On Friday evening, I got my beloved computer back. The lovely guy who fixed it, Terry of Discovery PCs, was absolutely amazing: he ran into unexpected problems, but worked two hours after he's supposed to close on Friday afternoon to make sure I had it back for the weekend. He happened to have some spare chips lying around which are twice as good as the old processor and memory I had, but are still completely obsolete, so he threw them in with the service. Moore's law works in my favour. I don't really care that my computer is faster, but I do care that it's now running more reliably, my net connection works properly (turned out there was a pin-sized hole in the phone cable as well as general Windows being crap issues; kudos to Terry for spotting that one).
And most excitingly of all, I have a DVD player! I was actually intending to buy a CD writer, but a combination DVD drive was essentially the same price, so why not? So now I actually have the means to catch up on all the films I've completely failed to see so far and become less of a film Philistine. So, guys, what films are absolutely essential for any cultured person to see? (Don't assume I must have seen such-and-such; I probably haven't.)
And Saturday I was very good and was sociable rather than staying in all day playing with my restored toy. Went up to Edinburgh to see loreid, pseudomonas and my P'tite Soeur whom I hadn't seen since Christmas. I had a lovely time hanging out with loreid and pseudomonas who are among my favourite people. pseudomonas fed us a yummy sweet curry and plenty of tea; he's a good cook as well as being generally interesting to talk to.
The only slight annoyance was that P'tite Soeur's train was very late and as a result we missed not only the show she'd wanted to see but the one we'd picked as a backup plan. We tried to pick an alternative but didn't take into account that the venue was only accessible via the Royal Mile, and the crowds there were so dense that the few hundred yards' journey to the venue took over an hour, by which time we'd missed that show as well. D'oh. But we saw some fun street theatre to make up for it. In particular a very impressive Australian trapeze artist whose sheer strength was completely breathtaking. And we had icecream, and you can't go far wrong wandering through Edinburgh on a sunny afternoon eating icecream.
There was a random Free Palestine demonstration on Princess Street; I decided that it was probably better not to appear too obviously Jewish in its vicinity. I hate doing that; it's very rare for me to remove my yarmulke out of that sort of caution / nervousness. It's more than likely that the demonstrators were perfectly genuine in campaigning for Palestinian rights and wouldn't have had a problem with Jews at all, but I couldn't absolutely bank on it.
Anyway, in the evening I left P'tite Soeur with some theatrical friends of hers and rejoined pseudomonas and loreid for a typically delicious meal at Ann Purna. We had a very interesting and very impassioned discussion about feminism; I think loreid came closer to converting me than anyone ever has before. All in all a gorgeous day.
The journey back was a lot less delightful; the train was absolutely jam-packed, at the level of a London Tube in rush hour. That's always an unpleasant experience, but in this case I was genuinely scared for a while, because a couple of drunk youths got on when the train was already full and found it amusing to try to shove people, not realizing the danger that someone would actually be crushed. Still, a couple of the passengers took it upon themselves to control these youths, which they did successfully. There was a generally cooperative atmosphere, with those who were not so physically burly making sure to comfort people who were inclined to panic. If it had been a real Tube I don't think there would have been such a friendly atmosphere to compensate for the physical discomfort.
Got home late enough that I was awake at a time when I could talk to darcydodo, which rounded off a generally sociable day.