Tuesday, 7 December 2010

The day that we thought would NEVER come (except the other two times it's come) - Leaving Drinks for the Taylors...


And a good evening to you from across the Pond after another GREAT DAY in the Mother Country. So tonight was another big milestone in the “Countdown to Deportation” – Sam and Jenny’s “Leaving Do.”

As I’m sure you can appreciate, despite having tons of Londoners around, the Smoke is a very transient city, filled with a lot of folks working here for finite periods of time. Leaving drinks are a big thing here, and since that covers a lot of ground (leaving the job, city, or country), it happens quite frequently. In fact, as Brother Morgan so observantly commented earlier today, “This is actually the THIRD leaving do for Team Taylor.” He said that, based on history, this isn’t really a “goodbye” but more a “see you in 2012.” In truth, whilst I know that won’t be the case, I think that mentally I’m so used to coming BACK to London that I haven’t actually processed the reality that I have 2 sleeps left in this country before shuffling off.

The reality of the situation certainly got a jolt today when, at 8:45 AM, the packers arrived to load our stuff for shipping to Singapore. Seriously – those guys are a FORCE OF NATURE, sweeping up everything in their path and leaving a void in their wake. They had EVERYTHING boxed up and sealed in under 90 minutes – AMAZING! And T-Bone, true to your request, the remaining Mountain Dew bottles (of which there weren’t many) were given to the fine gentlemen who did the packing in an effort to further American-British relations. I even threw in a little “Cat Daddy” moonshine as well. I mean, it’s all about giving them a true “Jack of the Wood” experience…

The work day was good (no pigeons in my food and SUCCESS on the Readiness Review, baby!) for both Jenny and I, but Jenny's was pretty much PERFECT due to the THREE HOUR LUNCH her team had for their Christmas Dinner. I tell ya what - those finance folks know how to party....
The featured event of the day kicked off around 6 PM at the Market Porter, an old (and GREAT) staple of the London Bridge area. I rocked up with my old India travel companion Jen and Lovely Lisa, where we found a pub in FULL SWING. Seriously - this place was HEAVING.
We tried to carve out a spot, but we actually were forced OUTSIDE for about 15 minutes before, realizing that it was colder than the South Pole Station in winter, we pushed our way back in and solidified a foothold in one of the front corners. The place loosened up a bit after that, and then folks started rolling in.
Honestly, to say too much about it is going to make me sad, as the evening went by in a whirlwind - picture the speed of your wedding day and then condense it down to 4 hours. Yeah, it was pretty much like that. We threw up some gang signs (all you skirts know what's up with 2-1-3), talked (American) football, discussed the merits of the bus system in Charlotte and LA, and planned 2011 travels (Big Cat - don't even act like you're surprised). Suffice it to say that it was filled with laughs, real ale (some of which found its way onto my pants, fleece, and shoes), and lots of good memories. And can I just say that Harvey's Best Bitter and Starry night were two QUALITY ales for a London sendoff. Hitman - they weren't Centurion's Ghost Ale, but they were definitely up there.
We rocked the Porter from 6-11, at which point folks had trains to catch and Team Taylor needed FOOD. We rounded the corner and found some Indian (Hitman - same spot we tried to recruit Knockout), and it was SOOOOOOOOOOO GUUUUUUUUUUUUUD (peppy cheekies). It was also RIDICULOUSLY fast service, as well a) we were the ONLY cats in the place, and b) I think the server was more than a little annoyed by our drunken antics (particularly the part where Yazz kept telling the guy that Bengladesh was VERY close to Singapore).
Seriously - thanks to everyone who's pinged, called, emailed, and most especially made the trek through Siberia to spend the evening with us last night. We have so many great friends and memories here, and last night was one of the crown jewels of the experience.
But again - no getting sappy for this guy - that's tomorrow's blog (the LAST from London!).
And last but not least - HAPPY BIRTHDAY TO OUR GOD DAUGHTER SAM!!!!
Okay, that's all the news that's fit to print. Chat tomorrow!
Sam and Jenny

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