Tag Archives: London

Leaving London

Yup, tomorrow I’m leaving London “for good”, or at least the foreseeable future. I got two bags alá 20 kg ready to go.

I’m in general not a sentimental person. Terrified of change, yes, but not particularly sentimental. I won’t miss the flat we live in; it’s tiny and has an odd shape. I won’t miss the car alarm that goes off roughly 3-5 times a day, 24/7, outside our window. I won’t miss the pimps and their customers, or whatever they are, scaring the SHIT out of me by ringing our door bell everywhere between 8 pm – 4 am. Apparently there’s a travelling brothel in the neighbourhood, which is not quite like a travelling circus. If I had to stay here any longer I’d do a Sebastian Horsley and put up this sign:

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I will miss the copious amounts of ready-food, cheap and easily available just outside our door. We had Indian take-out from Sangri yesterday, which was fucking glorious, and we might go across the road tonight and get fancy ice-cream. The reason is that we have a jar of coins that we’ve been meaning to spend for ages and now that I’m leaving we need to get on it. Here’s some food porn for you from yesterday:

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The wine is called the Hedonist. We bought it because it had a pig on it and we had already tried the one with the cat on it.

 

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I went into town and did some shopping today. I ended up spending £1, but received stuff worth £13, which is not really typical for my shopping days! The explanation is that the last time I shopped at Victorias Secret, they gave me a complimentary voucher for £10. I had planned to use it to buy underwear, but the underwear they had was not my style and quite frankly not very nice-looking, so I used it to buy an £11 body lotion instead. I’m not sure if the girl in the register was impressed or embarrassed on my behalf, but hey, almost-free-stuff is awesome. I also used an O2-offer and got free chocolate from Hotel Chocolate. Sweet!

This is the body lotion I bought:

While in town, I walked past St James Park again. It’s a very nice park but it was packed with tourists today, it was horrible. The pelicans had decided to lay down in the middle of the walk way. Eventually they stood up to stretch their wings, and no one dared to walk past in case they would lash out and bite. I got by fine. Google isn’t really helpful on the topic of pelican bites. When I typed in “does pelican bites hurt” wikianswer replied with “maybe”… thanks.

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Group of people who stopped for the pelicans:IMAG3499

Cheapskate shopping and pelicans

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Some springtime pictures

From yesterday 🙂

We walked in a park in Beckenham that has a lot of wild parakeets. It was weird seeing them in such a cold and urban environment! Figured they must have been someone’s pets at some point and been set lose or escaped. I bought a cheap point-and-shoot that I can carry with me everywhere, so here’s some photos from the park.

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Stopped by a coffee shop on the way back. Tom got a latte with a heart drawn with the milk. I got a cappuchino with what looks like a farting butt on it.

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Sun, gorgeous sun.

It’s been almost summery goodness the last few days.

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Unfortunately this is how the street outside our building has looked like the last few days. I’ve seen the garbage truck drive by when I go to work at 6 am, but the trash remains. Probably because it’s illegal flytipping and if they remove it straight away, they think they’re encouraging it. Still sucks to live right next to it.

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We were supposed to go to the recording of The Last Leg yesterday, but bailed out a few hours before it was supposed to take place because we were tired and both of us realized that The Last Leg isn’t that good any more. They’re too obsessed with twitter and there’s just something off about the jokes and the interaction. The cute one from the IT Crowd was supposed to be on, but it just didn’t seem worth leaving our cosy home to go out and see it.

Instead we stayed in, which turned out to be a good idea as I was super tired and fell asleep on the sofa 8 pm and didn’t wake up until my boyfriend put a toothbrush in my hand and told me to go to bed. Apparently I screamed “YOU SHOULD DRINK MY TEA OR IT WILL GO COLD” at him and then went to the bathroom. We have a tradition of always taking a photo or making a video when the other person falls asleep ridiculously early, so here’s a video of me brushing my teeth in my sleep.

So today started at 7am with half a cooked breakfast. It’s been great weather today, it was almost warm enough to walk outside without a jacket or a sweater on. We had a look around Spitsfield Market, where I found a use for the otherwise pointless habit that my boyfriend has of randomly walking off. Whenever I was bothered by a salesman and wanted to leave, I just said “oh! Where has he gone off to? Sorry, I just have to find my boyfriend, I’ll see you later”. I’ve been informed that I’m a horrible liar, but I digress.

After Spitsfield, we went around Oxford Circus. It’s was packed! So many people about today. I ended up buying something from a fancier store (it’s a gift so I won’t reveal what or where) and got one of those really nice big paper shopping bags with velvet straps like you see in Sex and The City. Nice shopping bags make me happy. I tried to google which stores have the nicest shopping bags but it seems like that’s a list that hasn’t yet been made, which is unfortunate because I’d make sure to go shopping there.

On the way back we went past Scandinavian Kitchen and picked up my favourite crisps and chocolate, so the evening has been spent consuming far too many calories with no regrets. Yummmm, transfats and salt. Hopefully I burn enough calories at work to make up for it.

Happy weekend everyone!

Manic London

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BAC Beer fest

I was at a beer fest yesterday. I think I was at least 30 years younger than the average and had one third of the average beer gut and the ratio between women and men was something like 1:15, but I had a good time. I can’t drink much at all anymore due to my sensitive stomach. I had two half-pints and after that I felt really queasy. The beers we had were called Pickled Santa (Hop Back: fucking awful), Intergalatic IPA (Black Iris: yummy), Espresso Stout (Dark Star, for being coffee-induced beer it was relatively drinkable, but not exactly tasty), BG Sips (Blue Monkey: alright), Rat of Khan (Rat and Ratchet: I didn’t like it – too lager-y and bitter for me) and Blackberry Cascade (Saltaire: horrible! Didn’t taste of blackberries at all, in my opinion). I wanted to try these ones, but my stomach wasn’t really up for it: Naked Ladies (by Twickenham, just because of the name, it’s funny to order), Dark Side Of The Moose (Purple Moose, guess three times why I wanted it), Raspberry Blonde and Triple Chocoholic (both Saltaire: not sure if they’re actually good but if you manage to fuse raspberries or chocolate with beer successfully I bet it would be awesome).

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Boo-hoo Rudolph, my whole face is red.

This year was the first year when I have received christmas presents and christmas cards adressed mutually to me and my partner. I don’t have that much (any) previous experience with steady relationships and the idea that you’re supposed to get to know each other’s families and get a long with your partner’s friends seemed to me for a long time unnnecessary and pointless. Before Christmas, me and my partner discussed whether to give gifts to each other’s families, do mutual gifts or nothing. We joked about breaking up for a week around Christmas every year to avoid the situation. It felt like people might catch on to us in the long run, so we decided against it, which led to the following gift situation: We gave a mutual small gift to my partner’s family, who in return gave me and us several “real” gifts which made me feel a bit guilty. We ignored my side of the family and they also didn’t gift anything to my partner. And trust me, neither of us expected anything, but now afterwards it feels like we should think it through a bit better to next year because it just seemed a bit irregular.

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Anyhow, I’m back in England and back at work and my skin hates me. I think I triggered a roscea attack by using soap to remove my make-up. It’s especially bad under my eyes and the best way to describe it is as if I had slept with a thick layer of salt on my face. It’s red, it’s puffy and it’s itchy. It happened during the winter last year as well, and it makes putting on make-up torture. It doesn’t look particulary dry, but if I try to apply foundation my skin goes nuts and it stings like putting alcohol on an open wound. RAH!

I keep forgetting that it’s New Years Eve tomorrow. Feels like a travesty to not celebrate in the city when you live in London, but I’m planning to have a pretty calm fodue-evening at home. Mmmmm Heston Blumenthal’s 4-cheese stringy fondue. No, I won’t eat it just by myself, althouh lonely heremits should definitely be allowed to eat an entire fondue by themselves on New Years Eve.

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Santacon London 2013

My very first Santacon. I had been working Monday – Thursday and therefore had to run around on Friday, the day before Santacon, to look for a Santa costume. I wanted to find something incredibly cheap, but as I grew more desperate I finally settled for a so called “luxury santa suit” for £16. My only other option would have been “female Santa suit” which obviously is a skimpy red dress and a hat, because I didn’t have time to find an other fancy dress shop. Anyhow, it turned out to be absolute shit. The label on the outside featured a costume made from velour, but the actual suit was made from 100 % polyester. The seams broke in the crotch area the first time I tried it on! I think the most baffling thing is that it was 50 % off and would originally have cost £ 32. I decided to skip the trousers and wear a red dress underneath the coat, which was a really good idea. The result was embarrassingly amateurish compared to some of the costumes at Santacon, but it was good enough that some Chinese tourists asked to take a photo with me and told me I was a pretty Santa. Judge for yourself. I’m not sure if the guy in the background is photobombing me or whether he just looked like that by accident? 

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I hadn’t realized that so many people would turn up in very well thought-out costumes that they probably had spent hours or days putting together, like the transformer Santas. I didn’t get a chance to photograph all of them, but here are some of my favorites that I managed to take a picture of:

Guy who looks like he was born to be a Santa:Image

Roman Santa:

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Wrestling Santas?

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Christmas tree:

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Inflated Santa:

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Very cold cross-dressing Santas:

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Homeless Santa:

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I think my least favorite ones were the people who turned up in morph suits! I commented to my boyfriend that coincidentally all the men in the morph suits seemed less endowed than the norm. He said that, in all fairness, it was pretty cold outside. Once again photobombed by the guy on the right in this picture:

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I had a good time though, and I think Santacon London is probably a lot different from Santacon NY. In the end it’s just a big themed party that takes place on the street, and of course you’re going to get some bad seeds as well as good ones, but the event as a whole was pretty well-organized in my opinion and I would definitely go again another year.

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You can’t see very well in this photo, but a couple that were getting married/getting their wedding photo taken, got surrounded and cheered on by Santas.

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They took off their hats and waved to us!Image

 

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Last weekend was spent in London stocking up on lingonberry jam at the Scandinavian Christmas Market. Lingonberry jam is the only Swedish food that I use on a regular basis and I use quite a lot of it too. IKEA carries a form of lingonberry jam in their food section, but if you’ve ever bought it you’d know that it’s more of a red sugary goo with the occasional berry in it. The stall where I bought mine from at the Christmas Market was Scandinavian Kitchen, which has a store in London which carries a bunch of Scandinavian food. They post all their board writings on their site, I’m particularly fond of this one (click on the image to go to the webpage):

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We also found out that there is a Swedish bakery in London, because they also had a stall at the Christmas market. If I want anythingI’ll bake it myself, but it you’re not so inclined and you fancy some Swedish baked goods, you might want to give it a try. Oddly, they don’t seem to list their address on their website, but they handed out pamphlets at the market with the address on it. It’s on 24 Rose Street, near Convent Garden.

After the Christmas market we went to Hyde Park to check out this year’s Winter Wonderland. Man, I wish I had more money and more patience. If I did, I would have gone on all the ride, except for this one which looked really boring (the one in the background seemed far more exciting):

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Boy, was it busy. I think it was the opening weekend so it  makes sense, but all I could think was “How the f*** does all these parents have the energy to bring their small children here? I’m exhausted from trying to navigate through the masses and I don’t have a toddler and a baby to look after”.

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Heading for Christmas in London

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