I am back in the US of A. It took Nik and I a solid 20 hours of travel to get from the Clapham apartment of James Wallis back to our own house. The 3-hour layover in Chicago wasn’t too bad, but the final plane ride was sure tedious. I managed to make it until 9 pm that night (that was 4 am to me, having gotten up at 6 am the day before after 4 hours sleep) and then collapsed into bed and slept for 10 hours. It was lovely to sleep in my own bed again.
I would have liked to have spent Wednesday recouping but duty called and I jumped right back into work. That afternoon I took the bus downtown so I could FedEx some WFRP proofs to the printer. On my way home I started making a mental list of good things and bad things about England. I present this now for your entertainment.
Good Things About England
Breakfast. I’ve become a real fan of the classic English breakfast and ate this far too many times on the trip. I’m sure my cholesterol is soaring at the moment.
History. You can’t spit without hitting something of historic interest. Walking through the Southwark part of London with John Kovalic (who also happened to be there and is British-born) was a history lesson in itself.
The RAF Museum. Based on an old aerodrome, this museum has a huge collection of vintage planes and some reconstructions. The breadth is most impressive, the exhibits are well done, and it’s free.
The London Tube. More proof that Seattle’s transit options suck.
Friends. We have some great friends in the UK that we see far too seldom. Though perhaps with the exchange rate so in their favor now (see below) they’ll come across the pond more often.
Bad Things About England
Home early. Pubs close at 11 pm. Nuff said.
Nostalgia gone awry. Someone has exploded “the 80s bomb” over Nottingham. College girls were wearing giant furry boots and huge white vinyl belts while queuing up in front of a club called the Reflex that’s apparently owned by a member of Duran Duran. The horror, the horror…
The exchange rate. Wow, this is simply brutal right now. It’s basically 2 dollars per pound now and that really cut into our spending money.
So close…and yet so far. This was my third trip to GW HQ and I have yet to play a minis game while I’m there. It’s like going to a winery and drinking coke.
While I’m at it, I should also mention the strangest thing from the trip. That was the first ever GW Pantomime. The day I got there, one of our BI associates told us about this impending event and asked if we had “pantos” over here. All I could think of was the Python episode with the pantomime horse, so I said, “Well, no, not really.” The show was Friday night in Bugman’s pub and it was a full on stage production with costumes, programs, and so on, all put together by GW staff. It was largely an exercise in making fun of themselves, so there were a bunch of in-jokes that had to be explained to us. We got the gist though and some of it was pretty funny. The evil Goblin King orders his foul minion to kidnap a young gamer from a GW store so he can be turned into a monkey (don’t ask). A band of heroes (including “Will Wanka’s Pussy”) must brave the various departments of GW to get to the “ivory tower” where he’s held and rescue him. There were several musical numbers, with lyrics thoughtfully provided in the program book. “Every Sprue Is Sacred” was done to the tune of “Every Sperm Is Sacred”, while “Space Marine Fights” was done to tune of Grease’s “Summer Nights.” All in all, quite wacky. I wonder how much the program book would fetch on Ebay. 🙂