Oh yeah.. I’ve been busy, it’s been a crrrrrrrrrrazy week and a hell of a lot of fun 🙂
Where to begin? We’ve had the celebration of the Patron Saint of Scotland, workshops and user groups, vast quantaties of mulled wine and a whole lot of folks dressed up like they were straight up out of a Dickens novel. It’s been ‘busy’ to say the least.
The start of the week.
I could never get the hang of Mondays… all that, going back to work and into meetings. Urgh, and yup, that’s just what I did, straight into work, meetings, meetings and yeah…. more meetings. Kinda frustrating, and not how I was expecting to spend St Andrews Day
It was getting late on in the day, and I’d thought about just heading home. Kinda all meeting’d out and the brain was winding down. So that’s what the plan was.. a quite night in on St Andrews night, and that’s what was going to happen until I get a mail from Glasgow Jim. Did I want to meet for a drink?
That would be a yes.
… a tiny wee Boozer..
We have a couple of drinks in there, but it’s not exactly a Scottish boozer so we try and find one in Victoria and headed off to Boisdale of Belgravia
Which was Scottish… and it had a piper, but the only snag was that it had been hired out for a private function. Bugger, we were to be denied! So off we trapse to another, non-Scottish pub. The Plumbers Arms
Where we settle down to more beers, and then we start on the large Whisky’s to celebrate St Andrews Day….. suffice to say, it’s a vague memory of getting home and it’s a damn struggle.
I was supposed to be getting up early and head to the sorting office to pick up my missed parcel deliveries. Well, that didn’t happen cause when I eventually wake up I’m feeling as rough as hell. Oh boy, Whisky hangovers kill me everytime!
But it’s off to work, and I struggle through the day but get loads done and have an early night cause I’m up early tomorrow for a workshop. And I really feel rough….
Thank god I feel more human today.
It’s a journey down to Mary Sumner House
for a whole day with the consultants for a workshop
And it’s a looooooooooooooooooong workshop.
It’s 8 hours of sheer frustration, I’ve been through similar excerises like this at least 5 times now and it’s depressing. We already know the answers to the questions raised…. but will anything change? Somehow I doubt it, and after 8hours of trying to be engaging and holding back the cyncism I’m glad it’s over and it’s time to escape.
Mark, Trevor and I escape from the worlds smallest meeting room and head down to the Marquis for a ‘quick’ pint. But because we were all workshop’d out it’s not just the one pint… it’s several pints whilst we vent and unwind… more like 6 pints. And now it’s time to head home and sleep.
Oh, it’s so not feeling food when I wake up this morning. Damn quick pint my arse. I’m feeling not so sharp today, so it’s a shower to feel human….then off to Stamford hill in the pissing rain to pick up my deliveries. Some Christmas presents for family and my Secret Santa present for in the office.
When I eventually get into the office it’s yet more meetings throughout the day and sorting out notes and briefings, but at least I started to feel like a member of human race again. I was planning on going straight home but got a text from Tim….
We meet up, have a couple of drinks
1st in the Pheonix but that was absolutely hoaching and I hate packed, crowded pubs… the wine wasn’t great and I can already feel myself getting panic’y with everyone around me, it feels like the walls are closing in and I’m glad we quickly leave there.
We were supposed to be heading to the Buckingham Arms, but that too was hoaching. So next we try the Adam & Eve pub, where at least we get a seat. It’s still akward between the two of us, stilted conversation in crowded bars. I honestly don’t know what’s happening there, but we depart and exchange a quick kiss before taking opposite tubes.
And I have another early and quiet night, with my head kinda spinning a bit after meeting up with Tim.
It’s another workshop today.
This time I’m in Her Majesty’s Treasury at the COINS User Group, with a whole section of the day focusing on the Clear Line of Sight Alignment Project.
I lead such an interesting life you know……
But it’s not all plain sailing, I was late getting to Treasury because of a damn traffic jam up in Stokey!
Nothing was moving!… Grrrrrr.
I end up going the otherway up to Seven Sisters, then tubing it to Treasury. Crap…3 buses, 2 tubes and I finally make it there only 5mins late.
At least this workshop wasn’t as painful as the workshop earlier on in the week, but it was a bit annoying that yet again it’s more tasteless sandwiches for lunch, but all the mini sausages and prawns dissappeared even before I’d gotten out of the main conference room!
After that finishes, I have quick drink with Karen, Frederick and Allison in the Old Shades on Whitehall before I make my way to Charring Cross to catch the train to Rochester to stay over at Kate’s house for the Dickens Festival.
She text’s me to tell me she’s in the pub…. my alarm bells start ringing. How long had she’d been in there for?
When I arrive in Rochester, quick taxi up to the pub my worst fears are realised. I walk into the Who’d a thought it pub and there’s Kate, already pissed and slurring her words.
I’m not particular happy at this. I’d been working all day, and was looking forward to having an evening catching up with Kate as we’d hadn’t had a good natter for ages and I turn up to a pissed Kate. Fuck, it’s only 7pm.
I’m wanting to get food shoved down her throat quickly in an attempt to get it to soak up the alcohol and perhaps sober her up a tad, but she’d reluctant to leave until Rod and Malcolm offer up some food. Home cooked sausage casseroll with rice.
So we go back to Rod’s, we eat and I try and suggest that we head back to Kate’s afterwards feigning tiredness, because I just didn’t want her to drink anymore. But that didn’t work. It was back to the pub after we’d eaten, but I stress it’s just one more then we go back. And that was my plan, the pint is nearly finished I head off to the toliet to relieve myself before we head off only to get back to the bar to see that there’s another fresh pint in front of me.
This isn’t going to be easy.
And it wasn’t, we eventually get back to Kate’s house around 2am. Kate dissappears upstairs to her room, and I look to getting the couch comfy as it’s my bed for the night, until I hear a crash and a yell from upstairs.
Oh gawd this isn’t going to be good.
I walk up to Kate’s room and am greated with a blood soaked Kate. Have you ever seen the film Carrie?
^^ That’s what I was greeted with…
She’d slipped/lost her footing and had smacked her head in the bathroom, there was a couple of deep and nasty scalp lacerations. I quickly strip her down and put her in the shower to clean her up and also to see once the blood has washed away how bad the damage is.
It’s not as bad as I had thought.. although there’s a hell of a lot of blood, but you kinda get that with scalp lacerations. I give Rod a call and ask him to come up to Kate’s to help me sort her out. It’s a late night for me, cleaning the blood up and eventually I head downstairs to the couch to sleep after making Kate drink hot sweet tea.
We wake up late… I check the headwound out, the bleeding has stopped and it’s starting to congeal. There was no dizzyness, sickness, loss of consciousness so I think we might have escaped with just a nasty scrap and bump to the head.
Time to get changed, and head off down to the Dickens Festival
. It had been forecast rain, but as we walked down it actually started off as a beautiful day
As you can see… gorgeous!
And off we go, down to the city centre and we aren’t dissapointed at all.
The day was just kicking off with the parade starting
With all sorts of ‘characters’ dressed up in period costume
It was fantastic!
– A mini production of A Christmas Carol
– Lots of strangely dressed people
– Managed a bit of Christmas shopping
It even snowed in Rochester for the Festival;
Okay well it wasn’t *real* snow… they had put on the fake snow
But don’t it look nice!
We even strolled to up to Rochester Castle
and popped into the craft fair tents….
Which was full of equal weirdness
And it’s time to escape the weirdness and grab a pint and also to rest out feet for an hour or so… it’s hard work in wandering around taking in all the culture!
Even the pub was getting into the Christmas spirit.
As Kate and I quitely supp our pints a rather strange family came to sit next to us. Mum, Dad, 2 teenage boys and 2 yapping little dogs. The dogs didn’t like Kate and kept barking at her, the Dad brought out what we thinked looked like camping gear but was actually a hot flask to make his boys hot chocolate… in the middle of the pub…. and whilst this is going on, the Christmas music is playing on in the background rather loudly and the mother starts singing along to Slade’s Christmas song…..
It’s an escape, and time to get some food as we are rather peckish.
Of course we went for the Hog Roast. It would be rude not to!… and it was just amazing to eat. But after that Hog Roast it’s time to move onto the mulled wine, but not before Kate bought a hat…
And I even tried on a hat… but unfortunately it was a no-sale. Somehow I can’t see me wandering around London wearing this contraption
Don’t think the fashion will catch on
Eventually it got dark, the rain started but we continued drinking the mulled wine and got a spot ready for the main procession through the highstreet, of all the people in Dickensian dress and the fake snow
We watched the procession… we even sang-a-long to the Christmas Carols, whilst keeping warm with our mulled wine!
Then it was time to head back home to Kates to dry off, a quick couple of beers in the Who’d a thought it pub where Emma joined us before going back home to order in take-a-way and settle down to an evening of X-Factor and cheesy Christmas songs.
And of course several bottles of wine…. the more the wine flowed, the louder our singing got…. and it was everything from Slade, Wham, Bing Crosby and Shaken Stevens…..
A damn find day and evening!
I think it was somewhere around 2:30am when we eventually called it a night
It is of course another long lie after the excesses of yesterday.
But it’s round 2 of the Dickens Festival, not for a big one just to pop down and buy a gift for Rosie, grab a spot of lunch and head home. On the way down there we found a parked Robin Reliant
Where Kate does her best Debbie McGee impression…
Unfortunately the jacket that Kate wanted for Rosie was availble in her size, but at least we had lunch, grabbed another mulled wine with Brandy and then headed home back to Londonium, getting home around 4:30pm, stuck a washing on, unwrapped a parcel that had arrived for me.
It’s my cozy Norwegian slippers! They had finally arrived!
Oh.. they are SO cozy!
My gran had bought me a pair years ago and I wore them to death, they were my favourite pair of slippers ever and it was heartbreaking when they finall fell to pieces. Time to get a new pair and I’m loving these!
It’s Sunday evening… Batman Begins is on the TV, and now I’m gonna chill for the rest of the night.