No-one stirred until about 8:30 in the “girls dorm” and when we were all awake Jen, Lyd and Juliet gave me a card and a present: a cassette copy of George Michael’s latest album Listen Without Prejudice¹.
At some stage last night we all made a pact to go to Church² the next day so after showers and breakfast Linda Jen, Lyd and I drove into the West End. We parked just off Tottenham Court Road and walked up to the dingy alleyway where there is already a queue of about 200 people waiting to get in. Admission cost us £3 each and once inside we found the drinks were an extortionate price as well. But what an atmosphere! Almost completely dark inside except for flashing lights and strobes, the interior of the building was packed with Aussies, Kiwis and South Africans. The music was brilliantly loud and all Aus/NZ rock: Cold Chisel, Aussie Crawl, Split Enz, Icehouse etc.
It was too crowded to dance and after a while the music was increased to an almost unbearable level. We stayed for about 3 hours listening to the music, watching a very unfunny stand-up comedian, and a stripper with small breasts and hands that trembled with fear (humiliation?) as she stripped to a g-string and stockings.
When we left, Lyd went home, Jennie and Karen and went off to see a movie and Linda and I drove over to Peckham to visit Alex, Lucy, Sue and Hazel³. We spent about an hour with them in their comfy little flat then drove back to Fulham. After tea we set off back home with Lydia as a passenger to spend a few days with us. We took turns at driving on the way home arriving there about 10 p.m.
² The Church was a Sunday-only club where expat New Zealanders, Australians and South Africans would gather to get horrendously drunk. It closed down in 2014 after 35 years. This story by travel writer Winston Aldworth sums up the history and experience of “going to Church.”
³Our nurse friends from our time at The Red Lion.