This week in London

Well, I’ve had an odd week. Work is still work, even though there doesn’t seem to be much to do at the moment. I have been tasked with about 6 different things, none of which have as yet come about. I’ve discovered that they want me to visit Pune in India late in November to meet the testing team there who deal with the (insert name of big investment bank) account. I may also catch up with the gentleman from Quexst who made such a cock-up of my previous visit there. It looks like I shall have to spend two days a week in Brussels starting in January for a few months. I expect they will try to get me five days a week, but I have put my foot down on that, as the original commitment was 2 days a week in Nottingham. The customer, after we got the account, told us, “Oh, incidentally, the work is going to go on in Belgium.” Rats. The Test Factory in Peterborough is still holding fire: I am to spearhead it and don’t really mind that as it’s relatively commutable (the journey is 50 minutes and there is a bus from the train station). The quarters are quite palatial as well. Even a Starbucks in the lobby! How great is that? (And you Starbucks haters: please don’t write and tell me how bad Starbucks is; in a country where coffee as recently as 1994 meant instant granules in a cup Starbucks was and is a Godsend.)

I discovered this week that I have been voted membership in Philanthropic Lodge F&AM in Marblehead, where my brother is a Brother. I shall be returning to Marblehead in December to sign the bye-laws and take up the membership. I won’t be able to attend regularly, of course, but it’s a link with my hometown and my brother that will be valuable in years to come.

I have bought about 5 new bow ties this week and thus am prepared to wear them almost exclusively. I may get some more, but will stay away from Tie Rack bow ties as the one I bought is already starting to fray at the top where it sometimes rubs against my neck. More Rats!

Our toaster gave up the ghost on Wednesday: after about 7 or so years of daily service I put the bagels in it and it turned on for a moment, then silently died and popped the bagels up, untoasted. That afternoon I got a new one at Argos with seemingly as many controls as in a car. It shows an LCD reading of the doneness you want (we’ve experimented and settled on “2” as optimal). It’s silver and, most important, works.

Yesterday a workman came (quite late in the afternoon) and fixed the trellis on the wall in our back garden. I bought another USB PCI card and will be installing it in the Sun, moving the combined USB/Firewire card to the Dell.

Last night we went out to dinner with my friend Watty, who is visiting from New York. He is a member of the Ben Franklin society, and is on a tour with them of his haunts in London and Paris. Apparently the house he lived in here still exists and has been restored. Will have to take a look. They went to Freemasons’ Hall but were not shown the Franklin memorabilia they have there, just given the normal tour. Very dusty of the Brothers. Watty is a member of St. Clement’s, the church on 46th Street in Hell’s Kitchen that I attended from 1990-1991 before I moved to Chicago.

Today we’re going to the Velasquez exhibition at the National Gallery, courtesy of my former roommate Mark, who is a warder there. Very nice perk for us both.

So ends another week in London.

2 Responses to “This week in London”

  1. bigmacbear says:

    (And you Starbucks haters: please don’t write and tell me how bad Starbucks is; in a country where coffee as recently as 1994 meant instant granules in a cup Starbucks was and is a Godsend.)

    Having moved to the center of the Starbucks universe, I am still not a fan of their particular method of roasting coffee nigh unto charcoal before grinding and brewing it — I think their competitors (and they are legion, with Seattle’s Best and Tully’s being the largest) do a better job. But I concur that at least Starbucks get the brewing and presentation quite right, and they have the cash and the ambition to spread the gospel of coffee, as it were, around the world.

  2. chrishansenhome says:

    Well, if I ever come to Seattle, I’ll find out exactly how good it is! Until then, make mine a grande latte.