I did many things in London, Bicester and Bristol.
My classmates and I hold Bristol fondly in our memories, which is the main reason why we flew for 12 hours and spent more hours on the road to get there. However, during the trip together we realised on thing:
We all had memories of different places and things. Grabbing a coffee at Boston Tea Party (which has nothing to do with any anti-Obama movement, BTW) is nice for me, but doesn’t bring back the same warm, fuzzy feeling as it did for the others who were more frequent patrons, back in our student days.
Drinks at the Cory Tap were a good memory for me, although XL had never stepped inside that pub before. Walking on the Bridge was great for me, although I tended to do it during the day while DY would do it at night with her group of friends. A picnic at Ashton Court would have been very pleasant for me too, but the others weren’t as familiar with it. Especially when there was shopping at Broadmead to be done!
Before that, in London, my plan was to see museums, museums and more museums, have pub food, catch a World Cup England match preferably with England fans around me. It just had to be the England-USA match, and it was probably the worst time for the team to have a case of Green thumbs. In general you can’t beat English pub atmosphere at an England match, though it did become more subdued after the second goal.
I also ended up buying lots of CDs on sale, at big stores like Harrods/HMV and also niche players in Bristol. A bonus was stepping into the Monocle shop in London, getting a free glass of rose wine and seeing the magazine I purchase get gift-wrapped. Other people had different priorities, such as finding the best places to eat and shop. We also had sufficient spiritual food. I visited a small but growing church on my first Sunday (1 day after flying in from Singapore) and the week after, visited Holy Trinity Brompton which was where the Alpha course started. It changed my life and I certainly hope it will continue to make a difference in this world.
Of course, I also was very glad to meet up with my old friends RT (and his wife, JL), YML, BC and some friends who have since moved to the UK. Thanks to RT and YML for letting me stay at their homes. While I gave priority to my Bristol university mates I did manage to squeeze in two INSEAD-related events (dinner with ES and dinner with AH, CP and many of the Singapore campus batch now working in London).
And I should note down for posterity the joyful moments we shared in the car, en route from London to Bicester, from Bicester to Bristol and finally from Bristol to Heathrow airport, listening to the radio as it played some familiar songs that we all knew, and us singing along the way to make the journey more enjoyable.
All these new memories are of course, captured in photographs which I haven’t had time to publish yet. Truth is, I’m out of time and disk space and I’m supposed to be resting – though my rest has been broken with many bouts of sensationally bad dreams which make me wake up.
Hopefully all will be well soon.