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The sensible thing

A London nodermeet on the afternoon of Saturday 18th May.
The other proposed title was "remember you're a noder"

mkb is coming to town. So we are doing the sensible thing: Going out, for a face-to-face, sun, fun and alcohol.

Place: Hyde park between reformer's tree and the Serpentine. The weather may or may not hold, so we will need to pick a plan B pub in case of bad weather.

Oolong, call and (darsi) are keen on Hyde park, so as to be able to do the right thing and attend a nearby Middle East peace rally (http://www.palestinecampaign.org/). This rally starts at Trafalgar square at 12 noon, so this works out nicely.

To allay the concerns of the apolitical, IMHO if we do this, we will camp out within walking distance of the demo, but not inamongst or alongside it. Those of you who are in the peace march for the duration are welcome to join us at 3pm or whenever you finish.

Time: Saturday 18th May, around 2pm. Saturday afternoon is the only time that mkb can make, so we are sticking with this. I don't know when it will end, hopefully not before the sun goes down. If you can't make the whole thing, drop in for part of it!

I will meet people at Reformer's Tree at 2pm, 2:30pm and 3pm. If you miss those and don't know anyone, call me on my phone (ask for phone number).

What to bring Food and drink to share, frizbee or other toys, and whatever else you fancy.

Who:

  • mkb says: i might bring non-noders. be warned
  • StrawberryFrog
  • bol
  • bol says Shove (darsi) down too - I'll make her go. (darsi) says Pandora promise me Tequila if I go. How can I refuse?
  • ascorbic says I'd say it was pretty certain I'll be there
  • Pandora says: Looking forward to the sensible thing. Go ahead, count me in :)
  • princess loulou says well you best put me down too cos i can crawl home from there.
  • call says Sign me up for yr. meet thingie. Saturday afternoon sounds marvellous if the weather's clement :))
  • Frankie says well as it's just round the corner, i 'sposes i has to be there.
  • booyaa says re: The sensible thing count me in.
  • oscar says Hi, put my name down. Sounds nice.
  • spiregrain says put me and sm597 down, weather permitting
  • decimetre says: yo sign me up
  • Catchpole says i'll be up for attending this shindig, hope it's a nice day

    And unconfirmed:
  • TallRoo says bol just pointed out the London picnic. I'd love to be there. I have to check that I'm going to be in the right country though.
  • ^Davion^ says Why do I live so far away in deepest, darkest wales?! BUT I'LL DO MY DAMNDEST!
  • wertperch says The 18th may be tricky, but I will see what I can do =) No promises, though!
  • Great Neb says shove me down for a maybe on the picnic - saturdays aren't normally good for me but i'll see what i can do

    MIA:
  • Oolong won't be able to make it.
  • Tiefling says I'm afraid I can't make the new meet: I'll be in Australia.
  • heyoka says thanks, but it's unlikely. i'm in london during the week for work, so try and avoid the place at the weekends...i'd like to, but, non-working time back at home is so precious at the moment.
  • blubelle says sorry! i can't make it! :-( I miscalculated dates... I hope you all have a lovely time though...

/msg me or add a writeup if you can be there, have a good venue idea or have any other suggestions!

call says Yo. I've cancelled my planned Cambridge meet, and recommended your sensible thing instead... the baton passes to you, carry it well my friend :) Well, my Cambridge thing was originally an idea that snowballed just a *little*.


I didn't plan this. I'm not in charge, not trying to herd cats just taking notes and trying to balance this thing. It was astonishing how soon it came together as soon as we knew that mkb could only meet on that particular afternoon. I've been wating to meet noders for a while, so I suggested it, and before I know it it had snowballed into a nodermeet. What fun!
mkb says re The Sensible Thing: yo, i still need some travel plan figgering. eurostar.com is not being cooperative! :(

Aftermath

The sensible thing started early. mkb called me just before 2am, having missed his train due to air trafic control chaos. After waking up and working out what was going on, I suggested he come to the couch of my digs in West Ham.

Myself and mkb were in the park at 2pm, under the cloud and wind, the rain having stopped. There we met catchpole. And an hour later, booya. We were starting to think that that would be it, when spiregrain oolong, call, (darsi), bol, theLady, ascorbic and PrincessLouLou and finally decimeter showed up. Some sunshine even happened. We talked about various noder topic, and made jokes, tried to decrypt each other's accents. I'll try harder not to throw things at (darsi), even if she does tell such nasty jokes.

After 5pm, mkb had to go to meet his techno-friends.

When it got got darker and we ran out of pimm's, spiregrain led us to a pub. Half of us got lost, and many phone calls were needed to rendesvous. It was loud and dark in there. We found a second pub, and a third one, which suited our needs for a warm place to talk better.

The brits insisted that the next meet must involve karaoke. I said I'd only do that if Sisters of Mercy or New Model Army tunes were on the box.

I headed home around 10:30 pm.

mkb I'm not a goa-hippie any more. I got tired of it after the millenium, got a haircut and packed away my tie-dies.

The aftermath of The Sensible Thing

or "Big noders don't cry"

First things first I had no idea where which park I was meant to be at let alone where Reformer's tree was at, with this in mind I decided to be fashionably late.

When I arrived at Marble Arch Station I gave Strawb a call. Has anyone else noticed how conversations on the cell phone using nicks and handles always sounds like something conspiratory? e.g.

Me: Hello is this Strawberry Frog?
Strawb: Yes who is this?
Me: This is booyaa.

We arranged to meet at the Reformer's tree whilst still not knowing what it looked like in five minutes. As I arrived at the park I clocked a group that looked noderish. Still no sign of this infernal tree I'm tempted to run over to the group who would later be identified as the h2g2 guys ( I still think we should ran over there and fought them - boo ) and introduce myself. No, I should do this right and call up Strawb.

Me: Hi I think I'm at the Tree. I see group of people can you wave so I can see if you're there.
He doesn't wave. Mmm couldn't be the wrong group.
Me: I don't think you're that group. Uh.
Strawb: Keep walking up till you see a mound I'll be waiting there.

I eventually find him clothed in a Tux t-shirt looking equally nervous. I eye up my exit options, if he makes any sudden movements I'm gonna make like Baldur's Gate and GO FOR THE EYES, BOO, but Strawb's demeanour is non aggressive. I hide my spork.

I'm lead to the meeting ground where I see mkb and catchpole. I feel slightly guilty as these guys really have brought things for the picnic: a box of Celebrations, two tubes of Pringles and some drinks. *rolls eyes* As princess loulou would say later on, "A geek picnic".

As Strawb goes to fetch spiregrain a Dalmatian bounds over and looks like he's about to savage mkb. Naturally I take precautionary measures and attempt to place catchpole between the beast and myself. After giving our picnic the once over he sniffs and runs off to find a better spread.

It's already three o'clock and no one else has arrived. We go to drown our sorrows with Strawb's wonderful red plonk from South Africa. I'm not a wine person but that was rather yummy stuff. As we're about to divvy up the liquid the wine hounds ascorbic and princess loulou call Strawb to pick them up.

ascorbic and mkb throw down as they try fight for the exclusive use of their name (they're both called Matt Kane). lou is not impressed with the picnic, I don't think the joke about making Pringles and Celebrations sammiches went down well either. lou gets out her spread which consists of a salad, real Spanish omelette (sadly without real Spaniards as Spire had hope they would be) and whole host of other yummy things. Catchpole and myself admire ascorbic's taste in beers, "London Pride".

<creative license>ascorbic calls in a few favours and minutes later a hoard of invisible *winks at call*screaming monkeys bring us bol, (darsi), call and the unexpected guest TheLady!</creative license>
Fact: These guys really were on their way rather than be called upon to attend. I wanted to find a way to include a hoard of invisible screaming monkeys into the story.

Not to long after were joined by bol, (darsi), call and an unexpected (but very much appreciated) guest noder TheLady (she wasn't on the guestlist radar).

Now unless our guest of honour mkb has a book of Jesus party tricks we're not gonna be able to feed everyone with the meagre offering we have. We draw straws and it's decided that bol, spiregrain, Catchpole and myself are the designated hunter gathers. On our way out a bemused Oolong arrives.

bol urges us to hurry whilst we try to source a off-license and food store as the list of things to buy gets larger (they're calling him on his mobile). We were like Vikings as we raped and pillaged our way through Sainsburys but eventually commonsense got the better of us and we paid for our goods. I got my priorities right by buying the beer and bread.

We return in what appears to be the nick of time as we find that the group are trying to work out how many cuts of meat they can get from mkb. mkb has found a bottle opener and intends to fight his way out of this predicament.

When the final straggler decimetre arrives the picnic begins in earnest. It's at this point I must plus plus StrawberryFrog's ass for picking a location that was near the public toilets, as we all know you only rent beer.

oolong starts up his petting stall. TheLady and princess loulou take turns to stroke his fine mane.

Now this wouldn't be a nodermeat if we didn't talk about nodes and the perennial favourite Butterfinger McFlurry is brought up. We share our favourite jokes from The Single Sickest Joke Ever. Other chestnuts such as Daylogs vs. LiveJournal and whether lyrics should be noded are also discussed. The thing I fear about speaking to noders is that I'll either be lumped with the Script Kiddie or the intellectual, but noders do have this communal humour and consensus. I'm continually reminded of this when I attend a nodermeat.

I do my nodermeat duties by hyping the international Bristol noder meet and squished tubers and dead bird: an orphans' Thanksgiving. bol mentions that SophiesCat will be arriving at our fine shores around July and would love to meet up with a bunch of noders. The mutterings karaoke and soy can be heard. Now we just need to organise it.

mkb's nerves finally give in and he makes his excuse to meet some non-noder friends for supper. Seriously mkb was a wonderful guest of honour hopefully he'll pass on the message that the UK noders are just like the US noders 'cept we're much better looking.

The weather seems to take a turn for the worse and group wishes to seek shelter in one of the many fine public houses in this city.

An advance scouting party go off to find a suitable pub whilst the others go to feed the ducks (well that's what they told us I'm still checking news.bbc.co.uk for news of ducks being snatched from the Serpentine).

Whilst trying to find a pub where we could all sit down and talk (and be heard) spiregrain laments about his time spent in student lodgings in Knightsbridge. Apparently mentioning that you had accomodation in Knightsbridge was a good chat up line to use on the ladies! ;)

After we find a pub I feel that my work is done and make my excuses. That and I was rather inebriated already. I wanted to warn them of the impending doom by screaming, "THE TURNIPS ARE COMING.", but they seem so happy.

On the whole it was a good afternoon. If any of the guys that attended would like to tack on what happened after I left I'd appreciate it. Also if I got things wrong /msg me I was under the influence after all :o) *hic*.


Fil-i-g in t-e b-an-s (feedback from the crew)
bol attempted to convince us of the similarities between himself and Bernard Black (from Black Books well they're both called Bernard!

% bol says re The Sensible Thing: Ahem. *and* Bernard Black is Irish, nasty to people and drinks to much.

His words not mine ;) I personally think he was rather k-spiffy and funny chap.
We'll forget about your plan to kill the rest of the hunter gathers and make off with our money eh? ;)

spiregrain and decimetre debated the virtues of the amiga and atari.

After further consumption of liquid dummymaker pseudo-political debates transpired. Friends don't let friends drink and spout pseudo-politics! Drink responsibly.

Entirely unaware of my new status as a surprise guest noder I was dragging my feet behind bol, (darsi) and call on the way to a landmark none of us had ever visited or knew the location of, when I was mysteriously ambushed by a beautiful florist's shop where an unwanted cream rose leaped into my arms and, drawing me into its palest-pink vortex, begged to be taken for a walk in Hyde Park. Things were definitely looking up.

Several hundred yards along the road we stopped at an ice cream van and had a Flake War. (darsi) demonstrated her conflict resolution skills by paying 20p for an extra Flake to go with my rose, as I wasn't having any ice cream. I tried to stick it in, but chocolate and flora obviously don't mix well, because it fell off.

We wandered quite aimlessly through the park for some time, although call and (darsi) claimed they were navigating. In the end we fell upon the rest of the assembled noderage almost by mistake. StrawberryFrog, spiregrain, mkb, booyaa, Catchpole, ascorbic and princess loulou were already there, devouring the latter's excellent refreshments. A little later Oolong strode down the lawn and joined us.

Things start getting hazier from here. The Pimm's and lemonade was actually spiregrain's idea, and as for having strawberries and cucumber in it, it was not strange to all the other noders. The posh ones knew where I was coming from. A truly excellent spliff started making the rounds (or maybe it was many spliffs that just kept coming, which will explain my condition), the sun was warm on my back, the vortex at the centre of my rose was hypnotising me and Oolong's hair glowed and glittered, blinding what little reason I still had left.

I rather sketchily remember having a bit of a domestic with bol, expounding tha apparently radical theory that people have just as much right to a good life as animals do, calling up my non noder friend and trying to talk him into coming goth clubbing with us and talking some truly atrocious bollocks at booyaa, who, saintly sweet thing that he is, smiled at me all along and even gave me a hug (though that may have been later).

Somewhere in all this Decimeter, who I swear to god is 12 years old, joined us. But I was pretty far gone by then.

Then we went to the pub. Well, we tried anyway. There was a lot of aimless perambulation, and by the time we finally settled down and I was recovering my wits enough to want to talk to people, booyaa left (sob, wail, whimper), Oolong was in a coma and call was asleep on the table. So naturally bol and I had a political argument.

My non noder friends showed up and joined in, then we all (call, bol, (darsi), Oolong and me) were invited to their place to drink coffee, smoke more reefers and crash out. The rank and file slept on the living room floor, but I got the guest bedroom by virtue of being old and decrepit.

On Sunday K9 was to join us and we were all to go and watch Attack of the Clones. Except of course it's sold out until next August or something, so much aimless toing and frowing followed. Eventually we decided to go and join bol and (darsi) in the pub, which was conveniently located in a place that you can't get to by tube - just perfect for visitors with one-day travelcards. The venerable native wanted us to go from Old Street to Bank, from thence to Embankement, onwards to Waterloo, and there "get the overland". What an overland is we still haven't established, but in the event it was very lucky that K9 said bollocks to that and came up with the mind blowingly revolutionary notion of taking the bus.

Yes, I really did write this whole boring old report so that I could tell everybody what a crap navigator bol is. I've been promising him I would.

Then we had drinks and then we went home.

THE END

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