September 20th, 2004

Things and Stuff

Friday: the last day of rotwang's two weeks off work (he needed to use or lose some holiday before the end of his holiday year). We pottered down into the village at lunchtime to pick up the metric arseload of dry-cleaning and ironing which had built up; how the staff of that particular establishment manage to work in an atmosphere which seemed to be at least 50% 1,1,1-trichloroethane, I'm not quite sure. Lunch was had in a rather twee chocolatiers/tea-room. I may not have been a big fan of the decor but I can recommend their cheese platter, and they have a very good selection of teas (and chocolates, but I restrained myself).

The evening was spent at a reunion dinner for past students of my old supervisor, to mark his retirement; I think they'd managed to get something like a third of them (mostly plus partners) along, not too bad for a Friday night. Supervisor, and Supervisor's Sidekick, were their usual pictures of sartorial elegance (I felt rather overdressed, having ventured for the second time in two weeks into Skirt Territory) -- academics, what can you do? Not even personal shoppers would save those two, easterbunny.

It was slightly depressing to see how many of my then-peers have remained in academia and are, one might therefore hope, doing useful interesting publishable things. I made my choice to get out when I did, but sometimes I wonder if I should've stayed. The other common theme of the night seemed to be (whisper it) children. Ex-OfficeMate #1 and her husband (also a postgrad in the group at the time) have three children. Ex-OfficeMate #2 and his wife are expecting their first one any day now (I believe her due date is/was today). Guy From The Year Below (quite apart from already having got quite a reasonable way up the academic ladder, damn him) and his partner are expecting their first next month.


Saturday's main theme was running errands. Pick photos up from one place, pick shopping up from Tescos after they'd managed to fail to deliver it (broken-down van, no spares), find out that they'd actually delivered half of it anyhow, look confused. Go to Wing Yip, buy Dim Sum, come home and get message that our dinner hosts for the evening had to cancel because two of the three of the family had gone down with something unpleasantly intestinal... we were just as keen not to go. Eat Dim Sum. Oh, and we watched a couple of episodes of the Read Or Die TV series which we'd picked up in the US.

On Sunday, I roasted anything that didn't run away fast enough and we fed the results to vicarage, before admiring (some of) the photos from his round-the-world trip. Later rotwang and I headed to sunny Basingstoke to cheer Humphrey Lyttleton and the teams through a taping of I'm Sorry I Haven't A Clue. Excellent fun, though I'm not sure about the concept of Living Mornington Crescent - I didn't know Sarbreenar had a Tube system (that will make no sense to anyone not involved with the RPGA...). First show will be broadcast on the 29th November, second one a week later (they record two shows in each session). Jon Naismith, the producer, said that this was the first taping they'd managed to sell out entirely from a post to their email list. Obviously a good idea to have joined it, then ;)