[ from the random-comments-random-stuff-this-time-in-the-UK-again dept. ]
Meanwhile in the UK
The rest of the past week contained a number of interesting miscallany. Monday evening featured a sponteneous visit from Paul Sladen, who knocked on my window at around 23:00. This would be odd if it weren’t Paul .
I like his Brompton and I might have to consider getting one at some point for town cycling but despite the size it does have some practical constraints like cost incurred when someone decides to borrow yours for an extended period of time. I mentioned to Paul about meeting up later in the week.
I did not go to Go because I felt pretty tired and had had to leave the week before in the middle of a game after I realised I was too tired. However much of this is down to the level of reading and learning I am wanting and trying to fit in at the moment. I have been feeling a little unwell over the last couple of days and there is something going around at the moment anyway. I visited Freuds on Monday evening and Shapla on Tuesday with a colleague.
On Wednesday I had another driving lesson and on Thursday also. I stopped in at the office in the middle of the driving on the latter occasion, and then went in to Oxford for a random walk around various bookshops – I bought A Short History Of Nearly Everything in Borders and visited Blackwells after a visit to Blackwells Music, where I bought “New Film Themes” which is a “Play along for violin”. I have tuned up the violin for the first time in a while and later played the theme from A Beautiful Mind, and also the theme from Gladiator. I would like to find a Violin teacher in the Oxford or Reading area, who is reasonably flexible with time and is willing to entertain my particular penchant for learning.
I went for a wonder through the University Park off Parks Road (opposite Comlab) and did some thinking. Took some photos too. I have decided to take up the violin again, and having finished reading Teach Yourself Electronics, have secretly ordered a copy of Horrowitz and Hill’s famous The Art Of Electronics, I have been reading this for the past week or so but am only reading small amounts each day because I have to ensure I understand everything I am reading if it all possible to do so (although they do make some assumptions which they may not explicitly state. This is a very cool book however and one of those that you can curl up with while drinking coffee, or take to a coffee house on a Saturday night). I am having to reconcile some missconceptions and brush up on my differential equations and some other mathematics to really get the full story.
On Friday, I went cycling around London with Paul. I got in to London at around 17:00 because I had to spend several hours dealing with my bank after BSM had a breakin in their Oxford branch and a thief managed to potentially steal my debit card details. I have complained to BSM that this breakin on St. Patrick’s night (17/03/2004 as per the letter they sent to those affected and not to their other customers) should not have resulted in my details being made available and that I require an explanation. I also feel that the Visa International might find they were somehow in breach of storage requirements. In any case I am considerably annoyed at the whole thing and the inconvienience. To top this off it is likely that the computers stolen also had my address details on although this was not mentioned in the letter (which apologies for any inconvienience this may cause (my emphasis added there)). They also failed to notify me for an entire week after the event.
When I eventually got in to London with my bike, I met up with Paul and we cycled around part of North London before stopping off in Leicester Square for some noodles at Wagamama. The photos show that we went to Kings Cross and saw the work on the Channel Tunnel Rail Link which soon results in St. Pancras station moving, and can be seen currently when approaching or leaving on a train from Nottingham. I tried riding the Brompton briefly and enjoyed it. I decided I would prefer to ride my own bike despite Paul suggesting I ride his for some experience of riding a Brompton – because I would prefer to do that on roads I know to start with.
I got up late on Saturday because my throat has been feeling a bit sore and I was up late after my return from visiting London. I went in to town and got some bits from Maplin along with the news that Maplin might be ditching the Components counter in its stores in favour of prepackaged shite according to the trend of not having recent parts in the view of someone I was talking to there about it. A worrying premise that.
Pret gave me some patisserie perishables with a coffee I had bought. I gave most of these to various people around the town. I bought some coffee and went to An American Coffee House for an hour to read my book after having food at Zizzi. I am listening to various music of the instrumental kind – e.g. from A Beautiful Mind tonight and feel like a visit to London Zoo to visit some penguins. I hope my friends reading this are well.