Now, let's see, where did I get to? Ah, yes -- hoiho, sion_a and I went to see Waiting for Godot at the ADC on Thursday night. It was mostly very good; review to follow, if I remember.
I did another shift at Oxfam Books on Friday morning. Spent a lot of the time learning how to tell from the labels whether records are worth money or not -- Claire (experienced volunteer-type-person who knows a fair bit about records) was trying to teach Diana (deputy manager) how to do this, and I was initially just hovering and listening out of general interest (and lack of anything else to do), but I ended up getting very interested in it and doing a fair amount of the work.
After finishing at the shop I went for lunch with hoiho, and we then spent most of the afternoon drinking coffee and pottering around town together, before he finally really had to set off back to Scotland for another week. Lovely to spend the afternoon with him but sometimes I feel like we spend all our time saying goodbye to each other. <sigh>
As I was walking aimlessly back towards town, trying to shake the feeling that someone had switched off all the lights in my mind, an old lady who was clearly in some distress accosted me and begged me to help her -- she'd left her mother (who was over 90) sitting "on a metal bench somewhere" while she went to Sainsburys, but now couldn't remember where the bench in question was, except that she thought it was near Marks & Spencer. I walked back in that direction with her ("it's no problem, I'm going that way anyway", I half-lied -- well, I wasn't going anywhere in particular, might as well have been going that way as any other) while trying to keep her calm, and eventually, fortunately, she spotted her mother wandering around outside Superdrug.
I don't believe in Fate (though she may believe in me), but it seemed strangely ... serendipitous? provident? ... that this lady needed someone to help her find her way around physically at just the same moment when I needed something to give me a mental sense of direction.
Not that the sense of direction lasted long. I got home and paced fitfully around the house for a while, messed about online for a bit, before finally deciding that I couldn't face any of the parties I'd been invited to in Cambridge (apologies to all concerned), and I wasn't going to achieve anything other than making myself miserable if I either tried to go to them or stayed at home on my own, and instead I was going to go to Oxford to see barnacle and Kate, and hopefully sample the beer festival while there.
We were all too tired to go to the beer festival on Friday night, so instead we stayed up till the small hours of the morning talking. Hmmmm. There was lots of mooing, and lots of EAT YOU HEAD. I think you had to be there. Although if you had been, you'd have probably run away in terror.
Because I'd been so late in deciding to visit, J-P and Kate hadn't had a chance to sign out of working at Oxfam, so they went to work a shift there in the afternoon and I joined them. The Oxford bookshop is much bigger than the Cambridge one, and there's a much bigger and brighter team of volunteers; however, they welcomed me into their bookfilled bosom with open arms, and I spent a happy afternoon sorting books. And, of course, rescuing books. (The books in the pulping bin look at me, with their big eyes all full of pain... how can I leave them there to suffer and die?)
It was good to see Meriel again (even if she did double-take at me turning up in Oxford) and to finally meet Jeremy The Woman (she's a woman, she's called Jeremy... deal). Still not sure quite why beingjdc turned up there briefly, but he did, and certainly contributed to Meriel's general bewilderment.
After the shop closed, J-P and Kate and I wandered down to the beer festival, which was sadly depleted on the beer front by that point. Had a few nice-but-not-terribly-inspiring halves and chatted to Abi, Glyn, Ralph and Liz (whose LJ name I have now completely forgotten -- sorry Liz) before deciding to move on to the Wharf House, where I drank considerable quantities of lovely Archers Mild, and had bizarre conversations with lots of people. I'm afraid I was "ver', ver' drunk" by the time brrm joined us; I hope he wasn't too disappointed at the lack of coherent conversation. The pub's cloth-capped and dog-wielding regulars seemed a wee bit perplexed by the sudden influx of drunk goths and WOMEN, but they were very friendly nonetheless.
(I don't really remember getting back to J-P and Kate's... I dimly remember wanting a kebab while we were waiting for the bus, but that's about it. Still, we all got back safely somehow.)
Sunday was mostly spent talking, drinking tea, and eating lots of toast. Eventually I decided I'd better head back to Cambridge, but on the way back I decided to try to meet up with addedentry while crossing London. The Underground conspired against us but we eventually met up and went for coffee (praline mocha something-or-other with stacks of cream on top) at Starbucks, later proceeding to the Euston Flyer after meeting up with huskyteer and some of her furry friends. More conversation, and more beer. (This weekend, I are be mostly drinking: BEER.)
Got back to Cambridge very tired some time after 9pm, ate Chinese takeaway and watched HIGNFY with sion_a, then went pretty much straight to bed.
In work today. Tired, and wishing I didn't have to be here.