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July 27th, 2005

02:00 pm

My adopted local coffee shop, Coffee Republic on Coleman Street near Moorgate, just went up in my randomness ratings. But in a good way.

I popped in to read my rocking book (Attention All Shipping by Charlie Connelly, a book that I assumed would be dry and probably boring [although full of things I would like to know] has turned out to be a happy anecdote filled chunk of light reading joy. And it has stuff in that I would like to know) and to obtain some coffee and cake for my lunch (I had already eaten the pasta salad thing that I had bought, along with an emergency Pot Noodle [although in my opinion any eating of a Pot Noodle should be confined to emergency situations. Or camping trips {I hate washing up}.], to be eaten before yesterday's Flickr beers meetup in the Round Table near Leicester Square. However I had not eaten before the meetup leading to a greater level of drunkeness than I would have predicted and the inevitable eating of a kebab. The kebab was not a good plan, nor was the watching of Celebrity All-Star Poker, which was stocked with people who I had no clue of the identity of, apart from the guy from Ministry of Mayhem, who used to present the modern rocked up version of How 2 [although not How 2 itself which could never move to the "rocked up" category of children's telly even with Fred Dineage not always wearing a tie] with a blonde girl who while lovely always looked like she had had her make-up put on by someone who used to design rag dolls. Oh yeah, James Hewitt was there as well, but I didn't recognise him and only remember who he is now after googling him. Still milking an affair with Princess Di after all this time? Sounds like the perfect Z-list celeb to appear on a poker show. No disrespect to Mr Herring) [where was I. Oh yes] . I'd been sat down at my seat prodding at my lump of carrot cake (rather good and with icing in the middle as well as round the outside) for a few moments when I noticed that the annoying background muzak had been supplemented by some singing. I assumed at first that my kebab from the night before was talking to me in a ladies operatic voice and that soon everything would sway and turn into pretty colours, but then I noticed that one of the barristas had been pulled away from table clearing duty to say hello to some italian friends who had wandered in, and was serenading them with a fantastic operatic voice. She sang for maybe a minute, swooping between loud and quiet, grinned widely and received a round of applause from all at the counter before picking up a cloth and wandering off to wipe tables again.

Which was nice.

I read on for a bit and got to the chapter in the book about the Isle of Wight. The author wrote quite lyrically about how wonderful and awful The Needles are, and how, in his opinon, if Marconi arrived today to do his radio experiments he would be so depressed by the surroundings that he would have tipped his gear into the sea and gone quietly home. I went there the other year with easterbunny and aca and saw for myself how impressive The Needles Themselves look, but how depressing it is that the tourist industry has felt it best to celebrate their majesty by building and then abandoning a themepark nearby. I feel I can describe the joy of The Needles Pleasure Park(tm) by the following image:

Needles Pleasure Park

I now go to write a will for when easterbunny gets back from holiday and hunts me down with a blunt spoon.

02:20 pm

Rugged
Photo supplied by my co-worker "The Mighty Thor"

I went out to help with our work training session in the US in summer 2001, about a year after I started work. I was there for 2 weeks and during the middle weekend someone sorted out a canoeing trip down the Housatonic starting near Danbury, CT. Me and Thor got put in a canoe together and our combined weight added to the low water in the river meant that we spent most of the day up to our ankles (LOW water) dragging the canoe over the rocks that the other boats, that we could normally see in the distance, had happily slid over.

The atmosphere was completed by occasional banjo twanging noises and exclamations of "You sure got a purty mouth" coming from another pair of co-workers who were nipping around in a two man kayak.

My highlight of the day was when one boat went past with a co-worker in the back paddling away and his wife lounging in the front, parasol in hand, turning to shout "Paddle faster!".