An unforgettable evening started with an unforgettable morning. We decided to travel down to London by coach because it was too expensive to go by train, so you can imagine the great relief when we heard that the train we might have boarded, crashed!! There have been unconfirmed reports of many deaths and injuries. If we did not get on that train, all the remaining schedules were cancelled in and out of London to Newcastle for the next few days, so we could not have made it, this is what we thought all the way down to London.
Right, skip the next few hours and cut to the Barbican. We had arranged to meet Juan, Jacob, Joakim and Oscar (Juan's brother) at about 6pm somewhere inside. We arrived about 5.30pm to have a look around and kept an eye out for the others, baring in mind I did not know what any of them looked like apart from one picture of Jacob with an axe in one hand and a chain saw in the other, make of it what you will but I had that image imprinted in my brain all day. So we spent 30mins looking around for this group of people lead by a "mad axeman" who later became a great friend.
"There he is" shouted my son. "Who?" I retorted. "Jacob" came the reply. I turned round and there he was just like the photo, minus the weapons, to my relief. I dashed straight over to him and introduced my family and myself. "Jacob, I'm Colin. This is my wife Janice, my son Christopher and daughter Nicola. Pleased to meet you." To which he replied, " I would never have recognized you," said Jacob. "In the photo on your web site you had a moustache and long hair." I was clean-shaven and almost bald! I turned to the next man and asked "Juan?" "No Oscar, Juan's brother" came the reply. "Pleased to meet you." I turned to the next "Juan?" "No, Joakim, I`m the one you were going to get the book signed for" came the reply. At this point I should add that Joakim`s English is better than mine as he sounded as though he had been educated at Oxford! I turned to the next and said "You MUST be Juan", and in that all too familiar voice I've heard through Pal Talk he said "Yes, I'm pleased to meet you at last Colin." The way he pronounces Colin is great, its a sort of "Choliiin", I love it. Although my pronunciation of Juan and Joakim was I think, diabolical; but they didn't seem to mind. Then I noticed a young lad who had been wandering around looking lost like us and realized it was Greg, so I introduced myself.
So we chatted about the day's events and how excited and nervous we all were. All the while smoking loads of cigarettes as if there was no tomorrow