Last Sunday, I went to a branch of TGI’s for the first time ever. I don’t have anything against the chain per se, it’s never grabbed my attention and made me want to eat in there. Though I have been put off the general American Diner experience since I read an article in the days of the old Sky magazine (lifestyle, not satellite) which was one of the Life Sucks… range. This article detailed how cult-like some of the Diners were in the general indoctrination of their staff and how conformist they could be. Whilst the name of the Diner was never explicitly named, it was likely to either be TGI or Franky & Benny’s.

I miss Sky magazine.

Anyway, Brendan had made a spontaneous visit to his sister’s in Essex and called into Stratford on the way back so we went for lunch. After rummaging around Westfield for something suitable, he chose TGI’s (I was incapable of making a choice when presented with so many options) and in we went. He had a burger and fries, I had vegetable fajitas with a very large Boston Ice Tea on the side. Despite it being large, I didn’t feel the effects of the liquor…most disappointing. We also called into HMV & Game to look at games (nowt really worth parting with my cash for) before he took the train back north.

That was effectively the highlight of my weekend. I had the house pretty much to myself on Saturday and so played a game of Civ V as…um… *brain fail* someone whilst watching/listening to DVDs in the background. Nope, I really cannot remember but it was the Archipelago game where I faced off against Gandhi on the main continent winning a Diplomatic Victory as all the city-states were in my back pocket after several bribes changed hands. ROME!! I was Augustus Caesar. Bloody hell – whilst the internet can’t really do justice to the thought processes I was going through in order to correctly identify who I was, it was a struggle. Having read about Sheryl Crow’s brain tumour diagnosis starting from her forgetting the words to her songs, the hypochondriac in me is starting to wonder the same because I have blank moments every now and then. Or is it merely due to Crabbies robbing me of brain cells?

Damn rain has been a real irritation as of late. For the first time in ages, I was confined to the office on Monday lunchtime though I was able to make serious progress in Dragon Quest IX after my salad lunch. It continued to pour down but fortunately enough it was that light rain which feels like a faint spray rather than anything more serious so a walk was had. Clearly the rain didn’t seem to be much of an annoyance for the cyclists clogging up Hyde Park. And for the first time, I saw the “Romanian Gang” that the Evening Standard have been whining about. For those unfamiliar with the story, last month saw the reporting that there has been a visible rise in the numbers of dishevelled persons of Eastern European origin who are believed to be targeting Londoners and London tourists marking the Jubilympics. After the story, they were ordered to be arrested and deported

Dinner was cheesy nachos, topped off with Quorn Chilli made with haricots rather than kidney beans. It was surprisingly filling despite the lack of greens. Alas I made too much and so half has been consigned to leftovers. The dilemma is how to reheat without melting or charring the nachos. Answers on the back of a postcard and send to…

Tuesday was more of the same, weather wise though with longer dryer periods. Lunch was with H for the first time in a fortnight and again I had another salad. The gossip was exchanged and we only saw one piece of eye candy in the refectory the entire lunch period. But then again civil servants are seldom beauty kings and queens, let’s be fair. I was able to get out for a wee bit too which was nice.

The quiz wasn’t a rousing success for Yoshi’s Island with several opportunities missed out owing to incorrect guesses where the right answer was proffered but just didn’t seem to be the correct option. The prize was Asahi. Although the rollover was won last week, had we gone for Alex’s completely random guess we actually would have been quids in. Ah well, at least my Halloumi stack was nice and filling and it was good as always to catch up. And I bid and won on my first item on eBay in over five years! Yup, a copy of the Crystal Maze board game is now mine…all mine!