On the weekend of the 21st/22nd August I decided to make a long-overdue excursion to Nottingham, having finally taken my car to a garage on the Thursday. It turned out that the air intake was full of oil/carbon/miscellaneous crud, which was why the whole thing was starting to sound like a tractor. There was also an irritating rattle and something wrong with the exhaust pipe, but apparently such problems could wait for another day, so they are doing.
The rainy Saturday lunchtime was occupied by lunch at the Sal with Andy (of the KDF persuasion), which involved much geekery and steak & ale pie and was thus excellent. I do miss Nottingham pubs and company sometimes. Fun fact: not one shop and not a single pub (there must be about ten) in Highgate sells Koppaberg. I've checked them all. One even asked me what kind of alcohol it was.
But anyway, from there it was a brief trip by bus back to Beeston to pick up the car, Leeanne, Simon, and Nathan, and then onwards to Peter A's spacious new house near the Lenton Priory. We there met Carl, Peter A, Peter S, and Ross for an delightful evening of Xbox 360, Cthulhu Munchkin, Thunderstone, and Chinese takeaway (though we got soaked retrieving the latter from Fortune Boy) until the early hours of the morning. Ah, Dinner 18, how I missed you!
I also got the added bonus of shoulder rubs from some of the very kind young men listed above, which alone probably made the trip worthwhile. Being able to crunch the joints in my neck and shoulders at will, whilst useful for scaring hairdressers and upsetting people in lifts, is probably not that good for me. I thus spent a large portion of the evening emulating somebody without a spine whilst my friends tried to push my vertebrae through my windpipe with their thumbs. Fantastic.
Moving on, I got to sleep in an actual bed at Leeanne, Simon, and Nathan's new house, which was bizarre. I'm too used to crashing on couches or floors these days. Friends with a spare room? It's like we're turning into civilised adults, which is a terrifying notion.
Sunday was blindingly sunny, so the party from the night before (minus Nathan and Peter S) headed over to a field near Spondon to visit the Maize Maze, where Carl has been lurking this summer.
It does what it says on the tin - it's a maze, constructed of paths through a huge field of 7ft-high maize. The challenge is to locate all ten clowns within said field and get stamps of each of them.
Ross, Peter A, and I took it upon ourselves to succeed at this while Simon and Leeanne ate ice cream, gadded about, and caught up on their reading, having done it before. Carl stood upon his fortress of hay bales and kept an eye out for lost people throwing up red flags in distress.
It took us about an hour and a half to find nine out of the ten clowns.
It took us another hour or so to find number eight, which was placed in a manner devoid of logic or compassion. Our methodical search, aided by the obvious imprints of my inappropriate kitten heels in the mud, sadly fell apart in the face of such madness and we split up. I retreated for fluids and ice cream at some point in the last hour, and stole a map off Carl whilst I was at it. Then I MMS-ed an aerial picture of the damned thing to my comrades. We eventually got the bastard and entered our cards into the prize draw. Despite the cheating, I think we deserve to win on perseverance.
|This needs to be at night, with flaming torches.|
|But this does not need to be more creepy.|
That said, I caught the underside of my car on a kerb on Saturday and now it rattles like it's trying to fly apart, so I shall have to take the wretched thing back to the garage and see if they can reduce the rattle from 'worrying & audible over loud music' to 'irritating, but ignorable' once more. Will it ever just work like a normal, healthy vehicle? Doubtful.
As an aside, my sister has gotten her A-level results and got her first-choice university place - at Nottingham. Huzzah! Now I have more reasons to visit and a no-notice-required place to sleep when I'm in town. Excellent.
|A clown, and Simon on a tiny tractor. Yes.|