Posts Tagged ‘The Weekend’

Dallas Day Fourteen

Tuesday, October 20th, 2009

What a cool day!

I went out to the same church as last week, which once again impressed me. Then I had lunch in Sweet Tomatoes, the soup and salad place where I had lunch on Friday, and as on Friday I really enjoyed it. I never thought I would choose to eat in a salad buffet, but there you go – it’s a funny old world!

Then I headed for White Rock Lake Park for a Sunday afternoon stroll. It was a lovely sunny day, and the park was full of people enjoying themselves doing their thing, whether it be cycling, jogging, sailing, canoeing, canoodling, or just watching the world go by. It was a great place to be. Though I have to admit I was very jealous of the many cyclists, and it took all of my determination to resist mugging a passing cyclist and riding off at high speed on their bike. Except of course that they were going past very quickly on their nice bikes, and I was only walking, so I’d never have caught one to mug anyway.

But walking brought its own benefits. I stopped and had a long chat with Roderick, who has been there every Sunday for the last 14 years with a sign saying “free advice”. We didn’t quite talk “of shoes and ships and sealing wax, of cabbages and kings”, but we certainly talked about a lot of different subjects. As for the advice, “people aren’t short of facts – they just need to think about the possibilities”. Roderick is clearly very well-read, and just happy to spend time with people. Good for him I say!

Then, on the way back I met Captain Smokey, sailing and driving his amphicar around and in the lake. Needless to say he attracted a crowd, and I have to say his vehicle looked looked much cooler than the Belfast equivalent.

The Amphicar!

The Amphicar!

At this point, I thought my day was complete. But then on the way back to the hotel, I saw the biggest second-hand book shop I have ever seen. Due to the strong gravitation pull of that many second-hand books, the car practically steered itself into the car park – I had no choice. And the shop is just enormous – big enough to have it’s own coffee shop, fish tank, help desk (with 3 people at it), and about 6 tills. It turns out that this isn’t just a “they’re bigger in Texas” thing – it’s the flagship store of a second-hand book shop chain. And they have a very simple pricing method – the books are half the original price, so everything is really good value (since older books are cheaper to begingwith). I managed to get out with only 2 books (for less than $7!!), but if I hadn’t been limited by my suitcase space it could easily have been a dozen.

Then I went to the cinema, and watched Bruce Willis’ new movie “The Surrogates”, which wasn’t bad.

So a great day in Dallas.

Hooray for cycling!

Saturday, March 21st, 2009

Despite my leg still being sore from walking around Las Vegas, I went out for a cycle today. Managed to do the 30 miles to Lisburn and back along the River Lagan, which is always a nice picturesque run. Most people seemed to be in good form today – people walking their dogs, other cyclists, and people out walking in the sun. It has to be said it’s usually only the joggers that are noticably miserable, and there weren’t a lot of them.

But most excitingly, me and my bike have now done 2984 miles, so with some decent weather, next weekend should take me to the magic 3000 miles, which will be coo!

What a weekend

Monday, March 2nd, 2009

I had a busy weekend. Here’s a few thoughts.

  • I had too much chocolate cake on Friday night. It was a comedy-sized slice (more of a hunk of cake really), and I should have just had some of it and left the rest. But I couldn’t resist it, and ended up eating all of it and feeling slightly dreadful. Don’t want to see chocolate cake for a while.
  • At Saturday night’s murder mystery evening, I played the part of Dr Sigmund Fraud, controversial Viennese psychologist. It was good fun, and I managed to correctly identify the murderer (it wasn’t me). But there was a gorgeous dark chocolate mousse, and I had to eat someone else’s, as it was too rich for them. Two rich dark chocolate mousses was quite an achievement. But it was way too much, and I don’t want to see any kind of chocolate for a while.
  • Up early on Sunday morning to shave off my beard, which was traumatic, but entirely the right thing to do for my sister’s wedding, since she hates it so much. Face is now bald, and a bit sensitive. I’m constantly aware of my skin being a bit irritated around my chin, and get very distracted by my reflection, since it looks wrong.
  • Surprised myself by having a couple of chocolate brownies after church on Sunday. I clearly have no self-control whatsoever, and got over my anti-chocolate feelings remarkably quickly. Am now worried about chocolate poisoning.
  • Was slightly taken aback by a couple of non-reactions to my beardless face, as friends tried to work out what was different about me, but weren’t quite about to work it out. The moral of the story – although it’s a big deal to me, no-one else is even looking at my face to know if I have a beard or not.