Sunday, October 12, 2003

Three weeks in London and two in Amman, it felt like being out of Iraq for ages. I left Baghdad with one piece of luggage, I came back with three. The number of CDs and books I bought would keep a whole country happy for a year. And what was even better some of the journalists who came to interview brought me book presents with them, in one case I got a book sent by mail, The Devil’s Dictionary. That was a great Interview and a very funny book. Thanks Lina. And I finally got the promised yellow New York cab Diane bought for me before the war.

So here are my best London moments in no particular order :
- Seeing Jack Straw at the BBC and sitting in the same room for 10 minutes without having the balls to ask him : so where are the WMDs?
- having coffee with Ann Clwyd at he Houses of Parliament and finding out that she has been supporting [The Free Prisoners Society]. Before I went there people were telling me that she was so pro-war, when I sat and talked to her she amazed me with her knowledge and commitment. So pro-war she is but her heart is in the right place, if more anti-war people were as committed to helping Iraq out of the bad place it is now as she is things would be great.
- James Lavelle in Fabric, thanks Louisa for telling me I should go there. and London Garage does make sense.
- Birthday dinner, thanks wendy.
- The Demo in London on the 27th. It was supposed to be an anti-war/end the occupation thingy. I went there. I was amused. It felt very much like a nice Saturday family outing, look I have not seen many demonstrations. The ones I have seen are the ones we had here in Baghdad after the war they were all very angry, scary things. Then I go to the one in London and you have this carnival atmosphere. I was really interested in how much the guys selling the whistles were making. It was huge I grant you that and walking among all these people did feel very good. I was looking for an Iraqi flag to go and talk to the Iraqis, I thought there were non there until Yasar sent me a text message telling me they were already by Trafalgar Square [Hi Yasar, thanks]. I left and went to Camden.
- buying [Hatful of Hollow] for 3 Pounds.
- The room at Tate Modern where they have an instillation called [5 angels for the millennium or look at the Tate's page]. I didn’t want to leave that room.
- The Guardian’s G2 people. They make it look so easy; if you see their editorial meetings you would be amazed they have a paper out very day. You know, you expect deadly serious people and lots of arguing, the basic movie thing. It is not. They just sit and crack jokes.

The guys at Atlantic promised it was going to be OK and fun and it was. Thanks.