This post completed in a text editor on Australia Day Eve, because my site is down again :(

Hey, I think that's the first emoticon I've ever put in one of these posts…

Right, so totally in opposition to my attempt to do better than last week by posting more frequently (oh yes, there's been complaints alright – sheesh, whaddya think this is !?), I've got about a half a week to catch up on.

The trip up to Nottigham was COOOOOOL. Well, the trip was nothing in particular – just your average everyday 2 hour train ride really – but I hereby declare that I like Nottingham and shall be visiting there once more when the weather firms up and when I get some disposable cash.

In the spirit of having a relaxing weekend, I spent most of the time lazing about Hilary's place chatting with Richie and Hilary, glancing at what was on the idiot box, reading, and generally chilling out. Saturday arvo Hilary and I managed to drag our sad carcasses out to have a look at Nottingham Castle, while Richie stayed home and did his homework.

Nottingham Castle it seems isn't really as much of a castle, as a museum conversion of a stately home. It WAS a castle at one point, but I think it's burnt down twice since then – one time involving Oliver Cromwell. I can't really remember – if you're that interested I guess you can always look it up on t'Internet. The museum was interesting enough, although being that it was 4:30 by the time we got there, we really had to race around it. Well, I say race – I was still limping at this point, so it's the kind of tediously slow race that 2 barnacles might have if they were on the same jetty pylon and spotted something at the base of the pylon which was particularly tasty to barnacles… only that would mean they'd also need excellent eyesight, which I'm not sure whether it's possible for a barnacle to have. But you get the idea.

That night we did a bit of a pub crawl around some of the choicer spots in Notts – there seemed to be no shortage of young folk raring to get bladdered to the point of incomprehensibility, so I was lucky to have such experienced guides to point out the non-awful bars to visit. The first couple (Tap & Tumbler, The Old Angel) were pretty cool sorta rock pubs – vaguely reminiscent of The Cranker or the Crown & Sceptre back in Adelaide… points for tourism value go to The Pit and Pendulum though !

Richie refers to it as “The Buffy Pub”, and it's all themed up in a sort of mock-horror/gothy type way; lots of dark wooden carvings and lab equipment around the place. I'm assured that it works pretty well despite it's tackyness, although I barely saw any of it for no sooner had we gotten there than the tiny-brained bouncers had come to the decision it was time for everyone to leave. Would be worth another look in though ! Having looked at a website or 2 trying to find a picture of the place, the recurring thing is that people seem to find the toilets amusing. Now typically I wouldn't recommend a place on the basis of having amusing toilets, and now's no exception. Just be aware that if you were to get particularly interested in Googling for The Pit And Pendulum, be aware that there will be mention of amusing toilets.

Right, so moving swiftly on… the next day we lazed about the house some more before deciding to pop out for lunch to “The Oldest Inn in England” – Ye Olde Trip to Jerusalem. I found this to be a most enjoyable little pub – it's hewn into the rock at the foot of Nottingham Castle, and is remarkably like drinking beer in a well fitted out cave. I understand it's popular among Tourists, which of course seems to instantly be regarded as a negative point. Bugger it – I'm sure I could see past that given what a groovy little pub it is. The title “oldest pub in England” is possibly taken with some caveats… they have dated it back to 1189 AD, but again – googling for that particular expression turns up about 1300 results.

So a fun visit to Nottingham, by all accounts. Not much sightseeing done – I still have to go and visit the famous tourist trap “Tales of Robin Hood” – but enough to get me started, and also a fine place to claim the title of “Most northerly English town visited by Jason that isn't in Scotland”. And you didn't even realise there was such a title, did you ? Well there is.

And here abruptly endeth the post. I've got heaps of other stuff to talk about.

But big big big thanks to Richie and Hilary for an awesome weekend, some lovely wine, awesome vegetarian tucker, and some quite silly conversation.