Saturday involved waiting for the washing machine to arrive. It seemed like it wouldn't, so we did shopping for the flatwarming that evening at the Sainsbury's just over the road and a little netting in the attached cybercaff, since Matt doesn't get his broadband connexion until Tuesday, whence we were rousted by the arrival of the aforesaid washing machine. Installation went smoothly, so we toddled off to Aria so that Dave could buy a DVD drive, and I could look at the prices of their hard disks. Alas, Aria closes at 3.30 on Saturdays, so we went into town instead, braving the traditional Manchester rain. Purchases of CDs, cafetière, oven glove and so on later, we went back to the flat to get things ready, picking up softfruit and ruth_sedina on the way.
A bit more shopping was needed, so we did Sainsbury's again - it must be so nice to have a decent supermarket just across the road - and then the problem struck. Earlier I'd tried to get a bit of cash out of the dispenser there, and it'd failed. I put that down to a network error, since I'd bought my train tickets with my debit card on Friday, and I thought no more of it, particularly since the £20 transaction for the CDs had gone through with no problems. Not this time. Transaction refused. Much headscratching, since unless Something Awful had happened I should have had about £300 in the account plus about the same in allowable overdraft... and there was no way to get in touch with the bank until Monday, since UK banks are useless and unavailable from Saturday lunchtime onwards *sigh*. I still had enough cash to get home on, though, and I knew that people wouldn't see me in trouble, so I worried not too much, though I was bloody annoyed.
Anyway, the party was a blast. We had cheese fondue beforehand to fortify ourselves against the Torrents'o'Booze™ that might ensue - as it happened, nobody, so far as I could tell, got anything more than cheerful-drunk, if that. Much time was spent gazing out of the windows making pseudo natural-history documentary commentaries about the denizens visiting the kebab house and the whorehouse, particularly Falling-Over Man, the gaggle of young juvenile males including Stripes, Blackie and Buzz (who seemed to be indulging in rather a lot of male bonding despite their brotheling activities), and Tartan-Skirt Girl, who gave the gaggle (and us, the Unseen Watchers) a defiant flash of butt.
And then to bed...
Sunday we got up slow and leisurely *grin* and then did another small shop, during which I was flirted at by the shop assistant I asked for the location of kitchen matches, and then a little more netting. Matt was tired out by this point, so he had a short nap while I wrote more notes for the Thing that I'm writing and listened to music. Then off to the station, a smoochy goodbye, and off I went to Coventry.
Or, as it happened, not. True to form, trains don't run to Coventry on Sundays, because of maintenance work: so the best option was to get to Birmingham New Street, change for Nuneaton, then either call Jus to pick me up from there or get the 'complimentary bus' to Coventry station. All would have been well, if, on our approact to BNS, the announcement had not been that due to 'circumstances' there'd be no more trains to Nuneaton, and therefore all passengers for Nuneaton should on arrival go to the Virgin helpdesk where they would be given complimentary taxis to Nuneaton...
I saw red. Wouldn't you? Complimentary taxi to Nuneaton, then a complimentary bus to Coventry... with my back? no way. So I complained bitterly, and was told that if I caught the next train to Birmingham International, I'd get a complimentary bus to Coventry from there. That would have been good - even better that the bus would have called in at the interposing stations, which would have got me to Tile Hill where Bryan and Karen live (and where Jus himself was visiting) - had not the bus driver not been an incompetent who didn't know the route. After orbiting Berkswell for the third time I gave up, and when the top of Banner Lane came round again I asked to be set down there, since I could walk to Karen's...
I walked a way, but my back started to protest, so I called Karen with my last remaining 20p coin and told her I'd be outside the OneStop shop. She called Jus, and Jus arrived in an unfamiliar car. Turns out our car finally gave up the ghost on Friday, so he bit the bullet and is buying one by installments. This isn't as bad as it sounds, given he just had a pay rise, and at least it has parts and service warranty for two years. So then to B&K's for a quick cup of tea, and home to blessed bed.
I think next time I'm a way for a weekend, I'll be traveling back on the Monday, if at all possible. That was just a little too much.
Anyway, the music: HMV were doing a "5 Naxos CDs for £20", and I couldn't resist. So I have the Missa Tournai and the Windsor Manuscript St Luke Passion, Ockeghem's Intemerata Dei Mater, Requiem and Missa Prolationum, all of Gesualdo's sacred music for five voices, a bunch of Tallis motets and his Mass for four voices, and a grab-bag disc of Renaissance Masterpieces by Ockeghem, Desprez, Morales, Lhéritier, Rogier, Clemens (non Papa :>), Palestrina, Lassus, Victoria, Byrd and King John IV of Portugal. This is all VERY good.