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London TALF meet, 21st October 2010

Hitchin, United...
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London TALF meet, 21st October 2010

Adam has had to go on his holidays, but the cascade of members wanting a meetup in London does not seem to stop. So we have a short notice meet up, Pegdafittr and RamblinSal are in town on Thursday 21 Oct, so who wants to come and meet them?

I suggest The Victoria pub on Strathearn Place, at 1900 on Thursday the 21st. It's a lovely victorian pub.

beerintheevening.com/pubs/…Bayswater

Add your name below if you would like to come along. Ta.

London, United...
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71. Re: London TALF meet, 21st October 2010

Did I miss the raffle?

London, England
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72. Re: London TALF meet, 21st October 2010

Thank you CT!

Great venue and great company, what more can an evening want?

London, United...
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73. Re: London TALF meet, 21st October 2010

Thanks for organising this CT - i had a lovely time. Was great putting names to faces and i really really loved the room!!!

My luggage tag is attached to my backpack and will have it's first outing to Inverness next month! (you snooze you loose jdbri!)

London, United...
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74. Re: London TALF meet, 21st October 2010

I demand a rerun!

I did get a totally neat bottle-opener from CT, though. :-)

Hitchin, United...
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75. Re: London TALF meet, 21st October 2010

It was a pleasure to see you all, I had a great time.

Adam would lynch me if I'd stepped into his shoes and failed to produce a set of minutes afterwards, so I'll go through who we saw: There were actually a lot of locals for a school night, with Jdbri, Railtraveller, Leagle, Dicanio, Ebabz and Kennydon all turning up on a clear but chilly night. Maybe it was actually because it was a school night that we got so many? Certainly, Ebabz was at her first meet as she can never make the weekend ones, so we might be onto something there.

We were of course joined by Pegdafittr from New York, who had brought her friend Jennifer along, and our regular visitor RamblinSal from San Fransisco. I wasn't sure what category to put our fourth "foreign" visitor in as she's here so often and aims to live here soon, but ILoveLondonandNYC also joined us from her native Germany.

The room was perfect for our party, early attendees probably thought they had appeared in an Arthur Conan Doyle novel, (leather high back chairs and bookcases creating a very "murder mystery" setting) and the roaring fire in the hearth kept us all cosy. Conversation topics ranged from old fashioned victorian toilets (thanks to our visiting plumber), Oyster Cards versus travelcards (of course), daytrips, Muswell Hill, the weather, and Boris Bikes. (and why not).

Thank you all for coming out on a weekday for what turned out to be a very nice evening in a super pub. I'll now make way for Adam to arrange his November meet. Ciao!

San Francisco
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76. Re: London TALF meet, 21st October 2010

Thank you again CT for putting it together ... well done!!

ebabz ... glad that luggage tag will get a work out. Come back to SF and pick up another!

leagle ... wear that t-shirt in good health!

and yes, jdbri, you did indeed miss the raffle. Next time (!), I'll bring more swag.

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77. Re: London TALF meet, 21st October 2010

Sounds like fun time and a great place for a meet. Hope to make another meet when I get back (no idea when that will be, but I'm sure it will be sometime).

London, United...
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78. Re: London TALF meet, 21st October 2010

I'll definitely be back in SF at some point.

Look out for me at the greyhound station!!! I'll be jumping up and down trying to get your attention from behind all the convicts, stalkers, axe murderers and general down'n'out/great unwashed travel companions! Lol!!

London
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79. Re: London TALF meet, 21st October 2010

Once again it was lovely to meet up with so many other TALFers - and in such a lovely setting. Thanks for organizing it CT.

Was it only last Thursday? It doesn't seem so to me - the end of my week got rather hectic.

Despite my original intention of coming for the evening, I had a wicked thought 30 minutes before leaving my house for a Thursday p.m. appointment and took my passport with me (since I wasn't working on Friday either). Those who attended will know that I then departed just before 9.00 p.m. to get to Victoria Coach Station to go to Paris - for the day!

This is what I got up to:

It was longish trip, rather cold on the coach and a smooth sailing on the ferry, despite the 10.30 p.m. departure meant to be going via the Eurotunnel.

We got to Paris just past 7.00 a.m. and once I had my Paris equivalent of a one day travel card, I tried to see the Pere Lachaise cemetery as it was only three stops on the same Metro line from where we arrived. Is it considered weird to want to visit a cemetery at 7.40 a.m.? Mind you, nothing else 'touristy' was open. Even that wasn't until 8.00 a.m., so I had a quick drink and bite propping up a zinc bar by the nearest metro to the cemetery entrance. It was a lovely little place, very warm and lots of people coming and going for their early caffeine shot. Morning delivery took place with some device appearing out of a trapdoor in the floor to carry the produce to the kitchens. Rather freaky! No idea of the name (rather tired at that stage).

A quick 'hello' to Heloise & Abelard (sadly covered in scaffolding) and a glance at Colette (still didn't find the location of Jim Morrison) and I was off to central Paris. The latest date of internment I saw was February 2010 (on a joint tomb).

Next stop, I tried to go to Victor Hugo's house - which I've seen before, but it still wasn't 9.30 a.m. and that wasn't open. Due to the lovely Place des Vosges square being closed for refurb. I couldn't even sit there and wait for 30 minutes (and a rather noisy group of school children didn't induce me to want to hang around).

So, off toward the Museum of the Middle Ages at Cluny to see my favorite Lady and the Unicorn tapestries - one of the main reasons for my trip.

…wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Lady_and_the_Unicorn

I actually ended up spending a very happy four hours plus in the museum. Not only looking at those tapestries, but the old Roman baths and various ancient relics.

I had hot chocolate opposite the museum (before going inside), but couldn't find the brasserie I had been at on a previous trip. OK hot chocolate but not the really rich, jugs of liquid hot chocolate and hot milk I'd remembered. Oh well . . .

After that, the other reason for coming back to Paris - Brasserie de l'Isle Saint Louis. About my third trip there and still absolutely yummy. Lamb chops with a huge mound of dauphinoise potatoes, along with red wine.

tripadvisor.co.uk/ShowUserReviews-g187147-d6…

They do wine by the glass or bottles. If you want more than a glass, they plonk down the bottle and basically say 'pay for what you drink'. I like this option!

Finished my meal but remembered I wanted to buy something at a store just off Notre Dame and would have been closed if I'd waited until I finished my wine. So, I paid for my meal and told them to keep the bottle handy because I was coming back. Did my shopping and 15 minutes later I was back with my glass to finish my wine watching the sun set (I'd eaten my meal inside). No idea if they thought I was nuts, but hey, I'm used to dealing with the wait staff at Wong Kei in London, so if they think I'm another 'crazy tourist', then that's OK with me.

A couple of wrong turns on the metro connections, but back in time to make the 11.00 p.m. departure. Slightly chaotic at check-in but we all seemed to get on board. I actually had the same driver who'd driven me over the previous night.

Couple of points (feel free to ignore):

1. Obviously, only try this option if you can sleep anywhere or don't get seasick.

2. If you can, book in advance - paying on the day cost £69; in advance would have been £36 return.

3. The 10.00 p.m. coach from London and the 11.00 p.m. from Paris were both meant to go via the Eurotunnel. However, it was ferry on the way and Eurotunnel on the way back. Apparently, they book one Eurotunnel berth, but they were busy so the other two coaches got the ferry option. We made such good time that we boarded the ferry directly behind the 9.00 p.m. coach departure.

I would actually next time (yes, I'm actually considering it), go via the ferry. Eurotunnel on a coach is not good. You all have to get off at the French check point, take ALL your luggage to be x-rayed, etc. Now, its fine for me with a day-pack but consider if there are families with children and lots of luggage. You can imagine how long that all took. One chap had lost his ID card, so he was left at the first check point. Then all back on board for about 500 meters, then off again at the English check point (ID only required this time). Then wait for the next Eurotunnel departure. Nope - ferry for me.

Arrived back in London at 6.00 a.m. on Saturday morning. Home to sleep!

Anyway, that was my 'day' - very long, but lots of fun.

Hope to catch up with people next meet.

Take care.

London, United...
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80. Re: London TALF meet, 21st October 2010

That sounds like an excellent adventure! Instead of a TALF meet we should have a fight. People from TALF could go over to Paris and have a big fight with the TAPF lot. Just an idea! ;-)