It was my birthday on Wednesday. I ended up trying to fix Ed's computer in the morning but then in the evening Rob came around to collect the kids so we had a kid-free night.
We went to our usual spot on top of the hill and actually went for a walk. kissycat1000 found a nice spot to lie down and we just lay and relaxed and chatted, something we haven't done for a while despite spending inordinate amounts of time together. It was very nice :).
Later on we rode to the Air Balloon, a nice but quite pricey pub that does do rather good food. We sat in an area with candles on the table - that was the only lighting. Apparently the only reason it was like that was because the electrics had gone in that area - we didn't care, it was very romantic :) Kept trying to work out if the only other people in this area, two young women, were partners or not. kissycat1000 told me not to be so nosey.. I guess I just inherit my curiousity about people from my mother!
The meal and the company were fantastic :) We went back via Sainsbury's to get some alcohol and kissycat1000 ended up getting some R&B CD *spit* ;)
Went back and had a couple of relaxing drinks before dragging ourselves to bed. A very nice relaxing evening :)
Went to London with dylan and ghostpaw cramped in the back of dylan's Nissan ZX 300.. which pretty much summed up the weekend - uncomfortable. Backs of cars designed for midgets, likewise with pedalos, dampness resulting from the lake, lieing only half-on the futon to watch the film while everyone else curled up and fell asleep on the comfy cushions, sleeping on the floor, back in the back of the car on the way home. Ouch.
One more piece of whinge - it got rather free-for-all on the boating lake when Captain Bastard and his motley crew of mutineers decided everything was fair game towards the end and grabbed my bike leather. I hung on to it and the inner lining got ripped in the process. Bah humbug for being too boisterous.
Well, now that's all out of the way I did in fact have a good time in between all that. Don't think I spoke to happygoff much if at all, but rounded up a couple more possible recruits for the Reading Ride Out next weekend.
Start from the beginning? Oh all right. We all descended on my Mum's on Friday night - I've known dylan for years; I thought it was about time I took him home to meet my Mum ;). An old family friend was staying there too who I didn't remember - he last knew me when I was about 6 I think.
We went into London to go to happygoff's picnic and piracy which involves goths exerting themselves on a lake with getting-others-wet equipment. And food, somewhere. Well, we had a flag. No water pistols though. So we became prime target by just about everyone else.. not good.
After general celebrations and boisterousness down the Ben Crouch1 we went off and stayed at a couple of dylan's mates place in Stratford, watched some videos and flaked out.
On Sunday we visited Cathy, another friend of dylan's that I knew from Zeb's bunch of nutters. I think we were all still feeling pretty out of it at that point. On Cathy's suggestion we went off to see an open-air exhibition outside the Natural History Museum called Earth from the Air by a chap called Yann Arthus Bertrand. This was really quite interesting as it was a series of large detailed coloured prints like you might see in the National Geographic magazine. It is a global overview of the human race's situation and effects events of the last decade are having on humanity and the world's ecosystem.
It confirmed a lot of things I thought were possibly just skewed by my own personal experience - there have been a lot more civil wars, a lot more natural disasters, storms and changeable (hotter) weather in the last decade than ever before. Humanity is still hugely divided and steaming straight ahead towards a frightening future as depicted by books such as 1984 by George Orwell on a sociological front as well as some sort of apocalyptic event as depicted in science-fiction films and books too numerous to mention.
At the same time the pictures were very beautiful and made you realise how little of the world you have seen. Even dylan who has a fantastic life going and seeing what he wants for roughly half of the year thought he'd only seen a handful of the places depicted in the pictures. I expect there's examples on the websites, so go and have a look!
One last thing - in all the confusion and panic that happened on Friday with the arrangements - I wasn't sure if we were going up on bike or going by car. When dylan finally confirmed we'd be going by car I rushed to try and get my bike secured - managed it, but I wasn't too happy with it - it was locked to some railings just outside a kid's park on my road. I managed to leave the panniers I'd detached outside the front window all weekend! D'oh! Luckily they were still there when I got back so that was alright.
Pictures available later, possibly in dylan's journal at some point. Also to follow shortly the Reading Ride Out update to include precise times and locations - watch this space!
1 No not rhyming slang, the actual pub's name - a goth themed pub which was really quite cool - except they were playing R&B! I mean!