On Friday evening, I hopped on a train at Guildford station, and, four hours later, I alighted in, if not The North, at least in a place where they have an idiosyncratic name bread roll. You've guessed it - I threw caution to the wind, and visited Gary in Nottingham.
Things to commend:
- Dino's Dial-a-Pizza in Beeston. Two nine-inch pizzas for £6. Yum.
- Beeston (a suburb of Nottingham) has its own Wetherspoon's, McDonalds and Pizza Hut (and more). It's almost level in Guildford in the pernicious catering chain stakes, and Nottingham itself is less that five minutes away by train. Another demerit for Guildford, there.
- East Midlands discount bookshops. For some reason, the stunning popularity of the personal computer seems to have escaped this region, with the result that computing books are extremely cheap (variously £3 each, two for £5, £2 each and three for £5). I managed to snare books on Visual C++ (Visual C++ .NET: The Complete Reference) and C# (for which I can't find a reference), for a five-spot. Neither perhaps are the most-enthralling titles, but I figure they might come in handy one day. Of course, I reckoned without considering that I had to cart them back to Guildford the next day....
- The Cookie Club in Nottingham. Spiffy little indie night on Saturday that pulled off the feat of playing The Boy With The Arab Strap, followed by Ask by The Smiths, and then - in an atrophy of inspiration - First of the Gang to Die by Morrissey (though if you take out the sequencing, that's three considerable nths of an excellent set). There were also due amounts of Franz Ferdinand, The Pixies, Blur, The Coral, The Cure and an obligatory Blitzkrieg Bop. The music beat off competition from last week's jaunt, though the atmosphere was a little lacking. Oh, and let's not forget, it had its share of Streets fans.
All-in-all, an excellent weekend was had, and it remains to be seen if my next excursion can make the grade.