Apr. 15th, 2007 12:01 am
dangtri: (squirrel)
Spent the most lovely, but massively over-the-top shopping day with [livejournal.com profile] m_nivalis in London today.

'Twas simple -- I took all her suggestions on a wide-ranging list of potential items from perfume (Blue Agava & Cacao, if you can believe it, though Lime Basil & Mandarin is still very high on my list and will, I believe, require another visit to the shop) to various paper-based art forms. My only consolation is that her acquisitions were even bulkier. Oh, and I could introduce her to my favourite-ever fast-food restaurant (Leon). Maybe no excuse is required -- it was all great fun, with spring in full force, particularly in Kensington Roof Gardens. Which also offers rare ducks and flamingos.

I had to leave slightly early, as I had a rare spot of weekend-duty for my job, doing some testing after a major hardware upgrade. My stuff was supposed to come in at 7pm, but the others (based in Denver, Toronto and Dublin ... I'm getting used to this sort of regionally distributed collaboration) were over three hours ahead of schedule. Oops. Luckily, there were technical reasons that kept me from even theoretically starting before 6 pm, which was good because that's when I managed to be online and available.

It's been "meet LJers live" time lately, with traipsing around the Oxfordshire countryside and through Stratford-upon-Avon with [livejournal.com profile] m_nivalis and [livejournal.com profile] graylion and, for the latter, [livejournal.com profile] celemon over Easter. Lots of enjoyable (by which I mean: smart, bookish, geeky, and brilliant) company, thanks to [livejournal.com profile] graylion and his Swedish connections. Or something like that.

Stratford's a slightly strange place. A bit depressing at the train station end, with a long string of (mostly) "fish bars". (It never ceases to amaze me how many regional terms there are for what's called "chippies" in London and "chippers" in Dublin.) Then the very model of a 21st century English high street, with all the requisite retail chains and a few extra, plus a handful of rural-ish pub-par-restaurant places offering "Cream Tea" and the like. Then after that a huge crowd of tourists and day-trippers hanging about the clump of theatres. The sights themselves -- Christ Church for example, which is grand -- weren't all that overrun, in the end.

Maybe things are changing or settling down for me in this country. Or I'm misinterpreting what stuff means. Because I'm like hell totally confused about things like now not only owning a skirt, but even liking it and indeed wearing it.

Another lesson from the Stratford trip is that there is at least one competent and pleasant train company operating out of London, and that's Chiltern Railway. They even let me upgrade my (already used!) single fare to a special-price day return for the exact price difference between the two: £ 0,10. Yep.

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