So I'm sat on my own in a computer room at Winchester university. Didn't see that one coming!
I'm actually with Ian but he's gone to sort some stuff out, should be back in ten minutes or so, and Tom will be joining us later on too. We just decided to extend the little weekend get together a little longer as my train ticket is an open return.
Since I have some time here I may as well start back on Friday.
On Friday I went to Poole at the invitation of the Royal National Lifeboat Institute, also known as 'mystery package people'. The weekend was basically one of questions and answers in both directions, but the main aim was to answer the question of 'who are you?' that had been directed at them from so many youtubers. So they sent out train tickets and we used them. Not feeling all that great but happy to be well enough to go, I took a five hour train journey to the south coast. In Southampton my train split in half. This was planned, which is far less problematic than an unplanned split in half, but still it confused me as both halves seemed to be going to Poole. So basically I guessed and guessed wrong, meaning I went the slower way. However at a very similar time Charlie was writing a blog, which perhaps some of you read, that included the line, "I MISSED MY STOP SHIT"and going beyond Poole from the other direction had to go back on himself which meant getting on my train... Of course neither of us knew this until we stepped onto the platform and saw each other just a few carriages apart.
We had a wonder around and found the RNLI college that we were staying at, even though at one point a very large fence almost had us beaten. we walked in and saw three people looking at us and after a few moments of awkward, they decided that yes; we were those people off of the internet.
That night we just relaxed with a few drinks. People kept appearing at irregular intervals and by the end of the night Johnny Durham, Jazza, Mhazz, Ian, Tom and NSG had joined Charlie and myself.
I've just thought, if Ian doesn't come back... What would I do? I have no real idea where I am, no means of transportation and nowhere else to stay. Ah, I think that's his car - emergency over.
That night we all went to ASDA and bough birthday cake because at midnight it was both Johnny and NSG's birthdays, I was glad they both said they had really enjoyed their birthdays as they'd given up their normal plans to be with us.
On Saturday we had to get up ridiculously early (for me) to start doing things. Alex had already arrived by the time I got to breakfast having not slept that night but waited around Waterloo station for the first train. I won't go through everything in detail because this is already getting long and a video will follow but basically they showed us around the place. Oh and NSG "died in theory" but thankfully not in practice.
In the afternoon we went out on one of their lifeboats, which was so good. I haven't been on a boat in... Well I can't remember to be honest, I'm gonna say fifteen years. Living in Derby (pretty much the most central city in England) the opportunity doesn't arise very often. Or ever.
It was annoying having to wear all the gear but worth it when we went out one by one onto one of the smaller boats they have. I loved that part, the driver was jumping over waves and turning sharp corners, it was kind of like riding a horse because your feet were in stirrup style things. In fact, I'm going to put my reputation on the line and say that they were stirrups. But the main difference between the speedboat and the horse was probably the face full of water you got every now and then... But after the first one of those I realised that keeping the mouth firmly shut was sensible and I enjoyed the rest of the ride very much.
There were a few more tasks and talks when we got back, which I got through although I was outrageously tired. Then it was time for dinner and drinks, it was so good to relax again. That night Ian, Tom, Johnny and I stayed up in a totally empty building (apart from one creepy security guard who stuck to the shadows.) We played the piano, scrabble, seeing how much sugar Ian could get in his mouth... It was fun.
Sunday, everyone left at eleven apart from Charlie, Tom and me. We had a wonder around Poole (it's not great) and Tom and I planned with Ian to come here to Winchester. So that's brought me full circle, Ian and Tom are back, we are going to get pizza, so I will leave you there.
Back home tomorrow... Probably.