Tag Archive: Thorpe Park


Yog Sothoth

Another 6 day delay…

Sorry people but the world was destroyed last night. Yog- Sothoth wasn’t stopped in time by our plucky band of investigators in Eldritch Horror. We were ready to solve the final mystery and take him/her/it on but he awoke from his slumber and the other-worldly gates opened en masse. My stupid musician was devoured having taken on a Dark Pact and Jad’s expedition leader was killed by one of his allies part way through the game.

Tuesday: Thorpe Park Day. Although I worried about making the right train, getting breakfast and the like, I needn’t have bothered as Xian and Daniel missed the planned train and we had to wait thirty minutes for the next one. Starbucks got my name wrong not once but twice over coffee orders. I’m thinking of calling myself something really boring and generic like Tony just so they can’t bugger that one up (probably will spell it Toni…). I don’t know how they shovelled away so much food on the train out there but I think it caught up with them by the time we got to the park.

The park was not as busy as anticipated – many of the rides had queues of around five minutes so as a result, we felt safe in only buying one set of queue-jump tickets and that was only to get on Colossus and Nemesis. We tried the new rides of Swarm and the water slide – not bad but not up to the hype either. Daniel got soaked on the ride (so did I to be fair – he just made more noise) and bought himself a new outfit at the shop. We had a Pizza Hut lunch (big mistake) and went on more rides. Unfortunately, the queues meant that the rides lasted that little bit longer and I swear when I went on Samurai, they sent the ride backwards as well as forward.

I’m not young any more, it played merry hell with my equilibrium and a stomach stuffed full of pizza.

Twice.

Missed the bowl the second time.

No instant recovery either – felt very feverish, hot then cold then hot again and autopilot kicked in, demanding to be taken home to rest. The others were feeling similarly wiped out so we left the park and headed for home. Two hours on my bed reading/finishing off the third instalment of the Moneypenny Diaries and I was about recovered enough to head over to the quiz. Of course we lost – kept messing up between choices of two answers where we were uncertain but the food was good and we stuffed our faces on Haribo. Then home to bed early and eight hours sleep.

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More stinking rain last night meant I didn’t head out after work as my wallet and credit cards were begging me to do. Shoes are continuing to take on water faster than the Titanic which means general discomfort and sulking all round which was the other reason not to head out. Oh I could have hopped on an 88 but I just didn’t feel like it. So I got home, felt the urge to take a bath and spent the rest of the evening watching season 5 of Deep Space Nine whilst continuing to render aid to the good people of Isenstadt. New low? Don’t think so. Wasn’t quite at the “beyond all help” stage.

Friday lunchtime typically sees a visit to the Real Food Market outside the Royal Festival Hall – it’s always the fault of the damn cakes. They pull me in like Die Lorelei luring German sailors along the Rhine to their doom. I usually buy a fudge cake, some sort of brownie (and there are plenty to choose from) and a random third cake then parcel them out over the next few days. I thought about getting lunch there too from the Cyprus stall (Halloumi wraps which are very not bad) but I caved and went to the canteen for salad; hey, have to make room for those pastries in terms of calories. Though it’s a good, brisk walk to Waterloo and back.

I might have to head up to Camden this evening – I have a lead on some Retsina wine which might be found locally there. And if I get to Camden early enough, I might head to the bakery on the High Street again and buy some more pretzels. Whether I walk there and bus back or bus there and walk back I’m not sure though if the heavens decide to open again…might give it a miss. Think bus there and walk back; should theoretically be able to swing by FP on the return trip as I haven’t had any geekery for a while. Need to decide what (or if) I want to get for JL for Monday’s BBQ at the Griffin.

As you can tell from the blog entry, I’m really scrabbling around for things to write up as everything seems in flux at the moment; there’s too much anticipation and not enough action (in more ways than one). I suppose it’s not all bad but the high degree of action, particularly in the past six-eight months leaves me a mite uneasy with the lack of overall direction. With European Elections and local elections less than a month away (third UKIP poster in Vauxhall has been defaced/vandalised btw), many people are sitting around with a little too much time on their hands and not enough to be getting on with. Still, a lot of the lower priority crap can be taken care of in the interim. Like putting up the picture hooks at home!

Anything else? Not really. The board games competition has been formally announced but I haven’t sat down with John to see what sort of changes he has considered to my draft programme which ought to be done sooner rather than later. And there’s the Griffin quiz prize coming up soon which I think is next Sunday; dinner and wine at Vinopolis (again). And THORPE PARK BABY!

After-Holiday Analysis

Post match analysis – my thirty two days off.  I apologise in advance if this reads like one massive brain-fart but I think some closure or lessons learned are required. 

First of all: how do I feel being back in the office?  Not great though it’s difficult to ascertain what I can put down to the fact that some rowdy Bank Holiday bozos were drinking/yelling in the street until about 3am and the fact I woke up when the sun began to rise and remained awake and how much is due to being back here.  I was hoping to see a charred ruin when I turned the corner of Horseferry Road and fervently wished storm clouds to gather and unleash lightning but Westminster is a miracle free zone.  I would say it’s better than last year where I seriously thought about chucking in my resignation just to get away. 

What were the main objectives?  I think: to forget about work (successful until the end of week one), to go to Brighton (achieved albeit somewhat truncated), to go to Thorpe Park (big fat fail), to go to XXL midweek every week (achieved), to have time alone (achieved to a certain extent), to make time to do stuff I don’t get to normally do (I think achieved), to not be bored (failed during week one but then I perked up after that) and to get away from London if at all possible (i.e. Paris/Berlin – failed but that’s a “bonus objective”. 

I had my timeline of the month’s events and there was something most days to look forward to except in the last week where my schedule was pretty empty and there was a lot of Civ V Gods & Kings going on so it wasn’t a complete waste (I feel).  I was able to make time to enjoy myself and do whatever I wanted to.  The fact that housemates were generally out of the house was an added bonus but the return of Posh Boy post Olympics was cause for concern – man he talks some utter rot. 

For the most part, my initial fortnight off was alcohol free except that one night at XXL where a pick-me-up was needed just to get into the mood.  That was great until I discovered the pleasures of Jeremiah Weed… damn it all.  Many meals were salad based which helped with keeping the weight down although there were many ice-cream days needed to cope with the heat which must have done some bad. 

Also, I’ve acquired my new coffee maker, my iPad, the pricey teapot, some new video games and my 3DS XL.  I think despite all this, I still haven’t dipped into my savings, chiefly as some debts were paid back to me helping out immensely.  Unlike last year, I had no compunction about spending cash as and when and my bank statement is full of £100 withdrawals from ATMs.  It was nice seeing my account peak at the highest level it has ever despite for being for a mere two days when I had to buy my travel card (and picked a fight at the kiosk). 

Were there any low points?  Top of the list is probably the end of the Brighton trip where the train was delayed by a lack of drivers and there was no toilet on the train so I was forced to pee into an empty Pepsi bottle (bless those 600ml sizes).  And not finding anyone to go to Thorpe Park with was pretty low.  Oh – the night bus interruptions because of the Olympics was quite the annoyance.  But I don’t think that there was anything which I’d have done differently given the chance other than a little more rigorous planning.  There was plenty happening during August that I could participate in and enjoy. 

All in all, the time was well spent and there is a lot to think back on fondly.  It wasn’t the “best holiday” because… I don’t have a bottomless bank balance and the Olympics loomed over the first fortnight like an omnipresent spectre dictating all before and after.  Its presence was irritating to say the least and those bozos in the pink and maroon are back with us for another ten days.   

Whilst in the Project Management mood, I can’t think of much to plan/look forward to for the end of the year.  I sincerely wish that Pie and Mash was still around as I would have loved to dress up for another Hallowe’en Party.  September should be fairly muted, as will be the other three remaining months of the year.  All’s quiet on the Western Front, literally.  That’s not to say I can’t intercede and cobble together events myself.  There’s enough alcohol at home to ply punters with if I wanted to put together a party (though most people I know eschew beer and lager these days which is irritating – I have a cupboard full of this stuff.

Something? Anything?

For the first time this year, I am left without something to look forward to or to have somewhere floating in my calendar which is one of those events that you just can’t miss under any circumstances. As soon as the clock strikes 12 on January 1st, it’s birthday. And that was of course stretched out together with the Paris trip. But now it’s all happened, I’ve got many a free week in the calendar until at least the end of July when the Olympics start and I’m going to ensure I’m nowhere near work for a month.

Oh I grant you, there’s the Vinopolis trip and if I have any cash left over from after I buy a new fridge freezer I will try my best to get on a plane to Ireland. However, we might have a few months of living week to week with nothing particular in store. No Pie and Mash, no XXL…*laments*.

Salvation may be at hand following a conversation I had with Chris M in Zeitgeist a few weeks ago when discussing a board game event. Well, it’d be the perfect thing to fill a temporary void, something to look forward to and a chance to be social and not just stand around a busy pub drinking beer – not that there’s anything especially wrong with such a stance but one craves a little more. So I’m going to sniff around, scope out the form for such an event, likely attendees. I’m thinking bigger than what Christian puts on so the services of the Griffin may be called in.

And the other thing I thought of was a sneaky quick trip to Thorpe Park in April or perhaps even May whilst the kids are locked up in school. I might try Lee, see if he’s going to be around after our plans to visit fell through at the end of last year or I might see who else would be up for it. The new ride they have, at first glance, minds me of a Nemesis/Saw mash-up which might be fun.

Anyways, as ever Tuesday night was quiz night and with a mere three weeks left in the season, things are hotting up as to the grand finale. Our target score was 30/40 – it’d beat our lowest score by two and conveniently draw us level with Team Science. We had a lousy first half of the quiz, flubbed a couple of easy marks and looked rather blankly at some others but there must have been something in the water because we somehow ended up in the lead at the break. But with a rocket up our collective arses, the second half of the quiz ended up going much better for us and we were just able to get that 30 score.

Today is Maundy Thursday – when the Queen should be washing feet but instead she hands out 85p or something to a group of pensioners. But for us civil servants, it’s the day when we traditionally take a half day, go down to the pub and get utterly wrecked. Some traditions have pretty much fallen by the wayside in recent years, particularly since I came out of Private Office. I did suggest to a few people that we could revive this noble custom and support our economy but there were few takers. So I’ve booked myself in to Nickel Spa and then I’m going to have a nice lunch somewhere in town. I don’t think I’ll be able to find someone at this late notice to eat with but that’s ok, I haven’t dined alone for a while.

It’s nicer to have Easter in April rather than in March as it generally means that there’s not too long before the May Bank Holiday and then this year, the Diamond Jubilee Bank Holidays. They are nice little breaks in the first half of the year, something to look forward to post birthday. There are often sales events, shops clearing out the last of the winter stock and making room for summer items. I’m holding out that the Easter sales will have a Fridge Freezer I want; I’ve seen the ideal one in John Lewis but it’s close to £800 which is affordable but really at the upper limit of what I was hoping to spend. Still, the Fridge Capacity is gigantic and the freezer capacity is comparable to what I have in the house already. Though for £800, I can get an American style Fridge Freezer (cheaper) which although wouldn’t fit in the kitchen, would still be the ultimate adornment. I could tear down the tall cupboard in the kitchen or perhaps relocate it upstairs to my room as it’s generally full of my liquor anyway.

I did pull my camera phone pictures off my iPhone but can’t post them yet, not least because the size/resolution of the wretched images is still too great. So no pictures of the Spewnicorn yet. Actually, I only took pictures of the room as decorated, I didn’t get any of the party whilst it was in swing. I don’t know what it is about failure to use a camera when a party actually happens – probably stems from growing up in a fairly camera shy family.

A 1.37am Posting

At least that was the time when I initiated this post, dunno when I’ll finish it.

Deal breaker: In the world of online profiling/dating/whatever, what’s becoming an increasing deal breaker (see earlier blog rant about how to/not to write a profile) are the words “(curling up with) a bottle of wine and a DVD”. Each and every time I see this, I heave inside, roll my eyes and automatically deduct points from whatever mental score I’d have otherwise allocated. You know the meaning behind it is that such a situation is fairly default and will be your married life together should you choose to go down that road. And the wine won’t enhance the movie, it’ll make your dull-as-dishwater partner that bit more tolerable.

Another moan over, on to the next which will be about British weather and how it forced Lee and myself to cancel our planned trip to Thorpe Park. We considered going tomorrow but he wants to be back for Duckie (not really a major issue) and there’s more rain forecast. So it isn’t going to happen this month, perhaps not this year or not together. His weekends are busy, I have two leave days left of this current break and fate is a cruel mistress.

Amidst the plethora of grey cloud are a couple of Ag highlights. First of all is that the seal on the freezer has fixed itself thanks to the tried and tested sellotape method of repair. I had visions of using my bonus money to replace the fridge-freezer rather than do something fun with it but now the fun is back on. I’ve had several ideas how to waste some cash but nothing definite has sprung to mind. Although spreading it out a little is something of an idea.

Also, I had something of an evening out today, went for a walk at 8.30 and finished at 10.30, only to pop to Tesco, pick up a few odds and sods and home for 11.15. Where did I go? Snaresbrook, just to investigate. It was fairly quiet, only a few people milling around but the lousy weather probably scared most people away. But I now know where it is, where I need to go should I decide to return there. And it was nice to have an arboreal walk.

Tuesday’s quiz saw a second place positioning, no bonus prizes and too much liquor had by all. I was given a bonus prize from another team but I passed it on to Lee – it was a Doctor Who playset and he likes the show way more than I. Especially because the Doctor in question was Matt Smith and I’m not a fan of that particular incarnation. Still, with one week to go, we remain top of the leaderboard and it’ll be all hands to battlestations for the finale next Tuesday.

The other Doctor popped round yesterday although not at an opportune time – having just agreed to cancel Thorpe Park, I was in a huff and could only just manage to be civil. So we took the opportunity to scrump some apples from next door which are now in a carrier bag on my kitchen table, him having forgotten them. I might take them to Pie and Mash tomorrow and give them out.

Although that’s not all the news, it’s all I can muster at 1.53am. Signing off.