Thursday, 26 August 2010

Catching up part 1 - the week in review...


And a good evening to you from across the Pond after another GREAT DAY in the Mother country! It's another wet one here in the Smoke, which further affirms my conclusion that summer is over and fall has arrived. More disconcerting is the grim reality that winter is probably only 2 weeks away. Oh well, that's what keeps the place green, right?

Okay, plenty to catch you up on, so let's get right into the week in a nutshell ("No, baby - this is me in a nutshell" - for you OSC).

Monday: More than ever, it feels like home...

So Monday was a full day in the office up in Chester, cranking away at work and attending call after call after call. It went so fast, in fact, that I didn't actually do what I had promised myself I would do - take 30 minutes to walk the grounds a final time, watch how the sun clips the Welsh Mountains in the distance, the brilliant light catching the perfectly manicured grounds around the fountain and the front of Phase 1. I didn't take 10 minutes to walk the office, reading all the phrases along the way about how "Complacency is devastating" or "Opportunity is missed by most people because it looks like work." Lastly, I didn't make the last walk through the phases, remembering how many times I made the trek to the "Field of Dreams."

Perhaps it was for the best, as getting caught up in the moment protects you from dwelling on any sadness that threatens to creep in. However, as we took the ride out of Phase 1 (courtesy of the lovely Kristen Henderson) and headed back into Chester, both Jenny and I couldn't help but feel a twinge of sadness that we were saying goodbye to this hallowed ground that had been our place of employment and livelihood for 6 months in 2007. And as we rolled into the city, riding through familiar streets and realizing we still knew the route home and to the station, the feeling only intensified.

Lastly, as we pulled up to the train station, said goodbye to Kristen, caught a final picture with the rhino (Yazz - he's almost as cool as Big Elvis at Bills...), and then walked to the entryway to the station, we turned for a last look. Granted, all you can see from the station are 2 pubs (The Town Crier and The Waiting Room), but it wasn't about seeing the wall or the Grosvenor or Harkers or the Chester Clock (second most photographed clock in all of England - I'll let you figure out #1), it's about breathing the air a final time, taking in the memories of miles run along the canal, pints drank at Harker's, and friends that you will always, always have in the North country. I don't know when we'll be back to Chester, but I do know that we'll return. And now, more than ever, and perhaps even more than when we left in 2007, I can say that, when I think of the walled city, it feels like home.

The train ride, despite arriving late, was uneventful, and I skipped the AFD for a free glass of wine. O-vino - you had me begged - a consultant at heart NEVER skips on the free booze. As he came round, your words rang in my ears and I couldn't help but think of Wyatt's line from Tombstone: "Yeah, I'm an oak all right, doc." And Mom - don't panic - it was just one (and it was really, really teeny...).

We sacked out that night, happy to be back in our own beds and conscious that we were just 4 days shy of vacation.

Tuesday - An all around Arinso reunion

So Tuesday was a great one. For starters, it was uber-productive. Secondly, after being absent from the blog for almost a year (to the day in fact), we met up with Money Penny! We went to Byron (that's right, Hitman - I am LOYAL, baby), where Owain, Muffin Puffin, Money Penny, and I consumed FABULOUS burgers whilst Lisa (who is skinny as a rail, which is crazy because she never really had any weight to lose) explained to us about life in the British Virgin Islands. Let me give you the highlights:

1. You cannot eat any fish around the island. The reef has poisonous algae, and it will kill you. All fish you eat is frozen and flown in from Indonesia.

2. There are 2 restaurants on the island - NONE in the main city. In fact, there is nothing IN the main city. It is called Road Town because, well, there is a road there. THAT'S IT.

3. The only thing to eat is chicken. You fry it. You grill it then fry it. Or you smoke it then fry it. No matter what - that bird will be fried before you put it in your mouth. They KNOW what healthy is...

4. Lisa cannot get home without putting the car in 4-wheel drive. Even in 4-wheel drive she couldn't get to her house last week because a tree fell across the drive way. How did local services remove it? WITH A MACHETE. AWESOME.

Needless to say, the stories were HILARIOUS, and it was a great (but WAY too fast) hour. I got a great workout in at the end of the day, logging 45 minutes on the bike and doing a 5K. It wasn't my best effort, but I was pleased that I kept it under 9 minutes a mile.

In the evening, Team Taylor rolled to King's Cross - St. Pancras, where we marched over to a bar called the Fellow. There, we did the UNTHINKABLE - said goodbye to the Prime Minister and his family! That's right, folks - the Carter's are officially out the door on Sunday - Hong Kong bound! Guys, we'll be thinking of you (since you won't let us pray for you... :-)).

We spent the night chatting with the Carters (minus Grace, of course) and meeting some of their friends, Trevor and Jason proving to be who we spent the most time with - those guys were GREAT. All in all, it was a GREAT night. We packed it in around 10, happy in the knowledge that we'll see them later this year on the flight home! Safe travels!

I figure we can cover off the rest of the week tomorrow, so I'll say goodbye for now.

Okay, that's all the news that's fit to print. Chat tomorrow!


Sam and Jenny

No comments:

Post a Comment