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23 November 2001 @ 09:03 pm
The Weekend  
Hmm, yeah. Should update this I guess ;)

This weekend we went to Oxford to see my parents, they've been a little short changed this year - we've only been in Oxford once since last xmas and that was just as somewhere to stay after a concert in London (easier to get back to Oxford than Ipswich) so we were there less than 12 hours.

We went straight from work on Friday - so I had to leave a little early, and naturally everyone decided that that would be the prefect day to ask me to help them do stuff. So I got a little stressed out and had to try quite hard to relax on the train to Ipswich. Which wasn't helped by the train stopping at Stowmarket and going no further - still, I got to Ipswich fine, and we got to Oxford fine after that!

When we got there we sat and talked to my parents for a bit, with a nice glass of red wine ... and J fell asleep at some point during the conversation ;) Thankfully, I'd warned my parents that we were somewhat exhausted. During the conversation I discovered how unclued up about security on computer my Dad is - down to not even bothering with a virus scanner on the one at home (which my mother uses to read her email, using Outlook Express, which kinda means it's more vulnerable).

Saturday got off to a late start for a day at my parents' house - we didn't get up till about half eight *gasp* ;) After breakfast J and I headed off into town and we did shopping stuff - got J's mother's birthday present, and tramped round all the bookshops in the centre of Oxford looking for a particular edition of a particular Tolkein book. Which we didn't find, but I got J the newer hardback version of the book :) We also picked up the Dark is Rising Sequence by Susan Cooper with the remains of my birthday booktokens (kids books, but good kids books :) ).

Then off for a pub lunch - but to a pub where they did interesting food not normal pub food (I like normal pub food, but that's the best way to explain the difference). It had a selection of game dishes, so my parents and I all decided on the venison sausages out of that selection (very nice they were too :) ) - also tempting had been the rabbit stew, but it was served with black pudding which I'm not a big fan of. And red wine to drink - my parents tend to drink red, which is probably why I tend to drink white (coz that's what was 'special' not red wine IYSWIM).

During Saturday and Sunday I managed to read a small selection of my parents' books - I read the second two of the Philip Pullman trilogy (I remember that book 3 is called "The Amber Spyglass") which is a teenage fantasy series (that sounds wrong, I know) about parallel universes and also about growing up and about the meaning of love and about religion. And rather fun too :) I also read a book about nothing - which went from the concept of zero in several early cultures (like the Mayans) through theories about the potential existence or non-existance of vacuum and the relation of these theories to religion and ended up in some fairly esoteric physics about the creation and nature of the universe. And it was interesting too - which I wouldn't've expected if I'd realised quite how deep into physics it went not being particularly conversant with physics ;) I can't, however, remember what it was called, or who it was by ... ah well.
Sunday night's dinner was nice - my parents cooked poussin (sp?) and we had apple pie for afters too :)

Monday came all too soon - it'd been a nice relaxing weekend, but we did have to go home and we headed off after breakfast. Once back in Ipswich we went into town and had lunch at Vagabonds, before going to post J's mother's present. We then tried to find a pair of trousers that J liked enough to buy, but failed miserably here, just as we had in Oxford.

And then I bought CivIII - I'd been wondering if I should wait until I'd played a few more of the other games I have, but in the end I caved in and bought it. And it's since eaten my life - which is why the distinct lack of online presence in the last few days ;)
Current Mood: blahblah
Current Music: None (Was the X-files coz J was watching it)
Jonathan: kauaimcurtains on November 23rd, 2001 02:57 am (UTC)
What's new in Civ III?
Margaretpling on November 23rd, 2001 05:49 am (UTC)
Quite a few tweaks - fundamentally the same game though.

It's prettier - ie the graphics are quite a lot better than civII (but then they should be, given how old that game is ;) ).

The major change is with resources and trade. Things like 'horses' or 'uranium' or 'spices' are now in particular squares on the map, and if it is in the area of your influence and there is a road between it and a city, then that city has access to that resource. So you need to connect all your cities by roads to each other so that all have access to the resource. One of any particular thing supplies all your civilisation's needs (ie one horses square will let as many cities as are connected to it build cavalry etc), and then if you have a spare you can trade with any other civilisation you have a transport route to (so if you want to trade with the English and they're on the same continent as you then you need to have a road from your cities to London).

Diplomacy has changed too - you can do a lot more things and the AI for the diplomacy is much better too.

Other things are different too - but that's all I can think of off the top of my head, I'm sure I'll think of more once I've posted this comment ;)
An unexpected Haggishaggis on November 23rd, 2001 04:18 am (UTC)
If you find out what the book about nothing was called, can you let me know? It's sounds really interesting. I like obscure books!
Phlebasphlebas on November 23rd, 2001 05:39 am (UTC)
The Book Of Nothing, John Barrow?
Margaretpling on November 23rd, 2001 05:42 am (UTC)
That might be it - I'll have to ask my mother when I next speak to her ...
Ceci n'est pas une viemarble on November 23rd, 2001 11:03 am (UTC)
The story of O? *wink*

Just kidding, I know the book she means - my local hammicks have it, and I've looked at it a couple of times but not bought it. Give me your address and I'll send it to you:)