Shows how fun our lives are. We also had a man in 'fixing' our bathroom. I use the quotation marks deliberately, as it appears that rather than fix the root of the damp problem (basement flats are martyrs to this and problems of condensation), he just slapped a layer of Dulux Once over the mould on the ceiling. Reading that back, it makes our flat sound particularly nasty. There was mould, but it wasn't, er, frondey, and looked more just like black marks on the ceiling. It wasn't furry either.
By the way, is that spelling of 'mould' correct in this context? That is to say I don't mean to suggest that there was some kind of negative shape on the ceiling from which people could cast humorous gnomes. I would have sworn the organic matter was spelled differently, but the problem with the otherwise good dictionary.com is that it's based on American English, and I suspect the colonies (as mad old King George III referred to them; or at least, as Nigel Hawthorne referred to them in the film) treat the spelling of that word differently. Since an annual subscription to the OED online costs £195 + VAT, I'm blaming any spelling error on the BBC.
*Plus, I am beginning to hate MindSay in general, and this template in particular. Will move something more grown up onto my own URL soon.
What the hell. Jenny should be home within half an hour, and I can't wait to see her.
I find that cities never look like how they do in the movies, but San Francisco is an exception. It's a very beautiful place, and after the torrential downpour of yesterday, I was rewarded with a warm, sometimes sunny day today. Consequently, I have once again crippled my feet by walking for 7 hours straight.
It is one of my greatest pleasures to wander unaccompanied around an unfamiliar city, occasionally getting slightly lost, but keeping going nonetheless, finding little side alleys and kooky shops; San Francisco has a surfeit of these. I can't believe how big is it, either; despite spending so long on foot, I didn't cover half the ground that I had intended to.
Nevertheless, I saw some beautiful sights; this is a particularly photogenic city, with bags of charm. Lots of odd characters, and plenty of bustle without being too hectic. The cable cars are very pretty; they are a ridiculously inefficient mode of travel, but San Franciscans got the system declared a National Historic Landmark in 1964, so the last three lines are preserved. I read in my guidebook that the cars latch onto a cable which is constantly running just underneath the street – stopping by dropping the connection – and right enough as you cross the lines you can hear the cable trundling away in a slightly disconcerting manner.
Lots more to write about, but it'll have to wait for another time; I'll be heading out for a meal with the boys at some point reasonably soon. I'll keep this gallery of photos updated.
One last thing: acting on the advice of Jenny's pal, the redoubtable Mr Cope, I today purchased a packet of Fritos, and I agree that they truly are the king of packet-based snacks. If I may quote from the packet: "When hunger strikes, a lightweight snack just isn't going to cut it. You need something that's going to hold you over and keep you satisfied. At times like these, you need the big, bold of Fritos". And so say all of us. Jenny, I'll be bringing back what's technically known as "a shitload".
Just occasionally, technology does something right, and reminds me why I work in this industry. Earlier today, the young lady and I used iChat AV to videoconference (nasty, corporate word) and it was fantastic. I'm rarely excited about technology for its own sake, but I do get very fired up about what it can achieve. Full screen, simultaneous, smooth video streamed from opposite sides of the Earth is amazing, and served to make the 5000 miles between us seem less imposing. That we're both using wireless connections too meant that we could wander about the room too; Jenny knows every inch of my hotel room, now...
So, am a little zonked. Not to be defeated, however, I've just had a bath (something I often do at hotels and very rarely do at home; that is to say I usually shower, rather than 'not bathe') and am about to venture out briefly in search of some fast food before retiring for the evening.
Surreal moment #1 I switched on the hotel TV (you just do, don't you) to be greeted with the Discovery channel mentioning Montrose on the East coast of Scotland. Some Asian-inspired tidal wave programme, apparently, but citizens of that redoubtable town need not panic; the last time a major wave struck there was 7000 years ago. Nothing interesting has happened since.
Surreal moment #2 [Of possible geek-only interest] There was a slight mix up with the second hotel reservation for the guy I travelled out with today, so while it was getting sorted out, I signed on to the hotel's wifi network. Ridiculously, it's not complimentary (that very basic Jenny and I stayed in in Paris has free wifi, for goodness' sake), but even worse, it'[s split into zones, so that if I pay for a 5-day access package while in the lobby, ($50, by the way) I can only access the Internet there. So not in my room. Utter insanity. Thank goodness for corporate America, and the guy at the support line got me sorted out after a few minutes on hold.
'The City' awaits. (It's apparently very gauche to call it 'Frisco')