World of Chig   

Brusseldorf - The Road Trip - update

Guten Tag! It's day seven of the road trip and all is well here in the dorf of Düssel. I can't believe I've been away from home for six days already on my drive to take in my friend's stag weekend in Brussels and Eurovision here in Düsseldorf.

I started off last Thursday, with a great night out in central London. After a fantastic meal at Mildred's restaurant in Soho, my friend Deb and I went to the Douze Points night at the Retro bar off The Strand. Despite not being able to hear any of the night's tracks, due to the pitiful sound system in the pub, we somehow managed to vote on all the songs in the second Eurovision semi-final and declare the Brit guy singing for Romania as the winner, just one point (I think) of Sweden's Eric Saade in second. There were another eight songs voted through to the Retro bar's version of the Eurovision final, but we were having too much of a laugh (and a few beers) for me to remember who they were. There was a real buzz in the air on Thursday night, with warm weather, people drinking outside the pubs and some people walking around with their Union flags and other regalia, in advance of the royal wedding the next morning. We saw the screens in Trafalgar Square from a distance, but my suggestion that we go down The Mall and poke sleeping tourists with sticks wasn't taken up by my friends.

Friday, royal wedding day, and I experienced the whole thing via the brilliance of Radio 5 Live, as I drove from Walthamstow to Calais. It was slightly surreal. And even my staunch Republican heart was moved to almost man tears a few times during the build-up, just because of the feeling that there was a big, national event going on. I arrived at Eurotunnel Folkestone with a couple of hours to spare before my booked crossing. At this point (and here begins a sorry tale which had unfortunate repercussions later on), I tried to buy a car cradle and car charger for my new Motorola Defy phone, which I had only picked up on the way down to London on Thursday and had only been able to charge up for the first time on Friday morning, just before I left for the coast. (I had dropped my previous phone and cracked the screen a few days before, hence the urgent need for a new mobile before coming away, partly to use the phone's satnav in getting to Brussels and Düsseldorf. I had made sure that I picked a phone which said 'car cradle included' on the T-Mobile website, but the useless tossers at T-Mobile didn't send one. The Eurotunnel terminal didn't have one for Motorola phones, despite there being several likely shops there, "because Dixons has closed", as one assistant explained, pointing to the closed unit opposite. Here's a business tip that might catch on: start stocking things that people want to buy. Just a thought.)

Anyhow, after watching people standing around the Eurotunnel terminal, watching the royal couple on the TV screens, as Wills and Kate were in the royal landau, it was time to drive into the big sardine tin and be shipped under the English Channel.

And that will have to do for now, as Denmark's bunch of hunks are about to rehearse, so I'm going to take the long walk into the arena. I will catch up soon. Bis bald!

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