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The Book of Na'Lon

or rather, Inane Ramblings of an Expatriot

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Monday Morning - Post Banquet
It's been a really nice weekend. As ever there was not enough sleep and not enough chance to talk, but much talking and eating and drinking and dancing took place. For the first time in years I didn't sing at the Banquet, either as performance or in the usual raucous sing-along. I don't mind. I am sadly out of voice at the moment.

the_marquis and I took the train down to Oxford Saturday lunchtime and were met at the station by parrot_knight. It took about three seconds flat before we were deeply engaged in gossip. We headed into the city centre to do a quick spot of shopping and amongst other acquisitions ended up with a leather hippo for pennypaperbrain. After a monster queue in Boots, we headed out to the Parrot Knight's castle, where we had some late lunch and sorted out our costumes for the banquet.

We got to the venue before the key, and while the Knight went off to pick up some other revellers, the Marquis and I (dressed as usual as Merry and Pippin) approached some of the new generation of Soc T who were not even sure if they were in the right place.

There was long period of chatting and catching up with people in a little room in the venue while the current Soc T committee and banquet organisers sorted out the hall. It was nice (and someone gratifying) to see my hunch about foradan and his 'guest' confirmed. Amusingly pellegrina seemed a little 'put out' that she'd been made to keep a secret for Foradan that wasn't as much of a secret as might have been supposed.

I was happy to see my Evil Twin Polly jane_somebody and, of course, skordh. And it was a pleasure to meet gramarye1971 -- a fellow geek and writer. I just wish there'd been more time to talk!

After much celebration and dancing, we headed back to the castle, and once there Penny, the Marquis, the Knight and I talked until the wee smallies and Advid the Hippo was handed over.

Sunday came far too soon, and after Penny had left (far too early, sadly), the remaining three of us at the castle went straight back to talking. We later went for lunch in a nice pub -- which unfortunately wasn't quite the culinary delight for me that I had hoped for: the chips were horrid and the bread and butter pudding was at best indifferent. Nevertheless, food was had and we headed back home for more chatter through the biting wind.

Sigh. I miss Oxford, sometimes. I miss sitting up late and putting the world to rights. I miss the energy of the place, it's odd over-crowded self-importance.

But feelings of melancholy aside... it's been a nice weekend.

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I think that I might try another pub on a Sunday next time. Though the King's Head has its charms, I think there is better food elsewhere in Woodstock - though having less than a full meal on a Sunday lunchtime might be difficult.

Oh, usually I'd want a full meal anyway. Yesterday there just wasn't anything I particularly liked the look of. Probably the after-effects of having been ill with some form of food-poisoning the weekend before the Banquet.

Fact is, I should have gone for a baked potato like you guys did! *shrugs*

You bet I was put out. Nothing like being handed obvious gossip - not even in the first-to-know kind, just the ordinary gossipy kind - and asked not to tell anybody, only to find out that everybody knew anyway, and all that loyal virtuous effort and tongue-biting was for nothing. Gah.

If it makes you feel any better, I was entirely ignorant of the secret until Friday evening.

I apologise for being unsurprised. The Marquis didn't know either. And I only know because of the ICQ related hunch I had. ;-)

I just feel stupid for not assuming that the silly ass (British sense!) would blow his own cover; I'd sussed that his frequent IMing was related (had a suspicion even before he told me), but hadn't gone that crucial step further and spotted that other ICQ users would see who else was online! Bah.

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