7 July London Journal
9 July London Journal Postscript

8 July London Journal

Well, I thought I wouldn't have time to write this. And I wouldn't have, except when I got to the BBC, the Radio Theatre was full. It does warn you, right on the ticket, that they overbook to insure a full house. I showed up at 6:50, for admission at 7:15 and was turned away. "Let us scan your ticket so the lottery knows you showed up," the manager said. "Won't do me much good; I am here from America," I responded. I guess I had gotten cocky; after all, I had showed up on Wednesday and was admitted to a tour when someone didn't show up, then showed up on Thursday at 5 for a 7:30 taping where I was admitted because someone didn't show up.  This time I had a ticket! The News Quiz is one thing; it is one of the most popular shows on BBC Radio 4. But Wordaholics? A panel show about words? Well, I figured it couldn't be that popular. And I was wrong. There's no place to go to get back the 100 minutes roundtrip I spent on the tube, but now I get a leisurely dinner in my apartment and maybe a chance to watch a spot of British TV--not just the good stuff they send us, but the drech they watch themselves.

It is not like I had anything much else to do today. After my late arrival home Monday night/Tuesday morning, I slept in until 9, packed a box for shipment back to the states and took it to Federal Express. Then I had lunch, took a nap, and was ready to go at 5, but I figured, why not sit here comfortably instead of there uncomfortably. Turns out the answer to that question is: because if you don't go early you don't get in to see the recording. Gyles Brandreth was no doubt his usual witty self, but I won't know until the show airs in the fall.

So, I relearned a lesson my family may not like: be early. I am already chided for my "get there early" policy. I'm not sure it will get any worse, but I'm certainly not going to ease up. Not after missing the taping.

By the way, I hit all my English food highlights: I had my first Cornish pasty (OK, not great), fish and chips for the first time in decades and a full English breakfast (with baked beans!). To the best of my knowledge, English cuisine hasn't much else to offer.