Month: October 2008

English Life

Same old, same old.  Get up, it’s freezing.  Get on the tube – it’s stinkin’ hot from dozens of people crammed into a cigar tube.  Get out the other end, it’s freezing.  Get to work – and it’s freezing.  I’ve finally got a desk which I can kind of call my own – and it’s even a corner office.  Of a sort.  I’ve been thrown into a meeting room – but it is in the corner of the building – and I’ve got windows.  Can look out across the bland faces of 1970’s cheap housing blocks – and an in-the-process-of-being-built student accommodation.  But – the air-conditioning is stuffed – and it’s several degrees colder than elsewhere in the building.

Work is getting rather busy – as things are being rushed through before everybody involved goes bankrupt.  Then – catch the tube back home.  And stop off at the local for a couple of pints.  Of course, sometimes this turns into more than a couple.  I usually sit down, read a couple of newspapers, and then go home for some dinner.  Last Wednesday, however, I suddenly discovered the doors were being locked, and ashtrays brought out.  Finding myself in a shut-in on a Wednesday night wasn’t so good.  I scarpered home pretty quick smart.  Well, fairly quick – and not so smart.  I’ve also got to the point at the local where the barman, and a couple of regulars – buy me a pint once in a while.  On Saturday – a guy who sometimes sits at the bar, and is very quiet – spoke to me.  Asked if I was English.  I said no, and he said Ahh – I didn’t think so, you’re very tranquillo.  Tranquillo being calm, of course, in spanish amp; portuguese.   Turns out this guy was Portuguese – and we chatted for a while about how the Inglis are all loco.  And, of course, the Inglis obliged by proving our point.  Just so happened that that night, the normally very quiet pub was transformed by the presence of a dozen drunk ladies for a birthday or hen’s night or something.  Not so tranquillo.  When one of them hit the other, because she’d said something about her mother – the portuguese chap and myself shared knowing glances.  Locas.  And then some drunk pole started trying to order drinks for everybody – and trying to throw a 40 or 50 pound tip to the barman – who wouldn’t have a bar of it.  Eventually I went home – and did an hour or two more of work.

This weekend, however – looks like there won’t be any work for me to do.  Hurrah.  So – not sure what I’ll be doing.  I do have about 6 kilos of yerba mate to get through though – and I’ve been drinking a fair bit of that on the weekends.  Sit around, and pretend I’m back in Argentina/Uruguay.  Haven’t cooked a roast for a while either (well – one just for myself on Sunday) – so should maybe contact a few people about that.  Strangely – I’ve got no problem with buying, preparing, cooking, and serving the roast – but am too lazy to just send out an email or call people to invite them.  But – if anybody actually reads this anymore, and would like a roast (lamb, beef, chicken, pork) from all market-sourced ingredients – get in touch.

Workin’, Workin’, & A Little Bit of Drinkin’

Okay, okay – so I haven’t updated people in a while to prove I’m still alive.  Well, I’ve been meaning to – but I get to work, and it’s ridiculously busy.  Then I get home, and I don’t have anything to say.

But – I’ll give it a go.  Work – busy.  Very busy, with all sorts of things I should really finish very soon – but can’t for various reasons.

Social life – not so busy.  Had a good couple of weekends over the last two weekends though.  Had Mike&Skye and Pen around for a roast lunch a few weekends back.  That was all good – roast lamb, and lots of wine.  Then the next night – I went to my chosen local – for what was supposed to be it’s last night open.  Sunday night – they usually have a group of people who come in for a ‘jam’ – live music, generally irish-oriented.  That kept going, and going – and then the doors were locked.  My first shut-in in Britain – hurrah.  Ended up with myself, the bar owner, and bar maid – at about 6am.  Well – it might have been later, but the last thing I remember was me realising it was 6, and trying to convince them that I should go home, as I had work in a few hours – and them trying to convince me that I might as well call in sick at this stage.   The next thing I remember was waking up at about noon -going into a panic, and rushing to work.  Realising on the way that I’m still drunk (who’d have thought?) – and that I should really turn around and go home.  But, alas – I seem to have locked myself out.  Went to work, managed to not do anything stupid – but left early.  I had work to do that night as well – so I didn’t feel that guilty.  (Considering I’d worked a little on Saturday, and then ended up working until 1 & 2am over the next two nights – no guilt at all.)  Got back home, via the pub (turns out it’s staying open after all) – discovering that I had my keys in my pocket the entire time.  The same pocket I always put them.  Very confusing.

And then – a week recovering.  The recovery not being helped by the late nights doing work, of course.

And then the weekend again.  A fairly quiet one this time.  Peruvian for Saturday lunch, and a movie on Sunday.  And back into the working week.

And then the weekend again.  Toast NZ – a one day event which was billed as NZ food, wine, music, etc.  And it tried – I guess.  Ate some Burger Rings – which was pretty sweet.  But all the main meals – pies, mussels, etc – were sourced locally, but being sold as ‘typical NZ food’.  Plenty of NZ wine though.  And some beer – Speights, Mac’s Gold, & Monteiths.  And then – the music, including OpShop, and Supergroove – completed with Che Fu.  This, of course, was what we’d been waiting for.  But then it turns out the acoustics were absolutely crap, and it just sounded like a wall of sound.  A pity.

Then – I returned to my local for a couple of beers on the way home.  Ran into some english guy who not only had heard of Flying Nun – but could recite nearly all the bands/people involved.  Very strange.  He was a huge nerd though.  All this occurred during another shut-in – after which I was the last to leave, letting the barman know that I’d work for free anytime he wanted – if it’d help the bar out.  Not sure how seriously he took me, as I’d had a rather long day by that point.

Long enough to sleep in until 3pm on Sunday – before heading to a cafe/bar for some Bloody Marys and roast lamb.  I think I saw some staff do a double-take when I walked in – I mustn’t have looked too healthy.  A little more recovery time – and then down to the local for a quick one or two before an early night.  Finally felt like I had become a regular – as one of the other regulars pulled a bottle out from behind the bar – and gave me a couple of shots of some terrible Lithuanian liquor.  And – chatted with the old chap who usually sits and drinks in the park.  I wasn’t up to another big night though – the shots made sure of that – and I returned home to get a decent amount of sleep to be productive(-ish) on Monday.

And so here we are.  In what is threatening very much to become an English winter.  We turned on the central heating in the flat yesterday.  I foresee future updates starting with what temperature it was when I left the house this morning.