I received two rather noteworthy telephone calls today.
The first was from my Dad, to say that my Granddad had suffered a stroke. Thankfully, I'm told, the doctors don't anticipate any serious lasting effects. None the less, he is in hospital for the time being, and it must be quite an ordeal for him and my Gran. My Dad says he'll keep me up to date with what's going on. My Granddad influenced me a lot in my early life, and in good part, I have him to thank for my interest in computers and technology. Hearing this news reminded me that he won't be around forever, and despite his flaws, I should never let him and my Gran drift away, now more than ever. I really hope that he recovers as fully as possible.
The other call was from Ho-Il, who phoned to let me know that he had passed his exams, and will be moving to America in August. I told him about my new job, so we both had something to congratulate each other for. He says he'll be returning to Edinburgh in a year's time, so I'll be looking forward to seeing him again.
The rest of the weekend brought much joy.
On Saturday morning, I joined some of my former workmates in an outing to the skirmish paintball centre. This was all a good laugh. Most of the games involved capturing a batton from the opposing team, with battlefields laid out in a variety of configurations. The first, a mock urban wasteland put both teams on an even footing, and five minutes of infinite lives gave everyone a chance to familiarize themselves with the paintball marker guns.
Being shot doesn't actually hurt as much as I'd expected. At a distance at any rate. One of our party received a really evil looking bruise on her shoulder after being hit at three metres. The brief moments of discomfort however were far outweighed by the excitement of the mock warfare.
More complicated battlefields included an assault on an island being held by the opposing team. Chris managed to surprise everyone, including the supervisors, by sneaking in the back way and catching everyone unawares, while the rest of his team were being mowed down in ineffectual rush attempts. Seeing him storm the base impressed the hell out of me. It was like watching something from Counter Strike played out in real life.
Chris says it's airsoft next for us.
Fever at Ego, once again, provided a quality night out, with the kind of techno that gets inside your head and won't let you stop dancing until you drop.Possibly taking club accessories too far, but we love it anyway
Stuart and Fraser from my old work both made it along, so I wasn't lonely. Trying to catch both of them in the same room together was a bit of a challenge. I don't think I actually got them rounded up until around 2 AM. But it all worked out in the end, which made me happy.
I finally snarfed one of the DJ set CDs too. W00t. Something nice for my MP3 player.
After Fever, I followed Stuart and his gang to a party in a flat on Dundas Street. This being one of those parties where no-one knows anyone else, nor whose flat it actually is. Quite amusing. Anyway, the place was massive. More like a mansion than a flat. The only disappointment being that we didn't stay too long. A couple of DJs from the quarry party were just setting up as we left, but I think the polite thing to do was to stick with the people who got me here.
A second party took us to 6 AM, but by this time, I was reduced to sitting in the corner nodding. I finally got home and to bed at 8 AM.
The Best Place
It's been a while since I last visited the Listening Room, the open mic night on Sundays in the Blazer. I couldn't stay for the whole thing, owing to being completely knackered, but what I did here was worth it.
Chris Brown played two new songs, both top quality hymns that take one away to another place.
Frank "Freeloader" Titterton performed an amusing gripe about bluebottles pestering him during the long summers. Complete with a kazoo to emulate the buzzing.
A two piece band, Confushion
played three lively country numbers, augmented, rather distinctively, with what I took to be a mandolin.