If you’re ever in the area

Moro Restaurant

Moro, Exmouth Market, EC1, London
(Closest Tube: Chancery Lane, Central Line + 10 minute walk)

Be sure to indulge yourself in the understated glamour that is Moro. I was there this evening to celebrate my old Suffolk friend Caroline’s “unofficial” birthday. I sat at a table was a former winner of Cardiff Singer of the World, a singer from Glyndebourne, a chap who works at the House of Lords and couple of musicians squashed at the end of the table.

The food was indulgent, the waiter service effecient and the dress code informal enough for me to feel comfortable sitting in a pair of shorts and a t-shirt.

Not only that, but the biggest surprise of all was to be found when I went to go and pay my share of the bill. “Hello Jon!” said a very tall waiter with a firm handshake, “it is Jon, isn’t it?”

It turned out that the person who recognised me was none other than someone I’d been in contact with via another relatively unknown person I’d made contact with … on Facebook.

Be sure to go there. The waiter service is marvellous.

Spare a thought for The One Show

One Show studio

I’m a sucker for live television.

I know it may not seem like a big deal but if I know that I’m watching something as it’s being “done” then I do tend to get a little bit excited regardless of the actual problem. That’s almost certain why I love listening to the Proms, why I nearly had a heart-attack actually attending a Eurovision Song Contest and rather enjoyed watching Blue Peter “go out” a couple of years ago.

The other thing which almost always gets me excited is the prospect of “an occasion”. Tell me that there’ll be some kind of royal event (a death preferrably) and I’ll be glued to the TV screen. I can’t explain it. It just is.

Tonight sees a smallish “ocassion”. It’s the start of a new series on BBC One called “The One Show”. From what I can make out it’s a return to the classic magazine programme 30+ somethings will almost certainly remember, Nationwide. The One Show was “pilotted” during the summer last year and now, finally, it makes its return.

I don’t think I ever watched it and suspect I probably won’t be watching it past tonight (mostly because I don’t normally get home in time), but tonight is different. I wander past the building where it’s broadcast from every single day and having experienced the personal thrill of working on projects where there’s a definite start and end time, I can’t help thinking of everyone who’s working on it. Will they be excited? Will they be worried? Will they all share a collective sigh of relief when the first show is over at 7.30pm?

If you’re in UK and you’re around at 7.00pm show your support by tuning in. I’m sure everyone who works on it will appreciate it.

The One Show, 6.30pm BBC One

Leaving the kid at the nursery

My bike

I didn’t do the usual cycle route. The thought of traffic careering past me in Acre Lane at that fateful spot was sufficient to undermine my previously resolute determination. Instead I followed the quieter route past the Cutty Sark, through the Greenwich Foot Tunnel and past Canary Wharf this morning. I finally emerged in central London around Tower Bridge.

Quite justifiably, London Transport don’t allow people like me to take their bikes on to the tube network. (If I was cycling on a fold-up bike then I would be able to, but really, I do want to preserve what butch-image I have and cycling on a fold-up bike isn’t going to achieve that.) My remaining options were either to pedal the rest of the way from Tower Bridge to White City (it’s an additional 6 miles which would make my total for the day a staggering 24 miles – that isn’t going to happen) or to chain it up somewhere.

Despite having spent £30 only the day before on a second lock for my bike, paranoia still kicked in. I needed to find somewhere where my bike was seen by as many people as possible. Perhaps outside a reputable City company, I thought. In a position like that no opportunist thief is going to entertain the idea of trying to break both bike locks and walk off with my slightly damaged bicycle.

I still felt a little bit of fear. With lorries and buses thundering past and this being a relatively unusual part of London I started to feel a little bit sorry for my bike as though it was a member of the family. I didn’t like the idea of my bike being in an unusual place. I didn’t want it to be on it’s own. I didn’t want it to be intimidated by some thug looking for a thieving opportunity.

I checked the locks four times and then shuffled off in the direction of the tube station, feeling for the first time ever like I had left my non-existent child at the nursery for the day.

Time to dig out my therapist’s telephone number, I think.