Thursday, 31 May 2007

Another Bank holiday weekend

I have no idea where the time is flying to. It seems like it was just yesterday that I wrote here but it is already the next weekend is upon me before getting to write about the last. And the last one was def a notable one full and busy and a long weekend as well. With the aim not too ramble too much but not seeming to skim too much either here is what went down last weekend.

The friend that we met for drinks was Gary and his arrival in London a week and a bit ago (that Tuesday night) created even more excuses to get out and about and explore London. The Tuesday night had us wondering around the area of his hotel for a bar and then for somewhere to eat (which happened to be another bar - go figure) Finally got to have a traditionally fish and chips and mushy peas for dinner and then we toddled off home.

By Friday we knew we had to take Gary out for some good partying in London. The plan was to go to KOKO in Camden but I'm still waiting for a night there. We started off at the worlds end pub in Camden which is a wonderfully alternative pub with such a wide variety of people. Think Obs on steroids. After a few calls we found out Paul and Alice were up the road at the Dublin castle (there are 4 pubs in the area all called 'so-and-so' castle each representing England, Ireland, wales and Scotland - we were at the Edinburgh castle if you noticed in a previous blog)

So off we trot up the road - I say trot cause I have on my most killer heels for a night out :)

Drinks were had with Paul, alice and her friend as well as a bunch of people that Alice's friend had met online and this was the first time she was meeting them in real life. Finally Gary made it through to us (he made a habit of getting lost plenty in London) and we all then follow the crowd off to a club on oxford st called Metro for what we were promised was some good alternative/rock music. The music wasnt exactly what it was cracked up to be as per the flyers promise and the evening seemed to just been what I can only think of as being very british pop rock punky stuff. Didnt know half of it - think alot of it was old school re done punk stuff. But never the less I'm always the one to try make the most of the situation and off C and I went to the dancefloor where we found a step for me (so i'm not so short -lol) and danced away. Then the others came to join us and we all got to have fun time anyway despite the music.

Then after walking miles down the closed off section of oxford st to deposit Gary on the best night bus we head off to find ours. Thanks to the closed off roads etc and after waiting for ages for the elusive 390 bus (which was saw numerous ones later in the weekend) we landed up cabbing it home and crawling into bed at 4.

Saturday 'morning' (we only surfaced at about 13:30pm) and set off on the mission of finding me a hairdryer since my now old hairdryer decided that it wanted to do the impression of a fireball by glowing orange it was so hot and being seconds away from bursting into actual flames in my hand. So we missioned to Argos, the strangest shopping concept i've come across so far. You walk into the 'shop' that just has banks of counters with big laminated books (which the housemate calls the laminated book of dreams) and little machines that you type in the code of the item you want to see if they have it in stock. Then you got to the payment counters (or self service payment counters - which is very cool and I got to use now that I have my chip and pin card), you pay. then get a number and collection counter number. You then sit down and wait for the number to be called, you go to the collection point and there appears your item/s and you walk out. It very strange system and even stranger buying something that you havent actually seen or felt. But then again they are seriously cheaper. Think i'm actually going to stop by there again soon to get us more bed linen and towels :)

Ok i've gotten off track a bit. By this stage it is late afternoon and we hadnt eaten yet so we decided to head off for an early dinner or late lunch which ever way you want to look at it. After some debating we head off to pizza express in kentish town which was in a lovely converted hall of some sort. We hit the lull between lunch and dinner and were one of 3 tables occupied. We had the most stunning meal of dough balls (why we dont have these in SA I have no idea - they are devine !), pizza and tirumisu with a lovely bottle of wine. Was a really wonderful 2 hours completely wrapped up in our own little world talking endlessly as usual :)

Then off to Leicester Square to see The Pirates of the Caribean 3 with Gary and his other friends. Which was good entertainment to end off a Saturday night.

After feeling like it had already been a full weekend we were very happy to realise that there were still 2 days left of the weekend...

Sunday ! Finally our plan to wander around spitalfields market came to fruition. This is a very cool indoor market that has been around since 18something or other - read as very very old ! There are stalls with clothing and shoes and second hand clothing and anything retro, food, bags, etc etc. We wondered around taking it all in enjoying the atmosphere, had some lunch from the famous square pies place and bought the most stunning chocolate from the most stunning chocolate shop! We also wondered around the other markets in the area like petticoat lane and bricklane as well as taking in all the galleries and the shops and the vibe of the area. C had really wanted to show me the area as he would love to move therebouts - but those are decisions for later in the year. AND what we can find in our price bracket.

We then got a call from Gary to do something and so we all landed up in Camden again at a cocktail bar called Fifty Five which was just off the main road so nice a quiet. Then we find out that it is 2 for 1 cocktail happy (2) hours. So we all pick a cocktail and get 6, then pick some more, and then more, and so we always had a pile of different drinks on the table and are sampling and drinking from them all. Was a great way to try new cocktails and share the love - LOL. I must say that whoever came up with the cocktail that was ice cream, oreo cookies and alcohol was a genius !!! what a yummy cocktails! So now that we exhausted the happy hours we head off in search of FOOD :) and luckily (or most likely evilly planned from the beginning by C) Wagamama's is right next door. It is one of C's favourite restuarants and I think he was just having withdrawl symtoms from the lack of spicy food in his life thanks to my tastes.

Wagamama's was a very cool resturant where we got to sit at large bench tables (i.e right on top of the people next to you) and since we were all in hyper active drunken states we landed up having to befriend the 2 females sitting next to us. We def brought amusement with us and I think scared the waitress a bit. Especially since we were attacking each other with the menus. At one stage Gary asked her for empty coke bottles and he really was no only cause she had visions of use attacking each other with the glass bottles. Eventually Gary did get to pull off his tower of bottles trick and she was very impressed until she whipped them away and was pretty much like leave already, well it was closeing time and we were some of the last people left there.

OK looks like i have to work now - will post again about my monday later :)

Tuesday, 22 May 2007

Another weekend down...

Its Tuesday afternoon, and for once at work I have nothing to do - so am sitting here bored out of my mind waiting on people to get back to me. Of course in my boredom and get to bore you by writing more about life at the moment (basically what I got up to this last weekend)

The last weekend was started by having drink down the pub (larney pub called smithfields pub and restaurant) with co workers where the one's husband has a regular gig providing back ground music to the office Friday night drinks. They really do love their drinking ! I was taking it very gently this Friday since Thursday was a horrible hung over work day !

Callum then joined me there and we made our plans to head off to movies...and when going to movies in the city you basically just head for Leicester square area and there are about 10 movies theaters to choose from. The movie choice for the night was the painted veil which was not your typical romance even though it was essentially a romance non the less. Edward Norton as always was an amazing actor and played his part brilliantly and will be making loads of money off it too since he and Noami watts were the executive producers as well. Def how to make big bucks in the movie industry.

We rounded off the evening with a slice of pizza as well watched the revellers of the night wondering around. mostly people leaving the pubs, others arriving all dressed up for the clubs, tourists wondering around lost etc. Then off home for both of us to catch up on much needed sleep.

The need for sleep caused us to only wake up at 12pm on Sat !!!! eeekk... oh well it was needed. Our plan for the day had been to go through to the V&A - but a friend of a friend of Callums was having an engagement party and we were invited. Plus we would be seeing Callums friend is only going to be in London for two weeks or so. But here is the snag - it started at 12:30 and since we are not really the people to hurry unless absolutely necessary we were a hour or so late. Weekend mornings are time for pottering around the flat, messing around on the internet (me in the bedroom and Callum in the kitchen), lots of cups of tea, and commands of each other to go get unstinky first.

The engagement party was at a pub (of course) called the Edinburgh castle. Were we basically sat and chatted with friends and met new people and drank and ate all afternoon and evening ...left at about 10pm, that was 9 hours in the pub - wow i think that is a record for me. Had an entire camebert cheese baked in its box with toasted ciabatta. Was so devine !!! After 9 hours in the pub it was def bed time where we got talking again to the wee hours of the morning. Damn can Callum and I talk each others ears off ! and it is even worse when we've been drinking. We can talk about anything and everything for ages - the most random thoughts get spoken about and at the end it is one of those conversations that you cant even remember what any of it was really about. LOL

Sunday was a lovely domestic day with Callum and I going a doing a HUGE grocery shop and then having to lug it all home. Damn that was sore! Then I made tomatoe and basil soup and custard cookies while doing domestic chores as well. Then there was an evening drink down the local (St Johns) with friends. and that was the weekend !

Now am off to meet up with more friends here for a few weeks for some more drinks :)

Friday, 18 May 2007

Work party ...

It seems like that every temp job so far has had some or other farewell party for a person leaving... This time it was dinner for the designer that is heading off for maternaty leave and has the most gorgeous insanely huge preggie belly since she has twins kicking around in there.

So wednesday night off the designers (me included) head off to pre drink as arranged by the head designer in a fancy private bar of the hotel on strand st (i think - it was a cab journey away from the office) which was designed by Philip Stark. This is where we started the drinking of expensive cocktails at £13 a cocktail in a very dim lit club enviroment causing me great shock coming out into the still bright light at 7:30. Off we trooped to the Thai resturant for a very nice (and very spicy - AHHHH) meal with some wine.

Then while a few left us after dinner (including the guest of honour - no blaming her though) the majority headed off to Punch and Judy in Covent gardens. This is apparently the oldest pub in London - or something like that. Then things started to get messy in the sense that out came sambuca shots all round and a few more drink laters we head off to the next drinking hole aptly named the Coal Hole. Which was another pub that had been around for decades! I just love how every thing is so old and has such a history here in London.

Then there were the guys left, me and anthea. The typical male call for a strip club went out and we all trooped off the the nearest tube to get to the closest strip joint. This particular joint was called Whites and seemed to cater for only corporate clients in the sense that it was only open on week nights ! ! Basically fun was had by all - with one of the group getting his first lap dance ever and looked like a very very happy man afterwards. Suddenly it was 2:30 and Callum was calling just to check i hadnt disappeared done a rabbit hole somewhere in London. Thankfully my bubby of the evening Gianni lived up north further then me and since I was on the way got a lift back in his cab. Finally I got to go home to crawl up in the arms of Callum - and getting teased about my drunken state .... :)

Thursday, 10 May 2007

The Church pics

See previous blog for details...*The queue in front of us - the big red brick building in the distance is the venue* *The queue behind us that didnt get in* *Us in the queue* *The drinks in the plastic packets*
*The stripper**up close of the stripper*
*The crowd of girls on the stage*

* The crowd*
*Sam, Callum and me in the crowded dancefloor was very interesting trying to navigate through the people - def made for some laughs*
*Me on the stage - a bit of a mission but I got there**The aftermath of all the drinks and thier plastic bags*

*Aimee passed out on my shoulder in the tube* *close up of Aimee passed out on my shoulder*

*Us on the tube home*

Wednesday, 9 May 2007

The Long weekend

After SA's long weekend now it was our turn in the UK. Well ok i'll admit that I hadnt been working the week before it and pretty much just chilled out last week, tried to sort a bank account out and shopped for the remaining bits of Callum's bday prezzie. Wasnt lucky with the bank story until this morning and now I have my very own bank account with money in it but no card yet ..oops. Just to let all potential uk immigrants the most helpful (read actually gave me a current account without a utility bill) is Lloyds TSB...they were great.

Ok so the long weekend then...feels like it was a week long and I need a rest from the it and it is only tuesday.

Friday had me running around going to a couple of interviews which was all good since I heard back from the one within an hour and am now working at another office design and build practice for the next 4 weeks. Then it was back home, quickly dump everything change and off to farewell drinks for Maria who i've been working with the last few weeks and who have become friends with. She is a very sweet colombian who is married to a french man. She is sadly going back to Colombia for 6 weeks so will see her again only then. The drinks were flowing (bought by the boss) and then the champayne was flowing! Evil evil stuff ! Poor Maria landed up extremely drunk and finally I handed her off to her husband and we parted ways...
I got home all by myself in my slightly (read very) drunken state and was very proud of this fact as it was all that I could tell Callum once home. He (also a touch tispy from his work drinks) finally got me to bed and to shut up about getting home on my own.

Now I very much knew that we had plans and train tickets to brighton the next day and was very excited to be going but I must say that when the alarm went off at 8:30am I was not a very happy person. Then I remembered it was Callums bday!! managed to "jump" (very gently) out of bed to give him his presents. You all know how much I love giving presents! Then after popping some pain killers for the pounding head and getting myself together we hurtled off to the train station, stopping for mac donalds breakfast on the way (SO GOOD!) and off to Brighton.

We had no set plan for Brighton and once there discovered that it was the first day of the Brighton festival so the whole place was a hive of activity with streets closed off and the shops and cafes spilling out into them. We wondered down the streets trying to avoid the childrens parade (never seen so many children in one place all dressed up) and find ourselves a very cool bohiemian coffee shop/cafe and comedy venue for coffee and to browse the maps and festival magazines.

* The childrens parade*
Off we went again to stroll around the Lanes (shopping, shopping and more shopping) and then onto Brighton beach. The beach was a bit surreal as it is entirely pebbles, no sand what so ever ! So we slowly made our the shoreline trying not to get our shoes full of pebbles (not too hard since they are bigger then you expect!) and sat listening to the cool sound the pebbles make in the waves and taking the obligatory pics of the beach and the Brighton Pier.
*The Lanes*

We then set off for lunch at Mamma's soul food (or something like that) as per Phil the housemates instructions. So in we go to the very southern american palce complete with the loud african american woman to welcome you and are informed that happyily the chef has had to rush off cause his wife is having thier baby and we can one order one thing...soul in a bowl. So with no idea what was heading our way we said sure, bring it on. Then proceeds 3 courses of multiple dishes, we have ordered a bit of everything on the menu - that is soul in a bowl...EVERYTHING...We ate ourselves stupid and then ate some more and then the next round would come and we would eat even more. Needless to say we rolled ourselves out of there in great need of a walk!

Off we head to the Brighton Pier - I mean how could we go to Brighton and not go to the pier! And so we start some more strolling through the arcades and gambling and stalls or people wanting to sell you your future or tell you what your handwriting says about you and on to the amusement rides (which I must say just made me feel sick looking at them cause I was so STUFFED) BUT of course , it is a pier so what must we have ...ICE CREAM :) I still have no idea where I fitted it. We then just landed up standing by the railing watching the sea and the people in the nice warm sun (the only time I was warm when outside that day!)

Our day was wrapped up with more walking around the markets and the parks etc. Then the train ride home where I was just in the most happiest relaxed bubble curled up in Callums arms as we listened to music together (and he slept) What a wonderful end to a great day and what I hope was a great birthday for Callum.

*The Royal Pavilion*
Then along came sunday and our outing to THE CHURCH ...I had very little idea of what to expect I had heard a few rumours every now and then. The church is basically a club that only opens on a sunday at 12pm and closes at 4pm ...that is 4 hours to drink as much as you can, party as much as you can and generally have a kick ass hedonistic time ! Since it was a bank holiday the next day we were given instructions by Callums friends and workmates to be there early. So we drag ourselves out of bed and meet at the church (luckily 2 tube stops away) at 10:30am...and the queue was already round the corner and down the street. WOW. So we wait and we wait and we wait some more, in the freezing cold I might add here (though I did try not to whinge too much cause I get teased for that :P ) Finally the queue starts moving and since we know that there is a cut off of number of people we are getting a bit nervous...and for good reason! They let only 25 more people in after us. Other friends of mine sadly didnt get in...shame. So into a full capacity of 1800 people club we go.

Now the drinking set up is one that i've never encountered before. You go and but vouchers that get you 3 drinks at a time then you go to the bar and get your 3 drinks (beer, cider or smirnoff ice in a can are the only choices) IN A PLASTIC BAG !!! so everyone wonders around/ dances with a plasic bag full of drinks. Then you drink as fast as possible, dance as much as possible and get to watch strippers, fat men doing an attempt at comedy/stripping/singing as well as drinking competitions and whatever else they have up their sleeves for entertainment.

It was great - SO much fun ! At the end the girls get to go dance up on stage while the now drunk and horney males get to looks on as some of the girl get their tops off (down to the bra) and well I got to go dance up there, have a laugh and smile as my gorgeous bf in the crowd :)

We then get kicked out at 4pm and we all mission down to the closest fast food (Mc D's) for food to fill the drunken tummies. I must say that Mc D has never tasted so good and gone down so fast in my life !

A few of us then went on to a random little cocktail bar in tottenham court area that had no signage and was down some dodgy looking stairs into the basement. Very cool little place...but maybe not so good to have carried on drinking. Callum and I then tottered off home to harrass the housemate and then lie in bed talking for hours (gotta love those drunken conversations)

Well i'm getting tried now just reading this and think that I'll just leave you with the sad fact that Monday bank holiday saw Callum and I going to the local cafe for a breakfast fry up and then basically lounging around and finally cleaning and doing laundry and being oh so domestic ...yes I'm finally domestic - LOL

Enough said, Night all


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