usual caveats apply

this weekend is the hopefully-to-become-annual bristol nodermeet and i can't go. things like a master's dissertation to write and 2p in the bank have something to do with it. but i have got to know a very lovely noder over the past few months and he's made it across several oceans to be here for the meet so i made the effort to meet up with him and his partner-in-crime while they were in london on thursday before they set off to sample the delights of bristolian hospitality.

the hugging started at 5pm when we met in the porterhouse in covent garden to sample such delights as brainblasta and wait for a couple more noders to arrive for this impromptu mini-nodermeet. toalight brought me a present of a mix cd and he'd also visited cafepress to bring me an e2 coffee mug and fill the coffers. what a loyal noder! we exchanged language trivia, including me failing miserably to correctly pronounce their real names and them learning what the loo is. more hugging when tiefling arrived, shortly followed by booyaa. several beers later and i was walking through the back streets of covent garden clutching my mug for fear i would drop it, following tiefling to the nearest wagamama. the trendy wireless pda ordering kit impressed our scandinavian friends though i wonder if their comments might have scared the waitress who received them. dinner was delicious and yet more norwegian generosity came our way as tingo and toalight offered to pay for dinner for all present. it either says something about the standard of living in norway or brainblasta was living up to its name. whatever the reason behind it, thanks guys!

after dinner (without pudding, disappointingly) tiefling was the very model of an upmarket tour guide, walking and talking us through the city of westminster towards our next goal, enlightening us all (even booyaa, who has lived in london all his life) with a myriad of amazing facts and stories. he took us to ye olde cheshire cheese pub, once the haunt of samuel johnson and so deemed worthy of the presence of such literary figures as, well, us. a quiet, unpresuming pub with a scary low-ceilinged, twisty, wobbly staircase which made going to the loo an extreme sport after a few pints. yet another gold star for tiefling. nordic myths and snow-scooters ruled the conversation. i had a brief knee-quivering moment when viggo mortensen came into the conversation. there's a photo somewhere to remind me.

ten pm came and went and people had trains to catch. big hugs were shared and i felt even sadder that i would miss out on the company of such wonderful people over the weekend. after a few more photos we toddled off to take our various tubes, trains, dragons and pavements home. i dreamt of a beautiful park made entirely of man-made materials, with trees whose leaves were made of chopped up old paint tins, the green paint that once filled them still wet and glistening. don't ask me, ask freud.

and this morning, i sit drinking taylors of harrogate lazy sunday coffee by the very-large-e2-mug-full and listen to my new mix cd. amongst other things, there are three tracks by madrugada, a norwegian band we had talked about, my interest spurred, at this stage, purely by the name (it's spanish and means something like the wee small hours, just before dawn. it's a word i love - it brings back many fond memories of my life in spain.) the music is beautiful, with bluesy piano and sexy vocals. words like sultry and images of a smoky low-lit bar come to mind. indeed, everything they conjure up fits in with my feelings about the band's name.

i wish i could get on a train and go to bristol to enjoy yet more sparkly moments spent in the company of noders.

this is not why i am not using capital letters. it's just because, frankly, i don't see the point. i apologise to those, and i know you are legion, who get offended by this gratuitous flouting of orthographic rules. i won't do it again.