Monday, September 27, 2004


After the worst of starts, my weekend was actually quite good. It all started so innocuously too; I accompanied the gang down to the Clubhouse at IBM Hursley to have a drink at lunch, and all was fine and dandy. Unusually, I hadn't left my glasses on the top of my PC case (as I usually do - my optician advised me not to wear them when using a computer, because I'm not completely short-sighted and it's more stressful on my eyes to wear them for up close work than not) and wore them on the way down to the Clubhouse. After about half an hour, they were starting to annoy me, so I put them in my coat pocket.

What happened next is a bit of a mystery. Somewhere between the Clubhouse and my desk, my glasses disappeared from my pocket, and because I don't wear them when I'm working I didn't notice until nearly 6pm, by which time the whole site is practically deserted. I retraced all my steps, and there's no sign of them, and because it's so late, I can't check if they've been handed in at Reception. Meaning that I have to drive home without my glasses. Forty miles. Down the M3. At rush hour. On a Friday night. Not the best of starts to a weekend, especially considering the glasses in question will cost over £170 to replace. (£129 for the frames, £42 for the anti-glare and anti-scratch coatings)

I checked at Reception this morning, and nothing has been handed in, meaning that they've probably been kidnapped by Hursley's large population of rebel squirrels. Still, at least I didn't crash the Coupé on the way home. (Though I did dream about crashing it for the last couple of nights - I hope that's not a premonition)

So on Saturday, I dig out my old pair of glasses (thankfully my prescription hasn't changed much, just the frames aren't quite so sexy) and Fleur and I swan off to pick up our Canadian friend Chris in Richmond. We all head off to Guildford for the afternoon (Lunch in Wagamama - the Noodle Soup with Chilli Beef is highly recommended) and to do some shopping (XIII for £9.99, minus a nice 10% discount thanks to my HMV Games card) before heading home for me to demo all my nicest games (Sims 2, KOTOR, Need For Speed Underground, amongst others) in order to persuade him to trade in his laptop and buy a new PC.

We then have dinner (a signature Boeuf Bourguignonne), Chris watches a film with Fleur, whilst I get my Sims 2 daughter to seduce two of the local teenage girls (Meadow and Tosha) to fulfill all of her Romance Aspiration Wants and get enough Aspiration Bonus points to get another Elixir of Life dispenser. By that point, it's getting towards midnight, and Fleur wants to go to bed.

I immediately de-camp into the front room with Chris, we crack out our laptops and get Dark Forces 2: Jedi Knight up and running for a bit of head to head deathmatch. We both grab another glass of wine and duel on the Bespin map until around 3am (my second 3am finish in a row - I'd stayed up watching my Star Wars Trilogy DVDs on the Friday to relax after the self-inflicted annoyance of being stupid enough to lose my glasses), after a fairly closely fought contest (36-27 in my favour).

On Sunday we get up reasonably early (considering the late night) and I demo Chris a bit more of KOTOR before we go back into Richmond to meet up with Tanya (Chris's other half) who's just literally got back from Toronto, around 7am in the morning. We have lunch at a lovely little resteraunt called Brula's - where we had a three course lunch for less than £15 each, whereupon Chris and Tanya take the opportunity to drop the bombshell that they've just gotten engaged. So that's another Wedding we've got to look forward to (which will no doubt clash with the Farnborough Airshow - AGAIN). We drop Tanya back off at their flat so she can get some sleep (since she was kept awake for the whole journey by kids sitting behind her) and do a little shopping in Richmond. I manage to pick up a copy of Star Wars: Battlefront (which had been sold out in Guildford) as another comfort purchase (again with a nice 10% discount from HMV), plus a new Casio Databank watch from Argos to store all my phone numbers, as the strap had broken on my previous Databank watch.

We then head on home to have a relaxing evening (which I spend defragging the hard drives on my desktop and laptop) and an early night. If it hadn't started so badly, we would have been getting on for the perfect weekend.

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