Anyhow since last time...
On the following Tuesday I went to one of the STA travel buzz meet ups that I often went to - this one was on Australia, and had a guy talking about didgeridoos - which we got to try out at the end, or more accurately, got to try out on vacuum cleaner pipes. Beforehand however, straight after work I went to a thing in Covent Garden, where X-box was launching and creating awareness of its new Kinect system - which is basically movement sensing cameras etc, so you can play games interactively. It was quite fun, but hot work, jumping around in work clothes.
The next day I went and watched Toy Story 3 3D at the cinema in Bayswater. It was alright, but not spectacular.
On the Saturday I went to watch the - Rugby (New Zealand vs. South Africa) at the Temple Walkabout, (however I did stop at the Redback to watch the Anthem and Haka first before leaving Acton, otherwise I would've missed them). When I first got there, South Africa was leading, but we came back with a couple of tries to win the game. My friend Merinda came and meet me just as the game ended. We nipped down and had some dinner at Opal - a club (although it was empty, being about 6pm and light outside) next to the Embankment station, then we headed back to the Walkabout for some free drinks that Merinda was entitled to thanks to some function. Shortly after we headed to Suzanne & Bevan's leaving do in Hammersmith at the Ruby Grande - which was quite a nice place.
Merinda headed home, I stayed, and once pretty much everyone else had left, Suzanne, Bevan, our cousin Maria, Suzanne's workmate, and me, headed back to Putney and went to a club called the Fez bar - which I had actually wanted to go to - (as I had previously lived in Putney). We ended up staying out until about 4am, but it was a great night.
The next day - Sunday - Merinda and I had planned to see Kew Gardens (hence the photos). It was rather huge, but after looking around for a couple of hours we left, and walked along the river to Richmond, which we thought was quite close, however still took about an hour to walk to, and finished up with dinner.
This bird here came and checked me out, as I was lying under a tree (resting after the night before) while Merinda was checking out the red house in the background. Anyhow, the bird got cockier and cockier, ending in taking a nip at a leaf that was stuck to my t-shirt.
On the Monday Suzanne left in the evening after work. Heathrow wasn't too far on the tube from Acton (where I lived) so on the way back, me and Bevan decided to get off at Hammersmith and have a hot chocolate at McDonalds.
Either that day, or late the week before, I got frustrated with myself and things, and organised with my boss that I would have the Thursday and Friday off, so I could head up to Edinburgh and catch the Fringe/Comedy Festival (which was totally on the to do list). So with last minute organisation, I sorted out a bed in a hostel and a Megabus up there.The Megabus was reasonably cheap, and I travelled through Wednesday night to save on time and money. I was quite lucky as I got the seat at the back to myself, which was 3 seats long. Unfortunately the seats aren't designed for people to lie across them, so I had to put up with belt mechanisms in my back, but I got a few hours sleep, and woke up at about 5 or 6am to an amazing sunrise, just after we had crossed the border into Scotland (I recognised where we were from last time). We got into Edinburgh about 8am, and then in a half daze had to find out where my hostel was. I thought I had got a hostel near to the bus station, but turns out it was actually quite a way away (about 25 minutes walk) - I hadn't had much time to deliberate when I was booking a hostel, as I was doing it at work - however after a bus ride and a short walk, I remembered why I had picked this hostel - it was in an old church. I sorted myself out, and then went looking for brunch, which ended up being Haggis, Neeps and tatties (Mashed Parsnips and Potatoes) after which I then went up to the Royal Mile to get a feel for the festival and see what was going on. After a little look around I headed back to the hostel and had a two hour nap, before heading out again to do a pub crawl (that was done by the same people who did the walking tour I did the last time). On the pub crawl I met a girl who happened to also live in Acton (in fact in a later conversation we worked out that we shared the same landlord- who was also her flatmate). I managed to catch some late night stand-ups at the last pub, which was good. After the pub crawl I walked the long walk home, but was lucky and had the room to myself that night.Friday morning I woke up - fairly quickly realised that you could hear people going at it - as there was no ceilings to the rooms, literally they were just wooden walls. After getting up, walking, and eating something on the way I made it to my first official gig - I think it was also one I paid for, which was OK. After that I went and sat down in the sun with the festival booklets and flyers (that I had managed to accumulate a million of in such a short time) and worked out my plan of attack for the remaining day and a half. I worked out that there was some cheap and free (donation at the end) shows - and it turns out those were the ones I actually enjoyed the most - late on the Friday night I went to a couple more I had paid for, but didn't enjoy them as much. On Saturday I decided I needed to tick a couple of other things off - so after checking out I went for a big walk - first to the museum just up the road from the hostel, and then to Carlton hill, and then up the Royal mile - on my way up I had a power walk through a free museum (by now I was a little over museums) and then managed to chance upon a show playing in the basement of a pub which was my favourite of the festival. Later on I caught up with Michelle - my new friend from the pub crawl for a drink, before marching back to the hostel to pick up my bag, and then subsequently marching to the bus station to catch my bus back to London. The bus ride back wasn't too bad, although I didn't get a lot of sleep because I ended up talking to the girl sitting next to me about all sorts of things. So, I got back to London Sunday morning, the plan was I was going to get a couple of hours sleep once I got back, but that didn't end up happening, so I headed out to the Nottinghill Carnival where I met up with Merinda, and later Bevan and another mate. I stuck around for a while, got a bit wet when it poured down with rain, but with all the music it really wasn't the place to be after virtually nil sleep. I headed home and slept for about 3 hours, before heading to Scott's place for a bit of a farewell for him.Monday (which was also a public holiday, so no work) I got up early and went to Heathrow to see Scott off to Kuwait, returning to try and get some more sleep, which wasn't to be, however I could chill for the rest of the day.