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Having Neil http://www.livejournal.com/users/n3dst4/ to stay was great fun I think we managed to do quite a lot in the time that he was over, though perhaps not as much as a 'pro' tourist bagging as many sights as possible in the time available might have done.

Wednesday's highlight was a bloody freezing rugby match which might have classed as torture had there not been brandy and Maker's Mark floating about to ward off the cold. Harlequins beat Samoa. Those desperate to discover what happened can refer to my match report for ComeAllWithin.co.uk here:
http://www.sportnetwork.net/main/s98/st85899.htm
Please note that there is an obscure pun in the title which obviously no one got.

Thursday was a major shopping expedition to Tottenham Court Road and environs. Including, but not limited to, Muji, various consumer electronics stores almost entirely given over to unfeasibly large TVs, Forbidden Planet, Playin' Games and the Temple of Steve on Regent Street (which I suppose makes a change from the signs for the church of LRon : free stress tests here etc...)

In both Playin' Games and FP I was surprised at how few RPG books I actually liked the look of, D20 / OGL homogeneity seems to mean that it is hard to find anything out of the ordinary. [Insert reverie of 1st Ed. AD&D manuals that smelt of vomit and SLA books whose bindings disintegrated the moment the shrink wrap was removed]

Friday was a trip into Ealing and the discount CD shop/ as well as the DVD shop. Yay for Firefly, thanks Neil! I got the new Sigur Ros (Takk) and an old INXS (Live Baby Live). I had some excellent Gnocchi with spinach and Gorgonzola at Carluccio’s it was perfect for the cold weather. This was followed by a great dinner in Carshalton and meeting Tori Kempshall for the first time.

Saturday started with a trip on the London Eye which is actually too well organised to be a 'true' tourist trap and has a good wow factor even for hardened Londoners who think they know what the old place looks like.

The only issue that I had was the signage for the 'net booked tickets machine was a little poor. The ticket hall was rammed and from the signage it seemed as if you had to join the back of a queue in order to get your tickets. But no, just on the right hand side as you enter the ticket hall there are three machines, enter the card with which you booked the tickets online and it prints them, simple apart from the assault course of screaming children and strollers.

The Eye was followed by a rapid stroll along the South Bank to Borough Market, Neil had a Northfield Farm burger, and I, lardily, had two of the tasty sausage rolls from Mrs King's Pies, the first i have had from their new cage in the redeveloped section of the market. Mrs King's sausage rolls and pork pies rule!

Then we met Simon in the Plough to watch the Rugby. The England v Samoa game was more than a little turgid so the joie de vivre displayed in the Wales V Australia game was a relief. We sensibly bailed out before being sucked into watching the Oz v NZ RL game.

Sunday turned out to consist of much fooling about at home, game playing, eating etc.

Monday consisted of an afternoon visit to the Science Museum because of my inability to get my act together and actually get sorted to go out, sorry Neil. Check out his account. The best bits were indeed the funky touch sensitive map tables in the special Aliens exhibition. The four projectors required for each one may make the system too prohibitively expensive for home gaming use, but it would be a fun way to spend a small part of a lottery win. And yes we did really go to Horrids to buy a crossover Ethernet cable, in my defence I don't know the area that well and it was after 5.30pm so I doubted anything else would be open anyway.

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May 2009

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