Lorenzo Pirisino
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The Accounts of a Great Day

Posted on 2008/07/16 18:57:37 (July 2008).

[Friday 11th July 2008 - Sunday 13th July 2008]

Of all the titles that I have thought about to describe the weekend spent in England for the glorious "2, Radstock Road Reunion" this is probably the one that summarizes at its best the events that occurred during the three days spent between London and Reading.

We owe this quote to John, who's been repeating it for quite some time, but it was a great reply to a very innocent question made by Tim (I think): "..so what do you do at weekends then?"...


The trip to England started quite early for me and Chiara, around 5 in the morning, with a Meridiana flight to Gatwick. We arrived in London quite early, and to our surprise John came to pick us up at Victoria Station, letting us into his company's offices so that we could get a coffee and leave our bags. I am not allowed to disclose the nature of John's work, neither where he's currently employed, but I can tell you that from what I could see it's by far the best company that I have seen so far in my life.

The day in London was quite long, we went to see several things and walked a lot, eventually had a marvellous dinner at a Lebanese restaurant (great choice from John here), and headed back to John and Chie's place for a good night sleep.


The big day. We arrived at Reading quite late, Rob and Jon were waiting for us at the station... I saw Rob during his honeymoon in Florence, but Jon it was since 1997 that I did not meet. He changed his hairdo and his car, but fortunately kept the great personality and sense of humour!

We soon headed off to Rob's place, in Lower Early, where all the others were waiting for us. Tim and Chris did not change that much during these years, once again it was great to see them!
We dropped our bags and off we went to start our day.
Chiara and Kate went to Oxford and we parted at the stop in front of the Computer Sciences building on Campus.

Reading University...
All together again, walking towards the CS Building, I guess that we looked a bit different compared to 10 years before, but watching the guys in front of me, chatting, laughing, being serious, brought me back in the past once more. We got some pictures made and we headed off to the Union, where many things have changed since we were there, mostly for the worst, but I guess that we are looking at things through nostalgic spectacles.
It was time to walk towards Sibley Hall (my accommodation in 1999), and then off to the mighty "2, Radstock Road", the place were we all lived.
The street towards Cemetry Junction and the house has not changed a lot, the shops are more or less the same (apart from MEDINA being closed, our kebab supplier of choice).

2, Radstock Road
Our corner store (Hargunns) changed the signs, from a scabby, dirty yellowish plastic to a new shiny red one.
And then "her", the house. We immediately spotted that our fridge was outside the door, meaning that Mr.Ahmed finally decided to throw it away. We could tell it was our fridge because of some dents that we inflicted to it.
Being outside term the house is empty, Mr.Ahmed already looking for some new tenants (little sign on the window).
More picture ensued, more memories came out and we decided to move down towards the canal.

The Canal
My memories of the canal were not all that good, it always looked like a dodgy place where it was easier to get stabbed (and subsequently eaten by rats) than feeding the ducks.
Now it's all chirpy and nice, a lot of families were there, and generally it looks like Reading is making an effort to increase the reputation of that place. We moved quickly into town and decided to stop at the first pub for some lunch and the first mandatory rounds of beer! The pub of choice was a new establishment that was conveniently placed in front of the Back of Beyond, a pub that nobody really liked, but I really do not know the reason why.

The Georges
That was the second pub of our day, right at the beginning of Broad Street, it's impossible to tell what we were talking about, there is too much to write, but a mix of memories and experiences plus the usual jokes. It was like 10 years ago, nothing had changed, by now we were all back to student level!

Purple Turtle
Pub crawl had to pass through the Purple Turtle, one of our favourite establishments, here we were joined by Tom, changed in appearance and in the fact that does not consume alcohol anymore!! Now it was really all of us!!

This is one of the few pubs that has not been conquered by the "chain pub" franchise glory, serving great ales from the area. Great atmosphere! Here one of the highlights of the day.
The two founders of GARP (the Role Playing Games Society in Reading), the society that was responsible for our meeting (I would have never met any of the people in the house if it wasn't for GARP), happened to be there!!! I think that they were quite surprised to see seven people thanking them and taking pictures together, they obviously did not remember about us, but we did know who they were and that was enough. Life is very strange, nobody could have imagined such a thing to happen and it did...

We then went to Pizza Express for dinner, where we managed to regress even more to one of our typical students behaviour "look at nice women at that far table and NOT approach them adding stupid excuses for it"... I think that we have heard someone blaming lack of initiative on "being married" (yeah...), "being gay" (John, but that was another "fill rouge" of the day), "being tired of women" (understandable)...
Anyways, meal was ok (I guess) and we then progressed to our last pub of choice, for the last pints and then by midnight we arrived at Rob's place.

Jon and Tom were the first to leave the party, having to drive back home, while the rest of us stayed over at Rob's place. It was simply great to sit all together in Rob's lounge, talking about lots of things, like we did at Uni, late at night, drinking some tea and exchanging opinions and experiences. I miss that.


The day started with a great breakfast made by Rob, more chatting, more laughs. Eventually at lunchtime Tim and Chris left, we were waiting for Simon but unfortunately they could not meet him as he arrived a bit too late.
We got to meet Simon instead and we moved to the centre of Reading for some lunch. Initially we went for some Sushi, but the place was closed. Then another sandwich place but it was closed too, so eventually we ended up at Nando's, apparently a South African chain restaurant that serves spicy Portuguese food...(miracles of globalization)

Then it was time to say goodbye, and we went back to Gatwick to then hop on the plane to Florence...

What a weekend, what a reunion. I am so totally happy that we made it all together in reading once more, it was truly a great thing!

Comment 1

A marvellous piece, Lox! Good to see you guys all together again after all those years! You must have sore throats from all the talking you did! Splendid photos!! :D

Posted by Nigel at 2008/07/16 21:08:38.

Comment 2

ahhhhhhh a piece of pure nostalgia.... Just made be chuckle out loud in the office.
Starting to feel a bit old now.

Posted by ALeeCat at 2011/03/10 13:50:21.

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