Wednesday, July 20, 2005

[this is a continuation of this post] I had about an hour to wait at Peterborogh. So I sat down in the main terminal after buying my ticket to Spalding. I went out to the platform indicated by the reader-board in the main station. The problem was that the monitor on the platform did not indicate if the train that pulled up a few minutes after I walked there was the train that I needed or not. So I went back and forth to try to figure it out. Finally, I just asked some kindly looking old ladies if they know where the train to Spalding was. They said that they were going to Spalding and to wait with them. There were a large bunch of young people also waiting for the train. This was odd because my friend said that there were only a large amount of old people in Spalding.

The train was late and very small. I doubted that we could get everyone in it. The train was definitely full when we left. Luckily, this was an express and there were no stops along the way. We arrived in Spalding and my friend met me at the station. We walked from there to a card shop because his brother's birthday is coming up. Then we walked over to his place. Once we settled in and had a drink since I was parched and the sun was still beating down on us. Once his wife came home from work, we had dinner then went down to the pub for a drink. After that we came back to their place and watched some DVDs.

The next day I got up and took a bath since he said that the shower sucks (the fact that the place had a shower is odd when compared to the rest of England). Once I finished that he did some work on his own PhD and I got some quality time with Doom 3 and I started on yesterday's post. In the afternoon, we had lunch then he got back to work until his wife came home. We decided that it would be fun to go raspberry and strawberry picking so I wrapped up my game of Doom 3 and we left for deepest lincolnshire. It was fun except for the stinging nettles that got me a couple of times. My resistance to them has drastically reduced since I was young.

We went to the supermarket to get stuff for dinner then we went home. After dinner, we watched some CSI that I had on DVD. They were not too impressed since the pace was too slow. After that, we drifted off to bed.

The next day was really cool. We were going to Nottingham to a place called "Warhammer World". Games Workshop makes fantasy and sci-fi miniature wargames that I used to play a while ago. So it was a really treat to get to go to their world headquarters. My friend's wife scuttled off to the on site pub while we looked around at stuff that no grown man should have an interest in.

First was the miniature museum, which had painted miniatures from their in-house painting crew. This was fantastic. I got a few pictures and I have since put them up on Flickr. We then went to the gaming floor, which is a converted basketball court where they have many different terrains to play your wargames on. They had both Minias Tirith and Helm's Deep from Middle-Earth set up in all their glory so that you could play on them. Next was the store that was attached to the gaming room. After that, we met my friend's wife in the pub. It was pretty darn cool that I got to see it. When I was getting White Dwarf (the hobby magazine), I never thought I would have the chance to go to their headquarters and see everything in person. Also, I picked up a miniature that you can only get when you visit in person to the pub attached to the game room.

Once we were done being big huge geeks, we went into Nottingham Town Center to have lunch before we went to a party at one of my friend's wife's friend (yes, it is really that complicated) from work. It was a pleasant lunch and they talked about an up coming holiday.

We left from there to go to this party. I had asked if my friend or his wife knew any of the people at the party. I got a negative on both counts. This was going to be an interesting evening. We arrived at a very posh house somewhere in the middle of nowhere Nottingham-shire. We arrived at the place and brought in the drinks that we had bought earlier. They put us in a circle of chairs, which was quite wide and long so it was nigh impossible to talk to a person across the circle. We were pretty much isolated from the group so we only had each other to talk to for the most part of the evening. In addition, there were hundreds of small flies that would congragate just over your head and our of sight. Everyone called them midges but they never bit anyone and were very easy to just kill with your hands. The poor hostess was running around the place like mad to keep everyone in drinks and all and it was her birthday. We finally started talking to a chap and his wife who was in the British Army as a logistics officer (hell, he even looked the part with the mustache and everything). He was very interested in our my friend's and my studies. After we ate, everyone went inside to get warm since it was getting dark out. We left shortly after that. My friend had too much to drink to drive so his wife did (she's a much better driver since he just got his driver's license six months ago (he's in his 40's now) and she drives all over for her job).

The next day, my friend had a bit of a hang-over and she was not feeling well. We decided to take his kayaks out on the river, which runs right next to his house. To be honest, I thought this river was a stagnant pool. Also, they called them canoes rather than kayaks which they were. So I thought we would be together but they were separate. We put them in the water and I found out just how much I suck at kayaking. This especially damaging because I come from a part of the world where kayaking is considered a serious and popular sport. After that, we played Warhammer Fantasy battle in his backyard. After that we dined well, coq au vin, which he made (actually, he is the chef of the house). We watched Top of the Pops and watched a very strange Icelandic film, 101 Reykjaví­k (this is not a film for the faint of heart). Then I packed everything away for my trip from Spalding to Edinburgh.

The next morning we arrived at the station in Spalding only to discover that the train to Peterborough was 15 minutes late. Thismeantt that I would miss my connecting train and my reserved seat back to Edinburgh. I finally got on the train and made it to Peterborough. I found out that there was a train going to Aberdeen that went through Edinburgh so I jumped on that train. I had to switch seats a bunch since I did not have a reserved seat but I made it home.

Well, there is the boring minutiae of my trip to Oxford. I hope you did not fall asleep too many times while reading it. Now back to our regularly scheduled short posts.

posted by Chris  #10:13 AM | 0 comments |