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Wretched Victoria Line, terminating at Green Park when I needed to get to Vauxhall ... luckily Plan B was go to Colliers Wood and get the 57. As it turns out not only that but also the 131 goes from there to Kingston, which gives me a whole different route for getting into/back from London.
Apart from that, the Bull and Gate (or as it styles itself bull and gate - lower case obligatory like bath ales, whose orthography suggests that they really are ales to be drunk in the bath (the city is Bath)). Autorotation and two other bands, in the company of Liz, Ittai and Dave. Not too much beer was had (two capital pints of Bass followed by a lemonade and lime.). Music good. Now today I may get on the bike and go to Isleworth.
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Three days, two hotels, one beer festival (Poperinge), one brewery tour (De Dolle, makers of the very fine Oerbier), one splendid lunch at the Drie Fonteinen, Beersel. It rained a bit. Many kinds of beer, ranging from the relatively ordinary (6% to 7.5%) via lembiks (no kriek for me on this occasion) to the 13% Black Albert. Belgian beer is different. Quite how different became apparent. Belgium seems to be one of the few places left where it's still legal to smoke in bars, too - only really noticeable in one of the pubs in Beersel which was really quite smoky. I occasionally spoke French but this isn't really the best idea in Flemish-speaking bits of Belgium.

Ieper (Ypres) is nice, Kortrijk less so, though the Center Hotel in Kortrijk was better than the Sultan in Ieper, where the room was barely functional. Still, we weren't spending much time in the hotels, and plenty on trains. I'm sure we could have based ourselves in one place and just travelled from there but there are too many railway employees and other knowledgeable souls on the trip for that. Impressed by the lack of street furniture and road markings in Ieper - letting people get on with just driving rather than giving them too much information.

Out and back via Eurostar (a given) - Ten minutes late setting off from Brussels as there were 800 people to get through security and only two security gates. And if I was anything to go by, anything at all set off the metal detectors so it took ages.
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Yesterday, with its PDA failure, road rage incident on the way in (car trying to dodge past Post Office Van, car in front of van also gets involved, threeway shouting match), someone saying 'Freak!' in my ear as i was walking past the Tate Gallery; not going back from the gardening class with the one person I wanted to share a ride with (ended up instead as front seat passenger of a Left Hand Drive car, I should have suspected something was up from the Spanish registration) ... I wandered over Vauxhall Bridge on the way home from work with that huge silver full moon just over the buildings on the south side of the river. ...

must be improved on by my birthday. I hope.

But this morning the train at Kingston Station broke down and we were told to get the train on platform 2 instead. However by the time the doors opened the train on 2 had gone. Ended up getting another train that went the pretty way - via Twickenham and Kew. I was sitting there reading Interzone (which was for sale in the railway station newsagents'!) and got to work only 15 minutes later than normal. This paradoxically augurs well. The SD card for the Zire arrived this morning (! - they must almost have posted it before they got the order, rather like in "Going Postal") and I've had a call from The Chair Company saying my dining table has arrived in their shop so I can come and pick it up.

I hope I'll see some of you tomorrow at the Cittie of York. 6-ish I imagine.


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