Met up with Julian for a delightfully unhealthy American breakfast at Starvin' Marvin's, then went shopping for a Birthday present for Andy.
Usual last minute rush before heading down to Tors (tirinar)and Andy's, burning Battlestar Galactica and Angel VCDs for Heather. Key learning: do not ever think again of driving from East Finchley to Croydon. Not even slightly. Way bad idea.
Once there, Andy was looking most bemused. Guess Tors' efforts to maintain operational secrecy worked. Most impressive turnout, including Heather (burntcopper), Jo (andromakie), Chewtoy, Sonia (odangochan), John the Goth (can anyone tell me his real name?), Claire and Sloopy, amongst others.
After handing Birthday presents to both Andy and Heather (hope they fulfilled specified your specified criteria of "something nice from Hong Kong"!) and a visit to the Chinese takeaway, we headed off to the salsa club, only to find it booked out for a private party. No matter, we found a most acceptable substitute in Flares, a 70s theme bar.
Had a great evening. Hell, even found myself on the dance floor rather more than usual, even going on without coercion, even after confirming with Tors that I'd filled my minimum quota of dancing time. Despite the bar's theme, they also played a load of 80s stuff too and that's how I discovered John was a fellow T'Pau fan ("Did you buy Red (obscure fourth album)?" "****, yeah!"). Also got more crap from Jo about going to Starfleet Ball!
After closing time, we retired back to the flat and ended up watching Angel 5x09 (well, rewatching in my case), Tors made us watch this Dildo Song music video which was a moderately traumatic experience, followed by a lot more talking. I have vague memories of being volunteered for various costume ideas by Heather as I was hovering on the edge of sleep. Oh well, I daresay it will all become clear in due course.
I also have a vague recollection, as I was waking up, of Sloopy commenting I resembled a vampire or mummy in my sleeping bag. Perhaps but there's not a lot of room for creative postures in a sleeping bag! After a much-need greasy spoon breakfast, Tors, Andy, Heather and I headed up to Camden Market by train. Yet another example of poor logistics planning on my part - there I was, 15 minutes from home by Tube but I still had to head back to Croydon to collect car and gear!
Ah well, Camden Market was fun but, once again, the number of military surplus places has declined. Managed to find myself a Sandhurst cap badge which, in combination with my Stargate keyring, I figure will make a neat SG-UK cap/beret badge. Eventually got home and crashed out almost immediately. Alas, forgot to get the Sunday Times for the job section.
Resume job hunting activities. More than ever, I am convinced the network is everything. Progress has been slow through the usual ad and web site channels but I ended up speaking to an ex-colleague through a slightly convoluted chain of contacts - seems he's keen I should take a look at new owners of the company we worked at. Somewhat to my surprise, it seems my reputation is still very high in some quarters! :-O Likewise, another ex-colleague wants to have a chat on Friday...
I also got round to fitting the upgraded AUG gearbox. My worst fears were confirmed. When I'd asked Algin at Airsoft Club to confirm the gearbox's output velocity was only 328 feet per second (UK site limits), he'd replied "No problem, I send many too powerful gun to UK. Always get through". As suspected, my efforts to explain why it was important to observe that speed limit were in vain :-(
Second night back at fencing went much better. Jet lag's gone and I was fencing with my own epee again. Won my return bouts with the people who beat me Thursday. One of them, with a young chap, got a bit ill-tempered (on his part anyway) - he's fast, aggressive and gave me a good kicking on Thursday. Tonight, I was returning the favour and he insisted on continuing even after we reached the 15-point mark we'd agreed. Only thing is, the more stroppy and aggresive he got, the easier it was to hit him!
Liz, my usual cinema-going partner, has declined to go see Paycheck. Like me, she really likes John Woo but, unfortunately, she also can't stand Ben Affleck so looks like I'l seeing this on my own...