== FRIDAY ==
Friday started ordinarily enough, as far as I remember. There's nothing in my diary to suggest that it didn't. Viv came back from her morning engagement at around 1 o'clock, and pretty soon we were out of the door on our way to the station, and then to Liverpool. At Lime Street we just managed to catch a train to Manchester that was earlier any train we might have expected to catch. Coffee on board (of course) and some work on our Christmas cards for foreign destinations, mostly New Zealand for some reason... Then it was off to Leeds, where we did more of the same on the train. On arrival in Leeds, we had plenty of time to spare, so it was off to the Golden Arches for a festive feast. I can't particularly recommend their festive fare this year. Their Christmas pie promises much but delivers little, while their cheesy things deliver even less, especially for the price they are.
From there, it was only a short ride to...er...Saltaire, where we walked up from the station towards the meeting we were going to, pausing for a pointless shelter from the storm at the local KFC. We arrived at our meeting just before 7:30pm, and Viv's friend John and a few others were there, discussing the current issues about Mongolia and elsewhere. The night wore on, as nights with John are wont to do, but one of the people gave us a lift to Bradford, we were staying overnight.
== SATURDAY ==
Before we went to sleep, we listened to one of the MP3s Viv had been given by John. Just the thing to help you get to sleep.
Breakfast with the compliments of Hilton, which is always very kind of them. Soon after that, it was off to Interchange Station. Then to Manchester Victoria, Manchester Piccadilly, Liverpool Lime Street, Liverpool Central, with Viv writing cards and me writing the return addresses. In Liverpool, Viv insisted we spent hours walking round some shops to find some more cards as by this stage we had almost run out.
Once we got home, it was almost time to write the Christmas newsletter. It's been finished now and is available online. I will post the URL here shortly, but it seems unfair to advertise it until the cards have all been sent. But the imaginative seeker will be able to find it without much trouble.
Saturday evening faded from view quite quickly, with the discovery that our DVD player wasn't making any sound. This later proved to be a problem with the television. So that's fine then. We don't have to shell out money for a new DVD player...
== SUNDAY ==
After another late night, it was off to church early in the morning, though not at a silly time like a couple of recent weeks. The rain was a deterrent, however, but we did get there and got to hear more from Isaiah in the morning and more about Jacob in the evening.
In between the two, we had lunch as usual, and I got started on packing my bags for the great adventure.
After the evening service, we were round at Libby's place to sign a raft of papers relating to the incorporation of my company, an important process in contracting for many people. But then it was time to go home and try to get an early night.
== MONDAY ==
An early start! This is the way it's going to be for the next six months at least, I'm afraid. An early start on this occasion to catch the train to Chester in time to get the 07:15 from there to London Euston. That train was on time at Chester but twenty minutes late by the time it got to Euston. The main entertainment on board was a party of fifty politics students whose seat reservations (along with all the other ones for the service) were lost, resulting in a very full and confused train. From there, it was time to go to the recruitment consultant in Covent Garden and fill in a load more forms before travelling to Liverpool Street to get started on RWA work at the bank.
Leaving shortly after 5, it was off to Olympia to check into the hotel where I'm staying this week. The policy at the moment is to got for the cheapest Hilton in central London, and this week, surprisingly, it's in Kensington.
Then it was off to spend another evening with John, who is in London for a couple of weeks before going back to Monogolia. The place he is staying is less than a mile from here, so it was quicker to walk there than to catch the tube (and that was certainly true after a very late supper, for there aren't many trains after midnight).
== TUESDAY ==
A reasonable start today, with another comp breakfast before wandering off to Olympia to catch the tube to Liverpool Street. It's packed, and it's also possible to get on a tube going the wrong way at Earl's Court.
The day was punctuated by a team lunch, where sixteen or so went to a local pizza place. A very nice antipasto to start, then a pizza.
After work, things should have been more straightforward, but the train from Kensington High Street to Olympia was suddenly diverted towards Wimbledon as about a thousand Chelsea fans got on at Earl's Court.
So I had to get off at the next stop and retrace my steps and wait for another Olympia train at Earl's Court again.
So I've been catching up with some online things tonight and my online diary is sort of update.
== WEDNESDAY ==
OK, it's not Wednesday yet in England, but it will be more of the same, I expect. Breakfast, tube, work. After work, it will be a PRMIA risk management seminar: "Assessing the Current US Attitudes and Opinions on Basel II adoption". If interested, you might be able to get more information here. The few of these I've been to previously have generally been very good, so I'm looking forward to this, which will hopefully be better than the exception to the trend last week.
== FIRST IMPRESSIONS ==
Everywhere you go, people are trying to hand you free newspapers. The weather in unseasonally mild. The people I'm working with seem to be a pretty good lot. Although I haven't met them before, some of their approaches to life resemble very closely other people I have worked with, but it would be foolishness to attempt to provide details here, if for no other reason than there being nobody else who can make these comparisons. But it does seem very like the book written by a schoolteacher describing every class he ever taught.