Went straight from work to the station on Friday, to scoot down to Oxford to see bopeepsheep and her Dear Husband -- and of course to see the bump wherein lies a Small Clanger! Excessively long train journey (I think I caught the slowest train in existence from Paddington to Oxford) but I managed to find my way to the heart of Blackbird Leys without too much difficulty. Lovely dinner of sausage and mash was very welcome after all the travelling. :-)
The bump is, well, bumpy; however I did see photos of SC (you can even see its little hands waving!), though had to admit that the photos did look a little like the Roswell autopsy.
bopeepsheep and I exchanged heaps of books and even bigger heaps of general nattering, staying up till late (or early, depending on how you look at it). I think all the Irn-Bru overcaffeinated me slightly though as I couldn't get to sleep very easily... stayed up reading Ballet Shoes until I felt sleepy, instead, having spotted it on the shelves & not having read it for a while.
Relaxing morning of more nattering and looking at some very daft websites, including this, which should be compulsory reading for anybody planning to have a child. Oh, and my evil deed for the day was to steal a cucumber slice from an unborn child.
Eventually had to head down to London for Martin's 21st birthday party. I'd originally said I wouldn't be able to make it, so he was duly surprised to see me turn up in Regent's Park -- possibly not as surprised as mbm, though, who I fortuitously happened to bump into while searching for Martin & Co. (julietk's directions were less to blame than my total lack of sense-of-direction!) The picnic dispersed to the pub when rain threatened. Fun conversations with doop, mbm, beingjdc, Martin, julietk and Pete... plus too many icecubes, and general silliness. Oh, and I really hope doop picked up my metal claw because I don't seem to have it!
Thanks enormously to julietk for taking the time to talk me through the presentation I have to give in interview tomorrow. Just about got something thrown together now, though haven't practiced it yet or written it out onto notecards... Was honestly thinking of just chickening out of the whole thing today, but felt it would be unfair having taken up so much of julietk's time -- I owe it to her to at least have a shot at it!
It's still strange being in a pub and not drinking b33r, but it was nice to still be able to find my way back to a train when I had to head back to Oxford...
... for Chris's housewarming party. And what a house! Not surprising that the party (apparently) took a while to get going as there was so much house to warm... and a swimming pool outside. Envy, envy, envy. :-)
lnr's overwhelming pinkness was noted (well, you couldn't miss it) and admired, as were Catherine's boots. In other news, red wine was spilt on beige carpet; a perve hierarchy was established between myself, sion_a, daneel_olivaw, lnr and truecatachresis (can't remember who was deemed perviest though); corks were thrown at us by ewx; and a very surreal game of The Chairman's Game was played. An in-depth discussion of translations of Revelation formed the backing track (almost better than the traditional Mixing It!), and the game ended in anarchy as truecatachresis declared every card to be the six of spades ("the six of spades").
Next morning we breakfasted on chocolate brownies and admired Steve's fantastic outfits. And agreed that we really should try to make it to Intrusion some time. Given that I've also promised julietk I'll try to make it to Panic and B-Movie, and lnr and I wanted to try to get to Bedazzled at some point, I think I could be in for some serious clubbing in the not-too-distant future (seals, beware. Arf.).
Eventually lnr, ewx, sion_a and daneel_olivaw decided to head back to Cambridge, and daneel_olivaw kindly acted as super-quick taxi service to get us briefly back to bopeepsheep's to pick up books, and then to drop me off at brrm's house. I didn't know it was possible to reach such speeds on the Oxford ring-road... ;-)
Spent a lovely afternoon with brrm -- got to play with his Lisa, feel his ceremonial sword, have my fingers nibbled by his goldfish (and minnow), appreciate his record collection (well, mp3s), and enjoy a lovely ride through the country (aided by his impressive overdrive).
 An impostor, but a very glittery one. sion_a would like to point out that "all that glitters is not goldfish".
Eventually had to head back to Cambridge -- was hoping to make it to the uk.misc m34t, but in the end time and train conspired against me, and I made it back just as the remaining miscreants were going to bed. So apologies to lnr, ewx and hoiho who I'd been looking forward to seeing again, and k425 who I'd been looking forward to meeting. Another time, hopefully...
Off work sick... actually kind of doing stuff, but I was feeling sick, and I have been feeling ill for ages and not calling in sick, so frankly I don't feel too guilty about calling in sick on a day when I'm not as bad as I have been, IYSWIM.
Optician's appointment at lunchtime to pick up my contact lenses and learn to put them in ... and take them out. I thought putting them in would be the tricky bit and taking them out would be a doddle, but actually for me it was quite the opposite.
sion_a and other people who are squeamish about eyes, look away now!
Basically, putting them in just involves touching the fingertip+lens to the eye and then looking around a bit and blinking. Whereas taking them out is a question of holding the lower eyelid open (not too bad), sliding the lens down over the eye (pretty bad), and then PINCHING YOUR FUCKING EYEBALL (nnnggghhhh). Well, pinching the lens to lift it off the eye, but it amounts to the same goddamned thing when your fingers are millimetres from your eyeball, because it still makes your brain go "WOAH! INTRUDER ALERT!" and all your eye-related muscles, lacking a "fight" reflex, go for "flight" instead.
After the optician's appointment sion_a picked me up and we went over to Cambridge Kitchens to iron out a few last details of our kitchen design. Bosch have changed their oven design to something that doesn't look as good, so this means we're going for a Neff oven instead, and then that means changing the hob and the dishwasher to match, and changing the door-handles of the cupboards to co-ordinate with the style of the other shiny stuff. Such hardships! Also finally decided on the expensive-but-stylish tap, which will mystify anybody who tries to turn it on, but echoes the design of the door-handles. (If the devil is in the details, then I'm going straight to hell.)
After this I went into town to try to find an interview suit. Eventually bought two (one winter, one summer? One sassy, one traditional? One mostly unnecessary, but two looks like carelessness?) from the Nearly New shop on Burleigh Street -- a smart black suit with a long jacket for £18, and a greyish-brown Laura Ashley wool-blend suit for £45. Then picked up a couple of shirt options from charity shops, and accidentally got sidetracked into the Cash Only shop where a couple of CDs forced themselves on me, the little hussies. (The Seahorses, "Do It Yourself" and Saint Etienne, "Too Young To Die: Singles 1990-1995".)
Spent the rest of the day trying to put together a presentation for tomorrow's interview. Ended up feeling utterly useless about the whole thing, resulting in yelling at sion_a for a well-meant comment on irc and eventually just running away when told by rejs that I sounded like his mum bitching about his dad. :-( The scary thing is he's right; I'm turning into a chronically-dissatisfied middle-aged woman.
Was startled out of my miserable mood by seeing a heron on our roof. Yes, a heron. In central Cambridge. I was alerted to it by hearing some strange squawking noises outside, which sounded vaguely like they could be geese; I think I was vaguely hoping to see birds flying overhead... but "not a whit; we defy augury". Anyway, it was proved that I couldn't tell a hawk from a handsaw when I looked out to see two crows (or similar -- some kind of corvids, anyway) divebombing a rather bemused looking heron, which kept <pred prompt-user="ewx">ducking</pred> the attacks of the crows. We think it might have had its beady eye on the pond next door. Unfortunately it flew off before we could get a photo of it.
Tomorrow: interview for position of Rural Transport Research Co-ordinator at ACRE in Littleport. It's going to be a bit of a long drive, so while pto452 may sulk at this I think I'll have to take sion_a's car, or else I'll never get there.
Absolutely terrified at the prospect of having to do a presentation as part of the interview. Horrible, horrible. Mind you the job is well-paid, fixed-term (I want a job with a natural escape route...), sounds interesting, & most importantly ISN'T MY CURRENT JOB. We'll see. I can't imagine they'd employ somebody with as little relevant experience as I have, but hell, they want to interview me -- and I didn't even try to pretend in my application that I had directly relevant experience, just waffled about my degree and some vaguely relevant experience.