"I have a stinking cold."
"Cold still here. Keeping rotwang awake."
"Cold has outstayed its welcome. Bored now."
"Dear Cold: You are cordially invited to leave."
In and around that, there has been other stuff going on.
A few weekends back now! rotwang and I decided we needed a break, and picked Edinburgh for a long weekend jaunt. With hindsight it would probably have been more sensible to pick a weekend when there wasn't rugby being played at Murrayfield, but the French fans who were filling the town seemed pleasant enough.
The weather was incredibly variable. Outside Edinburgh it had been snowing, and the approach by plane took us over snow-capped mountains (or at least hills). In the city itself, for much of the time we were there, the weather alternated between high winds, rain and sun -- or combinations thereof, such as horizontal rain.
We did some of the normal touristy stuff, such as pottering round the Castle, around Holyroodhouse, and the like - unfortunately I didn't really feel up to trogging up Arthur's Seat (especially in the variable weather already mentioned). As well as that, there was a reasonable amount of shopping; I was slightly miffed to find that the cook book shop mentioned in the guidebook (run by Clarissa Dickson-Wright, the surviving one of the Two Fat Ladies) had recently closed down -- guess I'll have to make do with Books for Cooks in London -- but finding Big Ideas next door to the alleged bookshop made up for it. Their sale rails used to have a fair amount of velvet stuff. There's rather less of it there now ;)
On the Friday night we ate at The Witchery, which is evidently very popular since booking a week ahead gave us a choice of 5pm or 10pm slots on a Friday or 5.30 or 10.30pm slots on the Saturday. A very atmospheric place, with lots of wood panelling, low ceilings, carved this and that; with a higher ceiling it might have been an Oxford college, with slightly less panelling perhaps a private dining room at Rules. Very nice food and wine; not right up there with the top few restaurants I've visited, but pretty damn good nonetheless.
Our journey was a little more complex than it needed to be because lastminute.com's interface is hell on earth to use (it's fine if you want a pre-packaged city break, I'm sure, but if you actually want to choose which hotel you stay at it seems to be infinitely more like hard work). Okay, okay, and I screwed up too. This had led to us flying to Edinburgh from Heathrow, but flying back to London City Airport. Oops. Oh well, it gave us a different flight path to have a look at (and the approach over the Thames to London City is, um, interesting). Once London City has better connections to public transport it'll be much more useful, I'm sure, but at the moment our return journey involved a bus, two tubes and a train. It probably didn't help that by this point I was really starting to feel ropy with the onset of the above-mentioned cold, but at least the various bits of transport seemed to match up okay and we didn't have too long a wait at any point.
Last week we dragged caffeine_fairy and chomper99 along with us to go and see stand-up comic Tim Vine. (Though he has a website, it doesn't appear to have been updated in forever, so no link.)
Once known as The Man With The Golden Pun, Vine's joke-telling method is akin to throwing mud at a wall with a JCB - toss it in sufficient quantities and some of it will surely stick. So the jokes come fast and furious and dreadful; CF has already related the 'I fell in love with two schoolbags' joke, so I won't pain you again. Definitely worth seeing if you can stand groaning for that long. He was supported by John Archer, who I hadn't seen before and who was also very amusing (and anyone who uses magic squares as part of their act is OK by me).
Easter... The Final Frontier... or at least a four-day weekend. Bliss.
We spent Good Friday round at caffeine_fairy and chomper99's place playing D&D for hours and hours. It was great; hadn't had a chance to do a nice long session like that for ages. There was chilli, there was pizza, there were infeasible numbers of goblins, and now (tonight) we just have to figure out how to get two unconscious characters back to the nearest habitation for some medical treatment.
On Easter Saturday we had been invited for lunch a couple of miles away, at the newish house of a couple of friends of ours (a slightly small-world situation in that we know him from roleplaying and her because I used to work with her years back). The others present were also people I worked with and their spouses and children; we were the only child-free couple there, the children being variously seven, four, three, eight months, and minus about three and a half months. Pleasant enough lunch and rotwang didn't appear to be actively chewing his own arm off to get away from the kids (mostly because all of the mobile three dashed upstairs to play).