It was still bitterly cold when I left on Thursday evening, but no longer actually snowing and the journey wasn't disrupted at all by either weather or "security". I woke up as late as I dared on Friday morning, which wasn't very late, and got dragged off to the supermarket with Mum and Granny before I'd woken up enough or drunk enough tea to protest. Spent the afternoon chez pseudomonas having tea and conversation, so that made up for it. Screwy showed up as planned in the evening, followed by Thuggish Poet at around midnight. It's always good to see brothers and have a proper family Friday night meal.
Saturday morning we went to synagogue, where they wished Mum happy birthday, and called me up to read from the Torah to mark the 15th (!) anniversary of my bat mitzvah, and the wardens were sensible enough about forward planning to make it possible for Screwy to attend too with minimum fuss. There were some minor issues with Screwy's carer getting lost, but it didn't really matter as I was in no hurry and was happy to hang around chatting to friends from the community.
Granny decided she was going to dress me up for the party, which was rather fun. I ended up wearing my exceedingly velvety turquoise culotte skirt, with her gold knitted top and her hairdo, and a tiger eye necklace I had lying around as she insisted I couldn't possibly think of attending a party without beads. I probably wouldn't have come up with the outfit by myself, even if I'd been intending to dress up, but it worked pretty well. And it turned out that there were plenty of highly decorative people at the party, so yay prettiness.
I travelled down with pseudomonas and finally broke the jinx which has kept me away from The Oakdale every time I've tried to go there in the past. It was a really good party, with several of my favourite people (doseybat, compilerbitch, lethargic_man, ewtikins, the aforementioned pseudomonas and a friend who keeps her LJ identity private), and lots of other people I'm always glad to see (let's hope I don't leave anyone out: timeplease of course, deborah_c, hairyears, fluffymark, karen2205 and 791point43, even though I embarrassed myself dreadfully by failing to recognize her, many apologies). And lots of cool people I either barely knew or didn't know at all, whom I won't list because I'm a bit unclear on the mapping between people and LJ handles. More than one person told me that I'm good to hug, which is just about the best compliment in the world ever.
There was plenty of conversation, and a fair bit of silliness, and pool and giant jenga, both of which are games I'd like to play enough to get the hang of properly. And no deafening music or smoking; they even snuffed out the incense when requested. And Duchesse de Bourgogne beer which pleases me greatly by being sour instead of bitter. Two bottles was rather more than I really wanted to drink, which I should probably remember another time. I am slightly peeved that the barmaid lied to me by telling me there was no cider at all, meaning that I was thwarted in my attempt to buy a drink for deborah_c, despite the fact that when she went to the bar herself she got a cider I would have been delighted to offer someone or to drink, for that matter.
Sleep happened at least to some extent, and 791point43 was an angel in the morning and concocted a breakfast of chocolate digestives and tea! Lunch with compilerbitch and doseybat at the fabulous Oriental City, an authentic Chinese-style food hall. Unfortunately it is threatened by developers who want to knock it down and turn it into a B&Q and some flats; if anyone has any political influence at all in the London area, please protest against this stupid plan. And take the opportunity to visit it before it disappears, it really is a unique place. I really appreciated getting the chance to catch up properly with Bat and Sarah. And doing so over exotic drinks and tasty Chinese food was an added bonus.
compilerbitch used her extremely flashy GPS to find lethargic_man's place. He provided me with tea and hugs, always happy things. And we headed out to the Jewish Museum in Camden, because lethargic_man was interested in the Black History Month exhibition there about black Jews. Unfortunately, this turned out to be a series of events which we had missed, and a small gallery of photos of the Ugandan Jewish community which was crammed in a room with a video installation so you couldn't even look at them properly. curious_reader actually managed to make it to one of the talks in the series and has done a nice write-up on the Ethiopian community. I was a little disappointed in the museum, and also in not getting to see curious_reader herself on this trip, but never mind. I think I would have been too tired for a proper art gallery, which had been my original aim, and I really appreciated a relaxed afternoon with lethargic_man.
The remainder of the weekend I spent helping Mum set up her new computer to be more usable for what she wants. This included giving her a link to this journal, so if you're reading, hi Mum! The other happy thing was that I came back to Stockholm to find we have a temporary reprieve from winter; it is warm and sunny again here.