Monday, May 09, 2005

Day 5

[reading: Tanya Huff, "Smoke and Shadows"]

So the score with the Inland Revenue now stands at 1-1. I was right about one of the tax code errors, but the other one appears to be legimitate—there was some small print I'd missed. Still, they were actually rather helpful, and I think I understand it all a bit better now. I also prodded them again for a tax return—who would have thought it would be so difficult to persuade them to send out forms.

Next up, a shopping trip into central London, which is entirely more civilized on a weekday than at a weekend. As I'm now going to have Copious Free Time, I might actually get around to playing the guitar again, and so I got new strings to replace the ones that have been on for the last several years. Also, since Mike has promised to GM some Dogs In The Vineyard, I discovered just how expensive it is to build a large selection of dice.

I also had one of those nice moments of serendipity you get occasionally in London. I'd been vaguely looking out for somewhere to get some thread of a particular colour (not actually black, which may surprise those that know me) to repair a button, and I'd had little success until I tried to take a back route off of Oxford Street (it's more civilized on a weekday, but still not that civilized). Lo and behold, fifty yards down the back street I found a whole shop dedicated to Knitting and Sewing, over several floors.

Of course, all of this was the precursor to the main event, which was to meet up with a friend for lunch. He's also heading towards a sabbatical, but his employers are insisting that he actually work out his notice period (I guess that's another way of saying that he's more important than I was). However, in the pre-sabbatical period he's taking his remaining vacation so that he only has to work a three day week—so it was effectively a slacker's lunch. Followed by a residency at a nearby hostelry. Followed by a short walk to a second hand record shop or two, and then a much needed rest at another hostelry.

I wimped out after a mere five hours drinking, but I later discovered that he linked up with another of his friends and carried on into the night; impressive stamina, but then he's been working in the city for much longer than I have.

No comments: