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The week before last...

On Monday and Tuesday I meant to go on an adventure in East London, but was foiled by temporary loss of mojo. Worked instead.

On Wednesday I wandered round the City and took some photos, then headed over to meet parents (in town for the week) and have dinner at Vanilla Black.

I think I mostly just worked the rest of the week; can't really remember doing anything exciting, though my memory does suck.

Last week...

On Monday I went for an East London adventure with [personal profile] ewan. We had lunch at Saravanaa Bhavan then wandered around Upton Park in a big circle, taking photos on the way. (We tried to go to the Newham Bookshop, but it's closed on Mondays. Why don't they mention this on their website?)

Then we got the District Line to Upminster Bridge, from whence we wandered through endless depressing suburbia (only about half a mile in reality, but so much further psychologically) to reach the Optimist Tavern, an Ember Inn resembling nothing so much as a hotel bar. And then it started raining.

Upminster improved from then on in, though. Ewan headed off to take some pub photos, while I did a little research tour of the restaurants on Corbets Tey Road and St Mary's Lane to find somewhere for dinner later. We reconvened in the Mason's Arms, which we were pleased to discover was a proper pub, and much less chainy than the others we've experienced in the area so far.

My restaurant research tour had revealed little of interest. La Grolla is probably the best in the area, but I'd already been there quite recently; and the Othello Taverna offered nothing for vegetarians. We eventually decided to go to Yin Court, once [personal profile] sashajwolf joined us, on the strength of its having an actual vegetarian set menu — and it was actually pretty decent, particularly the beancurd dishes.

I think I may have had enough of Upminster for now, but Ewan and I are both interested in exploring its neighbour, Cranham, at some point. It has at least two pubs, if nothing else!

On Tuesday through Sunday, although I was having a very slow work week, I felt too manky to go out and explore. I mostly did admin stuff — updated the London bookshops map and the vegetarian restaurants/cafes in London map, among other things. (Do let me know if you have any suggestions for things missing from either map).

I also spent some time playing on the Discworld MUD. Programming is a lot of fun, but sometimes it's good to reconnect to the game as a player, and talk to the other players as an equal. It's also a good way to find bugs :)
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On Monday I visited Upminster, the very end of the District Line! I had lunch at La Grolla, a decent enough Italian restaurant. I also popped into Swan Books, the Essex Yeoman, and the Crumpled Horn; and then I took a photo of the windmill. I'm still not certain what Upminster's hidden gem is; possibly it's Swan Books, which had a book about Romford pubs that I nearly bought for [personal profile] ewan.

The excitement did not end there! I headed back towards East Ham on the District Line, with the intention of trying another of the Indian cafes on the High Street, but realised en route that I could stop off at Barking and go to Chennai, a South Indian cafe/restaurant in the same chain as Lewisham's Madras. I enjoyed the food at Madras when we went there, so was expecting good things from Chennai. The food was just fine here, too, as it turned out, though the staff did seem quite bemused by the presence of an actual customer.

Then I went to choir. It was awesome, as choir always is. We're singing Bach's St Matthew Passion in March next year, apparently. It takes three hours to sing, but this is a nice, sensible, relaxed choir, so we'll be stopping for dinner in the middle. I approve.

On Tuesday I went to the Isle of Dogs! I visited the Pepper Saint Ontiod, in the company of [personal profile] ewan, and then headed around the dock for dinner at Byblos Harbour. On the way back to the Tube station, we popped into the North Pole to satisfy Ewan's curiosity. Or perhaps his completism. Or perhaps just to have some beer!

On Wednesday I took some photos in Hammersmith (and briefly popped into the Ruby Grande to shelter from the rain) before heading over to Richard's place to spend many hours playing Rock Band.

On Thursday I took advantage of being in West London, and went to London.pm sushi at Makoto, then headed down to Brentford to take a couple more photos and drink beer at the Magpie and Crown and O'Brien's. Finally I headed up to Northfields to meet [livejournal.com profile] aca and many others for tasty South Indian/Sri Lankan food at Papaya.

On Friday, Saturday, and Sunday I did loads of bugfixing and stuff on the Discworld MUD. This might be considered slightly overdoing it — but on the Friday I moved from the Ramtops domain to the Guilds domain (where I will be working on witch stuff), and it was all very very exciting, and very hard to stop doing stuff. ([personal profile] superpitching — this is the geeky thing I mentioned.)


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December 2012


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