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The Family Bandwagon

Our family is spread out across the country and across the world, and what better way to keep in touch than a collaborative digital journal?

Monday, 28 July 2008

A hydrocarbon- and hydroxl-fuelled weekend

Ah, back at work on a Monday morning. I'm enjoying my new job, actually - we even do things that could be considered ethical: enabling a micropayment economy in some of the poorer parts of the world, therefore boosting the economy and giving humans access to funds which they've never had before (e.g. in parts of Africa it's only something like 5% of people who have a bank account ... and we complain when they shut down our country branches!!).

Certainly better than letting rich people move their money around the world in order to let them stay rich ;-) and avoid the taxes that the rest of us poor working chumps have to pay. But enough subversive prosthelyitising! The point of this blog entry is to tell y'all what we did with our weekend - and it was all about friends, fermented grains and fossil fuels (and future fuel-cells, ahah!).

On Friday night we went to Chris's work drinks at a dingy little bar called the King's Arms in Holborn. Now, if that's where the King's soldier's spend their time, I'm surprised that Scotland didn't conquer England years ago - okay, a little unkind, it's a fun place to hang out but it's certainly shabby. Made all the more shabby-looking by Chris's entire office standing outside with pints of beer!

Strange phenomenon - when the sun comes out everybody is at a pub somewhere. And there are enough sprinkled throughout the city and surroundings, but they're always so full that people are spilling out the door, around the building, across the road in the local park. Strange, strange, strange.

So we had a couple of drinks and met a few new people Friday night. (Chris later went out clubbing with our mate Stolly, but Dee and I headed home for an early-ish night.) Saturday we caught up with another Aussie named Mark for lunch at the Union Tavern nearby. Bangers and mash for me, yum! After lunch we took Mark back home, and found Chris, Tina, Colleen and her friend Murray all having a wee party!

So many people in the back-patio area that we picked up the couch and took it out with us. Highlights: big chats about everything; more people turning up randomly; Chris bringing out a fern from his room, "because Planty was missing out"; yummy take-away Indian food (and lots of it).

On Sunday we got up early and headed to the British Motor Show (by way of Giraffe for pancakes and smoothies). So many cars! Trucks! Vans!


I walked around with Mark, a rev-head from way back. The coolest things in the first half of the building were the concept cars - with brightly glowing ninja-headlights, doors that swept up and back like wings and dashboards that looked like they belonged on the Starship Enterprise.

There were also a bunch of "green" cars - from low-emission petrol to hybrid (petrol and electric), diesel to biodiesel to other biofuel, fully electric with batteries or hydrogen fuel-cells. There were cars with recycled plastic bodies and solar panels, cars you plugged in to the wall at night, even a solar-powered bio-diesel Lotus Elise sports-car (in fetching brown-and-green forest colours).

I like seeing the electric cars, but most of them looked either a) ridiculous (square boxes on wheels, or bubbles that made the smart cars look sleek) or b) like something out of a Japanese cartoon (much better, but will they actually mass-manufacture them?).

Then it was onto the other side of the building for the petrol- and diesel-guzzling supercars -- Ferraris and Zondas and Lamboghinis and manufacturers I've never even heard of (but Mark's eyes glazed over and he drooled like Homer Simpson when he saw them). Lot's of things for going really fast - there were even a couple of motorcycles, so I was happy.

(Chris apparently sat in a Mini Cooper-D (for diesel), pretending that he really might buy one to the person minding the stand. Then when we finally caught up with him in the afternoon, he was genuinely considering it as a car to get sometime in the future! So I guess they did their job.)

Home to a barbeque (it's great, that patio!) and then we watched The Castle (classic) to try to introduce Colleen (Scottish) and Tina (English) to Australian culture. Not sure they got it :-).


  1. that sounds like fun.. i'd like a mini-D.. and then i'd run it on biodiesel - now we just need to convince some petrol stations to become biodiesel producers...

    btw, hydroxyl has another 'y' in it. *grin*

    it was good weather this weekend.. good for parties (and bbqs) even up here in manchester! wonders will never cease.

  2. Nah, Glenn meant Hydroxl, the fuel that powers Axolotls.

  3. What a busy weekend.sounds like you all had fun. Enjoy summer while you can, although if you get back here in December you'll have a second summer. I like the Toyota Yaris(I think) that's an electric car.


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