Finally made it to a ULU social, mainly aimed at welcoming fresher intake. Observation: flat caps at rakish angles are clearly de riguer for this year's female freshers. Must confess to trying the draught San Miguel, despite availability of Old Speckled Hen and Lancaster Bomber. One San Mig was more than enough...
Fencing at my "exclusive West End club" ;-). One of the female freshers was initially in very short shorts under fencing jacket. Turned out to be American so, when asked to put on a pair of breeches, her reply of "I hardly ever wear pants" caused some amusement. Need to sign up as an alumni member of the union now. For that I need a passport photo and a photocopy of my degree cert(s)!
Was going to check out Salle Verdon at Regent's College (he's the coach at ULU). Alas, work overran so I had to bail. One slightly concerning thing: as far as I can tell, none of the exprienced fencers at ULU seem to go there.
Lunch with Cathal, an ex-colleague from last strategy consultancy I worked at and took him up on offer to browse through their library to bone up for upcoming project. Also good to see a bunch of other ex-colleagues but I was rather surprised at how few there seem to be left. Hell, one of them was on his penultimate day!
Was spoiled for choice for evening activities. There was an EA seminar on the future of the games industry and an Alan Moore talk on but, by the time I'd finished at Victoria, I decided to go fencing instead, what with ULU team competition on Saturday and needing to hand over Kate's foil which I'd previously retrieved from Leon Paul. Got to Saxon and realised I must have left my main epée at ULU. Doh! Then learned my secondary weapon seemed to be coming loose after every few hits. Gah.
Went to Leon Paul and got myself a brand spanking new Maraging blade epée, just in case my main one had gone permanently missing as my secondary seemed iffy.
Kicked off BSG 3x03 download before going to ULU team competition. Distinctly unimpressed that the Northern Line was once more shut down from East Finchley to Camden Town and will be for next two weekends too...
Found my main epée in the ULU kit bags. Alas, no one else from Poly showed up so I ended up in a scratch team for epée but no foil for me. Guess we did about as well as could be expected given that one of us had only been fencing epée for 3-4 months and the other had been off for several months. Expensive day though - broke main epée on a woman who kept charging me. Then kinked the new one on her too. Fortunately, it straightened out OK and after a bit of experimentation with the recyled parts, it turned out it was the thread on the nut rather than the blade on the secondary epée which was worn so at least I still have two functional weapons...
Was going to go to LOTNA afterwards but was knackered and, after the obligatory drink, couldn't face the thought of hauling myself and big fencing bag across to London Bridge so I stayed on and joined the ULU guys for dinner. Got talking to a couple of people who turned out to be big SF geeks too at least. One slightly scary thing: one of them was a big Trek fan but when I asked whether they'd seen all the films in the cinema, she replied she hadn't because she hadn't been born when they first came out...
Popped up to the Hatfield Galleria to get myself a new suit as one wore out in Manila and I have new project coming up. Typical bloke shopping thing. Walked in, picked out same pattern Pierre Cardin suit as I bought last time, just charcoal grey rather than navy blue, spare pairs of trousers for both suits and that was it!
Stopped by at Rob and Jackie's afterwards and spent a few very pleasant hours catching up and just generally being geeky. Rob's certainly built up an impressive collection of medieval weaponry and had an equally impressive green laser pointer. Way too powerful to bolt onto an airsoft though!
Having been listening extensively to Amateur Transplants'
Fitness To Practice CD, they're the two Imperial medical students responsible for the rather sweary London Underground song. Rest of CD is very much in same vein humour-wise, very much like an audio rag mag and likely to offend several groups like LUL employees and "Northern Birds". What can I say, it appeals to my somewhat lavatorial sense of humour!
Have obtained a MAC code from Clara and am in process of migrating to Be There. Sky's offer for existing TV subscribers was very keenly priced (£10/month for 16Mbps) but reviews have been uniformaly unimpressed with quality of service. Now, pretty damned sure I won't get anywhere close to Be's theoretical maximum 24Mbps but, given I'm currently on 512kbps, anything is likely to be a substantial improvement. Just hope there's no service outages that interfere with getting new BSG episodes in a timely manner...
Speaking of BSG, here be spoilers for 3x03 (Exodus part 1):
Very much a set-up episode but I still enjoyed it greatly and there was one scene I found really moving. The farewell ritual on the hangar deck between the crews of Galactica and Pegasus. Sad, I know, but it did bring a lump to my throat! One thing I wasn't so keen on - first use this season already of the "One hour earlier" plot device...