Wednesday, June 11, 2008

the gentry cove

It's a bit of a nanny zone, is London. In my three days here, I've been told what to do by automated voices more than I ever have in twenty years of Sydney transport. turn your headphones down. touch in - touch out with your oyster. the next stop is embankment. change for circle line. mind the gap. this is the 13 to aldwych. this is oxford circus. please be patient. there are delays. stand to the right. silence in the chapel. don't do that, this or that. thank you and have a good day. oh, and don't do that, either. It's not that bad. Just mildly irritating. 

One has to admire londoners - in a city that is essentially a beehive that collided with a maze and then was sick on top of a whirpool, they've managed to at least sort out the transport. Everything is run with a sort of cool stiff upper lip attitude. Much different to the "well. we'll do something about it eventually" attitude of Sydney. How is Morris (dil)Iemma, by the way? Still fussing over John Della Bosca (prick) and his horrid wife (I couldn't believe I found myself agreeing with Dr Nelson when he described her as an ugly bully)?

Yesterday I got the 13 bus into town, walked along the Thames, over the Thames, along past the National Theatre, the Globe and then crossed back over, went to Tate Britain, wandered through Westminster, past Houses of Parliament and the Abbey and all that. Clogged with tourists who've forgotten how to get dressed in the morning. For once I felt quite chic in my little blue skirt and striped shirt. Don't think I really heard any British accents in that area, just pissed off Americans who were complaining about the heat and the fact that there were all these other tourists who kept getting in the way of their photos. I must confess to a sick delight of mine - walking through people's photos. Having my headphones in means I don't have to hear them yell at me. 

Hazel and her godson Sam took me out last night for Indian, which was delicious. Different to home, sort of, being a South Indian restaurant, (although my local is South Indian. Best onion pokoras ever) but I did have a half of Kingfisher. Not sure when (if ever) I'll be able to manage a pint of the stuff. A pint glass is nearly the same size as me. Then we went up to The Spaniard for a drink - it was about 10pm and still light, which was novel. Another drink, then back home to bed. Will definitely try and get there again, place was quiet and snug. Very different to the Mercantile or the Shakey or bloody Star Bar. 

Today it's been a bit cooler and grey. I took myself off early to see the Tower Of London. Best thing about it was the small exhibit dedicated to Paddington Bear! Also amsuing was the four Germans who found Henry VIII's codpiece hysterical. Henry VIII was huge. And terrifying. The Line Of Kings was interesting, as was the Medieval Palace, but being forced to watch the QE2's coronation as I waited to get into The Jewel House was a bit much, or so I thought until I saw the Crown Jewels, which were definitely too much. All that money, just sitting there when people in Africa and India and the Northern Territory have nowhere to sleep tonight? Ugh. Of course the Gift Shop(s) were the most busy places, so I avoided them like the plague and tottered over The Tower Bridge, down to City Hall (which looks like a very big hen accidentally left an egg behind) and did the Queen's Walk, which was basically a very windy walk along the Thames. I think I did it backwards or something. Hopped on the tube at Monument Station (tried to go up the Monument, but heard American voices and retreated) and went wandering around South Kensington for a bit, before the weather went foul and I came back here. Hazel is out - last I heard she was having lunch at The House Of Lords, which is a bit posh, so she's probably done something like gotten herself arrested and I'll never see her again. 

At some point, I'm going to have to start spending money - so far the most I've spent is £14 on the Tower. One of the nifty things about cashpoints though is that they let you take out £10 amounts, as opposed to Sydney ones, which won't let you take out $10 or $30. 

I'm trying to read "The Piano Teacher" but it's. Well. It's not as good as Jonathan Strange & Mr Norrell, which should be made compulsory inflight entertainment for long haul flights. Music wise I've been listening to a lot of Bloc Party, Dirty Pretty Things, Yeti and Black Kids. I'd really love to go and see Yeti, but I don't think I can be trusted not to have some massive fangirl moment and embarrass myself in front of John Hassall. Those cheekbones should not be legal. Apparently he can open bottle tops with them. (Harmony told me that when I interviewed them for sadly defunct Shoot!Bang!Fire! Thats the only reason they keep him around, yknow.)

Once my jet lag has been vanquished, I'll do my best to get to a gig or two. I'd really like to see Her Name Is Calla, but that might have to wait until I get back from Europe at the end of August. Also on the list is Bark Cat Bark. I was going to go to festival in France, but realised that on day two my arch nemeses Panic At The Disco are playing. I'm not so dumb that I'd walk into the mouth of the lion. 

And that's about it really. I'm a bit lonely, hence the length of these posts. This blog is so different the my old one, which was all about how I wanted to be perceived. I have to remember with this one that there are a number of people who know about it's existence who will call me on my bullshit. I've also started to realise that you can position yourself however you like, but there's always going to be someone who sees right through you and calls you on your wanky behaviour. It's not really a question of people misunderstanding you but of people not getting your facade. I'd love to crap on about representations and images of self  and all that stuff, but I'm exhausted and hungry and anyway, you know it all, don't you?


Jeza said...

do you have pictures of the paddington exhibition?
not much to report Sydney = cold. Spike = alive and stinky
Myself = alive but singed from Parent teacher night with mum i could feel myself start to burn as she spoke to my History teacher
Clogs= Brilliant as usual
Dad= Mad
Mum = MAD

o and the ceiling fell in down near mum's study there is a big hole :)

Don't come back till the war is won!
love you mad

mum said...

yes, jem is singed a bit, but will still be with us on your return.
did you walk the queen's walk backwards or backward forwards - if you get what i mean.
keep walking and enjoy the people watching as much as all that old stuff.

Clog said...

Hey homie m!

Good to hear you're doing all the wonderful touristy things.

Oh, and talking of people watching, mum and i made up a game, where you see who can see more people wearing a certain orange. Lots of fun when you're sitting in the middle of a busy place, not doing much.

Did you like the Tate Modern?
And the Globe?

(I apologise in advance, but they popped into my head today, and I just had to use them. And it's true.)
Victoria's just not as squalid without you here, and my empire's never seemed so real.

LiZ said...

Maddie! I forgot to tell you, the 'bats are doing a big huge tour and they will be in Europe September-ish from memory

(I'm going to see them for my birthday present from Janaya =))

It sounds like you're off to a good start! So keep it starting!