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Friday, July 16th, 2004

Time Event
5:23a
Dinner at vyvyan and razornet's. Here's to good friends, good food, lots of wine and cycling home in the rain at 5am when you're on holiday.
3:37p
A selection of the world's Big Macs:
US Canada Hong Kong Germany France Italy UK Australia
Kilocalories 600 580 560 516 512 507 493 480
Protein (g) 25 27 26 26.7 25.9 26.7 26.7 25.3
Carbs – total (g) 50 46 45 44.3 43.8 46.6 44 36.2
Carbs – sugar (g) 8 9 11.6 5.8
Fat – total (g) 33 32 31 25.8 25.8 23.8 22.9 24.9
Fat – saturated (g) 11 12 9.8 10.1
Sodium (mg) 1050 1250 1070 900 900 800
Weight(g) 219 223 215 214 213 215 201
10:29p
Just back from seeing Nightwish at the Astoria. Good band, performed very well; shame most of the audience seemed to be on valium, nailed to the floor or something else that prevented them from moving much. There were several tracks which required pogoing like Zebedee on speed, which was mostly ignored; as were the times that clearly required a violent mosh-pit boiling against the front barriers. It wasn't that it was the band failing to hold the audience, there was always some reaction and lots of cheering and clapping; it was just all a bit subdued, even when they played a good cover of Megadeath's Symphony of Destruction. The close of the main part of the set was superb, with Wishmaster followed by their cover of Gary Moore's Over the hills and far away. (They do seem to have a thing for covers, they played one other cover, Rice/Lloyd-Weber's Phantom of the Opera). They finished their encore with the very thrashy Wish I Had An Angel from their recent album, by which time the crowd had cleared enough that I had space to really let my hair down.

Nightwish are a great fun band, who don't take themselves too seriously (witness the Phantom cover). Strong, clear female vocals over fast, powerful metal, occasionally symphonic and a bit proggy. I'm surprised I only found out about them recently, why hasn't everybody been telling me about them for years?

The support were surprisingly good too; Brainstorm, German power-metal in a very traditional mold. They're not doing much that's new or clever with the genre, but what they do, they do well. I must buy a CD or two of theirs. I've rarely seen a band look like they've enjoyed playing a set as much as Brainstorm did.
11:44p
Oh, and getting to the station was a little more eventful than I really wished. At the lights opposite the Texaco at the end of Histon Road, there was an ambulance and paramedics tending to somebody (who seemed to be conscious, sitting, in pain, cradling an arm). Then, still contemplating this, I cycled down Castle Hill, at the bottom of which my front brake cable decided to snap as I approached the lights. Very fortunately, it was only yesterday that I'd replaced my rear brake blocks; between them, steering to avoid the cluster of cyclists at the lights, and a bit of hopping along the kerb, I stopped in time, didn't hit anybody else, and remained upright. I bought a replacement brake cable on my way to the station. Also glad that the train was delayed by 10 minutes which meant I still had time to buy a ticket.

The journey back was less eventful, just one of those get to Kings Cross, see "22:15 Kings Lynn via Cambridge", see clock reading "22:14:36" moments. It was only on platform 1, so running over there worked, they held the train and closed the doors just after we jumped on.

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