Wednesday, 23 April 2014

Easter Weekend

Apart from the ending, this Easter weekend has been great.

It started on Thursday night - we had tickets to Regression Sessions in Angel.  It was jungle fancy dress but everyone else refused to dress up with me so I made only a little bit of effort and went as a Zebra (ie stripey top, zebra ears and tail - minimal effort required).   it was SO MUCH FUN.  There was a bouncy castle, face painting, and a BALL PIT!!!!! Though it turns out ball pits are actually quite painful when you're stumbling around in one surrounded by drunk people smashing balls in people's faces.  (not an innuendo).  I came out with a bruised lip and covered in beer but it was fun whilst it lasted.

The venue was pretty ace - different rooms spread across lots of different floors meant it was a bit of a maze.  A nice mix of people and no over zealous bouncers or bar staff made for a nice chilled out night. We spent most of the evening in the "rave" room which left my ears ringing for 3 days afterwards.  I couldn't convince anyone to go in the hiphop room with me - not even the space hoppers convinced people to stay. Next time though, next time! 

Home at 3, Friday was a bit of a write off.  I did a bit of life admin and prepared for the road trip the next day - Wales!!!

An early and uneventful start meant we were in Porthmadog by 11, we did a food shop then plodded up to the cottage.  This bit was so exciting for me - I couldn't wait for everyone's reactions.  It's a "proper" cottage, built a long time ago with walls of stone a metre thick, no carpets, no internet, no tv, and next to no phone reception.  You're completely in the sticks - the cottage is located a mile up a valley in Snowdonia, you have to open about 5 gates to get to it, your only neighbours are sheep, cows and the farmer half a mile away. 

We were very lucky with the weather, mum had been up here 2 weeks before us and had rain for 4 days, but the sun was shining down on us practically the whole time.  

We unpacked the car, I gave them a quick tour then we headed off for one of my favourite walks that I've done since I was a kid.  It's probably only a mile and a bit round route but it takes you from the cottage up onto the ridge where you can see the most beautiful view.

Half way up the walk we bumped into a farmer who told us the road up ahead was blocked with trees and the road closed as it was too dangerous to pass.  Being the daredevils that we were (and not wanting to turn back) we decided to carry on.  A few months ago they'd had winds of over 100mph and it had blown down quite a few trees.  I guess the council hadn't bothered clearing this particular road as it doesn't really lead anywhere and it mainly used for the logging companies who chop down the trees in the wood.  

The challenge of getting through the wood made it even more enjoyable (if a little sore when I kept stabbing myself with branches) and felt more like an adventure.  We were greeted with the below view - wow!  

We sat there for a while (well some sat, others messed about) before heading back down the hill to the cottage to prepare dinner, light the fire and play games (unless you're Yates and Rob, then you decide to do an Insanity work out whilst everyone else is relaxing)

We played Cards Against Humanity which if you're not of an easily offended nature I would highly recommend.  It's basically a crude madlib game where you're given a sentence with blanks in it, and 10 cards with which you can fill in the blanks.  The person who drew the sentence card gets to choose from the best overall sentence.  It's very funny, very wrong and very entertaining (if you don't mind anything with 'ism' on the end)  A game that tells you that the last person who pood gets to start has to be good, hasn't it.  I maybe wouldn't get it out at a family dinner party though...

Sunday morning Yates cooked breakfast whilst Rob did an easter egg hunt for us.  We only found 33 of the 40 eggs so somewhere in the garden there's 7 eggs remaining that mice are probably eating right now.  We then headed down to Pandy Falls so that we could do a little walk to a big rock pool.  We got a bit lost and ended up on a nice walk up another ridge, before deciding that we weren't going to find the pool after all.  On the way down we followed the falls as it was a bit more exciting, we had to cross the river a few times.  We then unexpectedly came across the pool - someone has strung up a rope swing across it which Daredevil Yates decided to swing across, clothes and all.  He made it back in one piece with no wetness.  We had a picnic then headed back to the car, where our next stop was the beach.  

The weather had turned a bit by this point and Rob, Amy and Cesca were tired and stayed in the car.  Me, Yates and David flew my kite for a bit in the beach - turns out I am really pants after all, Yates is really good, and David is a fast learner.  After I got the hang of it for a bit, Yates told me to do some tricks - I got a bit cocky and nearly took his head off - sorry!  

On the way  home Amy spotted a young lamb who looked like it was in trouble.  We got out the car and it looked like it had a broken ankle and it was in pain.  We drove home then walked up the lane a little bit later to see if it was still there, which it was.  Feeling very sorry for it we went and told the farmer but he didn't seem too concerned - to be fair to him probably happens fairly frequently, so we went back and comforted it for a bit.  We were tempted to take it back to the cottage with us but we wouldn't have known what to do with it other than wrap it in a blanket, besides it belonged to the farmer who may have wanted it for his dinner that night.

On Monday, Yates, Rob and Amy headed home in my car, and David, Cesca and I stayed another day.  We went to Beddgelert, wandered about and had lunch, then drove through Llanberis Pass to get to Llanberis where Tim had told me I HAD to do his webcam cache at Electric Mountain.  After doing this, we found another cache that involved a steep climb up a slate covered mountain (OK I made that sound more dangerous that it was - it was up stairs!) It was at the top of this climb that Yates called me to tell me my car had broken down and they were stranded on the hard shoulder of the M40. Lovely!  They had to get towed home which took their entire journey time to 10.5 hours - I felt very sorry for them, especially as they had tried to leave early to get home at a good hour.  I have taken my car to the garage but it isn't looking good - both mechanics I have spoken to think it's terminal, waaaaa! I only bought the car 3 weeks ago!!! Pretty sure God doesn't want me to have a car right now.  I also think the M40 is cursed - the next day, Cesca's passenger window managed to fall into the door and smash, leaving the window wide open for a cold and windy journey home! Thank goodness it wasn't raining too much or that would have made it very cold indeed.

Anyways back to Wales - we headed home after Llanberis and went to the pub for a relaxed dinner before reading books in the cottage and an early night.  Apart from the window smashing, the journey home was uneventful and much quicker than the others so we have to be grateful for that!   

All in all a lovely weekend with lovely people. 

Sunday, 13 April 2014

Double cinema and deer

 This week I went to the cinema twice.  Bit extravagant really isn't it!!!  On Tuesday I went to see "We Are The Best" with Kwame, randomly in the Millbank tower.  It was REALLY good and if you get the chance I do recommend it, but it's Swedish so I doubt it'll be in any mainstream cinemas.  It's a really adorable film about 2 12 year olds who are misfits at school but find their place in a school band.  It's really sweet and funny and reminded me of when I was at school (I was said misfit).
I then saw Divergent on Wednesday - it was good, but a bit long, and I only really enjoyed the last half as that's when everything happened.  I felt it didn't explain some things and if i hadn't read the book already then I would have been confused.  

I went home on Saturday as my little bro has been home alone for over a week and I think he was going a bit stir crazy.  We went for a nice walk in Knole Park, where we saw plenty of deer and also some pheasant eggs. Well I assume they belonged to pheasants anyway.  He took some sick photos, some below.  I am a little bit jealous of his camera - I want one. 

Today I went to my friend's house to do some DIY - he's just moved in to his own house and it's amazing - 2 bedrooms, 3 floors and 4 toilets! bizarre but always good to have the option of which toilet to use. 
credits to Isaac
credits to Isaac

credits to Isaac

credits to Isaac

Thursday, 10 April 2014

Gym / Swim

The last few weeks have been all about fitness.  I joined a new gym near my work which is SO much nicer than my other one, and has men in it!  It also has decent showers, hair dryers and hair straighteners - all the important thing a girl needs in her life.

I have started going at lunch time to spinning classes - it breaks up the day nicely and if they play good music then it's like having a (extremely sweaty) midday disco.  Plus work has been a bit stressful recently so it's nice to escape for an hour.  I did a power plate class the other day - it was hell and I probably won't do one again.  I for one don't enjoy a vibrating plate (no rude jokes please) and when I eventually came off it, my left leg was in quite a lot of pain -and not work out muscular pain.

I have also started a swimming training course on Sundays.  Last week I swapped to the later session as I was coming back from Kent and it's at the posh girls's school in Dulwich.  The pool is really nice but to get to it from the changing rooms you have to go through a shower tunnel which sprays you with jets of warm water.  I like to pretend I am in Total Wipeout when I run through it.  The people in this session are much quicker than the other session but it's less crowded - I went from being the best in the beginners group to the worst, which isn't great but someone has to be at the back! My 200m time was 4min 11 and the instructor times you at the end of the 8 week course to see if your time has improved so fingers crossed mine will!  It involves lots of length swimming with pull bouys and floats and fins and timed breaks to increase your stamina.  The fins are my favourite - literally like having an engine and you fly through the water.  My crawl isn't great but today they asked me to demo my breast stroke which was nice!

On Sunday we got up early and went on an 8 mile walk around Burwash.  Because it was Mother's Day Isaac felt like he should come along which was really nice - he brought his camera and we spent the entire time taking stupid photos and generally being silly.  After the walk we worked up an appetite and went for lunch in a little tea room in town.

sibling selfie

On Friday I went to see Jazzanova at Village Underground with Samer.  I met him in a random cafe called Vape - you can buy e cigarettes that look like something you'd inject yourself with, which have flavoured smoke (loads of different flavours, custard, apple, gin, tangerine).  They serve coffee in science class beakers and the ecigarettes sit in test tube holders.  Very Shoreditch.  After Samer puffed away on a gin flavoured 'vape' (I will never make a smoker, each time I try it makes the back of my throat itch so bad) we headed off to the gig.

It was AMAZING.  They had a 7 piece band and it was so so good - the band were so tight and the vibes good.  The venue itself was perfect for them - great acoustics and really intimate.  We had an equally good and bad space - good as we had a great view, bad because it was at the top of the stairs and we spent a lot of time moving out the way for people.  Afterwards we were hungry so went for a late dinner at another very Shoreditch bar filled with neon lights and a ceiling made of skate boards.

Today I ended up at Streatham Kite festival.  It was an amateur affair, there were meant to be professional kite displays but we didn't see any in our time there.  There were also lots of people flying interesting kites as well as your usual festival food vendors, the hog roast etc.  We settled for roti which was nice.