Tuesday 19 November 2002

it's about time

Gah, the days are blasting past me and time is going full speed ahead. I've been busy at work (deadlines abound), busy outside of work, and generally keeping myself off the streets and out of trouble.

We had a super fantastic smashing time in London last weekend. We drove in on Saturday, checked into our hotel, went up the London Eye (click here for piccies!), met Gary and Ruth for dinner (for very yummy food at Bar 38 where the boys and girls share a hand washing fountain outside the loos), saw the Fast Show (brilliaaaaaaaaaaant!!!), and wandered back to our hotel for a nightcap. Sunday morning we checked out, trapsed around London in the pouring rain (go figure), wandered around in search of a place that does brunch (apparently people in London don't eat brunch on Sundays 'cos everything was shut), and finally found a place near Leicester Square. We'd booked tickets to see Harry Potter at the Odeon and had a couple of hours to kill, so we walked along to the Regent Street area to do some shopping.

We went to Hamley's, which I suppose would be the London equivalent to FAO Schwartz - it's a massive toy shop with all sorts of cool stuff in it. My Mom loves teddy bears, and Hamley's has the most fabulous "bear factory" I've ever seen. You pick out your bear (or moose, or monkey, or one of the other creatures), take him to be stuffed (which looks kinda painful and yet rather humorous at the same time), and he's hand sewn at a counter where you take a little red satin heart, kiss it, make a wish, and it's tucked inside the bear. You then pick your bear's name and give some other info, and they make up a birth certificate for you. They have an entire room full of outfits, so I picked out a full Scottish kilt getup for my bear and called him...please, don't pelt me with rotting veg...Billy MacBear. So my Dad's name is Bill and I thought my Mom would get a kick out of it. Shush. I know it's all just too cute for words, but it really is quite something and I think my Mom will really love the fact that this bear was custom made for her. You can even record a message that'll play when you squeeze your bear, but even I thought that was too naff. It's cute when you're 6, but at 33, your parents aren't exactly going to go "awwwww" at the idea of hearing your voice coming out of a stuffed toy.

We headed to the cinema to see Harry Potter, and what a grand cinema it was - it must seat around 2,000 people (I think I heard an usher say that it was quite a lot of work cleaning up after 2,000 kids) and the screen is massive. Our seats were pretty good and the film was enjoyable. I think Jack sums it up best by saying it's sort of a "greatest hits" of the book, so it comes across rather disjointed in spots. Still, it's good fun and darn nice to look at. We headed back to Cambridge later in the afternoon, a bit tired but happy after a fun trip to the Big Smoke. Oh yes, and I think they call it that 'cos every single person in London chain smokes. Bleah.

So, it's back to life, back to reality. Too much to do at work, getting a bit stressed, starting to panic about the holidays (holy crap, we're flying out in less than a month and I've not done any shopping apart from that feckin bear), and realising that we have one...no wait, two free weekends before we go. *eep!* Time for a cup of tea and a bubble bath.

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