Dear Love Bugs,
It has been 2 weeks since my last post… I apologise for the wait… I have been living in the moment instead of writing about it… not a bad excuse!?
When I last left you, I was looking forward to a weekend away in Bath… I can now say, Bath is one of the most beautiful places I have ever seen. There’s not much to do there in terms of attractions or shops, however, even the houses and architecture of the town is worth the 2 hour drive to experience. The culture and history is thick in the air, and the Roman Baths was so fascinating; a historical day spa centred around religious concepts built by the Romans using the natural hot springs of the area that was not too dissimilar from a modern day spa like the Peninsula Hot springs.
It was in Bath I first ate at Jamie’s Italian – the food was good; not amazing, but good! But the cocktails… now they were amazing… And we continued the cocktail theme to a bar called Opium in the little back streets which was so cooky and underground, eclectic pieces of furniture, paintings, and bottles everywhere.
The next day we continued onto Somerset where Andy’s friend’s dad was playing in a band celebrating 15 years together at a local hall. This area was proper country! I’m talking about green rolling hills, gorgeous stone houses, a local pub and rickety old gates. It was really the most gorgeous thing to see; the England that I had in my head! We had a great night of drinking and dancing to wonderful rock anthems.
Sunday morning we set off home with a slight detour at Stonehenge. People had warned me that it would be anti-climatic… but I insisted upon the visit. Despite the fact that I had to pay 20 quid to get in… I held up my head and decided to read every single plaque to get the most of my money in the joke of an exhibition they erected in some effort to justify the exuberant price they would have otherwise been charging simply to look at big, stacked rocks…. Cut a long story short… They don’t know shit!!! They don’t know WHO put the rocks there, WHY they put the rocks there… WHAT they did, WHY they got moved around… They made an awful lot of suggestions or assumptions… but we all know what our mums told us about people who assume things… But… I am glad I went, they were a very pretty sight and it was pretty amazing to wonder how they got those massive stones up on top of the other ones?! Anyway, the whole expedition took less than an hour but meant I could tick another thing off the bucket list. Win 🙂
Sunday night after my weekend away, I arrived home to the most amazing sight! TWO PACKAGES! One from my beautiful aunty, Mirella, one from my gorgeous mummy… and what’s better than two packages from home? Two packages FULL OF CHOCOLATE! I was so excited… and I’m proud to report… that one whole week later… only ONE packet of Tim Tams has been consumed.. I am pacing myself and proud of my efforts. Thank you. AND HAPPY AUSTRALIA DAY (the reason for the amazing parcels!).
The week started off on Monday pretty normally. I felt an urge for some home cooking, and so made myself a nice beef stew – nothing compares to mums cooking but it was ok.
I’m starting to know my way around with a bit more confidence. It’s nice to be able to meet up with a friend and not have to pull out the City Mapper app… I actually got irrationally excited when I realised this had happened! I’m getting used to the public transport. It still makes me laugh how people sprint to get to the train even though there will be another one in no more than 5 minutes… and it never gets old when people get eaten by the train doors or get something caught in them… it takes a different kind of self restraint to not laugh at these frequent happenings… Something which is not so funny is getting on a train in rush hour (my teaching time schedule means I mostly avoid peak hour, what a blessing!) and being pushed up so close to people you can often smell what they ate for their last meal; the most recent episode of this was last week on my way to the West End where I was pushed so far up next to this hippy (to be completely honest I couldn’t even tell you if it was a feminine male or a masculine female – either way, irrelevant), that I could actually smell that the last time this person had had a shower was probably late some time in 2011; I could count how many strands of hair was in each deadlock, and I could tell you that this person had enough dandruff falling out all over the place to fill a salt shaker… It was horrid! I was trying so hard to distract myself with other thoughts…! But it was futile. What a shocker!!!
There have also been some lovely things, in contrast to the dreadlocked hobo on the train, that I have seen and smelt and felt. I went on a bike ride with a lovely young Italian boy along the canal in Hackney Wick which seemed like a great idea at the time, but about 4 minutes in when my bum had eaten the bike seat and I saw my life flash before my eyes when I tried to dodge a dog and nearly plunged into the dirty water that would put the Yarra to shame, I wasn’t so sure! However, eager to look capable, I pushed on and had a lovely day in the 16 minutes of sunshine that appeared in the late morning. Along this canal, there are dozens and dozens of house boats that people actually live in! They are so cute! Old, paint flecking off, smoke pouring from the little chimneys the only betrayal of life amongst them! It was just adorable.
The weather has been interesting… Just as I was getting climatized to the winter, we get this obscene cold snap that makes me want to crawl into a ball and hibernate until summer time. There are rumours of snow. In all various parts of London. Somehow I have managed to allude it, however, I have seen photos and the threat is real; it will snow at some point…and I will be ready! Or perhaps I will be lucky enough to witness a Thundersnow…. (?!?!)
The other day, I was walking home from the bus stop, and it was so cold, I dropped my glove (still can’t master answering the phone with the gloves on) and was so cold, and so adamant that if I bent down to pick up my glove that I would snap in two, that I literally kept walking…. WHAT?! That is a whole new level of arrogance… To NOTICE that you dropped your glove… and keep walking because it’s too cold to stop!? See – this is what this crazy weather will do to a girl… It’s real. Anyway I got my karma when I started typing a text message and my fingers were so frozen stiff my message looked like it had been written by a person who had Tourettes and a mild case of dyslexia… Needless to say, I quickly replaced my gloves…
Thursday night I went to see Once with Ronan Keating. Hmmmmm. I was super excited to go! I love musicals! This was set in Dublin and had quite a folksy soundtrack… Ronan was hot and his voice is truly sexy… but I found myself compiling a mental shopping list towards the middle of the second act and wondering which route would be quickest to take home after the show… I can’t recall if I told you about my Swan Lake experience last week… I was so excited for the ballet… the BALLET! What a classy woman I am, going to the ballet!!! The first opening dance by the solo ballerina was honestly, one of the most beautiful things I have ever, ever seen. It brought tears to my eyes and I was stunned with admiration – it was perfect…. Not long after that, however, I had these two phrases alternating through my mind; ‘What the fuck is going on?’ and ‘Wow, that was cool!’ – it was a long evening.
So basically, I guess in the West End, you win some, you loose some… Tonight, Sunday, I will be heading to “Ghost Stories” a play which claims to be a horror… We shall see about that! Stay tuned…Friday night was a riot! I went to a silent disco with two beautiful new friends along the Thames and we had such a laugh. For those who haven’t experienced a silent disco before (as I hadn’t), everyone gets a set of headphones, and in this case, there was 3 different channels to chose from. You can tell what your friends are listening to because each channel makes the headphones turn a different colour. As you could imagine, if and when you take the headphones off, there is a weird, almost awkward atmosphere with people singing along to no music (off key) and the sound of bus boys collecting finished drinkware… The Millbank tower was where this disco was, and the views of London lit up at night were absolutely breathtaking. It was such a fun night! Apart from home time…. All the trains had stopped for the night.. it was a half hour walk to Trafalgar Square bus stop, then a half hour wait for the bus… then a 1 hour bus trip home… 2 hours to get home after a night on the town is simply excruciating! Especially when a homeless man gets on and decides to sit next to you and begins explaining that its so cold and he has no where to go so he just plans on riding the bus around all night to stay warm. My heart went out to him, but it was so late; I was so tired; he was a bit stiff on the nose and he was just so chatty! I played along – one part of me wanting to tell him (as I would have, any other overly bubbly character at 3am) to piss right off… the other part of me wanting to give him money for a hotel room… oh god… the smell… makes my eyes water again just thinking about it… for 45 minutes… Anyway, not only was this adventure a long one, but the bus dropped me about 15 minutes walk from my house. You know those moments you just wanna lay down and cry… yes. Well, I didn’t… instead I did the only logical thing I could think off… which was to run home in my high heeled boots, disco bag trailing in the wind. I can’t tell you what happened from there – I assume I made it home safely.
Yesterday, Scott (my housemate) and I went to Hampton Court Palace… Wow! It was so amazing to walk the grounds, kitchen and rooms where Henry the 8th lived hundreds of years ago.
Unfortunately, most of the parts of the palace where Henry would have lived had been knocked down and rebuilt in the Baroque period by William the 3rd (no respect for history!) and his wife Mary.
It gave me goose bumps seeing some of the sites I saw, to think that you were walking in churches, corridors and grounds that have been in use for hundreds of years is truly humbling… A fantastic day topped off with a kebab on the way home. As you do…! And… um… are these not the biggest Doner spits you have ever, ever seen!? Ridiculous!
So looking at my calendar, I realise it’s exactly two weeks till I set off to Berlin and Krakaw. I am so excited! And two weeks off work! Bliss! (you will note, there is no mention of work in this post, because I rationalise that if I try to block it out of my mind it’s like the traumatic experiences don’t exist)… I have started gym and dancing again – my body went into shock the first week, but I’m under control now… and I have tickets to a Medieval banquet on Thursday night which I believe is a show and dinner; right up my alley!
Many exciting times ahead!