Monday, July 16, 2007

A Full House

The weeks do seem to fly. Only notable thing about work this week was my boss’ performance in the taxi on the way back from a meeting. We had been visiting a prospective supplier and after the usual sales pitch they showed us around their offices. On the journey home we were comparing impressions and Ian (the said boss) sat there and estimated the company turnover, profit margin and directors’ salaries just by extrapolating what we’d been told about company size and the sales targets we’d seen displayed on a whiteboard in their sales area.

Apparently this is what accountants do subconsciously…

The weekend has been very enjoyable. We were couch-potatoes on Friday night but Saturday we had invited a few friends around for a bit of a house party. It meant lots of cleaning on Saturday morning (which was no bad thing to be honest) but the afternoon was spent with Rod & Jess and Ruth & Chris. R&J headed off towards early evening after a game of Trivial Pursuit which we ended up abandoning because we got so few questions right and it was becoming tedious. We ordered pizza and Ping & Uwe turned up just in time to partake and then join us for a friendly game of poker.

Normally when you are just playing for fun, people tend to be a bit reckless with their betting and the game is over quickly, but I think because neither Ping nor Uwe had played before they were more cautious. Anyway, the game continued until about 1:30 Sunday morning when Uwe finally collected all the chips. It was a most enjoyable game, although I rather get the impression that Ping (the first player out) was a bit bored and Chris was just sizing us up for the game we’re organising for cash in a couple of weeks…

Today was the inevitable clearing up after the party, but we all three pitched-in and it was done in no time. Brett and I headed down to Bromley to do some shopping. It was a targeted trip and we were done in an hour – which, given some recent shopping trips (which have lasted all day and still not purchased everything on the list!) was pretty good going. As a result we had plenty of time to enjoy a lazy Sunday afternoon reading and watching TV. One of the new shows we’d recorded was Dexter which looks interesting, if a little morally ambiguous. The other one, Jekyll, we didn’t even get past the first ten minutes of before we gave up – although that may have had something to do with my mother ringing just as it started…

This evening, we headed up to The Dome to watch the new Harry Potter movie. We’d chosen the Dome as the venue to see what they’d done to it. It was a bit tricky to find as the signposting was minimal and generally too late unless you were really eagle-eyed. Once we got there we sat in a line of traffic until we could be charged £5 for the privilege of parking the car, which I thought was bloody cheeky as there are acres of parking and it hadn’t said anything about parking fees when we booked the tickets.

Once you get into the Dome itself the signage isn’t any better – although we did realise on the way out that there are a couple of floor-plans in the main entrance hall that we’d missed. It’s laid out like a circular street with lots of pavement cafés and restaurants (in fact, looking at the floor plan, that’s pretty much all there is at the moment; the arena, the cinema and a dozen restaurants and cafés!) So we bumbled our way around to find the cinema, the ticket machines weren’t working so Rosie had to head off somewhere else to get the tickets printed, then we joined a queue to get into the auditorium, only to find that a portion of best seats were cordoned off. We still managed to get good seats though, just behind the closed rows, and then we realised why they were roped off; the giant tent isn’t waterproof!

There was a constant flow of water down from the ceiling into big buckets balanced on seats in the roped off section. Luckily the constant ‘spit, spat’ sounds weren’t too distracting from what turned out to be quite a good movie.

I haven’t been desperately fond of the earlier Harry Potter movies; several of them seemed to be just long video-game commercials. This one felt a bit more substantial though; definitely got the more ‘adult’ feel to it that a lot of the pre-release hype suggested. Maybe the next couple will really be worth watching.

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