First of all, heads up to anyone still interested in trying out airsofting. We're seriously discussing going to the Elite Urban site in Egham on Saturday 20 May. Underground bunkers, lots of tunnels etc. Photos make it look like a Quake 1 level!
Also, wish me luck: Off to the Isle of Wight Open fencing competition this weekend. For some reason which doubtless seemed sensible enough at the time, I signed up to do both foil and epée. It's going to be a challenge no matter what trying to stave off total humilaition but I am going get so badly hosed in the foil. Also hope the car boot is up to taking 4 people's kit bags...
Long catch-up post
Early May Bank Holiday:
Went to Civil War muster at Lulworth. Overally, great boozy fun. Few "highlights":
- Original plan was to head there early. Got most of the way to Kate's before realising I'd forgotten my boots. Had to turn back.
- Felt a bit like the guy who introduced the Spinning Jenny to this country. Seems Kate's established a role as navigator to musters. Then I come along with my GPS unit... Mind you, it didn't stop me missing the odd roundabout turning. Also seems the English female voice is deemed especially annoying as it sounds posh and English but it just interrupts you in a very un-English way. No polite coughs or "Excuse me"s...
- Comment of the weekend goes to Simon in response to Kate's comment that she didn't do anything by halves "Except wit..."
- I now know how a piece of Chinese food feels. During one of the practice pike push sessions, I ended up with a pike on either side of my neck. According to Jo, I was making some impressive gurgling noises
- Finally took Kate up on invitation to fire her flintlock. Nice! Big bang, big cloud of smoke, hot sparky things flying! Not sure I'll forsake pikeentirely but definitely want to try musket out properly!
- Wasn't the only oriental present this time. Turns out there was a Chinese girl from Brunei there too. However, she was a) a Royalist ("A pox on your King!") and b) not fighting, only water carrying
- Bloody Long March from camping area to the TURDISes!
Great first week in Stockholm meeting my new colleagues. Apart from stupidly early flight out of Heathrow. Those haven't got any less unpleasant. Flurry of way too many Nordic names and faces to remember (including at least 3 guys named Anders). Now have yet another Dell laptop in my possession now, straight in doing some analysis on WiMAX and even had a chance to catch up with an MBA classmate who lived 10 minutes walk from the office. The apartment they put me up in was pretty nice too, including a humungous flat panel TV on the wall and at least 2 neighbours with unsecured wireless networks! Shame the copy of Doctor Who/School Reunion I'd brought with me to watch wasn't in DVD format...
Speaking of which, if lumps in throats and tears welling are any sort of yardstick, this episode would be the second most emotionally wrenching piece of TV I've ever seen, beaten only by Babylon 5's Sleeping In Light.
Came home Friday night, crashed out, went round to Nick and Laura's for a pleasant cocktail/housewarming party on Saturday night, fenced in the first round of the London League but not for Poly - we had one spare person, Swash and Buckle were one short so I got outsourced to them! We lost one match, won two so not too bad I guess, especially as it was foil and all that.
Working from London as I was expecting to start on a project in Helsinki the following week. Alas, it's been delayed but I'm now back off to Stockholm next week and probably week after on another project and I can think of far worse places to be. Will miss fencing regularly though. Think I'll have to check on fencing clubs in Stockholm if I'm going to be there frequently.
Also got round to placing the mega PC upgrade component order for Kate and myself. Good news: There's a massive box from Overclockers containing, amongst other things, a couple of Seasonic PSUs and X1800XT and X1900XT graphics cards. Bad news: the Scan order with the really fundamental components (Opterons, mobos, RAM) has been delayed because of stock outage of Kate's Hitachi SATA-II drives. Goddammit!
Other things done:
- Applied for and, somewhat worryingly, immediately approved for an Amazon credit card - if I'm going to be expensing loads of flights etc, I might as well get some fringe benefits from it.
- The Met now know of my existence. I called Golders Green Police Station, got put through to Barnet's firearms team, started to try to explain that I'd recently joined an English Civil War re-enactment group and... "Black powder licence?" "Er... yes..." "Right, I'll put the forms in the post to you and here's what you can do to prepare in the meantime..." Huh. Guess I'm not the only nutter after a shotgun certificate and a license to acquire (but not keep!) explosives...
- Finished off Vietcong 2. Hmm... OK but I'm sure Vietcong was a much bigger and varied game. The characters in the first also seemed more memorable. Still, some pretty impressive levels in Hue, especially around the Citadel.
- Much to my surprise, Alias still seems to not suck any more. Huh.
- Met Liz for dinner on Wednesday. She's finished Galactica season 1, loved it and is eager for season 2. Guess that's another convert. She was also wondering what I'd pass her after that. Er... dunno. Despite loving Firefly, Farscape and Galactica, she really couldn't get on with Babylon 5. Oh well, nobody's perfect ;-) Not sure she'd like Space: Above And Beyond either.