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Off to the Embassy

Posted on 2005/10/23 24:14:45 (October 2005).

[Monday 17th October]
Spent the daytime in London, sorting out my visa etc, and then returned to Reading in the evening for a few beers with a few friends.

I got up early, in the hope of getting on a train which would get me into London before 9. After some delays and a cancellation (particularly annoying given the daylight robbery price I'd paid for my ticket) I was forced to change route, but still managed to be outside the front door of the Japanese Embassy before it opened.

It only took a few minutes to fill in the form, and hand in the necessary paperwork, and I was then told to come back to pick up the necessary bits and pieces on Thursday. It was barely ten o'clock and my work for the day was done already.

I thought it a shame to just go straight back to Reading, and besides, everyone would be at work! So I set about killing some time in London. I decided I would walk over to the Holborn area, as there were a number of things I could do there. En route I popped into the British Museum for a bit of a wander around. I headed for the Japan collection, but this seemed to be closed again. Instead I did the obvious and went to stare at the mummies.

Next I popped into Gendai Travel to sort out my flight tickets. There was something of a gamble involved here, as availability was limited on Friday (the earliest I would be able to travel), but I wasn't 100% sure my visa would be ready in time. As Saturday was totally full this made matters worse. They let me put a 24 hour hold on a seat to give me some time to think about it, which was very good of them given the timing, although in reality all it meant was that I could defer the decision until the next day!

At midday I couldn't resist popping into the whisky society, but found after a couple o' wee drams I wasn't really in the mood for it. I determined instead to fill in the time by walking to Paddington. This was really nice actually, and gave me a chance to think over all my arrangements for the next few days,

I got on a train at 4 something (one of the ones I wouldn't normally have an appropriate ticket for!) and got into Reading at 5 something. I didn't really have any plans for the evening, so instead just went and sat in a pub, and then sent a text message to everyone I knew in Reading (actually not that many people any more) to see if they wanted to go for a drink! The result was very pleasing - Shingo, Frank, as well as Simon and Susannah all answered my plea, and we had a jolly pleasant evening, rounded off with a kebab on cemetery junction on the way home. Lovely.

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