T'eyla Minh (teylaminh) wrote,
T'eyla Minh
teylaminh

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Long Weekend

I think I last updated on Thursday, so here we go...

Firstly, a belated HAPPY BIRTHDAY to thefleshfailure, as I completely forgot to text yesterday. Hope you had a good one.

Most of Friday was spent baking and scanning/printing CD covers. I was up early (8.15) due to having a GP appointment at 9.00, and hence was uber-productive. I wandered back via Clintons to get Eni a birthday card and then started with the scanning, which didn't take too long... although I did discover my scanner's annoying tendency to cut the top or bottom edge off everything, and hence had to space it using a card I was going to scan then cut it to size later... mostly they were fine, though. God damn, it's nice to have a scanner again.

The cake was an incredible success, if I say so myself, although installing the Motorola software so I could share the photograph was less successful. For some reason it refuses to acknowledge my phone is there and I have to install it manually, but I'd forgotten which make I had to set it to last time and by the third attempt it wasn't even detecting the bloody thing... I'll try it again later tonight. Anyway, it was a chocolate cake, with Cadbury's chocolate spread in the middle, covered in chocolate-flavoured butter icing (flavoured with Cadbury's cocoa, as was the cake) and decorated with chocoloate fingers and buttons. LOTS of buttons.

Midway through the baking I had to go out to get icing sugar (I have no idea when I ran out of that, since I had about four packets of it in the cupboard at one point) and hence the chocolate spread. I suspect I shall either have to make lots of cakes, or eat chocolate sandwiches for a while...

Of the evening, Paul and I went out to Maison Mayci for our belated Valentine's meal, which was delicious. I had a rabbit terrine for starter, Paul had the poached egg with mackerel and potato, and we both had the pork for main. Absolutely gorgeous, and will definitely eat there again.

Unfortunately I was wearing ridiculously impractical shoes which squished my big toes and were incredibly painful... on the walk back I got as far as the top of our road before having to steal Paul's trainers... They are marvellous shoes, however, so I think I'll reserve them solely for going to theatre when I only have to hobble a few metres...

I got up early again on Saturday morning in order to travel to Essex to visit Eni. I intended to be on a train by about 9.00 and get the Chiltern line to Marylebone as it was only £15 and would be easier than the coach. Of course, that plan was effectively thwarted as soon as I got to Moor Street, where there was a friendly sign informing me that there were no trains running from there. This is because of the work being done at Tyseley, but I distinctly remember them saying on the news that the London trains would still be running. Apparently there was a rail replacement bus going from Snow Hill, but that was a fair jaunt away and I didn't want to add any more hours to the journey, so decided to go from New Street.

I got a ticket from one of the machines which was just under £30, and then established from the service desk that I would have to change at Northampton. So I got a refund from a very grumpy man at the ticket booth ("What did you buy it for?" - Er, well, the ticket machine didn't tell me I would have to change at Northampton, and I would like to go direct. Frell you, just give me a refund, I'm going to be paying more in a moment...) and bought another, direct ticket to Euston. For £40.

And hence, spent the majority of the journey standing up because the train was completely rammed, presumably because others have been thwarted in their plan to get a train from Snow Hill or Moor Street. Just after Coventry the train manager stated that the train was de-classified and we could all sit in First Class for no extra charge. Of course, this provoked the poshoes in First Class to grumble about having to sit with the plebs. The man at the table where I was sitting asked the ticket inspector for a refund. Look, mate, if you're stupid enough to buy a £100 ticket and it's a drop in the ocean of your vast fortune, that's your problem. Stop bloody moaning.

Anyway. It was one of those Virgin Pendolino trains which only take an hour and a half to get to London, so at least the journey wasn't too bad. Personally, I think half a train of First Class carriages is a ilttle extreme - possibly they should look at the numbers of people who actually buy first class tickets and reduce the amount of carriages to two, because clearly four carriages is not enough for the rest of us normal folks who can barely afford the extortionate price of £40 just for the privilege of taking half the time to get there. I would rather have paid £15 and managed to get a seat than £40 and have to stand up for 45 minutes.

Virgin are not being very impressive at all of late. Roll on having a house so I can go back to Sky...

Anyway, once I got into London it wasn't too bad, trying to find a cashpoint and queuing for tickets at Euston notwithstanding, and the journey to Hainalt passed without incident. Part of the line was meant to be closed but apparently wasn't.

Upon arrival I discovered that part of the line would be having work done on Sunday morning, thus scuppering any plans of stayng overnight. Bah. Anyway, Eni met me at the station and we walked to her house, whereupon she admired the cake, opened her card, and inflicted the Battlestar Galactica mini-series on me, all three hours of it. This was a series I had intended to watch in the first place when I was at Uni, but given I would only have managed to see a couple of episodes before moving out again I didn't bother. What I could follow of the mini was very good - excellent special effects and what looked like some interesting characters - but I imagine it all makes more sense when seen in the context of the rest of the series... At some point I'll try and watch the rest of it. *adds it to list*

After that we had cake. Cake was goooood.

Then we wandered to a nearby pub which I think was called the Bald Hind, an Ember Inns pub, where we had a drink and shared some chips and onion rings and had a natter about general stuff (which mostly related to food, as far as I can remember...) and then walked back again. By this point it was absolutely bloody freezing and I wasn't wearing the warmest of clothing...

Whilst at the pub I rang Paul to let him know I'd be going back that evening, at which point my time estimate for my return was 9.00pm. Which turned out to be just a tad out.

At about 6.15 we walked back to the station again and I rang Paul back (two missed calls as my phone had been on silent since sitting down on the train) to find out he was gonig out and would be back late. Despite the cold it was a very clear night with lots of stars visible, so that was nice...

The Tube journey back into London went mostly without a hitch except for having to change to another train at Leytonstone for no apparent reason, but as I was only going as far as Oxford Circus that didn't really matter... I remember I got to Oxford Circus at 7.30 and must have got to Euston about 7.35 or thereabouts, to discover that the next train back to Birmingham was at 8.15. The platform number didn't appear until about 7.50 so I was hanging around on the concourse for a while trying not to appear to be obviously staring disdainfully at the bunch of old-enough-to-know-better drunken idiots playing keepy-uppy with a rolled up paper bag - and the idiot amongst them who found it endlessly amusing to lauch said article at the heads of passers-by. The look on the face of the woman he managed to hit said it all, really...

At least I got a seat on the way back. And then the train took absolutely bloody hours to get anywhere. After an hour and a half we were only at bloody Milton Keynes. I lost the will to live after two hours and conceded to sleep instead.

Let it be noted - this is the "fast train" I spent £40 for the privilege of. Yeah. Screw you, Virgin.

After a bus journey home I finally made it back for 11.10 or thereabouts, put the blanket on to warm up, made some bread and butter, and went straight to bed... Paul came back at 2.30am and woke me up again, but at least he was sober....

Sunday was the usual fare of EastEnders watching and very little else. We watched The Pursuit of Happyness in the evening (after Wife Swap, of course) and subsequently I dreamt that I was an intern at a stockbroker firm and the written exam was about The Mighty Boosh... bizarre, to say the least.

So, that's that. Back to normal for a while now. Three more full weeks of work and then my Easter leave, which I am muchly looking forward to... Having said that, there is still plenty to do in the interim...
Tags: annoyances: public transport, friends, write-ups
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