Sunday, August 12, 2007

In the Backseat

I woke up to my alarm feeling more than a little rough; I guess that meant I drank too much! I had to vacate the B&B for 10.30 and breakfast was at 7-9am. As I paid so much for the room I made damn sure I was going to take full advantage of breakfast. Though I was feeling rough the full English that was brought out helped me to feel a little more human. After breakfast a long hot shower managed to prepare me for the long walk to the car.

Nekane had to work at the hotel, how she managed it I have no idea, but I had several hours to kill until we would meet. I carried my bag to the car it took me an hour to walk there. After dropping my bag off I spent the rest of the morning wondering around Cambridge. It is a very pretty city full of old building and houses.

I met up with Nekena at 2 and we went for lunch at one of the local pubs. She looked destroyed no wonder she had to get up for work at 7.

After lunch we took a walk down the river, then went to the Fitzwilliam Museum. I especially liked the medieval armour collection. We were also going to check out the botanical gardens but it wasn't open for long and there was an entrance fee so we decided to get a drink instead.

Walking back along the quietest road I have ever known was quiet early I was glad to reach the main road. We were joking it was like something out of a horror film. I think both of us were a little zombie like after last night drinking session.

We had a drink retrieved my car and headed to catch a film. I was heading back in the evening so didn't want too late a night and neither of us fancied drinking again. On reaching the cinema there were no films we wanted to see so instead we went bowling. Nekena had never tried it before, and I think she did pretty well for a beginner. I was my usual rubbish self barely managing a mediocre score. We both had fun though; Nekena said she was addicted by the last few frames.

We spent about another hour sat in the park chatting before I set off home. I was sad to say goodbye Nekane was a lot of fun, though Cambridge wasn't the most fun city I have ever visited, it was pretty.

I had a nightmare journey the A14 was closed for work so I had to follow a huge diversion. By the time I finally reached the M6 I spent over an hour longer than on the way there. I was feeling really tired so I had to stop off at a service station and grab a coffee. I made it home in one piece though.


I always think it is great to be recognised for your work, recently we have all be flat out trying to get a new system ready. Unusually the management recognised our efforts by taking everyone involved out for lunch. They took us to the new Gourmet Burger Kitchen. The restaurant is basically an up-market McDonalds, proper big thick tasty beef burgers with a variety of toppings and side orders. If you enjoy burgers this GBK definitely has appeal. I enjoyed lunch it was nice to do something social with the team.

I had booked the afternoon off because I planned to visit my net friend Nekena in Cambridge. Its a pretty long drive and I wanted to avoid the rush hour traffic. It took just over three hours to make the trip, a pretty straightforward journey until reaching Cambridge itself. I got a little lost as unfortunately my sat navigation decided it wasn't going to play ball today. Fortunately I managed eventually to find the station where I was met Nekena.

She is a Spanish girl from the Basque region, currently living and working in the UK at a hotel in Cambridge. We started chatting online about fours months ago. She is a wicked graphic designer funny and interesting so when she told me she was coming to visit the UK I definitely wanted to meet her.

Cambridge is not the most car friendly city and due to some rather bad upfront planning I couldn't stay at the place I was supposed to and so I had nowhere to park and nowhere to stay. After driving round for half an hour I finally found a street without restrictions about 15 minutes walk from the town center.

We wondered round the city for ages looking for a B&B that had vacancies, eventually nearly at the point of despair I found an completely overpriced B&B. Unfortunately we had walked right across the city which meant my car was miles away. It was getting late though so we decided to forget about it until tomorrow and go grab some dinner.

There was a nearby retail park so we went to the Nandos there. I had a Chicken pity and a salad. The Salad was great the chicken was a bit of a let down though.

Having found somewhere to stay and something to eat we were feeling much happier and set off into the town to check out a night in Cambridge. I forget the name of the first bar, it was nestled away on an ally way and bustling with people though we managed to get a seat. It was really nice sitting and chatting whilst supping Kroneburg.

We decided a change was as good as a rest and so headed out to another pub. The second one had a really good atmosphere and the music wasn't bad though the DJ was far from good at mixing. She ordered the drinks and accidentally managed to get herself Cider rather than lager. She also managed to start drinking mine, a trick she repeated later in the evening O_o

We would probably have stayed only there was no dancefoor, and Nekena really wanted to strut her stuff. The Spanish have a saying if someone dances badly, they "dance like a duck". It been a long running in joke that we both dance like ducks.

Apart from a club which had a rather steep entry and which was blearing out hip hop music the only other place with a dancefloor seemed to be Wetherspoons. Like several other wetherspoons I have visited this was cavernous and had a dancefloor and seating areas. In fact it reminded me of the huge one in Deansgate. We sat and enjoyed a few more drinks chatting away about life the universe and everything before dancing like crazy people. The bouncers got very cross because we were dancing holding our drinks so we had to take a short time out to finish them. Whist we were drinking two crazy Lithuanian guys started talking to us, one of them was a bit weird and scary, fortunately they grew bored and left pretty quickly.

By the time wetherspoons closed we both drunk and danced for quite a long time, walking back to our homes we were handed a flyer and hustled into another bar. Sat down both drunk on swivel chairs we made jokes and acted stupid. Nekena had a candle on her head. Unfortunately I forgot my camera so I didn't get any pictures which was a shame as there were some priceless moments.

It took about 30 minutes to walk back to Nekena's place which mercifully was near to my own. I didn't have a key to get in and had to ring the bell and wake up the concierge. I was feeling more than a bit drunk at this point and glad to get into bed.