December 17, 2007

Winding down for Christmas

This last week has been a busy one.  On Monday, I visited Paul at his flat in Cambridge for a quiet night in; we spent most of it watching funny stuff courtesy of the BBC's iPlayer.  Tuesday was my one free day last week, so I spent it catching up on some TV, that sort of thing.  Wednesday saw me travelling to Huntingdon with a couple of mates from work to see American Gangster; this is an excellent film, if a little long at 2hrs 40mins.  It is also somewhat unusual in that it's a slow burner from Ridley Scott of all people, but it's carried off very well and both Denzel Washington and Russell Crowe give sterling performances.  I highly recommend it.

On Thursday, Paul came round to my flat for another night in, although a little less quiet than Monday's was! We got some beers in, watched The Negotiator (a thoroughly enjoyable film with performances of the quality you'd expect from Samuel L Jackson and Kevin Spacey) and then spent the rest of the evening playing Portal from Valve.  This is a truly fantastic game; the black sense of humour pervading the game, along with the innovative Portal gun and the powerful Source game engine combine to provide a top-class experience.  I cannot recommend it enough, you will want to play this to the end the moment you pick it up.  

Friday saw me leaving work a little early to pick up Lorna from the station.  She came up to visit and accompany me to the Citrix Christmas party which took place on Friday night.  It was a low-key affair compared with last year, but not at all in a bad way, and both Lorna and I had a very enjoyable evening.  We left at about 1am after consuming a rather nasty bottle of rosé between us (although I think I ended up having most of it) and stayed up for about another hour chatting about Heroes and Lost and other random stuff.  

On Saturday Lorna and I headed into Cambridge for a spot of Christmas shopping, feeling rather brain-dead.  I say "a spot"; what I mean by that is that I needed to do all my Christmas shopping, and Lorna needed to do a bit!  I didn't get up until about 11.30 or so, and Lorna about 12-12.30, so it wasn't until 1pm that we actually left.  We arrived in Cambridge at about 2pm and headed straight to The Gourmet Burger Kitchen for lunch (my new favourite place to eat; their burgers and milkshakes are to die for).  We staggered back on the bus at about 6pm after a lot of shopping and a good rest in Costa at the top of Waterstones including, of course, a bowl of tea that you can lose your face in.  We settled down in front of The X Factor Final for a couple of hours before it was time for Lorna to head back to London.

Yesterday, all told, was a much more relaxed day, with boring things like a to-do list.  On the plus side, though, I completed everything on my list (bassoon practice, Christmas cards, pub quiz, washing) and got through some old TV too; most notably, the last episode of Top Gear.

And so here we are: the final week of work before Christmas; I have my first review coming up after Christmas, and an initial discussion with my manager today regarding my performance over the last quarter.  From what he's said so far, though, everything seems to be going swimmingly, and I'm confident that the review will not throw up any major issues.  

More to come soon, I hope.


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