Saturday 24 August 2002

The Adventures of Richard the Second

I was woken this morning by frantic ringing of the doorbell and knocking on the front door. I wasn't going to answer it because I could hear Richard's music on loud. I thought he was just being lazy, or couldn't hear the door. Eventually, I got up and, to my surprise, found McCaig at the door, eager to see "Whalen" i.e. Richard. I didn't know where he was because I didn't hear either of them come in last night after they had been out on the town. It turns out poor McCaig got separated from Richard during the night and couldn't find him again. Having only been here for two days, he didn't know his way around; he didn't even know our phone number, let alone which street we lived on or the area of town that we stay in. He walked around from 1.30am till 10.30am trying to find our house. He knew that a no. 17 tram would take him to our "platz", but he got on one in the wrong direction, which took him out to Nymphenberg, which is a big palace at the other side of the city. In the end, he found his way here, but not without getting some serious blisters on his feet.

We found Richard asleep in Sandy's bed; the music was on because the stereo had been set as a wake-up alarm. (Richard and McCaig were supposed to be sleeping in the living room.) Richard was soon woken up because McCaig wanted to find out what had happened last night. Richard had got mogered and had wandered out of the pub, but didn't come back. Apparently, he had downed four pints of Guinness, one after the other, and had got into one of his stupid drunken moods. He can remember asking people to punch him: that would explain the fat face and black eye that he had.

I give McCaig a lot of credit for managing to find his way home in a foreign country. He should get an alternative Duke of Edinburgh's Award. The skills he demonstrated were a lot more relevant to today's youth than being able to carry a tent across a moor at night, pitch it and sleep in it. Maybe I should write a suggestion letter to Buckingham Palace...

Laura phoned in reply to my text message, asking her to call me when she was free so that I could wish her a happy 22nd birthday. I passed her on to Richard when I was done, but he accidentally hung up as I gave him the phone. He then pressed redial, or the first number that showed up on the phone, and ended up calling Moira at Vernon's house, who Laura was just about to call to enquire about whether Moira was going to come down to see her. So I sent Laura another text message to explain that mess-up.

Laura was well-chuffed that Dog was home; so was her flatmate, Vicci, who has never even met Dog. Sandy had noticed too that he was home and mentioned it to me just before he went off to bed.

I wrote a letter to Kara today and popped down to the post office to send that off, as well as one of Laura's birthday cards from Tom and Nancy, who had mistakenly assumed that she would be staying here instead of in Brighton. Speaking of which, Laura has just moved into her new flat above the pub. I'll probably see her there between the time when I come back from the U21s rugby tour and the start of Freshers' Week in Oxford.

I went to rugby training again. It was quite hard work, but the fitness stuff will do me good, especially the twelve 50m sprints, followed by two 100m sprints. The warm-up was quite long too, and sure got me sweating. It took ages for my schnitzel to arrive in the clubhouse afterwards, and I have tasted better too. Got home quite late: after 11pm. On my way home, I paused on Leopoldstrasse for a Strawberry Häagen Dazs milkshake, costing 5 Euros. Just like the $5 shake from Jack Rabbit Slim's in Pulp Fiction, it was a fucking good milkshake.

Watched Menace II Society when I got back in. The two Richard's had hired out some more videos, all of which I had seen before. I only got the time to see the first 20 minutes or so of M2S before I had to get ready to leave for rugby training. It's a good film: the screenplay is smooth, the dialogue very naturally delivered (as much as I know about black ghetto culture) and it ends in predictable tragedy. Tragedy is all the more emotive when it seems inevitable.

I had a missed call on my mobile while I was out. It's a good job that I missed it because it would have cost me 60p per minute to receive it here in Germany. Roving with with a pay-as-you-go phone just doesn't add up. I tried calling the number back from the house phone, but I couldn't get through. I'll try again tomorrow. I don't recognise the number. I wonder who it could be.

Gregory left for Italy this evening. He's going on holiday with some of his German friends to the same place that he went last year. I hope it does him as much good as last year's experience did.

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