What a weekend! First off, for the impatient, the photos are here.
I’ll have to summarise this in bullet points as far to much happened for extensive prose!
- The actual day of my birthday and a day off work for me. Hurrah!
- Presents! An antique-style wall clock from my mum and, rather excellently, the Anansi Boys audiobook, as read by Lenny Henry. Result!
- Into Guildford for some exploring
- Off to Craggy Island again for some climbing (once the test had been passed). Some traversing, some top-rope graded climbs and some bouldering. I had to borrow a harness because, oh horror of horrors, I’m not the svelte 25-year old I once was and my harness no longer fits! It seems I ate all the pies.
- Dinner at Matahari, an oriental restaurant. A miso soup for starter and an excellent Mongolian chicken dish for the main course, all in view of Guildford Castle
- Snow! I win!
- A gentle start to the day
- Saw Keira Knightley on the train to London! Who knew how far Penny’s organisational skills ran! Certainly much better than my ‘appear suave and cool while talking to celebrities’ skill as all I managed was a “Hi” and a bit of a smirk, which was rewarded by a fairly dismissive smile. But at least there was an element of communication there, or so I’d like to kid myself
- Got to Waxy O’Connors at 14:30. Somewhat late as I was expecting to meet Mark at 14:00. No Mark though, who phones at 15:00 to cancel, pleading ill health
- Due to a combination of accidents, incidents, misunderstandings and other reasons, nobody arrives for the next two hours! Numerous conspiracy theories, fueled by the Budvar I’m drinking, begin to develop. Do I have the wrong time? The wrong pub? The wrong day? Thankfully, eventually, everyone makes it.
- The first presents! One never knows when one might need an album of 70’s music or a talking Captain Hook action figure!
- Eventually we head off to Kentish Town to the restaurant. We go to the Ethiopian restaurant, Lalibela and a most excellent meal it is!
- Major present time… And it’s a PSP! Much desired and not-very-secretly coted by yours truly since release and now it’s mine, all mine! Muahahaha!
- At the end of the night it was off to a hotel for Penny and me, much better than trying to negotiate the engineering works on the trains home.
- Chinese New Year! And what that seemed to mean was an ocean of people, 200,000 reportedly, gathering in Trafalgar Square waiting for the dragon procession.
- Rather than wait around, Penny and I went into the Nationall Gallery, just long enough to view the Sunflowers, The Ambassadors and the Virgin on the Rocks.
- Back to Trafalgar Square for a bit of the dragon procession, at least those glimpses stolen in between even more people. Time to move on.
- To go forth and purchase PSP paraphernalia. Hurrah!
- Met Karen, Lynsey and Kev in All Bar One for a glass (or two) of wine before heading into China Town to observe the cabbage eating dragons and to buy ourselves some food poisoning
- The London Eye was perfectly timed. Just at sunset, the sky literally changing colour as we moved around, all the building lights coming on and the Chinese New Year fireworks viewable just as we reached the peak. Most excellent.
And that was it. A highly memorable and very enjoyable 30th birthday. Thanks to all who were involved in any way at all.