Good Friday to you, gentle readers! As you may (or may not) have noticed, the Nomad has not been the most conscientious blogger of late. To that, I say: Um... whoops! In an attempt to get the LJ ball re-rolling again, I bring to you that time honoured and
much anticipated of entries: The Week-in-Review post! So sit tight, dear friends, and fasten your seatbelts! The week is about to begin! Friday:
Last Friday, I spent the day with a visiting josington
. Although I stayed home from work, it was still a workday and, thus, we passed the time by installing Ubuntu and other useful software onto my new laptop
. In the evening, my beloved cheshcat
and I went to visit the supertastic wolfpeach
, who gave us lessons on how to make our own [vegetarian] sushi. Much yummy food was made and consumed; there was also a game of Settlers of Catan
, in which I eked out a very difficult win. On our way home from wolfpeach
's place, we picked up the adorable miss_amaranth
from The Island. Once home, all four of us -- cheshcat
and I -- stayed up late with much talking and cuddling.Saturday:
Woke up early and made my way into city centre with josington
to attend OxCon, the annual gaming convention hosted by the Oxford University Board Game Society. These days, I mainly attend for the Puerto Rico
tournament. This consists of four games of PR, with tournament points calculated based on the scores of individual games. I have been participating since 2007, making this my fourth year[*]. By the end of the third game, I was ranked amongst the highest four players, thus earning myself a seat at the top table for the final game. Alas, I came in third (of four) there and so I did not win the tournament. Maybe next year.
In the evening, the lovely fire_kitten
rounded out our numbers to five. We made our way to the delicious -- and vegetarian -- pub, The Gardener's Arms
for dinner, then came home to play games. We started with Apples to Apples
, in which the delightful miss_amaranth
achieved victory, then finished up with Bohnanza
, where my darling cheshcat
took the cake. Or at least the beans.Sunday:
Sunday began with josington
and I making our way to St. Andrew's church to ring bells for services. After that, she made her way to a Quaker meeting whilst the four of us who were left headed out to the church-turned-restaurant, Freud, for brunch.
In the afternoon, we all reconvened in Chiron Beta Prime and prepared for our Imbolc ritual. This was the third ritual that we have WORKed together in the current turn of the Wheel of the Year. Just as we did two years ago, cheshcat
and I have committed to observing all eight sabbats during this turn. In October, my dearest cheshcat
ran our traditional Samhain ritual; in December, I stepped up to the proverbial plate and ran Yule; now cheshcat
re-took the reins to be HP for Imbolc. The ritual itself was rather interesting, involving elements that I had not worked with previously. I cannot give much detail in a public forum, but my sweetie put together another job very well done!
After ritual, fire_kitten
needed to go. josington
and I headed out at the same time to ring bells for evening services at St. Giles church, in city centre. Shortly after we returned home, wolfpeach
arrived. Together, the five of us played Puerto Rico
. Because I had not played it enough the day before, of course! Actually, I rarely get tired of PR... and a five player game has a very
different dynamic than the four player rounds that I was engaged in the year before. Due to this, I started out way behind as cheshcat
took a commanding lead early on. She was so far ahead of everyone else that I bet her a pizza she would win. As the game went on, however, some early investments in infrastructure began to pay off and I caught up, winning by eleven points. cheshcat
still passed everyone else by a wide margin, but I claimed victory... and she claimed a pizza!
When the wonderful wolfpeach
left, the four of us remaining wound down for the evening with an episode of Jeeves & Wooster
Monday morning started, as Monday mornings so often do, with the weekly T2K UK analysis meeting. One of my students was giving a presentation, so I paid particularly careful attention to her talk. It went rather well, I am pleased to report!
After work wrapped up on Monday, josington
and the delicious miss_amaranth
and I met my sweet cheshcat
at The Mission for burritos. Then the evening's extra-curricular activities began.
This week, the theme seems to be a double-dose of evening activities. For instance, on Monday evening, josington
and I rang bells at St. Leonard's church in Eynsham -- a new tower for both of us! This makes the eighteenth tower that I have rung at. The Eynsham bells are a little tricky, though nowhere near as frightful as what josington
has dubbed "The Devil Bells of Garsington". Actually, the #4 at Eynsham was rather nice... and the #2 was not bad, either! The band was moderately experienced, so nothing more than Plain Bob and Grandsire Doubles was attempted.
When ringing ended, we collected miss_amaranth
from the Island and went to the aforementioned
Oxford Go Club. I played on a 13x13 board with the same gent who I had squared off against the week before. It was close... but he did defeat me, 23 to 11. Meanwhile, the lovable miss_amaranth
had been learning to play. She and I had a 9x9 game and she did very well for her first match!
The evening ended with us gathering up cheshcat
and going for bagels and ice cream at G&D's... then miss_amaranth
had some lovely alone time for talking and snuggling and whatnot!Tuesday:
During the day, Tuesday was filled with errands. My dearest darlingest cheshcat
and I had our semi-annual dentist appointment, which I am pleased to report went rather well. Then I made a blood donation before bidding miss_amaranth
In the evening, my first extra-curricular activity was bell ringing at St. Andrew's church, here in Headington. That was followed with heading into city centre to meet cheshcat
at the Burton Taylor studio
for a performance of Edward Albee's first play (from 1958), The Zoo Story
. I have seen this before, but not for many years. Indeed, yavin7
and I starred in a production of The Zoo Story
that I had directed for my acting class at Hampshire College, way back in 1992! It was interesting to re-visit the play with adult eyes. Whilst I still enjoyed it, it was not as compelling as it had been all those years ago.Wednesday:
I began Wednesday -- Groundhog Day -- in a time loop... as some of you may have noticed. Then I made my way into London to spend the day working with RT and others at Queen Mary University of London. Upon my return to Oxford, my first evening activity was to ring bells at St. Mary the Virgin in Iffley. I followed that on with a T2K-SK meeting at 22:00. When the meeting ended, my wonderful cheshcat
and I enjoyed a lovely stir-fry that she had cooked in her new wok, then I wound down for the evening.Thursday:
Yesterday began by continuing the string of meetings that had begun the night before. The first was our weekly Imperial T2K group meeting, which I chaired. Then I had a brief one-on-one with one of my doctoral students, GK, before the collaboration-wide T2K analysis meeting began. We are very close to approving our first results, so the meetings are coming at us fast and strong!
In the evening, I scaled back to only one extra-curricular activity. In honour of a visitor from Sweden, I opted to forego ringing at St. Giles, playing with the Oxford Go Club, and attending the Oxford Pagan moot. Instead, we convened at Skullcrusher Mountain for an evening of transhumanist gaming. We started with Betrayal at House on the Hill
, in which AS commanded a hoard of bats determined to suck us dry. Thankfully, we scared them off and won! Particular kudos go to H, our visitor, for role-playing the Professor so remarkably well!
, the kid gloves came off and we played Illuminati
. This was a rather long game, and extremely hard fought. I played the Bavarians and, after many hours and a couple of close calls, finally managed to squeeze through to victory!
Hmmm... If one considers each game separately, I suppose that Thursday can be counted as having two extracurriculars, too! Each game certainly took longer than the other activities this week!Friday (again):
Today has been mostly spent on working. And writing this entry. This evening, I will meet my phenomenal cheshcat
at the Oxford Playhouse to see our third show of the year, Master Class
, a piece based on the life of the opera singer Maria Callas
And that, gentle readers, is the week that was. Still with me? If so, congratulations for sticking it out through the dreaded WiR post! Consider yourself awarded fifty points for sheer perseverance -- well done!
[*] I was unable to attend in 2009, as I needed to be in Japan for a T2K collaboration meeting.