November 7th, 2006

A Better Tomorrow 2

I hate commuting to Reading

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...