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Autumn - sunlitdays

sea_thoughts


The Sea of Stars

Water-stained pages, pebbles and traces of stardust


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Wonderful Weekend
Autumn - sunlitdays
sea_thoughts
This weekend was one of the best weekends I've ever had. I'd been looking forward to it for a month because I was going to meet Arabella, one of the founders of the Sugar Quill, along with two other SQ British members for dinner in London on Saturday night. I don't usually have the opportunity to discuss Harry Potter with other people in person so I was really looking forward to this meeting. Then last week I arranged to meet my friend godricgal earlier on Saturday so that we could hang out together. Our plan was to go to the London Aquarium first and then walk along the Embankment to the Tower and see that as well. I meant to get up at seven o'clock so that I could get the eight fifteen train in order to be there before the Aquarium opened. However, my sleep cycle being what it is, I ended up getting the 9.25 train instead. According to the ticket seller, this would take 35 minutes to get to Waterloo. Thirty-five minutes, my arse! It took more than an hour! I wasn't that surprised given that it went through about eleven stations but I was annoyed that he was ignorant enough to tell me that. Next time I'm getting the train to Woking and then any Waterloo train that goes through Woking as I usually do; never mind the change, it'll still be quicker than the 'straight' route. But at least it gave Kate some time to relax and have a coffee.

At the moment, you can get in at many London attractions on a 2 for 1 offer if you fill out a voucher from a certain booklet and show your train ticket with the voucher. However, we found out that in order to do this on a student ticket, you both need student cards. WHY? I was the one paying, I'd shown my student card, why ask for godricgal's student card? (She isn't a student but that's neither here or there, the point is that I am and I had proof.) So in the end we got in on the full adult price. I was not amused. Still, the Aquarium was quite impressive and there was a lot of interesting information. We even saw the back of a seahorse. There were also some terrapins; my best friend used to keep tiny pet ones so it was fun to see how big they can get. No octopi or squid, though. I would have liked to see them.

After that we walked along the Thames Path to the Tower of London, which took about half an hour. Some of it is still under construction but I did enjoy it. godricgal has a bit of a prejudice against the Underground so we walked everywhere. I have never been to the Tower of London before and she'd only been once long ago for a performance of Richard III so it was really a first for both of us. (I'm a London virgin in many ways. It's quite embarrassing.) The Tower involved a lot of walking up and down steps and the sun kept coming out when we were indoors, very irritating, but I finally saw all the things I've been reading about ever since I was ten, including all the names and mottos carved into the wall of the Beauchamp Tower (pronounced "beecham"). Someone was getting married in St. Vincula's Chapel (that's the Tower church), we could see a guard of honour standing outside ready to make that arch of crossed swords. One of them was a Belfast Guard, according to godricgal. It was chilly, so we decided to leave without seeing the bride and groom come out. It was a shame we couldn't go in, since Anne Bolyen and Katherine Howard are buried in the chapel. We did see the crown jewels, though; I kept thinking it was amazing that those were real rubies and amethysts and diamonds and sapphires, not glass or cheap versions. The gold plate was amazing all by itself, especially the punch bowl, which was so elaborate it was almost mindboggling. We were both silent when looking at them. I think it means more when they're the jewels of your country. She's a history buff like me, so we both took in everything with a lot of attention.

I checked my e-mails in an Internet café afterwards to find out where I was meeting the SQ people and she walked me there, which was nice of her, as I probably wouldn't have found it on my own, then left. Poor girl was extremely tired, I couldn't blame her. I was glad to sit down at the table and sink into some good, meaty HP discussion, which was intermixed with various personal stories (in my case, gruesome stories of English history, because Arabella also loves English history). We ate a variety of starters and I had chargrilled salmon. Then we went back to Arabella's flat (she's in London for work), buying some wine on the way - both Dogstar and Arabella asked my advice about the wine. Anybody who knows me will find this incredibly amusing because I hardly ever drink and I almost never drink wine. However, thanks to the lucky stars that were shining on me, I chose a red wine from Spain called "Los Chobos" that everyone liked, including me! And I never like red wine. I also chose the white wine, which was called "Etoile Filante" and was from France. (That means "shooting star".) However, morcherry and I couldn't stay long, we had to get back to Waterloo, where she got a train to Tower Hill and I got the train back to Guildford. The buses were over so I had to get a taxi. Fortunately, the taxi driver took my £8 even though the fare was slightly over.

I really enjoyed myself and I hope I can meet up with godricgal and other SQ members again. I'd never met any of them before but I got on with them so well and I felt happy to be out on the town with people that were on my level.

In other news: I have an interview for a receptionist job that could become a summer job as well. Fingers crossed!

(Icon by exeunt

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ha-- when I saw HP, I immediately thought Harry Potter. Oh, college. My brain's melted.

There you are.

both Dogstar and Arabella asked my advice about the wine

Possibly Arabella was too tipsy by that to trust her own judgement. I know I was :)

It was a great night. Thank you for making a newbie feel welcome and thank you *very* much for your lovely review of Ch1. of my fic.

Yay interview! Will it be as good as being a steward (is that the correct title?) and involve reading all day? *crosses fingers*

Ah well, I still take it as a compliment and you two did enjoy the white wine, right? ;)

And as for the review, I really enjoyed the story and would have reviewed it even if we didn't know each other. But knowing each other just makes it more special. ;)

No, I won't be able to read all the time but I did like the place and the people were really friendly. ^_^

We did indeed (bad influence - moi?) and then I eventually wobbled away and had to go back for my phone - most embarrassing - and got a lift home thankfully, so didn't have to pay the £20-odd it would have cost me for a taxi. ;)

I had a great day! I'm so pleased I finally got to see The Tower and glad that you didn't find the fact that I read everything a bore! The British Museum next time when Gijane7702 comes over!

You're talking to someone who'll read the information on the cereal box, so no complaints about the reading. And yay for the BM - at least that's free! :D

hi! this is bringing back memories- I kind of stumbled here :)
Meeting you guys and Arabella was so great- my one and only SQ summit! I met Arabella at the portrait gallery before we went to the restaurant- I was slightly star-struck I can't deny it but she's so great- it was a fantastic evening

MORCHERRY!!!

*hugs you* Where have you been?! You disappeared off the face of the planet! I was worried. >.> It was a great evening, wasn't it? I miss those times.

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