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 You may remember that last year, I wittered on about how wonderful the works carol service had been
http://janewilliams20.dreamwidth.org/240571.html
This year, the same sort of thing will be happening again, but with a couple of differences.
1) No party afterwards, just the mulled wine and mince pies. The party's a week later at a different venue.
2) No Dave, he's working.
I'm allowed a guest or two - and yes, for me, the mulled wine reception is more or less compulsory. Polite conversation with people in suits, and so on.
Would anyone be interested coming along as my guest? If you're into very traditional church Xmas music, this is a treat - if not, it's probably extremely boring.
"This year's IET Carol Service will be held on Friday 14 December, starting at 6pm in The Queen's Chapel of the Savoy, and followed by a mulled wine reception at IET London: Savoy Place." says the intranet - and now you know as much as I do about timings. I expect I'll have to be there at 5:30 since I'm reading, for rehearsals.

I was thinking of making the most of being in London by hitting somewhere interesting to eat afterwards, if that helps decision-making at all. 
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I'll be in London on a  training course next week - nearest tube is Aldgate East, to give you some idea. 9-5 Monday to Thursday, 9-12 Friday. So, the train fare each day is paid, and I might as well make the most of it. Calling all "locals" - are there interesting exhibitions I should see, people who'd like to meet up....?
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And since it seems that last time, had I given notice, I could have had friendly company, let's try again. On Monday at about 12-12:30, I will be arriving at Monument station, grabbing a quick and non-messy bite to eat, and heading east towards a little place called Idol Lane, which on Google Streetview looks rather pretty. Are any of you in the area?
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A follow-up: a few pics I took while wandering around Holborn. On all, click through to Flickr and a better look
Read more... )
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....that I love London so.
I had a job interview yesterday, in Holborn. I won't try to jinx it by saying how well it went, but I think we all left with a clear understanding of what was what on both sides. Whether or not what I've got is what they want is another question.

So, afterwards, what to do? I was dressed for interview, not for warmth or waterproofness, and the weather involved snow showers. Time for one of my favourite and cheapest pastimes - wandering around bits of London I don't know yet. I'd decided that I wasn't going more than 200 yards from Holborn tube station, and I wanted lunch for under a fiver, something interesting I wouldn't get at home, with a nice warm sittery and a loo.
What gets me about London is the contrasts. Ancient and modern, wide streets and tiny alleys, mass-market banal and fanatically specialist. So, there was a McDonalds. Various noodle, sushi and soup bars - these seem to be the new fashion, and are priced accordingly. Assorted sandwich bars. Café Rouge, My Old Dutch, pizza and pasta places, pubs of ages scattered among four centuries or so, Thai, Chinese, fried chicken, kebabs... I ended up eating Lebanese for under a fiver (yes, drink included). Safadi Express, 113 HIgh Holborn. Their website doesn't seem to be working, but online reviews agree with me - it's great! Chicken livers in a Lebanese bread wrap, chips, Diet Coke.

There was the odd shop or two - Sainsburys, a huge model shop (did not buy fancy terrain-making material), Waterstones, a place that will spray-paint your motorbike helmet, a bookshop so specialist it only stocks one author (who I'd never heard of), Maplin, Richer Sounds, assorted signs telling me that nobles died here, a lovely little park, an incredibly ornate Victorian Thing that's now a Superloo, huge glass buildings, tiny brick buildings, chasms between buildings where pigeons dwell.
And no, I did not go more than 200 yards from that tube station.
janewilliams20: (Default)
And it got quite a lot packed in, too.
Knitting and wargaming, but not together )
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I'm on a course in London again this week. Same venue as in this post. This time I'm using the bus from Kings Cross, and it's rather nice. I'm told this is going to be a tough and intensive course, but the first day wasn't too bad at all.

For anyone else who wonders why I've been a bit quiet and not posting, I had a sudden whirl of people asking me to write things and proofread things. The most frantic deadlines are now over (unless Gregory Privat does any more two-hour-notice requests), the next ones (for [livejournal.com profile] newt) are end of May, so I can relax a bit and maybe even get some sleep.

There was also a fluy thing that hit both of us for a few days, and we spent a fair bit of last weekend in the garden, reviving the herb patch. It's been dug over, the edging replaced, and slightly enlarged. Next job is buying replacement plants to go in it (ooh!). But finding that kneeling down and getting up again had a >50% chance of making me head towards tunnel vision and blackout was something I could have done without. Blood pressure down to 115/75 - I'm usually around 135/85, so something odd there.

I think I'll spend the next few nights just catching up on sleep. Saturday was 12 hours, and could easily have used more, last night was another "stop writing at 2 when I fall over", followed by the alarm going at 6.

A random thought: [livejournal.com profile] telynor, what are you doing Friday afternoon? Because I'll be in the Old Street area, with a Travelcard to take me out to zone 6, and I get let loose at around 3 in the afternoon.
janewilliams20: (geek)
I'm on a training course most of this week, in Holborn. Visual Basic .Net - should bring my web skills up to date, we hope. .Net is the new way ahead....

geeky bit )

The 7:55 Biggleswade to Kings Cross (no stops) is good. The 20 min walk to the course is good. But last night I got back to the station to find that the power lines were down just south of Biggleswade and no trains were going north for at least an hour. Buses, yes.... I'd been hoping to get back in time to hit the house, bounce, and take my new sword backswording. I was already pushing it - now, not a hope. So I looked at the queues, left the station, and followed my early childhood training. If stuck in town with nothing to do, go to the library.

The British Library, a few hundred yards past St Pancras, is a fascinating and dangerous place: and Tuesday is late night opening. I didn't fancy the special exhibitions or lectures, but found a wonderful virtual book to play with: you touch the pages to turn them, you can zoom, you get commentary on whatever you're looking at.... and all this on C13 and C15 illuminated manuscripts. You are not allowed to squeal excitedly in the British Library.... The shop is the dangerous bit. I'd promised myself some Betjeman since we went through St Pancras on the way to Switzerland. Choice of four collections. A glossed version of Beowulf: yes, in theory one can have "too many" versions of Beowulf, but it's not much of a theory. The cash desk had some tiny books that concentrate on one small area: the one that acquired me was the Magna Carta. Reproduction, translation, and commentary. All fascinating stuff, maybe it'll get its own post some time. I read it in the library cafe - prices as bad as a service station, but nicer surroundings. You're encouraged to sit there and read for hours, no need to stretch the coffee (or Diet Coke).

And home, gently, on a very slow train, reading Betjeman.

Tonight I get to meet Rob and Nick in a pub and catch up on gossip. And I'm learning about inheritance, overriding properties, and shadowing. Life is good.
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Yesterday's course ended just before 5. After the extent to which I'd enjoyed the Underground journey that morning (first train I couldn't get on at all, second there was no danger of falling over), I decided I'd rather walk. I had a map, it looked like an easy route. Old Street to Kings Cross. Two stops. What could go wrong?

OK, anyone who knows London better than I do can probably see a potential problem here. No, my map did not have a scale. As I discovered from Google maps when I got home, it's about 2.4 miles.

But it was really fun. Yes, I got there - I'm miles fitter (about 2.3 miles fitter) than a few months ago! It took an hour, but that might be something to do with having a camera on me....

Read more... )
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On a course in London for a couple of days. I'd been hoping to get a photo of a London Bus for the MSH (category: cultural icon), but all the ones I've seen have been modern :(

It's autumn. I saw conkers under the chestnut tree on the way to the station: and lots more broken conker cases on the way home. Methinks some school kids haven't been told that conkers are dangerous, illegal and bad :)

The course provides free "coffee". Shame it's so weak it's barely recognisable as coffee. I'm resorting to what they think is double espresso.

Old Street underground station has many interesting little shops (I'll probably get lunch sandwiches at one of them on the way in tomorrow - maybe late breakfast as well). This includes a rather nice bookshop, at which I picked up another book about crystals and their use. It may be a little worrying that the more I learn about crystals and chakras, the more I realise ways in which I'd been getting bits of various Gloranthan stories "right".

And speaking of Glorantha, I'm being wicked in Swords. The party are in Pavis, trying to investigate a Vingan who may be the person who nicked a rather nice magical sword from them. They just entered Lilina's, at about 2am, looking for a red-haired woman who the people present only know by description. Guess who's in there? I spent some time on the train home re-reading the stories - only so as to get the description of the bar right, honest! I wouldn't do a thing like that to them - would I?

Edit: oh yeah, and today was "talk like a pirate" day. I'm rather glad I wasn't in the office for that. It didn't get mentioned on the course.

Gloryday

Mar. 18th, 2006 09:10 am
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I said I'd update afterwards, I didn't. Well, I did, but not here.
Painting figures up to the last minute, then dropped them (and all the bits I'm delivering to other people) in the car Saturday morning, drove south.
traffic whinge )
Ah well, once there it was good. Muswell Hill Golf Club, wargaming in what I think is usually their dining room. A campaign day, where you bid for troops, go on magical quests for power, negotiate with allies (and enemies), and fight battles, all set in my favourite fantasy universe, Glorantha. This was the second one I've been to, Glory Day '05 got me back into wargaming. As before I spent lots of time looking at other people's miniatures and going "ooh!"
You can see some of them here.

Details of the campaign, battle and so on won't mean a lot unless you're heavily into Glorantha (those who are, and who know me, will appreciate the fact that I got Kallyr's faction), but I did do an in-character writeup of the day. Summary, and a very surprising one: I won.

Then down the pub (Maid of Muswell, does a wonderful range of beers - but I was driving!) and on to an Indian. Good food, good company, generally a great evening. And the traffic had cleared, so I was home just before pumpkin hour.

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