Friday, March 27, 2009

BoJo

I am a massive fan of Mayor of London Boris Johnson, a massive fan.

He has this big mop of blonde hair, mumbles and fumbles, uses big words and complicated sentences, rides his bike everywhere, and is a genuinely friendly and likeable man.

Boris is a real personality and people appreciate this. When he attended the opening of the Redbridge Cycling Centre (which I event managed) the press were nearly dry humping his leg, they loved him!

If you need evidence of BoJo's awesomeness, how about this little piece he wrote about the protesters at the upcoming G20 summit being held in London…

“They will taunt the police. They will paralyse traffic. They will do their utmost to spoil your day; and when they have been sufficiently whipped up by the oratory of Tony Benn, and when Billy Bragg has finished his ditties, it is a safe bet that they will begin the chant of hate. Somewhere in the crowd, a nose-ringed twerp will drain a mouthful of cider and call to his comrades. “What do we want?” he will demand.”

As a citizen of a Commonwealth realm, I'm voting for BoJo!

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Who knew the Swedish were so much fun?

What a weekend!

After a couple of marmalade martinis with work colleagues after work on Friday, I trundled off home to finish packing for Stockholm and get an early night. Unsuccessfully. Thus began my long weekend of lots of fun and not lots of sleep.

Somehow I managed to get up and dressed in time for my 3am cab on Saturday morning. Yes people, at 3am I was leaving home, not getting home. I picked up Mark (aka Sparky) and Rebecca (aka Bec) and then we headed out to Stanstead.

Sparky had given me a heads up that Bec is the best person to travel with, as she is uber organised, and she didn’t disappoint. Bec had the airline booking number saved on her phone, her toiletries already packed in a clear ziplock bag, knew the best place to have a little breakfast snack, picked up some cheap duty free vodka, got us a prime position at the gate, and then saved us a great seat on the plane with plenty of room for our luggage. All Mark and I had to do was sit back and wait to wake up properly.

After two hours we landed in the middle of nowhere Sweden beside a tin shed – Vasteras airport. There’s not much to say about Vasteras as there wasn’t much to Vasteras. Apparently “customs” is the word they use to describe the hallway from passport control to the front door.

We caught the big gay bus (decorated with rainbow stripes) to the centre of Stockholm, dropped off our bags and then headed out for some traditional Swedish meatballs with cowberry and a bit of tacky souvenir shopping. Then it was back to the hotel for a rest, shower, and more than a litre of vodka before we hit the town.

The first stop was a cosy little bar in the Old Towne, where we just missed the live music and paid the equivalent of £9 or $20 for a vodka, lime and soda. After this we headed out to find some fun and, thanks to the advice of a random bouncer, we found it on the Lady Patricia! Lady Patricia is the funnest boat I have ever been on – three levels of different music and bars and funny Swedish people. We found a live band playing down one end and it was like someone hit the boogie switch, because the three of us literally walked into the room and started rocking out. The evening was a blur of sneaky drinks from Bec’s makeshift hip flask, new friends, poor English, expensive cab rides, lying to the concierge, embarrassing photos, and a hell of a lot of fun!

We somehow managed to drag our sorry butts down to breakfast on Sunday morning, but needed a little nap afterwards to brace ourselves for the cold and steel our nerves for the boat cruise. Hangovers in tow, we took a cruise around the archipelago and saw such amazing sights as the frozen waterfall, the Tivoli Gardens theme park, lots of yellow and orange coloured buildings, the house of a media magnate, some museums, and other interesting things. To be honest, I don’t remember much of the commentary (apart from the guide weaving his autobiography into it) because I was freezing. The rest of the day was great though – we did some more shopping, had dinner at the Boefheus (beef house), watched the most hilarious game show in Swedish, and enjoyed the falling snow.

Monday saw us all feeling a little more chipper, so after another great buffet breakfast (apart from when I set the toaster on fire) we went to a nearby park and mucked around in the snow, before heading to Skansen outdoor museum. Skansen “is the first open air museum and zoo in Sweden and is located on the island Djurg√•rden in Stockholm. It was founded in 1891 by Artur Hazelius (1833-1901) to show the way of life in the different parts of Sweden before the industrial era.” I can only assume that Skansen is a bit like Sovereign Hill in Victoria, however all of the buildings were shut so I can’t be sure. That didn’t really matter, as we had a fantastic time walking around the old buildings in the snow, imagining what life would have been way back then, whilst taking photos on our digital cameras and drinking our Red Bulls. Sparky was a brilliant model, pulling any pose and climbing on any structure that Bec and I requested him to. The animals were the best part – reindeer, seals, bison, and brown bears. It doesn’t sound that exciting, but it was a bit of action in an otherwise rather quiet place. Our final hours in Stockholm were spent doing some more gift shopping, with some tapas and drinks in the Barcelona bar (very multicultural of us) before heading back to the airport.

London welcomed us back with a cold bitch slap and a long and tiring train ride to Liverpool Street, where we splurged on a cab home and declared it a spectacularly fun weekend!

Saturday, March 21, 2009

An open letter #2

Dear Jackie,

What, you are so busy with your part-time job, first aid training business, two toddlers and a teenager and a husband that you can’t wake up early on a Friday morning to Skype with me?

Love,
Moi

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Random thoughts

Redheads (or gingers or rangas or whatever you want to call them) look better with longer hair. It's like the more hair they have, the less red it looks.

Graham's Law (hi dad!) states that gases flow from areas of higher pressure to areas of lower pressure. I think that people in elevators need to apply this theory and disperse themselves evenly rather than all cramming in to my lift.

A friend of mine at work who is deaf taught me how to say champagne in sign language and it is awesome. You pretend to pop the cork and then do fizzy hands. I am now hoping to encounter a deaf bar tender so that I can pull this one out. Is that politically incorrect?

I saw a train going through the automatic wash today, which was pretty cool.

There is a lady at work who's surname is the same as a processed meat. It makes me laugh everytime I see it.

Yeah, it's been a pretty quiet week, but...

This weekend I am going to Stockholm, and the weekend after that I am going to Bath, and then at Easter I am going to Disneyland Paris. Yay! Plus, Amber has had her Visa approved so should be back in London soon to stir up some trouble!

Thursday, March 12, 2009

Spring has spring people!

It’s not obvious yet, but there has been a hint here and a sign there.

Exhibit A.
The tree at the back of my house has been bare-branched since I moved in, allowing us a clear view of our terrifying council-housed neighbours.* The other morning I awoke to find out little back yard covered in white spots and thought it was snow. Closer inspection revealed it to be little white flowers, and I looked up to see the entire tree covered in them. Gorgeous!

Exhibit B.
The birds have been holding rehearsals for the Fulham Philharmonic Orchestra outside my window most mornings.

Exhibit C.
I left work at 5:30pm the other day and there was still light in the sky.

Exhibit D.
I walked to work without my coat the other day.

Exhibit E.
My consumption of fruit, especially watermelon, has increased exponentially in recent weeks.

Exhibit F.
The sleep mask has made a comeback lately, as the sun wakes me up before my alarm does.

Exhibit G.
Clumps of daffodils are springing (he he, springing!) up everywhere.

Exhibit H.
The weather is reaching 17 degrees people, 17 degrees!

Not long now until I can cast aside the gloves and scarves, and scare London with how white an Aussie girl can get!

* Why are they terrifying? The eight year old boy took a lighter to his little sisters hair while she had a lice treatment in it, and left her with severe burns all over her body. That scares me.

Thursday, March 5, 2009

Cut me some slack

Apologies for the slack blogging lately, but I have been working hard lately. Apart from last week when I had a virus that resulted me being covered head to toe in an abominable rash. On those days I was doped up on antihistamines and busy napping and watching Murder, She Wrote.

More Mumble Pants fun soon, I promise!