21-Dec-07 - The Men They Couldn't Hang
Ended up working from home all day as my 9.00am plumber appointment "slipped" back to about 1pm! Turned out to be just as well, really, as Simon needed to drop stuff off at Firebase Finchley (including airsoft kit) before we headed in to meet Kate for the TMTCH gig.
Another very enjoyable performance (am getting a tad fed up with seeing Naomi Bedford as support act though - for some reason Paul Simmonds seems to like her) - the likes of The Colours and Ghosts Of Cable Street still send shivers down my spine - all washed down with liberal quantities of Murphy's. Has to be said, though, this was the first time I'd seen them without Bobby Valentino also joinng them and his absence was noticeable...
22-Dec-07 - Urban Assault and pub meet
Headed up at a pretty ungodly hour with Simon and caught up with Cookie and Donna. Decided on MARPAT as agreed with Cookie. Good to see the fix on the AUG hop meant it could actually fire further than I could throw BBs but the hop still seems a bit off despite much fiddling and chrono'ing in at 320fps or so. This may call for a new hopup unit... Also took out the electric Glock 18c as I figured it was too cold for gas pistols to be working reliably. Also got chatting to this couple and was most amused by their matching his-and-hers Ghost Recon Multicam and SCAR loadouts! Another interesting thing - as with Finmere, once more a large contingent of Filipino airsofters. I knew airsoft was big in the Philippines but until now, I'd not seen many at the sites I'd been going to.
After that, back home for quick shower and change and then down to the Shakespeare Head. Just Jo, Sean, Paul and miniosiris left by the time we got there but still an enjoyably geeky evening. Managed to get away without being spammed to do anything else although Sean mentioned he'd noted my extremely quick registration of interest for a Starfury BSG con!
Christmas Eve - Not enough good pubs in East Finchley
An evening "exploration" of pubs in East Finchley with colonel_maxim. Been in the area some 20 years and only been into some 3 pubs! Main conclusion - at least 2 of those (the White Lion and Bald Faced Stag) are the best ones. Too many with just lager and maybe John Smiths as the token beer. I suspect the original plan of exploring Highgate may have been more fruitful.
Off to join aeshna_uk and housemates for Christmas Day and encountered more of those coincidences that seem to punctuate my life.
- Didn't think too much about the address when she first gave it to me - Just punched it into the GPS as usual. However, as I neared the destination, it all started to look very familiar. Yep, they lived on the same estate as Nicola did until a short while ago. I'd even parked outside their building on multiple occasions when down for Horizon meetings and the like!
- Discovered a couple of them were involved in an online debate with a chap I knew from my first degree at Imperial when he was head of the SF Soc. Looks like he's still there!
All in all, a very relaxed, geeky day. Loved the gladiator helmet cufflinks and Maori pattern tie from aeshna_uk although it may be a while before I wear the long floppy red Ecuadorean cap in to work... ;-)
Met colonel_maxim for lunch at the Woodman in Highgate, oddly enough, one of the 3 pint-rated pubs on the agenda for Christmas Eve, then down into the West End to obtain lychee liquer and cachaca for New Year's Eve (I am still astounded that the former, rejected by the Terra Nostra, has been repeteadly requested by parties in Norfolkes!). Also stopped by at Forbidden Planet and appear to now be in another of my X-Men Cold Turkey phases. Still numbed by Decimation and Civil War, I just looked at the crossovers for Messiah Complex and just decided I couldn't be arsed.
Popped up to Welwyn Garden City to see Rob and Jacky, via the Galleria to replenish work wardrobe, as I'd not seen them in ages then back to London in the evening to meet Liz to go see I Am Legend: OK but liked The Omega Man more and I think I really need to read Matheson's original book as I gather it's rather bleaker.
Also the day I learned I was now an uncle...
New Year's Eve/Day
Picked up Kate and headed down to Sherborne to Mark and Frances' for New Year with the Norfolkes. Alas, forgot to take the Xbox 360 and Guitar Hero II down for potential drunken fun. Must admit, I flaked out embarassingly early even by my standards but at least I had a brief spell of lucidity just in time to pop the champagne for midnight. Possibly the most over-catered I've ever been to though - they'd laid on more than enough food and drink for us all and we'd all brough a load of stuff each too. Never had to take so much stuff home from a party before! Still, had fun introducing the NTB to caipirinhas, had a pleasantly relaxed lunch in Sherborne and even remembered to measure up my matchlock before heading home. After noting I was a bit of a gamer and SF fan, Mike asked if I wanted a copy of a Blake's 7 RPG he had. Did ask if he recalled the authors' names? ;-)
One other embarassing thing though - exactly one year previously, not a million miles from there, after seeing them on a map, I resolved to finally get to the Tank and Fleet Air Arm Museums. Have I? Er...
Other "productive" activities
- Caught up recent PC games (after a bit of distraction when upgrading to the ATI 7.12 drivers caused my PC to BSOD on bootup) - got myself Call of Duty 4, Crysis and Unreal Tournament 4 cheap. CoD 4 - lots of fun but way too short. Impressive twist in the USMC campaign (as in what happens to "you") though. Crysis is also proving pretty entertaining too. Makes a chap start thinking about 8800 GTSs and Core 2 Quad CPUs though.
- Sewed patches on to uniforms. Specifically the Kuomintang ones (at least not too many people will be able to tell if my scrawls on the ID patch are actually legible or not) and the ARVN LLDB ones on to the tiger stripes.
- Bought a load of tat on eBay, including a Vietnam period claymore bag, a CADPAT field jacket, 2 BSG t-shirts, a BSG watch and... Winter War/Talvisota - one of that list of 4 Finnish war movies that Rob the Finnish/Red Army re-enactor said I had to see before I died (quickly revised to 3 as I already had Rukajärven Tie on DVD). Well, guess it's 2 now! Pretty good, but not a lot of laughs in it. I was struck by the number of nude sauna scenes in it though! Also, at first I thought I'd spotted an anachronism but, after further research, it seems that the Finns did have a similar looking SMG which pre-dates the iconic Soviet PPsh-41!
So, now back at work but, fortunately, it's still pretty slow and quiet and it's a short week!