Posts tagged ‘holiday’
Life is a funny thing sometimes, for years not much changed around me. I then moved on my own and that’s been quite a change as well. Since buying my place I’ve been wanting to start studying again, the reason I didn’t do that before yet was because I wanted to start my study at the same time as buying my house, which was too much to arrange at the same time. So a year later and I’m about to start my study in several weeks. But that’s not even all!
I’m currently working 42 hours a week and talked about some study options with my boss. He then thought about the options, did some calculating and said that he’d pay for all the study costs, would give me 0.5-1day a week to spend on my study whilst at work(paid) and cover official exam costs. The only thing I’ll have to pay for is the machine I’ll be using for my study. And since I will be using it for work purposes as well (and as they are 99% linux based) I’m very much thinking of getting a macbook, which kind I’m not sure on yet.
Then I recently went to France on holiday with my girlfriend and simply had the best week of my life there with her. It’s pretty funny considering that we were(and I mean her by that) she was going to have to make a decision on what she’s going to do in the near future. This is because she’s finishing her master degree and with that her visa ends and she’d have to leave the country. Because she’s from Ukraine this would mean that essentially we’d never see each other other than when I would fly over there.
This is clearly an incredibly hard decision and since we haven’t known each other for so long it makes it even harder. But there’s no denying we are alike in just about every way, and we have a click I never even knew was possible. She also feels the same way and in such a way decided that she’d stay here and move in with me, if she doesn’t get accepted to 2 phd positions she applied to. Her deciding this rather blew my mind as it’s a very big decision and she actually wants to stay here with me. Probably within the next week or at least 2 she will be moving in to my place as well.
So I’ll be going from working full-time and having some time in evenings to relax/do fun things to working full-time, studying for another 20 hours a week and be living together with my girlfriend. I really don’t know how I’m going to have any time left to do anything at all.
I just got home recently after the most lovely week I’ve had in my life being on holiday with my girlfriend to France. It was thoroughly enjoyable and really special, but I’ll write a separate post about that I think once I get the pictures as well. Coming home was interesting as it was just before the 4 days marches (Vierdaagse) and since I live in the centre; there’s stages everywhere and people already drinking etcetc. It’s strange to walk with your travel-bags through such a crowd. Then once I was home I decided to check on some of my regular websites which I hadn’t seen in quite a while.
I checked giantbomb.com and saw there wasn’t much content at all posted since I had left; I thought that was strange, I saw flowers and a post with 7000 comments on it. I clicked on it and read the following words:
Giantbomb has suffered a profound loss. Ryan Davis passed away on July 3rd. He was 34.
My first thought was that this simply couldn’t be true. It didn’t really hit me for a while, but once it did I just started crying. It’s strange how much you can care and be connected to someone who you’ve never met in real life. But I’ve been following Ryan since way back in the gamespot days and I’ve always enjoyed his views, personality and god damn his sense of humor. He always managed to be funny, thoughtful and was a riot. I’ll seriously miss the guy, I’ve been reading and listening/watching anything he does for so many years, I still don’t really fathom that it’s over. I don’t want it to be over, it can’t be over.
RIP Ryan Davis, you joyous man you.
I have some good weeks up ahead, that’s for sure. First of all my holiday started great with me talking with my boss about the study I want to do alongside work. It resulted in him paying for the entire study minus the laptop, the only downside is that I won’t also get a raise; but that’s really fine since I won’t have to pay anything extra either for my studies, other than a laptop initially. So that was about as good as it could have possibly gone. So this put me in a good mood and I went out for a night in the pub with one of my best friends who I hadn’t seen in way too long. I then finished reading Hitchiker’s Guide To The Galaxy yesterday and will now go to my girlfriend’s place and spend a good evening there.
Then tomorrow we’ll go to Paris, and a friend who I met in New York also happens to be there, I never thought I was going to see him again seeing as he’s from Australia! What’re the chances, eh? There’s definitely some good times ahead on holiday and even when I’m back it’ll be the 4 days marches, which means that for a week my entire town will be filled with people, live music and bars and festivities everywhere. Plus one of my best friends will be celebrating her birthday at my place as well.
I might just post some stuff from my holiday, but it won’t be too much I’d wager. I hope you all have a great time until I’m back!
Then it was sadly the last day in London and we had to check out by 11, so we got up kinda early and started packing. Managed to check out just after 11, which all things considered isn’t that bad. Funny to see how you always leave with more stuff than you brought with you, despite me losing my gloves and forgetting to pack some stuff again. We could leave our bags at the reception to pick them up later when we needed to get to the airport, so that was pretty nice.
Feet still hurting, we went to the main shopping street again and decided to check out the HMV as they have a big metal selection, and indeed they do. Ended up buying 4 cd’s and a DVD there. I was tempted to buy much more, but they are rather pricey. Nath also bought another 2 albums, one of which was a christmas metal compilation, which turns out to be pretty neat.
After that we checked to see if perhaps one of the metalbars was open since 1 of them also served as a pub, so we could have lunch there, but it was closed. So we ended up sitting down at a pretty traditional english place where we had some delicious pastries and Nath got a kettle of tea. The food was simply delicious so we took it easy and enjoyed it to the fullest. Approaching the time that we’d have to leave to catch our flight, Nath wanted to visit the bookstore across the street quickly where I ended up buying a book on the Celts and Nath one on Norse Mythology.
Then we finally headed to the hotel to pack up our bags and headed for the airport. Where we were supposed to switch from the metro onto the train that’d take us to the airport’s terminal, there was no rail service there at all. We asked some of the personnel what we could do instead and we had to get to another station from which we could get to the airport.
So we had to take a detour and make another 2 stops to get there. However as we had taken 1 line, one of these lines wasn’t going so we got recommended another reroute which we followed. When we finally got to the 2nd station to catch our train we noticed that it was departing at :22 and :52, guess what time it was? Yeah, :53. So we had to wait another 29 minutes and as such certainly missed our flight. So that sucked, on the plus-side, we had a nice talk with one guy who worked there. He again guessed my accent to be Canadian, which I again found funny.
When we finally got to the airport we booked for the next flight, which would be 12 hours later at 7am. So that then meant paying a lot for a hotel or staying at the airport and try and get some sleep there. We ended up doing the latter, charged up our phones at one of the cafes and sat at the burger king for a while doing some reading. Then we walked around to look for some benches/seating without armrests so Nath could maybe lie down and at least be somewhat comfortable. We managed to find the last one in the far corner of the airport and as such we dumped our bags there and sat down.
Nath ended up lying down with her jacket as a sheet and using my leg as a pillow, pretty much as comfortable as it could get, meanwhile near us there was a girl who was looking very angrily at us which had us laughing quietly. Just the smell/feel of jealousy was very fun. I have to say though that that night took forever as I wasn’t able to sleep at all, I was tired before.. but as I actually wanted to sleep, I was wide awake.
So that next morning I was dead tired as I had been up past 24 hours and we got back to my car and I drove to her home… not the safest, but I had to. We watched the Nightwish End of an Era DVD I had bought and then I decided due to circumstances that I should head home and that turned out to be not entirely safe, but I did make it home with some stops along the way.
That then ended my London trip, which I really enjoyed.
After a rather long rest we both felt better and decided we’d go to a meeting that Nath wanted to go to and I’d join in to keep her company as well. When we got there it seemed like nobody was there and the building seemed closed as well, so we hung around it for a while to see if people would show up for a while, but they didn’t. So we ended up going to Tower Bridge to fill up time until the next musical.
So we walked over to Tower Bridge and Tower Hill which was pleasant to look at, though I’m not a fan of there being a million and one tourists around. After that we decided to check out the London Dungeon briefly but on the way there, we derped on navigation which led to us wandering around the wrong area for a brief time when we realized that we didn’t have time to even lunch anymore before going to the theatre. So even if we hadn’t derped, we still wouldn’t have had time to actually go in and check it out.
As we got to the Dominion theatre we could go right in, order some drinks and popcorn and sit down for We Will Rock You. If you don’t know, you might’ve guessed it from the title already; yes, it’s the Queen musical. Now I expected it to surely have some queen songs in there and the story would be paper-thin. Turns out there was indeed a lot of queen songs, some of which I didn’t recognize, but there was also a lot of great dialog and likable characters. I found myself laughing quite often or otherwise just smirking at the remark or nudge towards other bands, songs, artists, etc. It truly was well written and the songs themselves did an overall great job too, giving me goosebumps occasionally. The songs just clicked with me and my emotions at that time, as I found myself looking away from the stage and towards Nath.
After that show we had planned to go join a jack the ripper tour/walk, when we got at the metro stop we found there were a couple of them and as we were looking a cleaning guy walked up to us to give us advice on which ones were good and worth going to. This then turned into a rather long and funny conversation and we got out of it with a recommendation for a walk and a nearby pub as well. So we went to the pub and ordered there and we were sitting next to the window giving me a nice view of the Tower Bridge, which was nice. The food also was pretty darn good and incredibly cheap, made us wonder why the hell we don’t have pubs over here. Ideal places to sit down and have a drink/meal at.
So then it was time for the Jack the Ripper walk which lasted for just under 2 hours, which was fun and kinda interesting. It was also the moment where it got to be pretty cold and I wanted to wear my Turisas gloves, which Nath has seemingly left at the pub we just ate at. I remember her trying to play it off as a joke, but it came out all sad and apologetic. Yes, I lost my gloves, but hell, they’re only gloves. I forgive ya (should you ever read this).
The only downside of the tour was that my feet were absolutely killing me at this point and I really couldn’t stand still for more than some seconds so that aspect of it was rather painful. Along the way Nath also started having issues with her combat boots as it was scraping over her foot, which hurt a lot. But I’m still glad we did it though I had to explain some of the things the guide said as Nath couldn’t make out what he was saying. I reckon a bunch of people on the walk were having trouble with this too.
After that we looked for a bus to get back to the hotel as the tubes weren’t going anymore due to the strike, which ended up taking quite a while longer than we expected but then we found one line that would take us within a couple of blocks of our hotel, by accident. Good find that.
When we got to the hotel Nath was so tired that she just crashed on the bed and fell asleep lying next to me while I was still sitting upright, I found this to be very cute and as such took a picture of it which she hates.
After a lengthy night’s rest and a lunch we didn’t really have a solid plan for what we were going to do during the day. No public transport didn’t help much with that either.
We ended up going through Hyde park which was quite nice and full of squirrels, adorable little buggers. It really is a nice place to go for a nice walk and I’m glad we did.
After that we walked through some major shopping streets and had lunch. It’s rather funny to see it being a lot more quiet and peaceful in such a big town. I rather enjoyed the architecture on a bunch of the buildings, which you could now look up at more easily.
We then walked off Oxford street to sit down briefly at a church courtyard which had a very unique mix of old/new buildings around it which is very typical for England.
When leaving it we made a little trip past the British Museum when we sat down in a pub for a little. Had a talk with a guy at the bar who tried to guess my accent as “he’d never gotten it wrong before and he’s known for that”. After 5 guesses I had to tell him and he was completely shocked, which I found to be hilarious.
After that we went around some of the tourist traps such as the London eye, big ben and westminster abbey and took some pictures of them like everyone else there. After that we walked to Buckingham Palace and went through the park next to it briefly to get back to Soho where we’d look for some of the metalbars we hadn’t come across before, only to find them closed.
So then we sat down at a restaurant for a bit to talk and relax, to then walk back to the hotel since it had become late already and we both were very tired from all the walking.
We got up late and ofcourse there was plenty of waiting to be done before heading out. Went to Soho and checked some recordshops and went to look for a metalbar which when we eventually got there it ended up being closed until the last day of our stay, bummer.
So we then got a late lunch and headed for camden. Camden is the alternative part of London with all kinds of metal/rock/whatever stuff. There we did some shopping and we got some more albums and clothes.
As it was getting pretty late and shops were roughly closing around that time so we decided on some fish’n'chips.
Afterwards we had a quick walk around Camden and headed for the Hobgoblin again as that proved to be rather fun the night before.
Stayed there for some hours and then headed back to the hotel with the hope of some good night’s rest.
We’re told that in the 2 following days there will be (practically) no public transport due to strikes and it being boxinh day, so that should prove to be interesting indeed.
Getting up real early kinda sucked, but we did catch our flight with ease. I’m really glad I could stay at my friend’s place
Only when I was in London/the hotel did I really get the feeling that I was away from home. After travelling we were tired so we decided on a powernap to rest up a bit since we wanted to be awake for the rest of it. Afterwards we went to Barbecoa (restaurant) which was rather chic, so Nathalie felt out of place because we were sitting there in generic metal outfits. To me that’s completely normal and I don’t think anybody really minded it too much. The food & drink there was great though and I can definitely recommend going there if you’re in London!
After dinner we went to the Phantom of the Opera musical which I had some doubts about as I hadn’t really been to a musical before so I wasn’t sure if it was my thing or not. I enjoyed it so darn much though, the story, the acting, the orchestra, the songs… all was great. I got goosebumps several times during the show and I would say that it’s something you simply have to experience even if you think you might not like it.
After that we wanted to go to Electric Ballroom’s Sin City but instead found it closed so we ended up at the other metalbar The Hobgoblin which was very fun indeed, Nath had more to drink than she ever had before in her life I think and proved to be a lightweight so I ended up pretty much carrying her to the hotel. She’s an incredibly funny drunk, I don’t think I’ve ever heard someone laugh as much or for as long a time before.
Definitely a good first day.
I just got some days off next week, at little cost because of easter. It has been a while since I had a full week off so I’m going to enjoy it for sure. What am I going to be doing during it? As little as possible frankly.
I’ll probably end up playing lots of games and might end up recording more when I feel like it, but I’ll see how it goes.
I at least will be playing a bunch of Shogun 2 and play through Portal 2 as I’ve been taking it slow and in chunks, unlike most people it seems. Saying that though, I really want to play through the multiplayer too after I finished the singleplayer so I’ll be used to the mechanics and won’t slow the other player down. I still haven’t spoken to anyone about actually playing it through with though, should probably get right on that.
I might even get around to catching up a tiny bit on all these PS3 games I have lying around.
So I was reading slashdot.org and stumbled upon this article, which interested me.
I have just finished watching the pilot for Pioneer One and I must say that I’m intrigued, they did a great job especially considering what budget they were on. If I didn’t know they were on such a low budget I’d not really noticed much. I feel like I should chime in on the donating but considering the crazy amounts of money I’ve been spending on games lately.. I dunno, I’ll probably end up throwing in 5 or 10bucks. Innovation and a good story, sign me up.
In unrelated news, I have my holidays coming up so expect slightly more videos in the upcoming weeks. I can’t really go crazy with it as frankly, rendering and uploading these sets takes some real time. I also ordered Uncharted 2 for the PS3 so I can play through that in the holiday, very excited for that one. And I might have something special coming up, but I can’t say what it is just yet.
Ninja Edit: I just updated my iPhone to the iOS 4 and… my screen is just zooming in for some reason. A tap on the screen is supposed to make it go away but.. it isn’t. Neat…. I guess I’ll google a bit more, as for now it’s unworkable. Ninja Edit 2: The Zoom function in the Accessibility menu got turned on by the update, weird bug I’d say.
As a bonus I just have to share this concept art for “Demon Elaine” on Tales of Monkey Island, click for full size.