My mum's first day off under her new contract (every Wednesday off). In the morning, we went to the doctor's, where I got a gel for my acne (which is apparently already working, according to my parents). In the afternoon, we went to Phase Eight and bought me a new linen skirt with a black-and-white leaf pattern, together with a pair of very high heels, since I've had my previous pair for 10 years and it was time I got new shoes. They're so high that I have to learn to walk properly in them but that's good for me.
I had my second interview for the job in London. It was meant to be at 11.30, but they called me on Monday and asked if I could come at 3.00 instead. I said yes, partly to sound flexible and partly because there was no reason that I couldn't come then. It meant I could have a bit of a lie-in. Naturally, this time, I slept like a baby. The train to London was on Platform 6; I've alighted at this platform, but never boarded before. Unfortunately, they were cleaning the train, so that meant a growing crowd of people waiting for the doors to unlock. However, the train was nicely air-conditioned and not very crowded, due to the time of day and the date. I did my make up in the toilets at Waterloo (they cost 20p but there's so much more space) and managed to walk from Goodge Street to the office in my heels. (I brought a pair of flats with me for actually walking around London.)
I met the Marketing Director, Graham, who asked me some (but not all) of the same questions Marie and Nina had asked me. However, he seemed really nice. We talked about how difficult it was to get started as a translator: people want qualifications, but if you get the qualifications, you sacrifice time that could be spent getting experience, which they apparently want more. He asked me about my hobbies, specifically writing, going to the cinema and riding. I managed to name my favourite film of the past six months and my favourite director. I also told them more about the translation degree: its structure, the courses, our projects. After that, I did another proof-reading test. This one was more a test of my editing skills, which meant that I took longer over it, because that's more subjective. I was actually in the same office as Marie, Nina and Graham this time. It was a nice atmosphere and I kept having to rein myself in from making a joke or a comment. In the end, I said that I was finished because I'd just start going over my own corrections and scrubbing them out. Don't ask me how I did because I'm always wrong about how these things went.
After that, I walked to Paperchase on TCR (Tottenham Court Road) and bought my father a birthday card (for the 12th) along with some letter paper and envelopes for me. Unfortunately, I'd forgotten to put my mini London A-Z in my bag, so I had to buy another one. This was rather annoying, since I'd checked my account and I hadn't been paid by the Post Office, so I was on a finite amount of money. I got the Tube to Hyde Park Corner and walked into Hyde Park for the first time in my life. It was beautiful: the daffodils were out, so were some bluebells(!). I sat down and rested. I don't know what it is, but if I walk too long in a skirt, the very tops of my thighs start rubbing together and I get blood bruises. :/ Which is what happened on Thursday, because I had to walk to the High Street Kensington tube station to meet Lydia (who works in Hammersmith). Unfortunately, the tube was completely packed and when I finally got to Hammersmith, I discovered she'd phoned me to tell me to stay at Hyde Park. Never mind. We got a nice long ride on the bus and I finally got to see her flat. It's in a perfect part of London for her (the flat is part of a house that used to be a mansion, the front garden is paved with a statue, it's got a small pub just down the road), but, as usual, money is a worry for her. I refrained from pointing out that shopping at Waitrose won't help her keep her pennies safe. We got the bus down to Clapham and she drove us back to Wiltshire, despite the fact her headlights burned out and she had to keep her sidelights on (yes, that was fun). I was exhausted when I got home, hence not updating right then and there.
Spent most of it sleeping.
I got up early (my parents were shocked, haha) and went into town with them. I got a credit record from my bank, all ready to confront the Post Office about not paying me. When I go in there, Nigel says, "Ah, Laura, I've got a cheque and a pay-slip for you in my office." What, so you were just going to let that stay there until I came in? I thought. The least you could have done is phoned me. I bet my number is still in the book. But never mind, I got the cheque, I got it paid in. £451.69 Yeah baby. Came home, watched Doctor Who, forced myself to write some more of Watching for Wolves. I'm almost at the part where it becomes easy again. Had a 'Eureka' moment about "Exiles", which was so much fun. I wrote it down so it won't be lost. Tried to go to bed early because of next day.
Got up at eight o'clock in order to go with friends to church for breakfast. Saw Matthew's parents. Had to update everyone on what I was doing. It was nice to be there, but all the people I hung out with are gone now. I did see some of the old crowd though. David, who's my age, has a receding headline and is balding on top! Giles, on the other hand, has turned his life around and is now involved in a Christian rock band. This makes me very happy because Giles has gone through a lot and he's got so much potential. Came back, nibbled on my Easter Egg and watched the first DVD of North and South (the Elizabeth Gaskell adaptation) on my own, because parents and sister were both at friends' houses. Sister didn't come home until gone 11pm after a brief interlude at home. Typical.
Bank Holiday Monday
Today, we visited Glastonbury. And it was wonderful.
I'm not sure if I can describe how happy I felt to be driving in the Somerset Levels (the flat marshland surrounding Glastonbury), the road set low between the hedgerows, which were turning green and often full of hawthorn blossom. Apple trees filled the fields. We drove to Blackford, first, along winding country roads with old fashioned, rusting signposts that gave you half and quarter miles. The pub was old and beautiful, the food was simple and delicious. Mum and Helen had ham, egg and chips; Dad and I had Exmoor Game Pie and vegetables. The sauce was Guinness Port, rich and dark. We all had dessert: mine was a Brandy Snap Basket with strawberry ice cream, whipped cream and strawberries; Mum had Swan Lake - fruit soaked in cherry brandy, strawberry ice cream and cream all on a meringue; Helen had Spotted Dick (or "Richard" as they put it on the board) and Dad had Raspberry Jam Roll. We all felt pleasantly stuffed.
Seeing Glastonbury Tor for the first time... I felt a wave of excitement. Just seeing it there, a great hill rising up out of all this flatness, is amazing enough but when you get to Glastonbury, you realise just how very high it is. Mum and Helen preferred to wander round the town and I would have liked to go with them, but I was more interested in seeing the Abbey (where they found King Arthur's grave) and the Tor itself. Dad and I walked around the Abbey, in the Easter sunshine, then walked right up to the Tor. Supposedly, it's two miles, but it felt a lot longer, and it's all uphill. We went the back way, which zig-zags up the Tor, so you get little breathers as it evens out, before climbing again. When we finally got to the top, my heart was pounding, but the view was spectacular. On a clear day, you can see all the way to South Wales. There was a nice breeze, so we cooled down, admired the view for a while, then took the straight route down (which is the route I imagined Remus climbing up in Remembrance Day). The Chalice Well is at the bottom, but we didn't have time to go in. Pity, I was quite thirsty by then! And I would have loved to see the garden. But better luck next time.
Because there will be a next time
Cool YouTube Videos
The Founders of Hogwarts - any Harry Potter fan will love this. It's a really good video of the beginnings of Hogwarts, effortlessly combining clips from different films in order to portray the Founders. The films used are Pride and Prejudice, Tristan and Isolde, and King Arthur.
Harry's Potter Bohemian Life - clips of all four films set to La Vie Bohème from RENT. Sounds crazy, but it works, and it's hilarious.
We Didn't Start The Fandom - the complete history of Harry Potter fandom by the founders of The Sugar Quill, sung to the tune of We Didn't Start The Fire by Billy Joel. Very funny.
Potter Puppet Pals 1 - Bothering Snape - hilarious animation of the Trio doing just what the title says - and suffering the consequences.
Potter Puppet Pals 2 - Trouble at Hogwarts - Voldemort invades Hogwarts! Oh noes!
Potter Puppet Pals 3 - P-P-P-Potions - now actually using puppets! Snape 'shares' his Potions knowledge.
Potter Puppet Pals 4 - Wizard Angst - possibly my favourite of all the PPP videos, even though it's very difficult to choose, but this one has some amazing lines. Takes the piss out of Harry's 'teenage' moment in OotP. "I'll WOUND you!" XD
Potter Puppet Pals 5 - The Mysterious Ticking Noise - Snape hears a mysterious ticking noise. The whole gang becomes hypnotised by the sound. Then they find out what it was...
Snape Angst - Snape runs Heartbreak Hotel!