Hullo,

Friday was the sort of day you just want far more of; come into work late because there’s a complete collapse in public transport again. Delays on the Northern Line somehow equated to no access to ANY trains at King’s Cross so I was forced to walk over to Euston and board the trains there. Anyway, after a rant and some very dark thoughts involving a smouldering poker and Peter Hendy, I arrived in the office coffee-less as the contents of my pedestal had already been packed away.

One prolonged Starbucks trip later (enjoyed the free Brahms download), there wasn’t actually anything to do at work other than a few odds and sods of admin rather than some prolonged policy study. And before I knew it, lunchtime arrived. After lunch was some last minute tidying up and then we were all booted out so our section of the floor could be boarded up for the refit works.

Alas, this all comes with a price and that is the fact that perhaps the biggest directorate in the entire Department is homeless for two weeks. I’m actually rethinking my “lets not take leave just to spite the Department” as the whole looking for a place to sit is so…depressing. Mind you, there’s stuff happening this fortnight which negates the wisdom of taking leave.

Friday evening was the house-warming dinner party with Xian, Daniel, Aqeel + Holly and Henry. After a two hour long walk home foolishly through the park which included swinging by every supermarket between Westminster and Camden hoping to find some pigs ears (don’t ask), I arrived back only to find that my broadband still hadn’t been connected. Yeah – It was supposed to be ready for use on Friday morning but I couldn’t force a connection so left the computer on all day just in case.

Got home, spent 45 minutes cussing a blue streak at my laptop, EE and the universe in general when I decided to go into the Router and painstakingly check every single setting. Finally I found the cause of the problem (something reset when I selected ADSL mode rather than Fiber Optic and needed adjustment) and broadband was back. Celebrations included some Brussels chocolate and downloading of yet more Apple updates but until Whatsapp is patched, I ain’t getting iOS 7. The laptop also spent forever and a day downloading security patches from MacAfee.

Dinner party itself – Daniel arrived on time (love that German punctuality), everyone else was late. The lasagne tasted superb; leaving it to ferment twenty four hours was the right thing to do and the addition of the weird beans really worked. I’m happy to consider that recipe again but as I said last time, double the recipe for the metal pan. Dessert was treacle tart with ice-cream (as I didn’t think to buy any regular cream. We got through three bottles of wine, several bottles of cider and I think the majority ended up down my gullet.

Saturday…oh Saturday. Woke up at 7.30 unable to breathe – I was so congested, it wasn’t funny. And the hangover…it wasn’t pretty. Plus I had a sore throat but only on one side of the throat which hurt to swallow; great I thought, a viral infection. Eventually made it to from my bed to the couch watching Buffy and feeling pretty lousy, only rising from my sick bed to make another cup of green tea and holding the warm/hot mug to my throat hoping it’d nuke whatever was going on in there.

Around 4pm I rallied a little and left the house. There was no way I was going to get down to Waterloo for Streepass Day down there – felt feverish and clammy (coming from a Brit, that’s bad). But I did walk around Camden just having a nosey. Popped into Game and looked at brand new and second hand Xbox prices; quite reasonable but could I find a member of staff to assist me? Could I hell. Went to Curry’s – they don’t sell them. Went to Cex – they only had 4GB consoles in stock. Went to Argos – they didn’t have any in stock. Went to Sainsbury’s – bought some Lockets for my sore throat and a bottle of coke. Might as well have bought a phial of sulphuric acid; stupid idea.

Went over to Westfield instead (don’t ask why, it’s just a prime example of male contrariness), went to the Game store there – again, another shining tale of exemplary customer service and keen, attentive staff.

My sarcasm-detector just exploded btw.

Went upstairs to HMV; kind of my last chance saloon. Saw they had a GTA V pack so snapped it up and tried to buy it. Guess what? They were out of stock. Effing typical. With some extreme reluctance on my part, I agreed to buy the FIFA 14 pack instead but asked if I could immediately part exchange it. They said yes. Then they said no – the game was “to be sold with console only” so the packaging had no barcode to scan into the system. Rather than faff about, I took the console and game home with me.

Get home with new toy, set her up and start my gaming. It took me a while to get my PC-created Live profile to sync with the console (why was there no option off the bat to “download profile to console”? Naturally, my first purchase was Banjo Kazooie and I enjoyed playing that before ultimately heading to bed.

Sunday…well, I had a new toy so you can guess what I was doing for most of the day. Felt a bit better though, no further congestion though I think I broke my record for most concurrent sneezes with eight. Think all the tea and mug-on-throat stuff really helped as it stopped hurting to swallow. Went out after lunch (leftover lasagne) to Cex and bought a load of second-hand games to begin a collection: Star Wars: The Force Unleashed, Batman: Arkham Asylum, GTA IV and the other two titles whose names currently elude me. Also bought Rainbow Islands from the Arcade.

Didn’t do much otherwise on Sunday. Cut hair and trimmed beard, looking vaguely human again always makes me feel better. Popped out for ice-cream and a walk at 9pm. Came back with a tub of chocolate chip and a scoop of banana. Oh; and realised I had fallen afoul of the Banjo Kazooie bug where if you complete the pictures before you do the levels, any notes collected are no longer collectable in the game, irritatingly enough. Couldn’t see any way around it so erased my save game and started again…

So that was my weekend – new console, illness and revelry. This week is a fairly quiet one in terms of my work calendar though there’s some stuff happening during the week. Quiz will be different this week as the Book of Mormon prize was actually booked for tomorrow. So we’ll be down in terms of numbers. So far it’s just two of us – possibly three if Dom comes along. I’ve been trying to find another two people but alas no luck thus far.

Ah, and my travelcard ran out yesterday. I dunno if I mentioned but I’ve no intention of buying a new one. Rather, because I tend to walk home, I’m just going to have a PAYG Oystercard which will cost approx £2.10*20. This means a saving of about £90 per month on travel which I think is a bargain. Ok, there’s miscellaneous travel to consider as well as my trips home from Vauxhall on Tuesday evenings but I still think there’s a saving to be had. Don’t always have to get the tube though; buses work just as well.

Well, in MS Word terms, this is a 3½ pager. Phew.

Advertisements