A Day Out in London!


Peter Gorton and Fish

First Published in October 2010

Last Sunday I was asked to travel to London by Peter Gorton, brilliant chef, lousy driver, to the Masterchef dinner at The Sheraton. Up Sunday and back Monday, what could be easier? Thankfully we agreed to go by train as due to his current motoring ASBO he is not allowed to leave the county by road. It was all planned to the last minute, lazy breakfast at 10.30am, pack 11.15am and then a lift by a kindly friend, Mother Theresa of Bolton for the 13.00 London Paddington. However at 10.32am Pablo the psychopath Siamese we live with hopped in with a broken leg! All hell broke loose and considering he was partially disabled, the cat still managed to break free from my grip and turn the bedroom into a scene from a John Wayne film fight sequence. Finally I had him cornered in the bathroom and closing all doors we stared each other down as I slowly manoeuvred the cat basket into position. Suddenly from outside the bog door came the voice of the enemy, the good lady wife.

‘Would you like a bit of sausage?’

‘No thanks, love. I’m try to catch the cat……Oh you mean the cat don’t you?’

I took time to reflect on the situation. Why sausage? I know she was trying to help but why stop and make him sausage? And how the hell was she going to get a bit of sausage to the cat under the door anyway? If she had cooked him a pizza then fare enough, as long as it wasn’t deep pan!

Any road, after another fifteen minutes and six stitches, Pablo was in the basket and Mother Theresa of Bolton had been diverted to the vets.

This was an omen for the journey ahead. Gorton took twenty minutes to find his tickets and I soon discovered than I had forgotten my blood pressure pills. I needn’t have worried however as the wounds from the cat were flowing nicely and keeping things in balance.

As we sailed through Tiverton Parkway I thought I saw my old friend Simon Bates ex of Radio One standing on the platform. As we reversed back into Tiverton Parkway, I was right; his familiar face slid past the window….again! Back into Tiverton Parkway? I half expected a beep…beep…beep as the driver slammed 600 tons into reverse. According to the ticket collector, he’d forgot to stop! I did enquire if he would be pausing at Paddington or did we need to get ready to throw ourselves off and body roll at Old Oak Common. Answer came there none.

Anyway, a great two days was had by all, even though the hotel room was booked on the wrong date. The cat is on the mend and we are back home after Gorton lost his tickets AGAIN, bought a load more and then found the ones he had lost. Climbing back into bed on the Monday night I stood on a lump of forgotten cold sausage. It could have been worse, I suppose, it could have been an entire slice of pizza. How was your weekend?