I broke free of Manchester for 4 and-a-bit days, and headed back to my old stomping ground - London!
It was fun to be back, and to see lots of old faces.
Started with the commute from Hell. I say that, but I'm use to it by now:
Manchester to London (or vice versa) via a National Express coach.
When I got into central London I stomped across to the West End, and visited my old cinemas and caught up with folks there. This involved lying to my old General Manager Matt, who's birthday it was the next day. There was a surprise party organised, and he didn't know a thing. When he asked my reasons for visiting I told the truth (boredom, mostly) but neglected those details about the party.
Then I practically ran full throttle down the road, to Forbidden Planet on Shaftsbury Avenue. I haven't been there since the week before I originally left for Manchester, in late May. I've visited London since, but there's always a silly reason why I can't go back there. It was fun looking around, and no I didn't buy anything (this unemployed guy is very sensible with his money thankyouverymuchly). Sadly however my friend Crissie wasn't in, for a catch up chat. I messaged her; I think she thinks I'm avoiding her.
I stayed with my friend Kathryn that night. She made us spag bol (I mixed it in with a pizza I'd already bought myself) and we had a good catch up.
Man, did it rain today!
Kathryn went for a run around Wandsworth Common, so I decided to go explore the surroundings. I ended up at Clapham Common, which is a good mile or two away. Of course, with that rain I got soaked... but I didn't care. Part of me is a natural explorer, and it was fun just being out, distracting myself, looking at new things.
Later on, it was Matt's surprise party. The bugger was at an 8-course meal (!) with his boyfriend before hand... and then elected to drink a final coffee at 10pm. All-in, he didn't reach the surprise party until half 10. It was still a fun night - people not too drunk, me having conversations with everybody, and the night didn't go on too long.
Everybody hates my new glasses though. They say wearing them I look like a paedophile - which as you can imagine, isn't particularly nice to hear!
My friend James put me up at his gaff in Wembley. For the first half the day we just had a catch up, via a meal at a local Sainsbury's, then sat together watching his Sky TV.
In the evening, I had a movie night at the cinema where he works - Westfield. I exploited his comps, to watch Trainwreck (great), Mission Impossible: Rogue Nation (ludicrous) and then Vacation (silly).
That last film finished at 2:15am, so I waited for James to conclude his close and drove home with him.
A day where not an awful lot happened, then. But I like it because of that.
Me and James went on a roadtrip! That was fun - and gave James a chance to revisit some of his childhood, as he passed by places he knew growing up. We had ice cream, and donuts, and played in an arcade. The weather just about held out, until we returned to central London - and James went to work.
I headed off out on my own, back to the West End where I knew the first night of Frightfest was kicking off. I worked the festival last year, and had an immense amount of fun. So it was strange seeing other people managing the place this year. Catching up with the organisers was great. I made sure I got a few related selfies, too.
There was a job related development too, which I won't go into here - but if it pays off, should give me a couple of action packed weeks late September/early October. It would be a great way of networking with folk in the film industry.
My "and-a-bit" day.
I headed back to Manchester, on an awful coach ride that came in two hours late. However, on the latter stages of it I did have a good chat with the girl sat next to me, Rhiannon. She's a languages student, so we talked about that... but then she made the fatal mistake of admitting that she likes Doctor Who. The rest of the coach ride was taken up talking about that - and how she first got into watching the programme, etc etc.
If she was a bit older (by what she said, she's around 18/19) I'd have asked for her number. As it stands, I think it's just nice that we connected for a while, and could enjoy one another's company.
We left things as they were as...
I got off the coach, back in Manchester.