Saturday January 8: burnout was in full force! The thought of visiting yet another cultural institution seemed exhausting. Even a play seemed like too much! So we headed out the door to go ... shopping in Camden! Yes, boys and girls, all the goth kiddies decend on this part of town like so many crows in a field of corn on the weekend. And with so many skarry shoe stores, fantastic open-air markets, supremely cheap food stalls, and whacked out London institutions like Fairy Goth Mother and Cyberdog, what was not to love? It was, once again, so utterly like "Summer in Hell" - "When I saw all the celebrities and fun people, I said, 'Hey, not bad!' " It only got better when we ran into kitty_goth and julietk while we were shopping - I mean, we only KNOW 12 people in London, what were the chances? And then it got even better as ciphergoth and spikeylady appeared! It was practically everyone we were already planning on going out with that night, all in the same place!
Alas, their shopping was pretty much beginning as ours was coming to an end, and I felt the need for less shopping while maintaining the low-key nature of the day, so we went (I wanted to say "wended," word geeks will want to read the link to discover the secret of why I in fact "went!") to Second Saturday, a pub-based gaming event. I got in a round of The Story Game with valkyriekaren and others, then played Puerto Rico with shadowdaddy, wechsler, a girl named Rhiannon and a human-shaped shark named Chris. It was really a very good time - everyone was very silly and played well, so I enjoyed myself tremendously (especially when it was time for the jokes about corn).
Everything wrapped around 6 or so, so after a brief hit off the CrackJournal we went to our place to clean up (and nap) before going to St. Pervertia to meet up with our companions for the evening. Joined at last by bootpunk, we all (7) went to a nightclub in what seemed like a very distant part of London and had a grand old time. My general summary for the night was, "Toto, I have a feeling we're not in Kansas anymore!"
Home at 3:30, we slept in quite late. Our final day was going to be fully in keeping with the tendency toward more socializing and less overdoing ourselves, though shadowdaddy had chosen to see Chitty Chitty Bang Bang and I thought seeing my friends (in this case wechsler) seemed like the better option. Somehow we still managed to coordinate well enough to make our way to the Devonshire Arms (a.k.a. "The Dev," which seriously deserves its own card in the Gother than Thou game), where a merry gang had gathered together, not perhaps with the intent of sending us off but serving to do so nonetheless. Present were arkady, valkyriekaren, bootpunk, and kittygoth, as well as several other folks I hadn't met before. Two pints of cider on my empty stomach made me quite punchy, and I found that as I exited the ladies room I was unconsciously pogoing to "I Wanna Be Sedated." Oy! (Or would that be "Oi!"?) It was quite a night, quite a trip, and we were, I think, both damned run down and ready for the trip to be over. Just why, I ask, couldn't I have just got on the tube and gone to work on Monday morning instead of having to head back to Heathrow, and Seattle? Alas ... but at least the flight was quiet (compared to the last one!), and we made it back home safe and sound despite my brief inclination to just figure out how I could manage with nothing but the contents of my suitcase. I like to think I'm impulsive, but sadly enough my life is marked far more by a iron-clad rationality rather than a free-spirited willingness to make tremendous changes with a minimal of thinking.
And thus ends Part the Last of my trip. I think I have at least one more trip to London coming in the next six months, and a strong guarantee of no move between now and then, and I've done my damned best to max out my vacation time for the next month plus. Expect very little excitement from this blog for quite some time! (Well, other than posting pictures, whenever THAT happens.)