All 18 entries tagged London

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March 23, 2007

Excitement… in no particular order of importance

1. I got my blog back (for the second time). God bless WGA.
2. I am going to Florence next weekend for Adam’s birthday (a BIG secret).
3. I am very lucky to have such good friends and family who love and support me.
4. I enjoyed my training course this week, especially the Sunningdale diet (lots and lots of lovely food).
5. I am generally feeling more positive, probably because I have stopped trying to live on three mashed up lentils and a carrot stick a day.
6. I am due to complete the purchase of my flat on 4 April, so I should be able to move over Easter.
7. I discovered facebook.
8. I am going to the zoo tomorrow to celebrate Leonie’s birthday.
9. I am going to the Isle of Mull with Leonie, Thomas and Helen in May.
10. It’s the start of the weekend and I can sleep loads.

I am so lucky!

September 28, 2006


Tomorrow night I am going to see Metamorphosis at the Lyric (free tickets and everything!) and on Saturday I am going to Stratford-upon-Avon to see the RSC’s The Tempest and Kneehigh Theatre’s Cymbeline.

Very excited about all of these productions. So excited that I threw my mobile phone into a cup of camomile tea in my sleep the other night, and it has only just started working again (albeit with bubble sound effects). It’s been a long long week.

September 23, 2006

Worms, violins and half marathons

So. This time tomorrow I will be girding my loins (nasty expression) before setting off on 13.1 miles of hell for the third time this year. The difference this time round is that I am completely ill-prepared, and really should not be going anywhere near a half marathon course, were it not for the fact that my dad was extremely persuasive and talked me into treating it as “a little training run”. His idea of a training run is 9 minute miles though, so I don’t think I will be able to keep up with him for long.

My dad is down in London for a meeting today, so our training last night consisted of half a bottle of red wine each and a double vodka and tonic (me) in the Holiday Inn, Bloomsbury, which alarmingly has left me with an aching fuzzy head this morning.

I found a little wiggly worm in my salad over dinner, which caused great consternation amongst my dad’s colleagues and the hotel restaurant staff, who all started shrieking excitably and threatening to kill it and boil my salad alive to sterilise it (or something).

I calmly picked the little worm up, carried him through reception past a coachload of Japanese tourists who’d just arrived, and put him in a pot plant outside the door to let nature decide his fate. I’ve now realised that the pot plant was probably fake though. Poor thing.

The other night after work I walked across the river to Waterloo tube station, where I took part in play.orchestra, an interactive sound installation on the South Bank. I love the interactive stuff that has appeared here over the past year or so, but this is my favourite yet. It’s made up of 56 plastic cubes and 3 “hotspots”, and when you sit or stand on one of these, a musical instrument will sound. If you get enough people to join in, you hear a complete orchestral piece, but even if you don’t manage to find 59 willing tourists / commuters / children / couples to join in it still creates some interesting effects with snatches of melody and rhythmic bursts of sound. I sat in one of the violin seats, but it was giving me a headache so I moved to the triangle hotspot instead. I think I would make a good triangle player!

Today I am going to be very lazy – I might go for a little stroll – but then I’m going to Thomas and Helen’s for tea this afternoon, followed by dinner at my aunt’s this evening. Trying not to worry about tomorrow and Windsor.


August 15, 2006

Bonce and Frasnia

aeroplaneAdam and I are off to France tomorrow to “meet the parents” (well my mum and Stephen) for a 3 day holiday in Ceret, after which we are flying back to Britain briefly before heading out to Zagreb on Sunday, getting a bus into Bosnia to Brcko on Monday morning.

This is assuming that the plane works properly and nothing untoward happens and we don’t miss our connection and I don’t get too drunk on triple vodkas.

Assuming all that, I am actually quite excited now, not least because I’m off work from 3pm tomorrow for almost 2 weeks until Tuesday 29th – more leave than I’ve had all year!

Having said that, I’ve really enjoyed the past few days in my new job despite the steep learning curve. Getting my head round the whole project (along with everything else vaguely relating to it in other govt departments) makes me feel slightly frazzled, but I’m currently enjoying my job to the extent where I’ve stopped daydreaming about becoming a teacher… for now anyway.

Last weekend was really good too – besides meeting Anna on Saturday at the Tate Britain, Adam came down to London on Saturday evening, and we went out for curry in Tooting Bec (the “new Brick Lane”?) at a south indian restaurant. Very very taken with south indian food… and it was cheap… we had the vegetarian set meal for 2 for £20 which was absolutely gorgeous, and there was so much food we couldn’t finish it all.

burekSunday we mooched – late brunch, trip to Sainsburys (always fun), before popping down to Elephant and Castle for a couple of hours to visit the Imperial War Museum with Rhiannon. I cooked fish red thai curry in the evening and we watched Delicatessen – now there’s a film I haven’t seen in a long time.

Now I must pack and get an early night. Yay for leave and holidays! (it had better be warmer in France/Bosnia than it is on this arctic wasteland). And I’m going to eat all the pies.

August 14, 2006

Elephant dung and monkey business

Anna and I went to the Tate Britain on Saturday, where I was very much taken with Chris Ofili's The Upper Room, a series of thirteen paintings of rhesus macaque monkeys that
glow as intensely as stained glass windows, shimmering with carnivalesque exuberence (and sparkly elephant turds!) while projecting ghost–like traces of the animals on to the floor before them.

Chris Ofili - The Upper Room

Ofili uses identical designs, based on an Andy Warhol print from the '50s, in twelve of the paintings. Yet although identical in fundamental design, the monkeys venerated in these twelve paintings each have twelve very distinct characters through the different colour palates that are employed in each. Some of the monkeys seem to have a playful character, but others are subversive, anarchic, even sinister.

Chris Ofili - The Upper RoomAt the end of the room in the thirteenth painting the Chief Monkey presides like a giant Buddha, resplendent in gold and dripping glitter – excessive, grotesque, simultaneously corporeal and spiritual.

The twelve toast him with their elephant dung goblets in the midst of the frenetic patterns and organic rhythms that boldly swirl and leap around them. A stark contrast to the cloistered calm of The Upper Room.

June 13, 2006

The puppets, the porn, the bard and his lovers

Avenue QHad a theatrical rather than an alcoholic weekend for a change, which kicked off on Friday night with a preview of Avenue Q the musical, fresh off Broadway and due to officially open in London at the end of June.

Whereas Sesame Street – the educational series which Avenue Q parodies – teaches children basic life skills such as how to cross the road safely and healthy eating habits, Avenue Q uses a combination of puppets, animation, and live actors to teach somewhat more grown–up children about the fundamentals of life for a 20–something year old living in a less–than–salubrious New York neighbourhood.

Princeton, the main protagonist, is a bright–eyed college graduate who rolls up on Avenue Q eager to make new friends and find his “purpose” in life. Yet as he stands out on the sidewalk, desperately trying to find a vacant apartment that suits his meagre budget, he can’t help but ponder:

What do you do with a BA in English?
What is my life going to be?
Four years of college and plenty of knowledge
Have earned me this useless degree!

The songs themselves are a clue to the somewhat more dubious educational focus of Avenue Q, with titles such as Everyone's A Little Bit Racist, You Can Be As Loud As The Hell You Like When You're Making Love, What Do You Do With A BA In English?, The Internet Is For Porn, If You Were Gay and my personal favourite – The More You Love Someone The More You Want To Kill Them (sung by Japanese expat Christmas Eve)

The teachers for this illuminating journey through the world of unemployment, drunkenness, internet porn, one night stands, anti–political correctness and friendship are a whole host of puppet characters such as Lucy the Slut, Kate Monster, the Bad Idea Bears, Trekkie Monster and Mrs Thistletwat. There are also three characters portrayed by actors, including Gary Coleman, whose apparent celebrity status in the US went largely unrecognised by the British audience.

All in all, this was a fun production – catchy songs, captivating characters and funny situations. I found the “full puppet nudity” and “graphic simulated sex between puppets” of which we had been prewarned ever–so–slightly shocking (seems a little wrong to see what are essentially children's puppets really going for it like that!). Neverthless a hilarious scene – who would have thought that those naughty muppets had it in them?

As a contrast to puppets and porn, on Saturday I went to Stratford–upon–Avon where I saw two RSC productions: Romeo and Juliet and A Midsummer Night’s Dream.

More to follow shortly on these 2 plays when not so tired…

April 02, 2006

London Eye pics

Photos taken on 21st March on the London Eye, to celebrate my colleague Jan’s retirement:

Hungerford Bridge / the AdelphiJan on the London EyeLooking towards the CityWestminsterPod at highest pointWestminster 2Pod at highest pointWestminster bridge

March 25, 2006

Disgruntled and plague–ridden

plagueHad high hopes of a weekend filled with cunning plans and clever tricks. Was going to walk half the london marathon course with my dad today, coffee / drinks with friends in evening, run along the river to Putney and try not to get lost too much and maybe fit a gym session in too in anticipation of the half marathon in a fortnight.

But I appear to be Diseased. My lungs feel like they’re imploding, my throat feels like it’s exploding, and one minute I’m hot then I’m cold and tired and headachy and miserable. And I’ve made A cross with me because I wanted to be left alone. I thought it was my body’s over-reaction to a very smoky pub on Thursday night, but if it is that, it’s a bloody big over-reaction. So my second (completely logical) thought is that I accidentally walked over a plague burial site and am now infected with the Black Death.

Hmm nothing like being a bit overly-dramatic, is there?

Anyway, I anticipate that my version of the plague will last approximately 48 hours, after which I will recover miraculously just in time for work on Monday morning. Buggerbuggerbuggerit.

March 01, 2006

I lost my mountain…

…somewhere on the no 77 bus to Clapham Junction (the northern line had broken – again), around the point where the bloke sitting behind me decided to start noisily rapping along to his mobile phone ring tone, the bus doors got stuck open letting in the freezing cold night air and relentlessly subjecting us all to the dulcet tones of the opening/closing door warning beep, and I got on the wrong connecting bus and had to walk for 40 minutes to get home. This was particularly annoying given that I had just run 6 miles at the gym and had no desire to walk another 6 on an empty stomach. And it was freezing.

At this point my attempts to hold the image of snowy mountain tops and beautiful Saussean scenery still in my mind failed, I started muttering my "for fuck's sake" mantra under my breath, and I realised that maybe I should go and live somewhere remote, preferably far away from the rest of humanity.

February 01, 2006

Run run as fast as you can…

gingerbread manMade it back to the gym this eve; first time in months! I HAVE to keep up the good work, since never in my life have I shelled out so much for a bloody gym membership as I did yesterday. Oh yeah and I'm doing another half marathon in April (Reading), so it might be wise to do some training so as to avoid otherwise Certain Death. Anyway I managed to run 4K followed by a short stint on the cross-trainer – not that impressive, but a start. Now i'm going to bed to try to get 9 hours sleep in the hope that I will stop feeling so exhausted and grumpy all the time.

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