Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Lovebox, exciting and new…

I loved Lovebox!

I’ve never been to a multi-day music festival before, so really had to pace myself. Amber and I got to Victoria Park around 3pm on Saturday and headed straight to the chair-o-plane. Once that was out of the way, we grabbed ourselves some cider and fronted up to see The Black Seeds who were awesome! I can’t believe they are from New Zealand… We mooched around a couple of other stages, befriended some Aussie girls who were attacked in a free merchandise scramble, and somehow managed to miss the Midnight Juggernauts. Instead, Amber and I wheedled our way to the front for Groove Armada, who again put on a fabulous performance. It was the showmanship that really made the set. There were fireworks and confetti and ping pong balls and super-sized balloons – all my favourite things! After Grove Armada we met up with the Barley Mow crew, who had scammed themselves backstage wristbands for the day. Ever the gracious hosts, they took turns in slipping their bands off and letting Amber and I have a look at how the VIPs do it. Laura took me to the back of the stage for Manu Chao, hiding behind the curtains and looking out over the audience. Loved it!

I sensibly packed myself up and trundled home at 11pm, wanting to get a good night’s sleep for day two. Whereas Amber went hell for leather and partied all the way through until the next morning, therefore piking on Sunday’s festivities. Piker Amber!

Sunday I met up with the Barley Mow crew and headed in with them early in the afternoon. I was totally rocking it out in my boots, skinny black jeans, leopard print top, and cardigan – “granny rock” I dubbed it. Sunday was super fun, as I played Eddie’s wingwoman, mislead rock magazine marketing peeps, rode the chair-o-plane again (without hands!), played a lot of leg guitar, and performed some utterly elegant dance routines. Goldfrapp were gorgeous, the Flaming Lips were a lot of fun, Pnau were pumping, and the Dandy Warhols sucked because every schedule had them on at a different time so we missed them. Pthbbbbb! I ignored Greg’s argument to call in sick on Monday, and instead took myself to bed at the rather reasonable hour of midnight.

It was very difficult getting up Monday morning to go to work, but totally worth it.

I love you Lovebox!

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Gay Paris

Where to start?

Well, our weekend in Paris was brilliant! Four girls, three nights, too much wine, in one fabulous city…

Jennifer, our delightful little Parisian host for the weekend, met Amber and I at the Eurostar terminal on Friday night and took us out for mojitos while we waited for Charlotte. Then we all went to Chez Papa’s for dinner – I had an omelette (the beginning of my egg filled weekend), and the three girls had gizzard salad. Yum. Jennifer performed the most amazing reverse parallel park that I have ever witnessed, perfectly in line with the kerb and with less than half a foot between her and the car behind and in front. Amber was so impressed she took a photo, while Jennifer nonchalantly told us that that’s just how you park in Paris!

Knowing that we had a big day ahead of us, we started Saturday with a French brunch. Best. Brunch. Ever. We had croissants, granola with yoghurt, hard boiled eggs (that’s my 4th egg so far), crusty bread, ham, prosciutto, cheese, salad, and an espresso. Jennifer and I nearly had food babies afterwards, but it was worth it. Then we hit the shops, before climbing to the top of Montemartre. We barely had enough time to get home and change before heading out for dinner with Charlotte’s brother and cousin. Dinner was at a restaurant that specialised in wine, cheese, and processed meats – all the good stuff. However, I was still rather full from brunch, so just went with a salad (including my 5th egg of the trip). While the food was great, the amenities left a lot to be desired. The French refer to it as a Turkish Toilet, to Amber and I it was dubbed the worst toilet in Paris – a hole in the floor that you sort of squatted over and tried not to splash your shoes. Awful. We barely made it on to the last train of the night, with Charlotte fighting with a vending machine on the platform while Jennifer and I forcibly held the train doors open. I thought I slept pretty well on Saturday night, though apparently my teeth grinding and sleep talking woke Amber up several times.

On Sunday Amber, Charlotte and I caught the train to Versailles, where Charlotte grew up. Charlotte gave me a brief history lesson while we had brunch at a terrace café, where I had my second omelette for the trip, bringing my egg total to seven (for those of you playing at home). Then we skipped over to the castle where Marie Antoinette once lived. There was a massive line up to get in, and an even longer one for the toilet, so Amber walked the perimeter of the castle trying to find a fence to jump, but alas they were all too high. Needing sustenance to get us back to Paris, we found ourselves a little café that served nutella crepes, and I managed to order a cup of tea in French. After a quick (two hour) nap back at Jennifer’s, we got all dolled up ready for a big night on the town. The girls and I had dinner at Tokyorama, complete with a complimentary round of sake shots. Nice one! By the time we met up with the rest of our French friends and made our way to the Firemen’s Ball (the highlight of the trip) the line was all the way around the block – I had never seen so many people! Instead of waiting on the street, we had a few drinks at Coolin’. Ironically the air-conditioning at Coolin’ wasn’t working, so it was stinking hot. But the champagne was chilled, the music was fun, and the glow sticks were flying, so we stayed for a few hours. Finally, we made it to the Firemen’s Ball around 1am, but only after some devious line-cutting by Amber. It was wrong, but it had to be done. The Firemen’s Ball was actually just a massive open-air party in the courtyard of a block of buildings, and was packed with thousands of people. Within minutes of arriving, the group was separated and lost in the crowds. However Amber had the ingenious idea of standing/dancing on one of the bars, so we regrouped. Charlotte and Jennifer tried to set me up with one of the fire station’s captains, but given that he didn’t speak English and I didn’t speak French it was never going to work out… After a hilariously fun time drinking and dancing and making friends, the girls and I stumbled home just as the sun was starting to come up.

Jennifer had plans on Monday, so dropped Charlotte, Amber, I and our luggage off at the Jardin des Tuileries, a huge park in the middle of Paris. We spent the afternoon lying in the sun, drinking sparkling mineral water, sneaking into the Louvre to use the loo, and rehashing our adventures from the weekend. At 5pm we boarded the Eurostar and headed back underseas to London, marking the end of our trip with a bottle of red on the train home.

I can’t wait to go back!

Wednesday, July 9, 2008

A tough decision

What was the best part of my lunch break?

Was it the fact that I actually had to leave the office, and face the rain and cold?

Was it that one woman refused to use any less than the entire width of the footpath, forcing me into a puddle, which filled my shoe with gross puddle water? Ugh, puddles.

Was it having to pay for 49 envelopes that I will never use because the Post Office only sells them in packs of 50?

Was it realising that the hem on my good work pants (and incidentally the only pair that fit me at the moment) had come undone and was dragging on the ground?

Was it that my cheese and tomato baguette looked great, but it was actually made with a stale roll?

Was it returning to my desk to find it surrounded by one mother, one baby, and 11 clucky women?

Ooooh, I just can’t pick it!

Monday, July 7, 2008

OCD, me me me

It would seem that I have a mild case of OCD. Amber raised the issue with me a while ago and I laughed it off, but it’s true.

In my notebook at work, I have to have red margins on every page. One afternoon I sat down with a new notebook and ruled red margins on every single page. I also have to have the date written at the top of the page in red pen, and underlined. Not so bad, you’re thinking. Except that each day I have to alternate between blue and black pen.

When stepping off the escalator I have to lead with my right foot. I’ve never thought about it or done it intentionally, but realised this the other day. And sometimes I will do this funny little dance of tiny steps so that I get the timing right.

I always shave/dry/moisturise my right leg first.

Walking along the footpath I sometimes have to dodge cracks. Because if I step on too many cracks with one foot then it feels heavy, so I have to purposely step on cracks with my other foot to even it up. And then Mark went and put the idea in my head that I can't step on cracks or gum. Do you know how hard that is over here? There is a serious gum problem - Amber went to a seminar about it. Apparently it costs £2 to remove each piece of gum from the pavement. Did you know that?

Tuesday, July 1, 2008

A promise is a promise

Okay, so I said that I would try and do some more exciting things in an attempt to stop blogging about tubes and trivia. Well, I’ve come through with the goods. A little recap of the last week and a bit…

After a long week at work there is nothing better than a couple of drinks. And when drinking with work colleagues there is nothing better than knowing your limit and going home before you get stupid. And when going home there is nothing better than stopping in at the Atlas to have a nightcap with your roommates. Just don’t try and steal the glasses, okay? The night ended with Amber, Matt, Spark and I having Wii dance-off in the loungeroom. I’m pretty sure I didn’t win.

As a rule of thumb, Saturday’s are for sleeping in, cleaning, washing, and shopping, and this Saturday was no exception. I also got my fringe trimmed - anyone who knows me understands what a process this is. Saturday night Amber, Matt, Spark and I got all dolled up and went to the Sugar Hut for a couple of drinks. The boys kept to those plans, but Amber and I stayed out to the early hours of the morning dancing (moi) and fighting off Irish men (Amber).

I was surprised that we managed to get out of the house at all on Sunday. However, Amber and I made our way down to the Spanish restaurant for some late afternoon sangria. The sangria agreed with Amber, not so much with me. The rest of my afternoon was spent napping on the couch, while Amber and the boys returned to the Sugar Hut. I admire their commitment.

A nothing day, not worthy of more than this sentence.

Another sad loss for the Facthunt team. I’m not quite sure where we are going wrong, though dad is convinced Amber must be having a flat couple of weeks as he thinks she is the only one that answers any questions.

On Wednesday night I went out for some drinks with a boy. We did a pub crawl of Camden Town , Shoreditch, and Nottinghill, via Liverpool Street to check out these cool lights.

A truly horrid day. Work was crap, I was crap, Thursday was crap. The only highlight was Katie Price and Peter Andre’s reality television show on Sky. They are my friends on Facebook, did you know that?

Remember the time that we went to the Bon Jovi concert?! Amby scored some free tickets from a girl at her work, so we organised a girls night out with Charlotte and Mel. I had the gurgly wurglies, but pushed on for the sake of this blog. We got a little lost on our way to Twickenham, so missed the first two-thirds of the gig. Amber kept reminding us – it’s the journey, not the destination! Mel and I stayed on to hear ‘Bad Medicine’, ‘Have a Nice Day’, and ‘Keep the Faith’ before we hightailed it out of there in an attempt to miss the crowds. A great night was capped off with the purchase of a cowboy hat, and the Best. Kebab. Ever. on the way home. Amber and Charlotte’s trip home was a lot more eventful, with missed trains, numerous night buses, near stabbings, and another visit to the Sugar Hut.

We had a quiet morning at home before heading out for drinks at Embankment with the boys, and Dom and Jodie. Everyone was on the Queen Mary, a rickety old boat moored on the Thames that has been converted into a bar/restaurant. The sun was warm and the Magners were cool, though the rocking boat gave me a nasty case of vertigo. We were lucky enough to be surrounded by not only a hen’s party, but by a stag do. The groom-to-be cut a dashing figure in denim jeans with a Borat mankini underneath. Some of the guys that we were with were mocking his hairy chest, so Amber felt the need to stick up for this macho specimen. Then Dom’s boyfriend, Amit, layed an offer on the table that couldn’t be refused – if the groom took off the jeans then Amber would lick his chest. Amber, a woman of her word, carried through on the offer – absolutely hilarious! I’ve never been more proud of her. There was a little bit of mischief on the way home, as we were the only one’s on the train carriage, but I don’t think we need to go into detail as my nephews are reading this. The obligatory hamburger on the way home, before we all retired to bed at a rather respectable hour.

I woke up early on Sunday morning to phone the fams in Townsville. Oh, and Jackie, I’m still waiting for those photos! Amber and I decided to venture out of South West London, so headed North East to Brick Lane . We had an awesome curry taster plate at The Spice Brick Lane, contender for Best. Curry. Ever! Fuelled up, we hit the Spitalfields indoor markets and had an hour of power shopping. So many bargains, so little time. I bought a scarf, some earrings, a kimono skirt, a beaded bolero jacket, a star shirt, an animal print jumper, a top for Jaala, and the most hideous dress you could ever imagine. Phew! We were in the general vicinity of Shoreditch, so decided to drop by our favourite non-local pub, the Barley Mow, and visit the gang. After a couple of extremely well priced Magners Amber and I made our way back to West Brompton . And as a bit of a pat on the back for getting out and about on a Sunday, we decided to have a jug of sangria on the way home. Such a lovely way to end the weekend really!

And that brings us to today. A day when I normally make grandioso promises about joining the gym and eating better and going to bed earlier. HA HA HA HA HA!

Longest. Blog. Ever.