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The Necromingicon
The Book of the Howlings of Ming, Seeker After Arcane and Esoteric Truths
I hate commuting to Reading 
7th-Nov-2006 01:58 am
A Better Tomorrow 2
Short version: commuting to Reading sucks ass.

As I write this, it's 9.32pm. I've been stuck on a stationary train heading back into Paddington for some 40 minutes now. Sounded like we hit something but information is proving hard to come by and everything is now at a standstill. Bah. And I'd had high hopes of stopping by to join the guys at Poly for a drink on my way home...

Driving's not proved much better. Takes about the same length of time but at least I can read or do something else semi-productive while on the train. Car still comes in handy for things like going straight from work to fence at Saxon or to SG-11 on Friday.

The commute's especially painful as my colleagues are staying in Reading so a 8am start isn't nearly as big an issue for them.

Sad but true: in many ways, working in Reading is more unpleasant than working in Manila, especially as, being UK-based, my expenses allowances are somewhat meagre.

Oh well, other things:

Went to renactor traders fair last Saturday and ended up getting myself a pair of startup boots. And some hobs. Now I just need a cobbler to fit them for me.

On Sunday, Shaun, Simon and I headed up to Urban Assault. A fun day but strongly suspect that'll be my last trip there for the year: getting dark too early. There's still things like Elite Urban in Epsom though - if you're in an underground bunker, who cares how dark it is outside? ;-) Am starting to think unfaithful thoughts re: my AUG. I noticed Classic Army has released its own version. I'm starting to wonder how it compares with my current one. ;-)

Monday: another Renaissance reunion. Good turnout. As Steve put it, it's pretty impressive that, 6 years on, a dozen or so of us will still show up.

Friday: Beer and Blake's 7 pub meet. Numbers a bit low this month but highlight for me was bumping into Roberta, an old Horizon acquaintance there. Needless to say, much reminiscing ensued.

Weekend: down to Sally and David in Horsham then on to Lewes for Bonfire Night. Wow. For that day at least, Lewes must be the most rabidly Protestant place in England. Their traditions predate Guy Fawkes by quite a bit, all the way back to 17 Protestant Martyrs burned at the stake during Mary's reign. There was even a big banner in the street proclaiming "No Popery!" The processions around the town were pretty impressive too - lots of torches, burning crosses and signs saying "We burn to remember", all by groups of people dressed in all manner so costumes - WW1 and WW2, Napoleonic and other military uniforms (even some American Civil War ones, expected to see more English Civil War guys though). Wasn't expecting the guys in Simpsons, Only Fools And Horses and Scoobie Doo outfits though!

Damn near froze our asses off waiting for the bonfire and fireworks themselves but it was worth the wait. The bonfire was massive, a huge tower largely composed of packing palletes - made for a spectacular blaze. The fireworks were astounding too. Only snag was we were apparently in the wrong site for the burning of the effigy of the Pope... Oh well, maybe next year.

One very unexpected and pleasant surprise, a belated reward for helping out at Collectormania GMEX: a Soviet Navy uniform from Hunt For Red October and a prison warden's shirt from The X-Files. Going to have to research these now!

Oh, have registered for SG-11 and booked a room at Sheraton. Now, all I need to do is be home long enough to actually do some packing.

Speaking of which, it's 9.53 now, my laptop battery's running low and we have moved precisely nowhere. Have we been told anything? Answers on a postcard... Needless to say, I am not impressed...

Epilogue: turned out someone had thrown themselves in front of the train. Limped into Paddington via Ealing Broadway and eventually got home at 1.30am!!! The incredible thing is that the driver said the train company didn't want to evacuate us from the train because it was a bit of a walk to Southall. FFS! In that time, I could have walked home! End result is the evening was completely written off, I'm going to be shattered all day now and the train company ended up with a sodding big taxi bill (one guy needed a cab to Brighton).

Really should have gone straight to bed but I just felt the need to vent...
Comments 
7th-Nov-2006 02:51 am (UTC)
As a former Lewes student (I went to college there) I can say that yes, bonfire night is a big deal! All of the Sussex Bonfire Societies do their own local celebrations in the run up, then everyone shows up for the Lewes one. Mary was particularly nasty to the locals, hence the centuries of 'you and the horse you rode in on.'

A few years ago they had travellers in the area, littering the land, stealing from local businesses, generally lowering the tone. They burned a caravan with the number plate 'P1K3Y' that year.

When it comes to bonfire night, Lewes can get really *personal*.
7th-Nov-2006 03:48 pm (UTC)
Yeah, saw them parading round a diorama of the town with "Lewes used to be a nice town till the council gave it to the developers" on it and heard they burned an effigy of Condie Rice this year!
7th-Nov-2006 06:24 am (UTC)
Anonymous
this country really does like sticking to the old ways
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7th-Nov-2006 11:57 am (UTC)
Really, who from? Saw a review in Airsoft International which seemed quite impressed.

Alas, Friday, I'm heading straight from Reading to Heathrow for SG-11 so will be rapidly getting pissed there!
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7th-Nov-2006 03:47 pm (UTC)
Ah, OK, fair enough. In any case, what I really want is an AUG A2 model, where the scope/handle can be swapped out for a scope rail without having to remove the entire receiver unit!
7th-Nov-2006 09:52 am (UTC)
I can sympathise with the train journey, I did the reverse, Reading to Paddington, for quite a while. However, while body on the line delays can be bad, bomb found in the station delays can be even worse (happened to me twice). Have fun at SG-11.
8th-Nov-2006 07:04 pm (UTC)
Thanks. Am looking forward to a weekend of geeky chilling out. BTW, don't worry, I haven't forgotten about your BSG dog tag...
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7th-Nov-2006 11:58 am (UTC)
Cheers, but room at the Sheraton already booked!
7th-Nov-2006 03:53 pm (UTC)
'a huge tower largely composed of packing palletes'

CHEP the company who's 'blue' pallets we audit, always seem to loose a lot in november..... ;)
8th-Nov-2006 07:05 pm (UTC)
Funny, that...
8th-Nov-2006 07:06 pm (UTC)
Just out of interest, what is the book value of one of those pallets?
8th-Nov-2006 07:34 pm (UTC)
Well CHEP rent the pallets out to there clients, so if you lose a pallet, say in the process of a local Bonfire you either have to pay the rental on it forever more, or pay a lost equipment charge of £10
8th-Nov-2006 11:00 pm (UTC)
Wow. Really do not want to think about how much was going up in smoke at that bonfire...
8th-Nov-2006 10:05 am (UTC)
Guess Stargate con tickets aren't as popular as they used to be. A couple of years ago they would have been sold out in weeks of going on sale.

What's the Sheraton like? I'm thinking of going to Pegasus 2 next year and they seem cheaper, but looks like it's room only no breakfast.

Good luck with the commuting!
8th-Nov-2006 03:55 pm (UTC)
Guess Stargate con tickets aren't as popular as they used to be. A couple of years ago they would have been sold out in weeks of going on sale.

Evidently not! ;-)

What's the Sheraton like?

It's nicer and cheaper than the Thistle (they do 3 nights for the price of 2 deals) but is breakfast only - lots of trips to McDonalds...

Good luck with the commuting!

Thanks - the main thing sustaining me is that it'll all be over by Christmas... ;-)
8th-Nov-2006 06:55 pm (UTC)
It's nicer and cheaper than the Thistle (they do 3 nights for the price of 2 deals)

That what interested me, I've never stayed the last night of a con, at Heathrow, because I've always had to be back home for David, or if he was with me, he had to be back to go to school!

But now he's old enough to fend for himself and look after Mark for me ;-)

As for breakfast, have to pass McDs to get to the con, so that doesn't sound like too much of a problem and I can always have some snacks in the room ;-)
8th-Nov-2006 07:02 pm (UTC)
Pretty much my rationale too.

On balance, I'd still prefer to stay at the Thistle for the convenience of staying onsite. However, I seem to have got into the bad habit of leaving hotel bookings till the Thistle is full...
1st-Feb-2007 08:56 am (UTC) - USA
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