gallivating (2004-06-01 - 9:20 p.m.)

So June has begun, and therefore one more month of mindless toil before I have to go find something else to pay the rent. On the plus side, we are sending off two flights full of eager students per week during June, and I will be repping the flights on Wednesdays. This means an early escape from the office, handing people their work visas at Heathrow, and getting back (with any luck) half an hour to two hours before I'd normally leave work.

Of course, there is a downside - many students are idiots. Last week some guy (we'll call him Autobus because it sounds like his name is therefore his nickname around the office) leapt into BUNAC infamy by LOSING HIS PASSPORT between his house and the airport. "Oh," he told the hapless rep, "I think I might have posted it with a bunch of letters just before I left!"

His dad was dispatched to go find the elusive document, but to no avail. The poor flight rep had to go try and convince the airline to put him on another flight later in the week. Ol' Autobus was quite snippy about it, though - rang up the office and told us he felt he shouldn't be put on standby!

The next day we got a call (which I took, actually.) It was an all-too-familiar voice telling us that, by the way, he'd found his passport under the rug in the hall, and when was his flight booked for now?

I later heard the ending to the story. They managed to FINALLY get him out of the country a week later than planned - and he'd put his passport through the wash the day before! Luckily Customs accepted it. I feel a little guilty, though. I hate to think I'm helping to inflict people like that on Canada!

So it was a Bank Holiday weekend last weekend. I planned to stay home to conserve funds (going to Belfast in two days, hooray!) but found that I couldn't stand being in London for one more second, so I did some jaunting. Actually, on Saturday I spent the entire day in bed pretty much (Friday night having been pretty raucous. I'll spare you the description, but let's just say flatmate Tom had quite a bit too much to drink).

Sunday, though, I got up early and headed to the station to get a cheap day return to Oxford. Just picked it because it was close, really, and I was curious. Also, I just really really like train journeys. I always feel like I'm in an Enid Blyton novel or one of the Pevensies coming back from school. And I like watching the scenery go by - very green and un-London-like.

Anyway, the first thing I found in Oxford was a lovely walk down the side of a canal lined with narrow little houseboats! It was gorgeous, full of ducks and of course coots, and all these little tiny boats. I was reading up, and you can actually rent them quite reasonably. My new goal is to become a nomad at some point and float down the waterways of Britain! Will have to wait till the cash situation is more secure, though.

Anyway, it was a lovely walk and just what I needed. Even got to see a lock being worked, which was interesting. The houses are lovely, the gardens slope right down to the stream and are either beautifully landscaped or interestingly jungly.

Other than that, I climbed the Carfax tower, went on a sadly unfruitful seach for a new hat (the sun was getting to me), and had another lovely walk through the Christ Church College Meadows. Watched all the people punting, which looked like good fun. If I go back to Oxford I will bring people, so we can rent a boat and paddle around on the river.

The next day I was going to go on a picnic to Regents Park, but abruptly changed plans and went to Southend-on-Sea instead. That turned out to not be the greatest idea, as there was an airshow on and half of London (and all of Essex) had shown up with their screaming four-year-olds. Still, the airshow was very cool. Saw six people doing a coordinated skydive. They had smoke coming from their ankles so you could see their trails, and they crisscrossed midair so the smoke made a heart shape! Absolutely amazing.

So Southend was a bit of a bust as far as beaches went. Nothing but people as far as the eye could see. I did find a bit of a beach but it was all gravel, and covered six deep in large tourists. I suppose I should have expected as much, after having seen Great Yarmouth.

However, on the bright side I did get a new hat!

That night, when I was back in London, I met up with my friend Aussie Scott who snuck me onto the London Eye (which is where he works). It was amazing. Seems like such a weird idea, but they've done a great job and the view is breathtaking. We went at night, so you could see all the lights. Absolutely incredible. So that was a lovely end to an interesting weekend (especially when you factor in the Haagen-Daaz we stopped for...)

backwards ~ onwards

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Missed anything?
moved! - 2008-05-12
Sunday = time to ramble on - 2008-05-11
apparently I'm doing monthly updates these days. Sorry. - 2008-05-04
watershed - 2008-04-06
end of trip - 2008-03-31

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