Monday, October 24, 2005

Getting out of the City

And I'm back.

I spent the weekend in Derby, as a guest of the WLS Info group (, but I also really enjoyed my time away from the big city. The train ride was two hours through perfect English countryside, and my hotel had a BATHTUB, so you know I had a relaxing time. Saturday morning I did a little window-shopping in Derby while I waited for the meeting to start, and I found a ton of clothes I could have bought. I managed to resist, but only just.

The meeting was held at a very posh hotel, and I was instantly made to feel welcome by Ken and his family. At first it was a little awkward, but after people got used to the idea that I was going to be asking questions, they opened up, and I learned a lot. Mostly what I did was tape recorded while everyone sat around and discussed their various surgeries. I learned a lot. Everyone was really friendly and outgoing, which made MY job a lot easier. And, hey, there was food, so I was happy (speaking as a starving college student). I even got to rag on the President a little with Ken's 15 year old daughter, Ally, who is probably smarter than I am at 23.

The thing that really resounded for me was everyone said that they didn't regret their surgeries and only wished they had done it sooner. To hear that kind of positive feedback was amazing--I was expecting a few people who had some reservations, but there were none. So now I'm looking to get the other side of the equation, ie people who have chosen not to have weight loss surgery to sort of balance out my play. It will be interesting to see what I get.

I didn't realise when I bought the ticket that 6:48 means AM here, if it was PM it would be 18:48. Stupid 24 hour clock. So, I got back home way earlier than I intended, but that turned out to be okay. I went to Trafalgar Square for the last hurrah of the 200th anniversary of the battle and talked with a Canadian and a New Zealander, so Britain's former colonies were well-represented. The thing last night was put on by the Navy, and it was very rah-rah England, the Navy is fun, so let's all go to war. A little awkward for me, whose country started the war, and the New Zealander, whose boyfriend was off to Afghanistan in a month. The emcee, a lieutenant who needed to look over his notes one more time, did an all right job of introducing the various acts for the first half (I got to see the hornpipe!) and then the second half was given over to lights and sound and multimedia. There was a huge screen, meant to look like a sail, where they displayed a picture of Nelson while "he" narrated the successes of the Navy for the past 200 years. The only problem was the "sail" kept waving so Nelson kind of had this bemused look on his face like, "what the hell is going on?" Or maybe that was just my imagination. There was pyro though, so, like a small child, I was entertained.

Rah, rah, Nelson. Rah, rah. :)

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