Monday, October 31, 2005

I'm back

I've had a wonderful week. My friends Susan and Katie were here. It was great.

They arrived via National Express from Gatwick, which took a little longer than expected but got them here just the same. I took them to the Indian restaurant in the church in Stony. It's got a big wow factor, and as long as you avoid the saag dishes (which are just so-so) the food is really good. We had a scrumptious banquet of spicy things, then came home and watched Friday Night with Jonathan Ross and talked forever. Couldn't believe they made it until midnight before going to bed.

Saturday we went to Hampton Court to pick up Patricia and took the train to London. Our first stop: the Ice Bar! It's a totally lame marketing ploy, but it was still fun. The bar is kept at about 5 degrees, and they serve vodka drinks in ice glasses. You are allowed a 45 minute slot, and you're given thermal capes and gloves to keep warm. I had an appletini.

Patricia wanted to go to the Arts and Crafts show in Chelsea, and Susan and Katie preferred the double-decker bus tour. I elected to go with them to check it out for future visitors. It was pretty good, actually. They take you past everything and they tell you all sorts of stories. It was sunny and nice, but MAN it was cold up top. I was pretty glad when we reached Green Park and were able to get off and walk. We met Patricia for a drink in Leicester Square, and since there were no cheap show seats that we really wanted we wandered into Chinatown for dinner. We found a pretty decent place (it was a sauce-heavy sort of place, and I prefer the drier kind, but everything was flavourful and delicious.) We took the train back to Hampton Court and stayed there for the night.

On Sunday we did a comprehensive tour of Hampton Court. Patricia sweet talked the head of customer relations to be our guide for part of the day, which was great fun. Here I am grating some nutmeg, while Patricia looks on from the fireplace. Patricia also gave us a behind the scenes tour of the conservation area, which is her domain at the palace. Since she and Susan are in the same business, they were able to talk shop and museum stuff, and Katie and I got to see a pretty cool view of things. You feel really important when you get to walk into the security only area.

Okay, time to go to work. I've been waiting for the Sky box engineer to come fix my satellite, and he's got my tv working again so it's time to go. More soon.





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