I’m afraid that this is a bit of a long post… But then again it’s been a very busy week… I will try and be a bit less busy next week to keep the post length down….
So the morning really sped at work this morning, I’m not quite sure where it all went – we just seemed to be really busy which was good as it kept things going. I had a lovely lunch with Chris and Shaun just having an amble round town, though this lead to the most disappointing Kinder egg I’ve ever had… On opening the toy in the middle it turned out that the instructions where there for this mini spinning top figure. There was a plastic band thing for making the top spin and then nothing else – three quarters of the toy was missing! How disappointing! Well after that we went back to work where the afternoon seemed to really drag – the 3 hours of the afternoon seemed to take forever compared to the 4 hours of the monring – I have no idea why – we were just as busy! I headed home having a nice chat with Chris on the Park and Ride about stand-up comedy, came in, watched some Frasier whist having dinner, before heading out to Asda and calling in to see Michael on my way home. I had a nice chat with Michael, his mum and sister whilst all the time keeping Eli the dog amused – who said that men couldn’t multi-task! I then headed home, and basically hit the sack.
Wow! Tuesday was a busy/exciting day! I headed into work first thing as normal – though annoyingly the bus drove off as I was 5 seconds walk from the door mean that I ended up in the office slightly later than I would’ve liked to have been which is never good. Once again the morning really seemed to fly by, but all the calls I was dealing with seemed to be fairly simple and quick to deal with – I never get how that works! Then I headed out to a meeting of other Christians who work at the council – it’s really nice that theres this group who’ve found each other in various ways and we’re slowly being able to build up a bit of fellowship – the plan at the moment is to meet monthly but input is still being looked into so if you can remember us in your prayers we’d appreciate it. It was still a really powerful experience and great to feel God making his prescence felt in my place of work is always a bonus. After the meeting it was back to the office where once again the afternoon seemed to drag on and on. Eventually 4 came around and I dived out to grab the first possible Park & Ride bus as I was due to meet up with Heather for dinner in London. I was quite lucky with my transport – I was able to get to the car, and then Chatham train station quite quickly and easily, the traffic seemed to be in my favour, and on arriving at the station I had time to grab a coffee before hopping onto the train into Charing Cross – I’d normally go to Victoria but this dropped off closer to Leicester Square where we were meeting.
I arrived about 5 minutes before Heather and after we’d sorted out where we’d both meant by Leicester Square (she meant the station, I meant the square) we were able to find each other and went to find a nice pub for a quick drink before deciding where to go and eat. The pub was a slight dis-appointment as the bar showed that they had Adnams Broadside on tap (one of my favourite beers), but as we went to the Basement bar as it was quieter they only had Old Speckled Hen. I had a pint of this and wouldn’t describe it as the nicest pint I’ve ever had if I was to be completley honest – however that doesn’t really matter as the company more than made up for it. Whilst we were in the bar we were googling around to see if we could find a nice place to eat and found a place that appeared to be nearby and was getting good reviews so we decided to head to there for some food. As usual my complete lack of navigational ability kicked in and we got somewhat lost… We were trying to figure out where we were, and where we needed to be when two homeless guys stopped and asked if we were ok, and asked where we were trying to get too. We told them about the pub but they hadn’t heard of it, and asked what we were looking for at this pub, we told them we were just looking for some good pub grub and got the wonderful reaction of – well we know a good place shall we show you? – followed very quickly by a promise not to mug us! So these chaps took us on a walk through the streets of London back to Charing Cross station and a street behind there to a pub called “The Sherlock Holmes“.
We thanked the guys for their help and slipped them a little bit of cash for their troubles and had a quick look at the pub which looked good, but as it was quite full we headed upstairs to the restaurant to eat. I had “Dr Watsons Favourite” AKA Bangers and Mash and I can assure you it was absolutly gorgeous, they also had a resonable selection of beers and an amazing atmosphere – especially with all the pieces of Sherlock Holmes nostalgia covering the walls it really was an experience (and not too expensive which always helps!). I would strongly recommend this pub if your in London, near Charing Cross and fancy somewhere ncie to eat. We then headed out and managed to amble our way down to Trafalgar Square (pretty much by accident) where we stopped and took some photos – it seemed to good an oppourtunity to pass up for a Project 365 photo and all the fountains were looking so impressive by night as well – you can see some of the photos I took attached to this post (though admittedly after a couple of tweaks but I think it makes them look better…).
We were concious that time was passing at this point and didn’t want to make too late a night of it, but weren’t sure of where the closest tube station was… So throwing caution to the wind we decided to stay spontaneous, spin on the spot and head off in the direction we ended up facing. This lead us up towards Picadilly Circus but as we were coming along Haymarket we stumbled across a cake shop with some HUGE wedding cakes in the windows, of course we couldn’t just go past, so dived in, both of us
having a Hot chocolate (gorgeous) and Heather having Mille Feuille, which according to her was fantasic though I must confess I didn’t have any myself… This was a really lovely time as we got chatting to some Americans next to us who’d come from South Carolina for the Ryder cup and were enjoying the sights and sites of London, we gave them some tips on places to visit (including Primark….) and had a nice chat about life here and there – hoepfully they enjoyed it as much as we did. By this time it was getting late so we unfortunatley had to start making tracks. Onto Picadilly tube station we walked for a rushed goodbye due to arriving at platforms as trains were leaving and then back to Victoria for me. I managed to arrive about half 11 to find that the next train wasn’t till 10 past midnight so listened to some music and tried to keep awake… I was lucky in a way, there were engineering works on the line between Rochester and Rainham, so the train was direct to Strood, however this did still mean getting a bus from Strood to Chatham but we got there eventually. So about 1:30 I got in, and by 1:45 I had stumbled into bed with the alarm set for 6:30 to get up the next day…
Wednesday wasn’t fun due to the events of Tuesday night only leaving me with around 4 hours sleep. Still I slogged through, work seemed to space itself more evenly today with the morning going slower and the afternoon still being a bit of a drag – still we’ve got a good workload at the moment so it’s hard to get too bored. At lunch I had nice walk out into town with Shaun and John which included Shaun buying himself a Battlestar Galactica complete set – yep we’ve converted another one! I left the office as soon as I could really as at points after lunch I did almost fall asleep at my desk but I think that was just lack of sleep. Once home I watched a bit of TV, made some sarnies as a lazy dinner then caught up with the bits I didn’t do yesterday such as uploading the Project 365 photo and checking up on the blog comments/admin. There was a spam comment that I was almost tempted to let through – it was for a Weight loss calculator site, the message they’d left – “I can has a cheezburger” – I find that amusingly ironic… With all of that done it felt sensible to get an early night so off to bed I went…
Thursday was another busy day as it was back to London after work except that this time it was to meet up with Tom for dinner (strange how these things all come along at the same time – they’re like buses!). Work was it’s normal self – nothign that exciting happened on Thursday and I then headed to the station to get back up to London to meet up with Tom. We both managed to get to Leicester Square for the same time and then headed out to try and find find a pub for a quick drink, however the first few places that we tried were just so busy we didn’t think that we’d have a chance to get in and get a comfortable drink so we carried on having a look around. We ended up heading to the same street which has the Sherlock Holmes on, except we were heading to a pub slightly before this called the Ship and Shovel however once again this was so full that theree didn’t seem that there would the space for a comfrotable drink there. However on ur way to the pub qw had passed a place which advertised itself as a Port and Ale bar which seemed quite quiet so we thought we’d give it a go to find a lovely underground bar which served it’s beer in proper pewter tankards – this provided a lovely start to the evening with a couple of good beers and good converstation. We then carried on heading back towards Leicester Square and Convent Garden where we found a nice little Indian and allowed ourselves to be persuaded into going insde – the food was lovely and to the same level as to what I would’ve expected if we had gone to Brick Lane so it was a nice little place to find. After that it was a nice walk through Covent Garden on towards Holburn tube station which is from where we started to head our respective ways back home leading to a slightly earlier night than Tuesday but still a late night…
So Friday, I hdeaded back off to work – it was a resonable day, not too busy, not too quiet with our monthly team meeting in the afternoon. This was good to get an idea of what everyone has been geting up to – though also carried a darker undertone as the prospect of the re-structure that will be hitting the council soon loomed over the proceedings again. The un-certainity doesn’t make things fun but we have to muddle through as best we can and just try and keep a postive slant on things. After work I dived out to the local pub with some colleagues for a quick drink before heading back to my parents for dinner. They’ve got two Germans staying with them on a exchange project with our local church and they were arriving yesterday so I was calling round to say Hello, etc. It was a nice evening and they seemed a nice couple – though did have to struggle with a certain Fawlty Towers quote circling my head for most the evening – you know which one I mean! After dinner I headed home, did a couple of odd jobs and then it was off to catch up with some of the sleep I’d missed in the week.
Saturday was always palnned as a lazy day especially following the busy week that has been described above. I caught up with a bit of TV including an utterly fantastic episode of Glee. The theme of the episode was Spirituality and Faith and I felt it was handled with great care and delicacy, they tried to cover as man of the different view points that were availale to them and the end of the epsiode was really powerful featuring the song “What If God Was One Of Us” was certainly wortha watch and especially nice to see Religon being portrayed in a good way instead of the bad light it normally seems to get… I headed out to my parents around 6ish to go to a social with the German exchange at our local church but found out that I wasn’t due till 7. This was nice as it left me sitting there with a chance to chill for a bit and just catch up with a couple of bits and pieces. We then headed out to the socail event which was really nice emjoying a time of worship and praise, followed by some baked potatos followed by a Beetle Run (if you’re not aware a bettle run is a dice game where you have to try and draw a beetle by rolling the relevant numbers (2 for the body, 1 for the head, 6 for the legs, 5 for the wings, 4 for the eyes and 3 for the antenna), of course you can’t draw the head, letgs or wings till you have the body, or the antenna and eyes until you have the head… At the end of the round you count the number of parts you have drawn and the top two people on each table move onto the next table and so the game continues – if it gives you an idea of how it went for me, I never left my seat… Still it was fun. I then helped out in the kitchen with the washing up and just general clearing before heading home and bed.
We had a really nice service on Sunday as it was paritally celebrating the German exchange and also the Harvest Festival (slightly late I know…). It was a really nice service incorporating English and German throughout and the church we were in is a really small nice little building which when done up for the harvest looked wonderful – I took a couple of photos just of the displays as we were standing around and chatting over coffee afterwards. I then headed home to get a message advising that my parents neighbours had some chairs that they were looking to get rid of and wanted to know if I was interested – I dived over for a quick look and they look good though need to stop and have a think as to whether I can fit them in into my house and how to get that sorted out – still they look promising.
After diving home for a bit of lunch I then headed out to see my friend Maureen – she is cooking for quite a large number of people tonight so I went to help her out with the potato peeling and have a bit of a catch up as I haven’t seen here since before I went to Turkey – we had a lovely chin-wag over a cup of tea and managed to get the potatos peeled (and scraped – that’s a new one to me) over the afternoon – we seemed to work well in the kitchen – which is good as I’m very fussy as to who I can work with in a kitchen with! I then headed home for a bit of a chill before heading back out to my parents for dinner and to find out what our visiting Germans had thought about Greenwich which is where they had been to spend the day. We had a very lovely roast dinner and our German guests appeared to have had a good day out in the park and observatory at Greenwich. After dinner we had a look at some of the pictures our guests had taken during the time that they’ve been over here, including a fantastically funny one which had been taken as someone walked behind the statue of a cat – giving the cat their hairstyle – hopefully I’ll be able to get my hands on a copy of that one as it really was a classic!. After we’d finished some Tea and Coffee after dinner, I then headed back home to get ready for the next week. I got my sarnies made, the bins out, and had a quick chat with Tom on the phone just to see how things have been going and to wish him a good week – we always seem to end up doing this on a Sunday evening. Once all this was done there was only one thing left to do – go to sleep – which was a good idea as I was feeling completely exhausted.
And that was the week that was…