I know that changing continents is as good a reason to update as any, but my slackness was brought to my attention by an about-to-be-married friend (congratulations, kids), and I apologise again for my uselessness in keeping non-Facebookers (boo, hiss) in the massive loop of my life.
Since the Festival finished, I have been languishing in Edinburgh, meeting new friends, relishing the company of old ones, and running into old faces on the street (funny what coincidences an international rugby game creates). A quick trip to Inverness to say goodbye to some folks, a lot of parties, a lot of spending, and a farewell couple of days in London brought me almost to where I am now.
My farewell party started off with bangers and mash, moved through a Sing Star competition, past a broken PSII, onward to the winner (congratulations, Allan of Wales), and through to 3 or 4am with Kath and myself battling it out with Belinda Carlisle, even though nobody else cared any more (we both got knocked out in the third round, which we had trouble dealing with). 6am brought visions of the pub, and Kirsha, Farkins and Bronson accompanied me (or I accompanied them) to the good old Scotsman's Lounge for a few hours. I finally got out of another pub at 1pm, and managed to make my train two hours later. Thanks to everyone who helped me get there!
I finally made it to Chantal's after getting no sleep on the train (I'm so glad I don't get hangovers); thankfully neither of us wanted a late night. Getting my 20+kg backpack up the ladder to the attic where she sleeps wasn't an option either. The next day I managed to meet Simon for (literally) five minutes at Queen's Park tube station. I was going to accompany him to the train but foolishly had left my wallet in my other bag. I don't know if I'm just getting older, or just more retarded. I just had to accept the coffee he bought me and leave him to go to Paddington on his own. Later on, wallet in hand, I found myself at London Zoo, listening to an excellent talk about the rainforest (and getting as much of a tour as my time restraints allowed) by the lovely Ben. Since my comedian friend is useless as ever, I went straight from there to the Victoria and Albert Museum to meet Chantal and Rebecca for the late night Hallowe'en event. We stood in several ridiculously-long queues for things that weren't worth it (how English), drank some overpriced but average wine, marvelled at the lovely rooms, listened to a storyteller, watched some short films and were totally confused by the 'grand finale' (gratuitous nudity, a terribly-acted vampire attack, and no discernible point).
I got from London to Hong Kong via tube, bus, three-hour delay, 11 hour plane ride, and another bus. I'd called the guesthouse I was booked at to tell them I was still coming. They told me it was fine. When I finally got there, I was told that they'd sold my bed, but they were 'kind enough' to let me sleep on a mattress on the floor. In the hallway outside the bathroom. I was tired and had already paid for a week, so was going to accept. I had to wait around for an hour before anything happened, and then found out that he wouldn't refund me if I decided to move out the next day. So I took my money back and left. Luckily, Chungking Mansions are full of guesthouses and the kind of annoying hawkers that I hate. A couple of guesthouses later and I have my own little room with en suite for a few days. It's really what I needed (and though slightly more expensive, a bargain by world standards).
I met up with Rhiannon, her boss, and his business associate for dinner. We had 'traditional' Chinese food (I have never had cheese on anything in a Chinese restaurant before), which was great, and did a little bit of shopping. Tomorrow I'll get on to looking for a more permanent place to stay, and try and make some work contacts. No idea how it'll go, but I'm imagining great things. I think I'll love this city!
I'm really looking forward to spending Hallowe'en here, and am excited (if a little petrified) to be doing something entirely new and scary!
[I have a new phone number. Contact me for it if you don't have it already!]