Sunday, August 31, 2008

duex biere

I am currently sitting in a Geneva Internet Cafe, the counter decorated with 'Vote For McCain' stickers. Considering the guy running the place is a stoner playing MGMT, I suspect theres some irony involved. Its difficult to tell with the Swiss.

I've had a nice couple of days in Geneve. It's lovely and warm. Yesterday I walked to the Red Cross Museum. In typical me fashion I got lost and ended up at the Jardin de Maths 'Chromosone Walk' which was very interesting and involved inflatable chromosones spread around the place. Eventually did find the museum, which is less depressing than I thought it would be, although on of the features is a wall that documents the bad things that happened each year. Turns out the year I was born Asia decided to go nuts, particularly the Phillipines. Still, the Berlin Wall came down aruond that time, so I can't be a total global doomsayer. (I'm not sure how much sense that makes)

Haven't spent hours of bonding time with my father -something that suits as both, as bonding is tedious. We meet for dinner most nights and it's certainly a step up from my usual ham and cheese dinners. (Jeremy, my brother, is going to love backpacking) Last night Dad had Poir Williams and told me he'd be happy if I came home with him on Sunday. Drunk Old Fart, but I have two witnesses (witlesses) to confirm that this statement was uttered.

The other thing I've been doing is keeping an eye on Dad to make sure he doesn't buy anything 'stupid'. Like a Bentley pen. Or a watch. Or an Aston Martin. Geneva is a very very rich place, with watch and jewellery shops everywhere. We nearly stole an AM Roadster today, but every Swiss man has a gun. Instead we went and looked at fountain pens, and I have decided that for mz 21st you should all buy me the Octopus pen made by Sailor. You have about 10 months to raise funds. Get to it.

Today I was supposed to do a walk around the quieter part of Geneva, but I got to 'Parc Bertrand', sat down with my book, my bread and my jar of nutella at about 2pm, and woke up three hours later. So much for that idea. Managed not to get sunburnt, and managed to stave off finishing my book for another day - will have to do something about more books.

(There is a very very very pretty porshe with a very pretty boy in it just outside the window. Swiss boys look like theyĆ ve stepped out of a country road catalogue. Very prep.)

My father and I quit Geneva tomorrow evening - he'll fly back to Sydney. And as for me, it was only this morning that I decided I would go to Vienna. I know, I know, what happened to Italy and Greece? Well, the further south I get, the longer its going to take me to get back to UK. And also, everywhere in Italy is booked up. I am planning on looking at spending a month in Greece and Italy in the future. (Anything to postpone responsibility and adulthood!) So to Vienna for 3 or 4 days, then I shall meander to Berlin. Then I will probably have to get back on the wretched Eurolines Bus back to Victoria. After that, everything will be washed, toiletries will be stocked up and I will put myself on a plane to Iceland. I have been informed that its a good idea to bring as much chocolate and dried food (instant pasta and soup etc) into the country as possible, so I will raid all the supermarkets near Chez Hazel.

I'm enjoying Europe much more this time. Have become very zen about spending money - adopted my fathers attitude 'you can't take it with you'. Have found that this makes me semi human. In terms of Maddie Habits, am listening to a lot of (We Are) Performance, The Killers and reading a biography of Arthur Rimbaud, the enfant terrible of French Literature. He was a wonderful arse, who shared my dislike of the Belgish. (I know, Belgians. But Belgish sounds better)

So, Vienna tomorrow, where I will progress from Chocolate Eclairs to Chocolate Torte for breakfast.

Tres Bien!

Thursday, August 28, 2008

apparently so

I write...type...from Lausanne, Switzerland. My impression of Switzerland so far is Hotels & Hills. Lots of hills. And cobblestones. My thighs have never looked better!

Spent seven nights in Paris all up, and am very glad I did so, even though it rained most of the time. One of the best things about Paris is that there's something different to do everyday, even if you don't want to do touristy things. And the hot chocolate was fantastic. My favourite things were probably the gardens of Versaille and the Catacombs. Will go back to Paris, once I have increased my knowledge of the language from 'bonjour!'.

Yesterday I caught the train from Gare d'Lyon to Geneve, where I met breifly with my father, who appears to be in good shape (round is a shape, he claims). I dumped my sack with him, before getting on another train to Lausanne. Once in Lausanne I realised I didn't quite know where the place I was staying was, so I rang them. Directions were given to me in a jaunty Swiss accent 'follow ze road to ze sex cinema, then go right!' I did so, and found the lovely Lausanne Guesthouse, which is run by a woman who looks like my Aunty Debbie (if she was given lots of drugs.) The ubiquitous drunk Australian offered me a beer, and the night went from there. This morning I walked up a hill to a boulangerie, bought breakfast (europe is fantastic. I am living on chocolate eclairs) and a few newspapers as I had finished 'The Favourite Game' by Leonard Cohen and all my other books are in Geneva. Wandered around, got the bus to Ouchy, which is nice and water resort-y. Wandered back, napped. Tottered up another massive hill to Collection d'Art Brut, which is one of the best art galleries I have ever been too. It contains works by prisoners, mentally ill and artistically mad. All the works are incredibly detailed and like nothing I have ever seen before - no rules are followed, no conventions. It's brilliant. Go there before you die.

Tomorrow I totter back to Geneve, in order to annoy my father for few days. After that, I'm not sure. My Icelandic Invasion is a little over two weeks from commencing, but I have to admit I'm getting ready to come home - although that probably means I'll have to do something about university and joining the real world........

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

go rimbaud

i have six euros to my name!!!!!

Saturday, August 23, 2008

for reasons unknown

i need to blog about Pukkelpop and Paris. but.

Brandon Flowers has shaved off his Magic Moustache.

this is a style tragedy.


im going to write about Pukkelpop when i'm back in London, so for now i'll just mention that i'm still sick with Martian Death Flu but loving Paris. went to the Lourve tonight and saw Mona - not as busy as i thought it would be. the Venus de Milo isn't very feminine and all the paintings of Frenchmen are very camp. have decided to claim Paris as my city - especially my church, my street, my train station and my cake. everyone finds my name hysterical. i have had nutella and banana crepes, made friends with dogs and small children, been rained on, walked all around the city, been to the Catacombs, the Musee d'Orsay. going to Versaille on Sunday, which i am very much looking forward to. Berlin has been put on hold - my little brain cannot handle it, long story which will bore y'all. going to Luasanne for two nights, most excited. it is grey and tres artistic in Paris, but i am craving sunshine. seeing my Farter in a few days, suspect he's not that enthused.

what a boring blog. i have all these things i want to say, but i am le tired.

Wednesday, August 20, 2008


Tuesday, August 19, 2008


we have survived Pukkelpop.

it was most awesome. i shall write about it properly when i dont have to deal with bizzarre keyboards anymore.
i think i have martian death flu oncoming and i just saw a pair of pink boots for 85 Euro. slightly heartbreaking as there is no way i can buy them. my mind is everywhere and we are in a hotel hiding from the belgish, watching Top Gear, Long Way Round and this peculiar thing called the Olympics. we have BATHED. lots. oy vey.

very very very very very exhausted and sore.
very very very very very sick of Belgium.
very very very very very ready to go to Paris tomorrow.
very very very very very glad that all my favourite bands are amazing live.
(very very very very in love with Dave Monks and Keith Murray.)

i think by the time i get to berlin, i might be able to attempt coherency.

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

hang the dj hang the dj

everyone thinks we're mad. the man at reception keeps laughing at us because have the same name. the other man keeps laughing at me because my coordination is non existant. i may never be able to go to canada because i keep weirding out canadians with my desperado edge and tendency to fall over their shoes. maddy keeps being eaten by the hostel lift. i nearly had an arguement with one belgian about Tintin and nearly threw myself at the lovely boy in the comicbook musuem. we have seen faaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaar too many smurfs. we have eaten faaaaaaaaaaaaar too many waffles. we have drunk nowhere nearly enough beer or wine or other alcohol. it has rained. we have't put Beatrice up. i had a nightmare last night about being flooded - a concert version of Noah's Ark ("I need two indie kids, two goths, two emos, two mainstreamers, two scenesters, two hiphoppers and two metalheads NOW!") we have bought tickets to Paris and booked accomadation. i have found somewhere to stay in Berlin that is named "Heart of Gold" after Hitchhikers Guide To The Galaxy. i am going to spend three days zipping around Switzerland, going to places with lovely names like Gimmelwald. our feet hurt and it is raining.

clearly, i'm a little manic. travelling seems to do that to me. it's also made me slightly slightly aware of my surroundings and also where all my belongings are at any given point. however, i currently have no clue where my soap is. possibly i have eaten it.

Monday, August 11, 2008

death in lille \\ 170

Maddie and Maddy spent three hours in Victoria Coach Station yesterday. Because, obviously, London is boring and theres nothing better to do than sit and nwatch swarthy men argue about their pink luggage.

We were, in fact, trying to get to Belgium.

Things didn't get off to a good start. A message about who would kill who first went to the wrong person and death threats ensued. Pizza was eaten. When we eventually joined the queue for bus 170 to Berlin via everywhere else including Brussells, it appeared that every single European in London was going to be on the bus. In the tradition of Victoria, we were not amused.

We continued to be unamused all the way to Folkestone, where we had no choice but to give way to mild amusement (the alternative was to cry from overwhelmedness). Our german bus driver seemed surprised that we wanted to go to Brussells. There was an assumption (thank you eurolines website) that we would be travelling to the continent in a bus on a ferry. This was not the case. in a bus we were, but we were suddenly inserted, probe like, into a train carriage. Very Harrison Ford in the carbonite. lots of yellow lights. Maddie freaked out. Maddy laughed. Maddy wants it known that it wasn't a train carriage, it was a prison on wheels. Still, the German boys (who were possibly French) were cute.

The prison on wheels popped out the other side, we were in France. Much relief until we realised we had to get back on the bus. After a while we ended up in Lille. The bus driver announced that we would be staying in Lille for an hour.

Nobody needs to stay in Lille for an hour.

At this point, I should make note of the fact that the hostel we were trying to get to in Brussells closes its reception at 11pm. Our bus was due to arrive at 10.45pm, giving us 15min to find the bloody thing. We were in Lille from 8-9pm. Therefore, I (maddie) spent the entire hour freaking out about where we would end up that night. Poor Maddy. I wouldn't have been surprised if she'd left me in Lille. Upset, but not surprised.

Back on the bus. frantic. Maddy decides that because we aren't sitting next to one another (the bus is too crowded. I sat behind her and we gave directions to the WC to people all sodding trip), she can have some quiet time with her ipod whilst I fret my little brains out and try to come up with contingency plans. I appear to have the same aptitude for doing so as the Bush government. "something will happen and we'll cope" was the jist.

It was getting darker. And later. The bus was not going fast enough. Personally, i felt we could have jettisoned about half the other occupants, particularly the small children. And the smelly men.

10.20 when we made it to outer Brussells. The temperature outside was falling, according to passing thermometers. Great. Not only were we going to be destitute in Brussells (seriously, who's destitute in Brussells??????) we were going to get hypothermia, cholera and possibly chilblains. The only food we had were skittles, oreos and chocolate.

Maddy appeared calm. She also appeared asleep. Maddie appeared manic. I also appeared a myriad of other adjectives that are all synonymous with insane.

When we made it to Brussells North Bus Depot, I wanted to let off fireworks. Except the German woman I was sitting next to, who hadn't said a word for nearly 9 hours, decided then to tell me about the time she'd been robbed in Brussells. not comforting.

Bolted off the bus with our luggage, resembling a pair of turtles who had gotten lost migrating, we tumbled into a taxi. Our driver was lovely, but a bit confused as to why we wanted a taxi when we could have walked. My response was a garbled "IT'S HALF TEN!!". out of the three of us, we had no idea where the hostel was. the driver parked in a side street and wandered off to find it. eventually I found it, we coughed up 7 euro fare and tottered off. then remembered we hadn't tipped him and felt momentarily bad.

we're staying in 2GO4 Hostel, which is rather nice for a hostel. the guy at the desk thinks we're hysterical because we both have the same name and appeared rather frazzled. we stumbled up to our room and passed out. i dreamt of electric sheep. now im worried i might be an andriod. i feel mildly calmer today, except we have to go and sort out how we're getting from Brussels to Keiwit on Wednesday for Pukkelpop. personally, I think we should try and flag down The Killers or Editors and get them to look after us.

and after Pukkelpop, we're back in Brussells, at Hotel de la Madeleine for two nights, then Paris, Berlin, Lichenstien, Geneva, Florence, Rome, Greece. I think. That's the rough plan at the moment.

Really, I'm just glad we didn't get stuck in Lille.

Friday, August 8, 2008

is this how adults feel, all the time???

"Maddie, are you sure that was entirely legal?"

Dear All.

I have been in the TARDIS.

teehee. Legally speaking, it may have been a bit of an infringement of copyright or something to stand in the TARDIS and eat jellybabies. But someone has to, and that someone may as well be me.

At the Earls Court Doctor Who Exhibit, the TARDIS is actually in two bits, one you're allowed in, and one you aren't. I went in both because the security guard could see that I was about to wet myself if I couldn't pop inside the blue police box for five seconds. Wish I'd remembered my camera. After that, I went into the 'allowed' TARDIS - a greenscreen that lets you see yourself inside the set that's used. I was accosted by a small child pretending to be a Dalek when I did this, so of course my response was to offer them a jellybaby and search for my sonic screwdriver.

And then then then they direct you into this little room with three Daleks, one of which screams ELEVATE ELEVATE and then actually ELEVATES!!!!!!!!!! Then I met K-9 (complete with tartan collar) and the Ood, and the Pilot Fish and oh my.

You can scoff all you like, but Doctor Who makes me genuinely happy. Its a childlike thing, plus the problem solving and the intricacy in the plots that you don't recognise until the last second. Flipping brilliant.
And there are jellybabies.


Things That Happened In Cardiff Apart From Doctor Who.

1. A Conversation between two tired girls about somewhere in Spain
Maddie: I was thinking I'd quite like to go to Valencia. Stand in the town square and sing The Decemberists Song
Maddy: Me too. But then I thought, what do I know about Valencia? I know about the song, and the oranges. There's probably not a lot else there. I'll go to Barcelona instead.
{Long Pause}
Maddie: (sotto voice) ..... I like oranges.
{hysterical laughter for about 20 min. welsh people looking for the joke}
Maddy: I think this is how adults feel. All the time.
Maddie: .......That's it then. I'm going to be three forever.

2. The Dyeing of the Hair
It came to my attention in Manchester that the colour of my hair was gross. So by the time I got to Cardiff, I was determined to do something about it. So we dyed my hair at about 11pm at night, much to the amusement of the New Zealand Girl Whose Name I Never Knew. She took photos. These photos are apparently on her Facebook. The hostel bathroom went blood red, like in Psycho, and my hair is now a much nicer shade of auburn.

3. The Drinking Of Cider.
.....I don't really remember much beyond Caerwyn (the incomprehensible Welsh girl) saying "you've never had Cider? quick, to the pub!". I'm not even sure she said that really. Still, cider is quite nice.

4. The Raining of Rain.
Speaks for itself.


So now I'm back in London. Not staying with Hazel, instead around the corner from Regents Park in a small single room that just screams "write a novel here! write a novel! wear a silk slip and write a novel!" I own a cotton slip and am reading a novel because I haven't got the energy to do anything else. Going to see the Hadrian Exhibit tomorrow. Saturday Maddy and I have to practise putting up the bloody tent. I have named the tent Beatrice. Long story that involves cider.

I'm reading "The Golden Notebook" by Doris Lessing, against my better judgement, but its not half bad. So far. Also just finished The Book Thief, which was the best book I've ever read about World War Two.

In terms of the music, I'm psyching myself up for Pukkelpop with lots of Editors, Sigur Ros, We Are Scientists and The National. I'm starting to get ready for new music, so if you've any suggestions, let me know.

Monday, August 4, 2008

exterminate! exterminate!

OK. Right. in Cardiff. Which is a nice little place with a castle and the people have indecipherable accents. Still, I'm having a nice time. Managed to end up in the same hostel as MaddyWatts and have spent today with her.

We went to see Doctor Who!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I stood near clothes that David Tennant has worn!!!! quite a cool exhibit, lots of noise and lights and Daleks. I wanted to buy a K9 shirt, but they didn't have one in my size. Thus I am determined to go to Land's End's Dr Who exhibit and buy one there. Thinking of going to Lands End for a day anyway, before the big stuff starts to happen.

Big stuff being Pukkelpop, which is less than 14 days away. Maddy and I have booked ourselves on a bus from London to Brussels. We had a brief discussion about buying a TARDIS wardrobe thing to sleep in. This idea was discarded in favour of proper 'accommodation'.

We have bought a tent.

Yes, a tent. A ridiculous psychedelic patterned tent. A tent which we have little/no idea how to assemble. A tent which, after Pukkelpop, we are never going to want to see again. It wasn't stupidly expensive, which made me feel a little bit better about buying it.

The next month should be very interesting indeed. Watch out for bloodshed on the news.

Other things I should tell you all is that I'm better (than ever? jury's still out) and that I went to Stratford-Upon-Avon last Friday, which was lovely except I got menaced by a swan and a goose. David Tennant is performing in Hamlet and Love's Labours Lost, so I'm trying to work out how to get there. Went to Shakey's Birthplace, Grave and Pub. also trotted along a field and got tackled by very friendly brown puppy. Rather like fields.

So I've nearly been away for two months. Doesn't feel like it - feels like I simultaneously left yesterday and have been away for years. I'm getting used to looking after myself, and being nicer to myself. But not so nice that I buy those ridiculously bright trainers or the bag I saw today.

I'm listening to The Epochs alot, as well as Bright Eyes. Am reading a fantastic book called The Raw Shark Texts, which you should go and read because it's more interesting than this blog.


p.s. this keyboard is so weird.

Friday, August 1, 2008


"don't write anything too angsty." my father tells me. so here's my attempt to tell you all what i've been doing, angst free. i won't tell you how homesick i am, how sick of snoring i am. i'm not going to write about my passport paranoia or my headaches. i won't write about how antisocial i'm becoming. oops. instead i'll tell you that i'm learning alot about myself, primarily that introspection is boring and that if i never see vegetable soup again it'll still be too soon, that i'm quite happy in the countryside traipsing through fields and startling sheep. i'm learning that cities are pretty much all the same. i'll tell you about my big Glaswegian indulgence - a genuine lace 1950s navy dress that makes me look fantastic (considering i didn't buy anything in Edinburgh, barely even food, and also because i didn't meet Sean Biggerstaff, i rather thought i deserved to spend £20 pounds on it) (also, i was running out of clean clothes) i'll tell you that my favourite song at the moment is "June On The West Coast" by Bright Eyes because of the mumbling and the stories and the solitary nature. i'll tell you that i'm doing my best no tto buy a hideously glaringly bright pair of reeboks, that the unicorn dress i saw in Edinburgh doesn't look as good as i thought now that i've seen it in every city i've been to. i went to the Hacienda Club where Ian Curtis and the rest of Factory used to muck about. i'm thinking that i want to learn guitar, that maybe i should buy an acoustic one and be a troubadour. i'll tell you about how every hostel i've stayed in has been playing Top Gear, and that i've now seen the North Pole episode 5 times. i have developed a love of sour skittles, a hatred of lucozade (it was the only thing i could keep down for three days). i have danced with a crazy Melbourne girl in the GOMA. i have played chess with Canadians, and won. i have done my best not to be rude to a self absorbed film director. i have finally read "the naked lunch" (and been underwhelmed.) i've learnt to identify (and avoid) Americans. i've climbed to the top of the phenomenal Arthur's Seat (and been sick). i've been mothered by the lovely Lorna and taken in by the darling Gerry & Jenny. i've pushed myself and bullied myself. i've tried my hardest not to drown in introspection, not to be pretentious and self centred. i've forgiven Irvine Welsh for how boring his new book (Crime) is. it feels like i've not done a lot. it feels like i've done heaps. i dunno. i am having fun, honest. it's just i make contact when i'm feeling low. i'm not ready to stop yet.

there dad, was that ok???

From Bre:
Hey maddie! got your text. here's a list of stuff you can do:
chase ghosts - did that in Edinburgh. the ghost of Deacon Brodie nearly wet himself when he saw me.
open mic at a pub - planning on going to one in Cardiff
get naked in a shopping mall - does trying on new bras count?
pretend that the madeline show was made after you and you really are a french orphan (she was ab orphan right?) - funny that, i bought a navy dress. madeline wore navy. i'll start faking a french accent.
shoplift - i steal postcards. they're free, but i have a moral code to abide by.
stencil shit in manchester banksy style - i drew all over brendon uries face, as practice. will steal some charcoal and leave poignant but utterly useless comments everywhere.
dance in a manchester club (without taking any drugs) - done, even though the club was closed and it was daytime. dancing in art galleries is more fun - people ask you if you're a performance artist.
get a stupid tattoo - according to everyone over 40, i've already got two.
make a stop motion film with your camera that's dedicated to your dog - working on it. its going to be very existential. or existcanine. something like that. so far i've got lots of footage of trainlines. maybe i should find Spike some bones.
eat a crazycow-meat burger - did so in Manchester - oh, beetroot!!!!!

if anyone else has suggestions, they're very welcome.


Playing: Lots of Bright Eyes and Man Plus.
Reading: Bret Easton Ellis and Alexandre Dumas
Staying: with the wonderful Gerry & Jenny in Sutton Colfield, which is outside of the Birmingham bustle
Going: to Stratford Upon Avon tomorrow, Cardiff on Saturday