First Ever Windows Live Butterfly Meet Up in London

Windows Live Butterfly Meet Up I hear you say, yes that’s correct, me and Eric Cheung had organised a Windows Live Butterfly Meet Up in london for last Thursday the 3rd of August 2006 at 10:30am at London Bridge Station, and man what a great time we had, let me tell you what happened:

Well I woke up at around 7:30am and after eating breakfast and getting ready I made my way to My Train Station so I could catch the 8:31 to London Victoria, all was going according to plan and I would soon be arriving at Victoria Station at around 9:35 but I received a text message from Eric telling me that his coach was stuck in traffic so he would be a bit late but he would keep me informed.

So once at Victoria Station I made my way to the Tube and headed to London Station where I was to meet up with Eric at 10:30, of course he had once again texted me at around 10:20 telling me that he was still in stuck in Traffic but that I should take a seat.
So I took a seat at the Upper Crust Cafe on the upper floor of London Bridge Station and had a cappuccino and some crisps while I read the newspaper.

Time was ticking and still no sign of Eric and then I got another message from Eric at around 11:23 this time telling me thank you for my patience and that he was getting there soon, and then finally at 12:02 I got a call from Eric asking me where I was, and that I could meet him at the small bakery downstairs.

So I quickly made my way to see him and well what can I say, it was great to finally meet up with him, especially as he’s always so nice when talking to him on Windows Live Messenger.

He was very apologetic about making me wait but once again it’s no problem Eric I was happy to wait, at least you kept me informed of what was happening, very nice of you, thanks.

So now we had meet each other for the first time we checked out the London Dungeon Queue which I must say was horrendous, no way were we going to wait in that queue for more than an hour and a half, so after some hard decision making, hehe, we decided to come back later after visiting the Science Museum.

Once at the Science Museum we had a look around and decided to take some pictures with our cameras, by the time we had done that and looked around it was around 14:15 so we made our way back to the London Dungeon hoping that the queue would be shorter, well luckily it was shorter but not a lot.

When in the Queue it came to me that we should try and get into the MSN Offices while here in London as after all we were Windows Live Butterflies and that would count for something, so I decided to text Zack a good friend of mine from MSBlogs who I meet at the Windows Live Session, as I was sure he would know if I had any chance or not of getting in, and though I thought the answer would be no, it wasn’t instead he texted me back telling me that I should ask for Dev when there, Dev being the Hack Live Spaces Guy who I also meet at the last Windows Live Session.

But there was no need to go and find Dev later as Zack had already texted Dev to tell him I was in London, very nice of him to do that, thanks Zack!

Dev told me that of course he didn’t have security clearance but that he could meet me downstairs to talk, I was pretty happy with that as it would give us time to catch up so I asked what time he would be there too and that I would pop in later after the London Dungeon.

Anyway back to the London Dungeon, we eventually got inside and Eric was kind enough to buy me my London Dungeon Ticket (thanks Eric) as I had already been to the London Dungeon the other week, well it was pretty great being at the Dungeon with Eric but at the same time I’m disappointed as to why we were hurried though the attraction as there must have been at least 5 stages that should have happened but didn’t.

Also why did one of the members of staff who was controlling the boat send me on my own, the boat arrived and one member of staff said in two’s please, so I got into the boat just to find that I was the only one inside it, the barrier had been closed behind Eric and the rest of the people waiting and the staff member said to me “why did you look at me sourly” I didn’t know what to say and was so confused because I hadn’t even looked at him at all sourly, so I just said to him “because I don’t like your face” without much thinking as I thought he was just messing with me so I thought I would mess with him!

And then all of a sudden he said something to me and sent me on my own in the 8 setter boat down the tunnel, I of course was like “WTF” just happened, why did he do that, did he actually think I was looking at him sourly?

Well I don’t really know and I’m still confused now as I’ve never seen anything like this happen before, but when I arrived at the other end there was a lady prepared to scare everybody but when she did she realised I was the only one in the boat and asked what happened, I explained and she said that I shouldn’t insult the staff, haha!

Maybe I should go back and ask him! 😉

Anyway after getting out of the London Dungeon at around 17:00 we went to get some food at McDonalds and then headed towards Soho to meet up with Dev at the Microsoft/MSN Offices, we were just able to catch up with Dev just before he left to go home so we sat down in reception and chatted for a while before heading with him to the Piccadilly Circus, were we said goodbye and gave him thanks for meeting up.
So I would just like to say thanks again to Zack for contacting Dev, and thanks to Dev again for meeting up, it was really great, we should all meet up again sometime with a bit more notice.

Anyway we were now left wondering once again what to do, but it didn’t take long for me to suggest Hamleys, hehe, you have to admit we are all Big Kids deep down.
After checking out some toys and gadgets at Hamleys, Eric took me to the Apple store where we tried loading various online websites on a Mac using the Safari Browser, Windows Live Mail worked in basic version but Live.com didn’t work at all which was a shame but not as much shame as my own site not loading but not because it wasn’t compatible but because my hosting was down again, which was really annoying and resulted in last straw for me, making me transfer all my files and databases for my site and blog from Hosting-Unlimited to HostGator, I’ve posted a blog post about the fiasco here.

Now it was time to head to a pub, I choose The Marquess of Anglesey pub in Covent garden because I had already been there once before when I attended the first BritBlog BlogMeet and it seemed like a nice place then so I thought it would be a good place to meet nikhil another Windows Live Butterfly later on as I knew it had a fair amount of tables inside.

We arrived there at around at around 19:45 as Nikhil another Windows Live Butterfly had texted me earlier saying he could meet us at around 20:45, so me and Eric got some drinks and nachos and had various discussions about all sorts of different things while at the same time taking some weird and funny pictures in the pub.

While waiting for Nikhil we received atext message from him telling us he would be a bit late and if that was ok, I told him that of course it was, after all we had already been at the pub an hour and I was sure we could wait an hour or so more for him.

Eventually I got a text from him telling me that he was on his way, so I texted him back telling him that I would meet him at the station, and so I did, at just after 21:45 he arrived and I took him to the pub where I had left Eric.

Once there we all had a great chat and I even got somebody to take a picture of us, we eventually left at around 22:45 and made our way to Covent Garden Tube station were me and Eric said goodbye to Nikhil as he had to go to Leicester square to get a Chinese take away for his mate, mmm Chinese I wouldn’t have minded some right at that moment in time, haha.

Anyway me and Eric headed to Victoria Station where we arrived at just after 23:00 and said goodbye to each other and headed our own ways.

I caught the 00:03 Train from London Victoria and arrived home after some running at around 01:12 just in time to quickly turn on my PC and load up the Windows Live QnA Chat with the Windows Live QnA Team that had already started at 01:00 BST and was due to end at 02:00 BST.

But I was quite tired already so I didnt ask that many questions, but hey I did get the answers to the questions I asked so I’m happy, what a great Chat guys, Thanks!

And a big thanks again to Eric, Zack, Dev, and Nikhil for making my day a great one, we should all get together again some other time with more Windows Live Beta Testers, maybe even some MSN/Windows Live Employees and make a thing of this, as meet ups definitely help build a strong community.

From left to right: Me, Eric and Nikhil.

More Photos Available on both mine and Eric’s Flickr Photo Sets.

6 Comments

  1. Eric Cheung   •  

    I hope Microsoft invites us to go to America Live Butterflies gathering 😀 That will be great hehehe!! But yeah, it’s great to meet you Darren. That black woman/man is still in my mind (sick…). Overall the whole meetup was amazing, the boat ride was funny for sure as well as the Apple Store (dunno how to open a new tab … while we are testing Windows Live Mail :P).

  2. Darren Straight   •  

    Haha I nearly forgot about her/him! 😉

    And yeah we probably will be invited to the US Butterfly meet up, but I for one wont be able to come, not unless I can get the money for the plan trip! 🙁

    But anyway I had a good time too at our own meet up so I’m happy! 😀

  3. Eric Cheung   •  

    Oh I forgot to ask you, I remembered you said in London Dungeon, there is Anna Robinson, but it seems we didn’t be able to see it… is that also the part we missed. or she is invisible for the time being :P?

  4. Darren Straight   •  

    I think we didnt see it because that bit’s now been taken out and of course replaced with the maze.

  5. Eric Cheung   •  

    Ah I see, what a shame. hehe!! I just want her hangs in Tortune room, because her program sucks big time 😛

  6. Pingback: Darren Straight’s Blog » Blog Archive » Microsoft ends Windows Live Butterfly Program

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