Updates are possibly going to get a little scattered at this point, and photos even more so, for I am now on the road and having a look around at a few things/places, and don't have the luxury of my own internet connection. It's a hard life but I'll manage. Somehow.
Friday I think I spent most of the day inside doing some programming work, but I popped out briefly in the afternoon to drop in at The National Gallery and check out their paintings dated from I think 1600-1800 ? I can't remember specifically, but there were a bunch of really funky paintings, and a whole lot of religious art – I think I've learned more about the story of Jesus from those paintings than anything I've ever read !! I also saw the Rembrandts they had there, and quite frankly didn't see what all the fuss was about. There were 2 paintings in particular that really grabbed me – one was a still life of a drinking horn and a lobster, by an artist whose name eludes me for the moment. The other was by Holbein, and features a skewed skull on the floor which you can only see properly by standing virtually next to the painting and peering along its surface. I remember seeing a documentary about the painting's restoration once on SBS when I was having a day off school all those years ago…
Friday night I popped out for a pint or 3 with Richard, Hillary, Ciaran and Ciaran's friend James, and this was most agreeable – the weather was excellent and it seemed that half of London had also decided to head out for a pint, resulting in huge overflow of bodies out into the street. So it looked more like a huge street party really, negated only be the fact that the little groups of people were pretty much keeping to themselves.
Saturday I hooked up with Tim and we went over to Camden Town, because I'd been told that this was one of the more 'colourful' parts of the city… and in fact I most likely wouldn't fit in without about 6 facial piercings and blue hair. I elected to give it a go anyway and set off.
One of the things I wanted to do in Camden was pick up a pair of these absolutely wicked boots that I'd seen people wearing around the place… and it seemed like I was in the right place – Camden Town seems full of clothing options that allow people to express their individuality, by wearing of lots of black leater and studs. Well, it's not my taste, but damn those boots are cool. And bloody comfortable, as it turns out !! And they make me about 2 inches taller, which can't be a bad thing.
Tim showed me probably the weirdest store I've ever seen – a place called Cyberdog, where they've got the most outlandish clothes I've ever laid eyes on. I gather that most of it's clubwear, which is a bit of a shame really as it suggests that you couldn't wear the stuff in normal day-to-day use without getting beaten up. They had trousers, shirts, shirts with electronic display panels in the chest, alien-looking robes, plastic body armour, cyborg headgear, spiked collars, spiked armbands, spiked codpieces, and stuff I can't even begin to describe. Camden Town was certainly a weird place, but Cyberdog was the weirdest part of it. And of course they had 'no photos please' signs everywhere.
Camden Town was the kind of place that made me wish I'd remembered to grab my camera, but at the same time I suspect I'd not have had the guts to actually USE it whilst there.
ANYWAY, Saturday night I caught the train down to Brighton, and was met at the train station by Roie and her boyfriend JC. It was SOOOOOOO good to see her again, even though I suppose it hasn't really been all that long. We wandered from the train station down to a pub called The Cobblers Thumb, where – I'm *extremely* happy to report – they have Coopers' Pale Ale, Sparkling Ale, and Stout available !
Sunday we got up and headed over to JC's place to grab some stuff before heading to a pub whose name I can't now remember for Sunday Roast, and… TO CATCH UP WITH KERRI!!!! WOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!!! (For those that don't know, Kerri's another old friend of mine who's been living in the UK for the last few years, and who I haven't seen for about 2 years, and who we all absolutely love to death !) So that was WELL cool to see her again, although she was a little under the weather from a fairly big night out the night before.
After lunch, Kerri, Roie, JC and I headed back over to the Cobblers Thumb for some Sparkling, and it was just the best atmosphere – good friends, good beer, good music, and a great day out. I got chatting with some of the locals and got involved in a dice game, and nearly won a free beer out of them, but came 2nd at the last minute. Oh well.
As for what I'm doing from here onwards – it's all a little up in the air now. I *was* going to head down to Dover next weekend and catch up with Cameron, then go for a 2 week cruise on his ship, before heading to Glasgow for a week, then down to France to catch up with Jon, and then afterwards with Nicklearse. However it looks like I'm not going cruising now because Cameron's parents pulled the trump card and are going on that cruise… so yes, maybe I'll head up to Glasgow next week instead ? Will see what happens…
Over & out.