Monday, 23 January 2012

medieval banqueting

London is sort of overwhelming for things to do. i constantly see things on timeout or barchick or dailycandy that i think 'yes. definitely must do that'... but the list (and i guess given the fact that the list is not actually real, more just an overwhelmed brain full of names and places to visit that i inevitably forget and get distracted by other shiny things, doesn't really help the cause...) strangely had never included 'Attend a Medieval Themed Banquet'. 

On Saturday night (yes, the same night that someone vomited on our stairs) Pip threw another 'before i leave London forever and head back to Perth, i'd like to...' event at the Medieval Banquet near Tower Bridge, which meant oldie-worldie costumes, sword fights, pole dancing and alex challenging a 6 year old to a dance off. it was loose. in a medieval way.

A few interesting facts to note about the evening:

1. Libby arrived at pre-drinks fully decked out in Medieval costume which she'd secretly purchased on amazon then LIED about to us so that no one else would buy the same costume (surprisingly, amazon only have one option for medieval getup... actually, prob not that surprising at all.)  ha. Walking through Shoreditch in a crushed velvet ensemble with a veiled hat, she (again unsurprisingly) didn't look out of place. win.

Never fear, the banquet had costumes for us... although some of us - Alex - had to have boys' costumes as we were a bit late and sort of picked up the scraps.

Red riding hood/knight/MC Hammer/Jester/Paintball victim

2. Elissa has a party trick i have never seen before. She calls it 'Tension' and basically involves her walking into a group of people and falling flat on her face on the ground then standing up and walking away.
She did it in front of hundreds of people.
Many times over.
Wearing a wench outfit.
She is my new hero.
It was the greatest thing i've ever seen.
I wish I had photos of it, but i was too amazed by it each time that i kept forgeting.

everybody loves Liss' party trick.
3. Alex has a party trick which i have seen many times before... just not against a 6 year old. Alex is competitive and has a dance move which is sort of the white girl's Run DMC move... and inevitably people gather in a circle and clap as she does it (lucky she was wearing tights)
These factors didn't bode well for the 6 year old (yes, they had 6 year olds at the Medieval Banquet) who obviously was over-encouraged by his parents for his dance moves.
He went for it.
Alex went for it.
At one point she did a sort of slide across the floor on her knees towards him and did some sort of 'bring it bitch' hand gestures.
The kid had a limited repertoire and kept doing a weird run/kick type move... The crowd got restless and cheered more for Alex.
It was a weird time.

This man didn't know what was going on, the moves were so fierce.
These men fought with swords. Alex and the kid fought with daaaance.
4. Medieval food was strange, and their 'all you can drink' beer was weirdly flat and dark (someone told me it was Ale... but i dont think i know what Ale is, so no doubt I called them a liar and then drank my Ale sulkily.) as a result we resorted to playing drinking games and forcing each other to skull mugs of this 'Ale' whenever they forgot which Medieval character you were named after. Its a sad discovery when you realise you left uni 7 years ago, and thus can only remember parts of drinking games which used to be so kewl.
so Liss did her Tension moves.
...Then we were kewl again.

There was many an eligible man at the Medieval dinner. woooot.
woooooot indeed.

oh Medieval Banquet, you were a bizarre time. I hope to see you one day again... maybe 

vomit on the stairs.

On Saturday night, someone vomited on the stairs in our apartment block.
The stairs that go above where our mail is kept.
Someone vomited on our mail.
Someone did not clean up their vomit on Sunday and it stayed there all day until i rang our landlord Aggy Versace (yes. seriously. i was actually so convinced that it was a made up name and the whole rental contract was a scam when we first moved in that i refused to direct debit my bond, and instead carried £1100 in cash through the mean streets of London so i would be guaranteed the keys... but i digress.) to get a cleaner out this morning.

so so so gross.
BUT, it weirdly seems to have brought our apartment closer together... i talked to two separate people coming and going from the house today about vomit-related things. two! that's doubled the number of conversations with our neighbours i've had in the last 6 months!
Vomit is really bonding us all.
What fun.


Monday, 16 January 2012

a near-death experience in Brighton

With the tragic news that my housemate Pip is moving back to Perth in February, the only silver lining is the fact that she has a bucket list of 'London things to do before I leave' and that means fun things get organised, like yesterday's day trip to Brighton.

Things that I learnt in Brighton...
1.  Brighton has local buses that run on recycled bio-fuel, obtained from locally-sourced used cooking oil. yep. indeed.

2. Sometimes, 4 year olds know best. We strolled down to the Brighton Pier for the promise of icecreams with flakes in them and roller-coasters surrounded by salty air and seagulls. We got that, plus more. 
The family in front of us in the line for the big roller-coaster had a scaredy-cat kid who took one look at the track and refused to go any further. Her mother was not pleased and actually said the phrase "I paid £4 for this and you're scared??! that's it. we're going home" woah. I mean, i watch Teen Mom, but even I know that's not really the greatest parenting.
Regardless, with them out of the way, it was our turn! But, after climbing up and twisting around a few times we got stuck. Yep. stuck.
We were on a roller-coaster, strapped in, suspended over the ocean. stuck.
It was cold up there. cold. and scary.
I thought we were going to die. Libby kept our spirits up by discussing our escape route options. Ams was pretty vocal that we should get our money back for our inconvenience. Louise was pretty bummed she hadn't brought her scarf up with her. I tried not to die.
A crowd formed at the base of the ride and people took our photo.
Eventually, a little man climbed up the roller-coaster through the emergency ladders and said hello.
Hello little man climbing up the emergency ladder. Are you going to save us? 
The little man got out a dodgy looking pulley devise and attempted to tow us around the corner so we would continue the ride. yes. cause that sounds like a great plan.
Ams suggested many times that perhaps it would be easier if we got out and climbed down the ladder like heros... but the little man was insistent. He towed us around the bend, and we finished the ride.
It was traumatic.
And to make it worse, Pip (who had waited at the bottom) hadn't even noticed we were missing and had just narrowly missed dying on a tragic roller-coasted called the Crazy Mouse. crazy.

Rewards for being so brave and nearly dying. yep.

3. Vegetarians get my vote. Libby has bizarrely become a vegetarian in 2012. Yep. Crazy Mouse indeed. So, she'd booked us into a fantastic vegetarian restaurant in Brighton called Terre a Terre. It was amazing and restored my faith in leaving meat out of things. I ate: 
Crispy potato, onion and garlic rosti topped with griddled tandoori halloumi, channa tamarind dhal, coconut, green chilli and curry leaf chutney, with deep fried chick peas, chilli slivers, dressed with tangy lime and mumbai mix spice dust.
It was the best thing I've eaten in forever.
The restaurant also, fittingly, spawned pretty intense conversation topics about fur vs leather farming, sustainable living and (as always when Pip is around) Shale Gas. Oh Shale Gas, you're such a conundrum.

4. Pip has a gambling problem. There's always one isn't there... Pip was our one. At one point she was 40p up and was pumped. Pretty soon she had lost it all and was back at the Change machine. It was a dark time. 

just one more hit. one more.

5. Nothing... absolutely nothing beats a sunset over the ocean. When i moved coasts from Perth to Sydney, it was one of the things i missed most... and realising that I can take a 51minute train from London and have it again... best. xx

A lovely Welsh woman cornered me for 15minutes and told me all about the roosting habits of birds in Wales vs those in England. Those birds were craaaazy. I actually really enjoyed myself. Pip was still at the slots no doubt.

Oh Brighton, you were delightful and i hope i will see you again very soon. I LOVE the idea of how awesome you will be in summer. 

Gambling is hard work, it seems.

Until next time xoxo

Monday, 9 January 2012

bank says no.

Today, I officially accepted the fact that I have to cancel my holiday back to Australia in February because my work says no. Boo work indeed. 
I've been in denial about this since early December, hopin' and wishin' and prayin' that maybe something exciting would happen* so i could still go (and not be homeless and broke and unemployed lying in a gutter... ) but alas.
Alas indeed.

So, instead... i will stay here in the cold and go to work. bah.


*i'm not sure what exactly could have happened... perhaps Hugo from Made in Chelsea could have offered to fund my lavish lifestyle in return for my mature advise on his relationship decisions (he did seem in dire need when we met on set that time - ooooh gratuitous mention of THIS fact. yep.. that's me behind hugo.

ha. reliving this has made me feel better already. thank you chelsea. hope you're back soon so we can find out what's happened with Rosie. gosh.

Saturday, 7 January 2012

Christmas in the snow

For Christmas this year, we went to St. Anton in Austria (yes, based heavily on the movie Chalet Girl - where a chick from the wrong side of the tracks goes to St. Anton and has a rad time, making Chuck Bass from Gossip Girl fall in love with her AND becoming a pro snowboarder. oh it's so good. so good.) for a week of snowboarding and  festivities. 

yep. i promise. aweeeesome.
Despite the fact that I didn't become a pro boarder nor make Chuck Bass realise he loves me (... yet.) St. Anton was awesome. I ate schnitzels, went snowboarding and drank beers on the slopes. what fun.

Some of the highlights were:
1. Minority Group Membership. On our first day on the slopes, we were sworn at by an American skiing lady for having to sit down to strap into our boards. wow. Secretly, i've always wanted to belong to a minority group where i can rally some troops, drink big beers in frosty mugs and complain loudly about how people should acknowledge how cool we are and then make up secret handshakes and get nicknames (sadly, these last two never eventuated despite my keenness for such things...) Being a snowboarder in St. Anton was like being in a minority group! weeeeee! (admittedly without the need for civil wars and such unpleasantries - which i do appreciate may make minority group membership less than awesome... but... ), i relished it. relished.

2. There were 17 of us on the trip (yes... 17. wow) and before we arrived, i'd only ever met about 6 of them (!) so it was lucky that everyone was awesome. so awesome. The big motley crew gave the whole thing a really kewl school camp type vibe which was so lovely and sort of made up for the fact that i wasn't at home, at the beach, with my family this year. My favourite part was during one of the daily 'hallway drinks' in our giant house, someone played a recording of his room mate's snoring. yep, it was that type of school camp. LOVE.

3. Christmas. I LOVE christmas. This year i really got into the festive spirit, to the point that i downloaded the Justin Bieber song about Mistletoe just so we could sing it on the train from Zurich to St Anton (as it played out, Christy distracted me with beers in the bar carriage so i never got to... oh. well played christy...) it was so great to be in a cold, festive cute town for Christmas... we had a big dinner where Santa gave out gifts and then yelled at me for only bringing 12 hats instead of 17 (oh. sorry santa. oh) everyone wore festive jumpers and drank expensive wine (but Euros don't count, right.... too soon?) and felt super Christmas-y. sweet as.

This poorly wrapped gift (i actually think it's held together with bandage tape??!) was a snuggie.  jealous.

One of the gifts given were balloon animals "suitable for ages 6+"... turns out balloon animals are harder than expected to make. yep.

4. Apres Ski. Its the best part about the snow i think, and St. Anton does it well. There are two bars about 400m from the bottom of the mountain where everyone starts drinking and dancing and singing jealous-y inducing german songs from about 4pm, which means you can dance in your thermals and snowboard boots for a few hours and then try and ride down to the bottom when you're done. woah. such an awesome-ly deadly game. love. love.

I read somewhere, that even though it closes at 8pm the MooserWirt sells more beer than any other bar in Austria. woah.

I HIGHLY recommend you all cancel your plans next week and head to St. Anton (obviously, watching Chalet Girl a few times before you go...)


Goodbye 2011. you were nice, but i have my heart set on 2012 xox
we did these last NYE, when the weather was a bit more forgiving of wearing shorts and bare feet...

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