And very happy to be re-united with my cat who is expertly using psychological extortion to get as much tuna from me as she can possibly eat, because she knows I feel guilty for leaving her at the cattery for a month. I arrived on Saturday but still feeling jet-lagged. Despite that I have been very productive - I couldn't wait to get on with things! It was very nice to see my grandparents and other relatives in Russia. I nearly got into a very embarrassing situation as my granddad nearly beat me at chess. He's almost 80 years old and always very keen to play when I come to visit. At the end I managed to win but had to think very hard for it!

Last night I went out with my friend Laura to the Green Day gig at the Wembley Arena. It wasn't appreciated that Transport for London decided to close down all tube routes to the Wembley Arena for engineering works, but hey - I'm not as easily confused as a tourist! The gig itself was just amazing, one of the best gigs I've ever seen! Billie Joe Armstrong doesn't just sing great live, he entertains the audience all the time as well. And they did that for over 2.5 hours without a break - so that must have been the longest indoor live performance I've seen by a band. I wonder what these guys are on and if it's legal ;) The sound quality was brilliant as you'd expect in the Wembley Arena. The only slight disappointment I had was that I felt the music wasn't loud enough for me because the seats were at the back of the Arena. Although, that was probably a good thing for my ears. I should have got closer and more expensive seats, as this gig was worth two gigs of any other band. Actually, seats were pretty useless this time as I ended up standing pretty much throughout the gig. I was also a bit surprised to see a little girl on the seat next to me, she was about 10-12 years old. Billie Joe certainly gave her an alternative English lesson which demonstrated that a certain four letter word should be used no less than 3 times in every sentence! As I was writing this I got an e-mail advertising that Green Day will have a Wembley Stadium gig in June. Should I get the tickets or shouldn't I? What if I end up going to some chess tournament at the same time? Hmmm... I think if you haven't been to a good live gig - you haven't lived! It's so much better than listening to the music at home!

Back to chess. My next game is for Hackney in the London league on Wednesday. I always have a quick dinner with Simon Ansell beforehand, so it would be good to catch up on the news from the 4NCL. And our Hackney captain Bob Eames is bringing me some useful chess books from his very extensive library, since I decided to learn a new opening. Not telling you which one :) Maybe I'll manage to surprise someone with it!

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