Wednesday, 29 October 2014

Weirdos on the train

On Friday I received a message from Sepha requesting mine and Cesca’s company for some Friday night fun.  Cesca had gone to Sweden but I was free and raring to go.  We decided upon the theatre as the activity of choice, letting her pick where we went and what we saw.  We met after work in a Covent Garden curry house, with the 50% saved on the food from the tastecard spent instead on a bottle of over priced wine.  The food was delicious though and the waiter was very accommodating to Sepha’s repeat requests for more Raita – I reckon that girl could bathe in it she loves it so much.

I started to ask what we were seeing but then decided that I wanted it to be a surprise so that I had no expectations to be met of what we were about to see.  After a nice dinner catch up we headed across to the Duke of York to see Neville’s Island.  Starring Neil Morrissey, Robert Webb and two other actors I didn’t recognise, it’s a show about a corporate team building event gone wrong.  We eagerly took our (restricted view) seats before realising our view was indeed very restricted, so played a bit of musical chairs to find the best empty seats but ended up back where we started.  At half time we moved up to the disabled section with another couple which was much more comfortable and the view was a teeny bit better – a tip for you there.

not my photo, credits ot the guardian

My review of the play can be summed up in four words: the set was good.  It was made to look like the shore of an island in a lake in the Lake District, featuring possibly real trees, shingle and actual rain.  It was very realistic.  Unfortunately, the rest of the play was not for me.  The audience appeared to enjoy it, they were laughing near constantly, to which I kept looking at Sepha, to check if she was laughing too and I was missing a joke somewhere.  She wasn’t and we were a bit baffled as to what was so funny.  I think it was a humour for an older, more middle aged audience that we just didn't get.   I was happy to leave at half time, but one of the characters had just found some blood in the woods and Sepha wanted to stay to find out what it was.  I won’t ruin it for you in case you decide to go, but I didn't think the second half wasn’t any better.

On Saturday I was on my way to Peckham to run some errands when I was cat called by two men hammering a screwdriver into a tree (?!).  They said, and I quote:

“Hey, you lookin real good today, if you come with me I can get you some more coco? Lots of coco with me!”

Now I know I wasn’t wearing any make up and hadn’t straightened my hair, but I didn’t think I resembled a drug addict when I go make up free… Or maybe I do…..

And then on the way back to meet Tom and Liz for brunch, I was cat called by an older gentleman, who asked me if I was married, and when I ignored him, proceeded to shout ‘hey, hey, hey’ down the street at me to get my attention.  An eventful morning! At brunch, Liz and Tom kept me entertained with stories of weirdos they’d recently experienced on the train which had me guffawing in the cafĂ©.

In a fateful twist of events, on our way back home later that evening after bidding farewell to Lisa and Mark (another one of my close friends going travelling, waaaaaaaaa!), we became the weirdos on the train when one guy berated us (well Marc) for getting overly excited about the plans to London Bridge.

What then ensued was a lot of banter with this random bearded gentleman on the train resulting in more guffawing from me (one day I’ll learn to laugh like a lady and not like a hyena).  When we got home Tom drew a picture of him on the whiteboard which I tweeted to him but as yet he’s not responded. Probably thinking ‘bloody train weirdos’.

Tom's artistic impression of the bearded guy on the train

Saying bye to Lisa and Mark was sad but not as sad as I had expected – I guess I (unfortunately) don’t see her as much as I used to so it’ll just be a bit like that but for a longer period of time and she’ll be really far away on the other side of the world and doing amazing exciting incredible things and I’ll be here working 9-5 and getting drunk every weekend.  If you’re reading Lisi, I am so excited for you and I can’t wait to hear about your adventures and read Mark’s blog. (and hurry home). Xxx

Sunday was spent defrosting the freezer for the first time in 5 years. Not much fun.  I also went for a run with Dan – I wanted to see what the 5k route for parkrun is like (our house are obsessed with running except for me, I kind of want in on the action but I am a bit scared).  I was pooped after 3k so we stopped to rest and I made Dan do some other exercises.  After getting over his initial embarrassment at doing squats in public, we did 5 sets of 15, 4 sets of 10 pushups, 3 sets of 15 stomach crunches and followed with some burpees, side and front planks, lunges and finishing with stretches.  I was really happy that I knackered him out as usually it’s the other way round as he’s a much better runner than me.

Later that evening I went swimming and smashed it – I was so happy.  I got moved up a group as I kept catching up and overtaking everyone in my group, and then I kept up easily with the new group – wooohoo! I felt like I was on speed or something, I had so much energy.  I also think I have finally learned to do a good crawl – turns out I have a terrible technique which I have been doing all my life and no one has corrected me until now.  It makes SO much difference – not only in speed but stamina too as I guess I am doing it more efficiently.  For anyone living locally I highly recommend Lido Mike, him and Sarah are lovely and so encouraging and I have definitely improved since I started swimming with him.

Thursday, 23 October 2014

Distracted by telly

Sorry, long time no bloggy.  Several reasons for this in varying order - Walking Dead is back on telly, I have just started watching Orange is the New Black, and also Glue on E4.  Complete enjoyable timewasters to be curled up on the sofa when the weather's shit outside and I am feeling sorry for myself.

So what have I been doing apart from telly binges?  Lots of things really. I went on a 'how to be a better PA' course - this was a suggestion from my boss about 8 months ago when I had a break down and burst into tears in front of him when we were doing the office moves. All very embarrassing but he now realises I have my limitations and I think he was as embarrassed as I was and hasn't been that mean to me since. I love a training course and a day out of the office, and it was really interesting.  Plus we got to feed ducks and squirrels in Regent's Park at lunch time.

feeding the geese and ducks in Regent's Park

Asides the fact the trainer could be incredibly annoying (he put an 'h' infront of 'anyway', 'ok' and 'interesting' and after every single thing he taught us he asked if we had found it useful and to put up our hands if we would be putting it into practice) I learnt loads of good Microsoft tips.  Like did you know that you can insert a screen shot from the insert screen in any Microsoft programme you're in, rather than doing a print screen? And did you know you can overlay all your calendars so you can find a free spot that everyone can make? And did you know that you can make emails from certain people different text colours, sizes and fonts?

I also learned that I am not very assertive (my friends and family would probably disagree, I guess I am a pussy at work) and it reaffirmed that my boss is on the whole a decent bloke to work for and I am not as terrible as I thought I was.

I have been doing lots of 'cultural' stuff too.  I went to the Saatchi which currently has a room filled with huge ants crawling on the wall, plus some other random not so good stuff.

I went to the Imperial War Museum which appears to have got rid of its interactive experience exhibits which saddened me greatly (though having said that I only did the bottom floor then got bored and left).

Me and Bex went on a day trip to Hampstead Heath (I am such a bad Londoner, lived here 5 years and never been).  It's very pretty and you get some great views of London.  Also in the middle there's an English Heritage house that's free to explore.  Named Kenwood House and built in 1764, it was home to Lord Mansfield and his family, of which his niece was subject of the movie 'Belle'.

The house is beautiful and each room contains incredible art work by the likes of Gainsborough and other famous artists I haven't heard of.   It's definitely worth a visit as they have nice tearooms attached too.

super creepy painting

I also went to the Koestler Trust exhibition in the Southbank centre.  Introduced to this by Amy about 4 years ago, I have been every year since and highly recommend it.  It's an exhibition of the art made by prisoners in their art classes, and it's incredible.  Not that I sympathise with prisoners, but obviously it's not great being in prison and you probably go through a lot of shit when you're in there, and often had to go through a lot of shit that got you put in there in the first place.  The artwork is all very varied - sculptures, montages, paintings, needlework, but every single piece is amazing and tells a story.  It's all very meaningful and some of it is incredible.

this is a pencil drawing. it's incredible!

Peckham's also suddenly got really cool.  A new bar's opened up in an old butchers called Four Quarters - it's got a small but well stocked beer bar at the back and is full of old school arcade games and pin ball machines.  We checked it out last Saturday and had a good time, the other bonus is the ratio of men to women is about 3:1.  There's also a bar called Rye Wax opened up in the basement of the Bussey Building.  It sells comics, tshirts and vinyl and also has Banh Banh, a small vietnamese food place, attached to it.  David, Cesca and I checked it out this week and the food is AMAZING - £5 for a Bunh which is a noodle salad, very healthy and filling and delicious and an utter bargain. I want to go back and try the Banh Mi and Papaya salad.   I just wish Amy and Rob were here to hang out there (and that David and Cesca weren't heading off). sigh!!