Wednesday, 22 July 2009

London pt.10 - Armani, Martin Clunes & Cornish Pasty

In the habit of sending tele-pathetic messages to cute British businessmen on the tube to sit next to me. Got squeezed up against one reading a Charles Dickens book the other day. The train delayed and I was stuck there for an infinite amount of time intoxicating myself on the scent of Armani and absolute perfection.
Slow news week. The story of the British backpacker who got lost in the Australian bush is constantly being rotated with paranoid pregnant women over Swine Flu and Buzz Aldrin saying it would've been cooler to land on Mars.
London is starting to get suffocating. The narrow walkways made to fit half a person, the crowds of people to share them with and poking someone's eye out every time you pull out your umbrella eventually gets to you. You start out with excuse me's and patience but at the end of the day elbowing, aggression and the occasional body slam is the only way to survive in this city. It's like netball all over again.
It's been over a month. Needing a haircut and colour desperately. My hair behaves differently in the northern hemisphere. It frizzes constantly with the looming rain and looks shorter too.
Amanda hired a car and we started our road trip down to Cornwall and back. Getting out of London and into the English countryside I was expecting it to feel liberating but it was anything but. When we weren't walking the narrow cobbled lanes we were bundling in our small little Ford Focus to escape the rain. It was still a great weekend. The southern coastline has spectacular scenery. If it wasn't for the castles and cornish pasty's along the way I would've kept thinking I was in New Zealand.
Visited the town of Chard and Amanda and I agreed on it being the main reason our family got on the boat to Australia that day.
On our first night we stayed in a B&B that sat on the coast across from St. Michael's.
The place was ultra christian with a mosaic of tiles proclaiming "Christ is our Lord" on reception as you entered. The not-so-subtle attempt of conversion didn't stop there, with a range of Godly literature lining the shelves in the bathroom and psalms embedded into the bedside tables.
Amanda said she'd like to stay here with Jon but she doubted they'd take in couples.
England programs The Simpson's on at 6 o'clock every day just like back home. Suspecting it's a universal thing. Only in England they show the unfunny middle seasons which I'm thinking is on purpose. Noticing the English are paranoid about becoming Americanized and go to every effort to show anything from that continent in a bad light.
The local church, All Saints, had a clever idea. Instead of the traditional naming of after one saint it decided to cover all bases.
Still can't decide whether I'm more annoyed being a pedestrian being pushed aside by a car or a driver trying to get through a crowd of people. All I know for sure is that cyclists need to pick one or the other.
Didn't take long to discover Cornwall is England's Florida. Old people. Everywhere.
Listening on Radio 1 people debating whether the Welsh language should continue to exist. The Welsh guy kept bringing up the word island as his only argument on how stupid the english language is. I think for the Welsh to have a case justifying their language, they need to add some vowels to it first.
Visited Port Isaac because it was the location of my favourite show, Doc Martin. Never did I expect to walk onto set while they were filming it. Walked up some random street and there they were acting out a scene. Mouthed I love you to Martin Clunes as I walked passed him. The sun was shining, the doc was in town. Couldn't believe my luck.

Tuesday, 21 July 2009

London pt. 9 - Prosciutto, Miss California & Bruno

Haven't had a piece of fruit in 29 days. Ensconced my self in the English lifestyle of anything eatable being rolled in prosciutto and laden with cheese. Craving anything that isn't delicious excluding banana bread which technically sits on both sides of the fence.
Eating more but walking more so not sure whether I'm putting on weight or not. Told myself as I live off cornflakes and cookies I'll sort out my weight one way or another when I get home. Plus I thought the health freak I am back home could use a well deserved break.
Went and saw Bruno as part of my art course which until this point was running on something fairly high brow. We saw it on the justification that it fell under the umbrella of "Contemporary Art". Couldn't quite fit over Harry Potter.
One of my tutors lent me a magazine on the Venice Biennale. I missed out on that part of the course and live half way around the world so I have no intention of giving it back.
Mia the Californian and I constantly complain about the English weather. The sun comes out in rare intermediate patches but it does nothing. It can't even raise a warm glow to shut us up for the 10 minutes a day it decides to show up.
Thought about writing a book listing the locations of all the Starbucks in the world for travelers like me who want a guaranteed good caramel frappachino. I don't want to give away the ending but the basic plot would revolve around there being one 5 meters in any direction from wherever you are right now.
Went up to the tube guy with Mia to ask what stop to get off to see Madame Tussaudes. Told us there's no point in going because the fire next door last night melted them all. Took a long embarrassing while for Mia to realise he was joking. The English can't help but pick on an American any chance they get. The only bond that will be left with the aussies after this Ashes series.
Missing home for the first time. I miss the weather firstly. My room secondly. And just stuff in general thirdly. It feels like I've borrowed someone else's life for this month and it's almost time to give it back and step into my own shoes once again. Only this time I would've walked in someone others. And learnt a great deal from it. Which I'm very grateful for.
Off to Cornwall for the weekend. Visiting the town of Chard, my ancestral home while I'm there. Will feel good standing there thinking after being sent to a barren land swarming with deadly creatures and surrounded by sharks and stingers half a world a way, how they still couldn't manage to keep us out.

Monday, 20 July 2009

London pt.8 - Frappachino's, Freating & British No No's

Needing someone to tell me something really profound. Missing talking to someone in particular. Craving a Starbuck's frappachino. Constantly.
Got short changed by a 10 year old English boy when walking to the tube. Asked for a 10 pound note in exchange for coins. Instead he gave me 9 pounds I counted as I walked away putting it in my purse. I thought about that one pound a lot during the day. Tried not to think about the exchange rate. Thought all distress could've been avoided if my 10 year gestation rule was in practice or I wasn't so tight with money.
Thought as I looked at a Jeff Koon's three dangling monkeys at the Serpentine Gellery, art was going to be the closest thing I find to religion. It's life, it's almost everything to me. Walking into a gallery has become somewhat a spiritual experience - connecting to the world in a language I can understand. Wish I knew a less gay way of saying that.
Fallen hopelessly in love with my art tutor, Ben. I don't think I've met anyone like him before. He has piercing blue eyes and is so very lovely and considerate, amongst other things. Have I mentioned this stuff before? Probably. He's singlehandedly restored my faith in there being guys out there like that. Quite a feat - he must be special.
Trying to write my blog every night before I go to bed and forget it all. Every time I look up at the clock it's got the number 3 in the minutes. Freaking me out. I'm constantly haunted by that number, generally speaking.
Drinking London's water is revolting. But being as cheap as I am, I drink it. I refuse to buy bottled water. It's the biggest scam ever. Told Amanda the brand Evian was just the word naive backwards. She didn't get it and asked for the rest of the story.
Podcasting Hamish and Andy religiously while being over here. They were on a freating challenge for 5 days. Freating being where you eat for free but way of free samples. Thinking it wouldn't be that hard to take up in London. There's this super super market in Kensington called Whole Foods. Amanda and I went there the other week and had a 5 course meal courtesy of the numerous sample trays.
Teaching my American friend, Mia how to say words properly. She's actually embarrassed to be an American. She asked what Australian's thought of her kind and I lied and said we thought they were ok. I like Mia though. She's lovely, intelligent and reads Perez Hilton so we get on just fine.
Read in the UK guide book the Brits frown upon smiling at strangers unless deliberately flirting. They also don't like hugging in public. I think even a handshake's pushing it. Coincidently this place breeds some of the world's biggest germophobes.
Listening to The One I Love by Coldplay. Trying to forget the one person I always think of when it comes on.
Noticing my blogs are becoming shorter and shorter as I have more and more to write about. I have too much to say, it's easier to write a whole lot about nothing.

London pt.7 - Rain, Death & Potter pain

The day's been a steady 15C, windy, drizzly. The kind of rain that makes you self-conscious holding an umbrella. Heavy enough to ruin your makeup, light enough to make you feel you're not aussie enough to brave the elements.
Read on some pamphlet the guy who invented the lightbulb also came up with the concrete piano. Felt better about my off days.
Evaluated my life over cornflakes this morning. From what I worked out I think I should be scared. Terrified in fact. Instead I'm feeling terribly content.
Heard the weirdest name on the BBC today: Agewen. Some girl in Wales was demonstrating a sport popular in the country which I couldn't quite understand. Trotting is where a jockey sits in a carriage thing being pulled by a horse. Thought while watching it'd be easier to just sit on it.
Mrs Slocum died. Thought it was hilarious when the newsreader said she was most famous for her jokes about her cat. Such a pussy.
Whenever someone dies it makes me wonder how many people will notice when I do. And what page of the newspaper or rather by that time, tweets it will get. I'd be satisfied with one person caring. I think anyone would. Anymore than that is just a lovely bonus.
Must be fate me turning up in England on the 500th anniversary of Henry VIII's succession. There's so many festivities around London celebrating his life. Behind Elizabeth I and Anne Boleyn, he's my favourite monarch to know too much about.
I went to visit Hampton Court, Henry's main residency, with Amanda on the train. It was the first time I've travelled out of central London so I was able to spot my first house since being in the country.
Amanda has a habit of having long and loud philosophical one-way conversations with herself, about me, on public transport. I sit and listen and nod as she chatters away about what I should be thinking and doing with my life. I don't know why public transport is the catalyst to such rants but it has become strangely so that way.
The buses in London are slow to get anywhere in. But at least you get a good view of the city, unlike the tube. I always head straight for the top seats in the front of the bus like any good tourist does.
Out at Hampton Court we got handed an invitation to Henry VIII's wedding to Cathryn Parr along with our tickets into the palace. Didn't bother going as I'm not really interested in any of the wives beyond the first 3. The palace is beautiful. The gardens are stunning. There were about 10 school groups walking around in period robes you could borrow to wear around the place. Felt like I was on the set of Harry Potter. Wondered if the casting directors of that movie were regretting casting Daniel Radcliffe now knowing he'd grow up to look like he does.

Wednesday, 15 July 2009

London pt.6 - Nicotine, Sainbury's & the American Dream

Tate Modern: Greatest place on Earth. Strange place to find it when generally I hate galleries. I go to feel clever. Cultured. Support the team. Steal ideas. But this one left me speechless.
My art tutor for these two weeks looks like a slightly better looking British version of Hamish Blake. He's so passionate about art and knows so much about it it's incredible. There's a slight nerdy manner to him, a nicotine addiction and gap between his front teeth - very Madonna-esque. Orgasmic. He could go on forever talking about an artwork. I think I could go forever listening to him talk about an artwork. He articulates everything about it so eloquently it's like an art itself. He can justify modern art to me. A receipt of white looking products bought from Sainbury's tapped to a gallery wall can suddenly have the most profound meaning.
There's five other people in the art group: all English except for me and an American. At first I bonded with the American, Mia, over the pain of getting here by economy class and then a deep set hatred of Sarah Palin and the word "innit". There's one girl who could be nothing but English. She's so posh but not in an ostentatious way, more an... Austen-tatious way. She wouldn't be out of place in any of those books. Not only that, she studies English and French literature and therefore belongs in a glass case, behind a velvet rope, in front of a killer laser beam. Such a precious little thing she is. The other girls are classic arty types. One is Lily Allen's twin, the other lives on High Street Kensington. Not sure which one of those scares me the most. The last is a guy from Brighton who doesn't say much. He's an artist, a silent reclusive type which makes me suspect his art is really really good.
On the first day we all met at the Jerwood art space. I was the first of the group to get there. Wondered how long it'd take for someone with a freaky coloured fringe to turn up. Like sitting next to a baby on a long hull flight, I knew it would inevitably happen. Three people in my theory was confirmed.
We were all sat down to watch a slide show on Modernism and Post-Modernism art. Not a particular treat for the only Australian in the room who for the past 20 years had seen nothing but slides of artworks. I sat there keen to get out of the room to see the real thing and use the bathroom.
It was windy and cold walking down the street to Tate Modern. The American girl turned to me and said she missed the Californian sun. I asked her whether Californian's were exactly like how they were portrayed on telly. She said the ignorance and prejudice towards others just comes from the idiot rednecks in the south. We then went on to hate against twilight and how it's now ruined that Muse song forever. She asked me whether Vegemite was made out of vegetables and I said no. She then asked me what then and thinking I should know the answer I just guessed, "yummy chemicals". Googling it when I got home I found I wasn't that far off.

London pt.5 - Tudor Rose & Shakespeare Prose

Walking a lot these days. Needed some time to just sit out and do nothing. Felt guilty I could do that at home. Told myself before I came to not do anything I could do at home. Thought how I couldn't sit feeling guilty like this at home. Felt clever finding a loophole.
Met up with Julie for a drink in Fulham. Some random Brit followed us around. His accent was so strong both of us took it in turns interpreting what he was saying to each other. The British don't open their mouth enough when they talk. Understandable they're self-conscious about their awful teeth but it's like talking to a ventriloquist who can't quite pull it off, at all. He kept talking to me about cricket and how Australian's have big ego's. He then went on to boast about how modest the British were. Thought the embroidery on his shirt was a tad queer.
Went to the Victoria & Albert. Wrote down instructions on how to get there off Google Maps. When I got to Collingwood Gardens and no V&A insight I regretted not scrolling down the page more. The only thing that saved me was my already naturally lost looking face looking quite lost. Just standing there was enough to prompt someone to ask where I was trying to get to and point me in the right direction.
Was walking around the affluent houses of south Kensington wondering how much I'd have to make before I could live there. The townhouses were stunning with some having their own private gardens. Didn't need any more incentive than that to finish uni. Now understood for the first time why my mother let me go on this trip at all.
The V&A is in a spectacular building. Amanda said it was worth seeing just for the architecture. It was pretty nice except the outside looked like it could use a bit of a wash down. You can never tell with marble whether it's supposed to be like that or not.
Once inside I didn't know where to start looking. There was a million connecting rooms to choose from. The corridor was filled with marble sculptures. Not their biggest fan. Although I would've been happier to have learnt how to do such a thing in my sculpture class at uni than what I did - nothing. My final piece of assessment was a house of cards. Unfortunately it turned out to be that literally so. The specifications were to use 50 objects same but different so they had to pass me at least. Wish my mind came up with a better idea than taking a packet of cards and throwing the jokers out.
There's a big courtyard and pond thing in the middle of the museum. I sat on the edge watching a school group of kids run in, splash about and obstruct my view of a hot guy who sat on the opposite edge. Brokenhearted after running into him again in the 18th Century French Antiques room with his boyfriend.
Went to the National Portrait Gallery. Sought out the Tudor paintings of Elizabeth I. Stared at them for a long while trying to imprint the images in my brain. Felt because I came so far to see something I had wanted to for so long I had to stand and appreciate every stroke. Thought this was a good time to have remembered my glasses.
Booked into seeing an Opera this Friday night. Wish Amanda asked me first. Booked into seeing Shakespeare next week. Really wished Amanda asked me first. Was nice of her to do but I'm going to die less than 10 minutes in, I can only hope.
I can't understand why Shakespeare is still going. 500 or so years since you would've thought we had done something just as good or better in a language we could understand. The same with anything really. The Mona Lisa has had its 15 minutes, move on.
On a two week Contemporary art tour of London next week. Hoping being around so many arty people for so long won't drive me insane. Being an artist we tend to over analyse things, people, anything, but mostly nothing.
Sick of hearing about Michael Jackson. Read in the news at least 12 die-hard fans suicided over his death. What I don't understand is that these are the people that follow him the most. They study his every move, his accomplishments, everything. You'd think out of anyone they'd come to know he was just a musician. Asked Amanda who now inherits his elephant man skeleton. She said she didn't know.
Think the BBC guy has a thing for the weather girl. No one can be that excited to hear about London's weather.

Sunday, 12 July 2009

London pt.4 - Vodka, Adam & Onomatopoeia

Woke up to the news I'm in the middle of a heat wave. The BBC was giving hints to old people on how to survive through it. Hoping in half a century's time I don't need people coming around telling me what water is.
The BBC needs to get more attractive news readers. Wondered if the people reading the news actually write the news. If not I have a fair point. The next segment was on spelling bee champions. They interviewed a bunch of 12 year olds about winning some national championship. One got a little too enthusiastic when asked how to spell onamatapea? onomatapeeya? onnomattapia? I must be way off. Spell check still can't help me. Whatever, in the end we both got it wrong. They cut to the weather when he started crying.
The UK Mel & Kochie equivalents don't measure up. Starting to miss the aussie-ness of things. The British are lovely but can be quite stuffy. Tried to download Good News Week off itunes but would only get to 89% and drop out. Not impressed when it teases me like that. Needed my comedic news hit so watched the British version instead. Think we stole the idea off them. Just glad we didn't steal the jokes. British humor is whack.
Planning to meet up with my friend Julie from Spain next week. Have to remember to ask about the tomato fight thing. Missing my Julie at home terribly even though I know she's probably gone through all my stuff by now and tapping my internet.
Went out on a picnic with Amanda and Jon. Dropped into the supermarket on the way to Parsons Green and got some food. Yet to be served by an English person. I've found they're quite rare in this country. Think they're all in mine.
Brits have some of the most disgusting habits. Yeah so most of them smoke but even worse is their rampant use of the handkerchief. To use one and put in back in your pocket is just insanity to me. Can't go on the tube without seeing one pulled out. Tissues are made disposable for the most fantastic reason.
Planned to go up to Scotland at some point. Not entirely sure if that will happen. Have never fully understood the bagpipes. I can only explain them by saying they're the missing link between music and noise. According to the World Health Organization the Scots have the worst diet in the world. This means somewhere in Africa a mother is saying to her child complaining of hunger to stop being so selfish, for there's children in Scotland that would give anything to not eat what they're eating.
In the depths of facebook I found my friend Braden from school years ago living practically on top of me. Did a pub crawl in Fulham for catchups. Was good to see how happy he was living over here, bound for stardom no doubt. Forgot to mention drinking vodka usually ends with me propositioning things outside of people's houses in front of their friends. Good times.
Went shopping with Amanda, she dragged me into Top Shop because I apparently 'wear too much black and grey'. Told her that's just my thing.
Ventured out of South London to see Adam Hills and Steven K Amos. Bought two tickets ages ago to go with a friend but when that fell through I was freaking thinking I'd have to brave Camden myself. Luckily Amanda could come. She asked what happened to the Welsh boy. I said hopefully karma. Adam was brilliant as usual. Go you big red fire engine got a mention. Asked whether I was Australian. Too dazzled by his eyes to remember what I answered. I might've been that night.
The standup was done in an old converted horse hospital. Took forever to find such a thing.
Not tempted to live in Camden. The place is eccentrically alternative, pure grunge and breeds Amy Winehouse types. Amanda and I ended up eating at Nandos for tea because it was the closest thing we could find to normality. Got the chicken wrap with the hottest sauce you can get. Still wasn't hot enough. Heard the reason people like spicy things is because the heat burns off the taste buds and releases happy endorphins in the brain. Hoping the fact I seek out the hottest of chillies isn't a sign a have a ton of crippling emotional pain to resolve. Pretty sure I just don't like bland food. Something happened and from the age of 12 I couldn't eat anything that wasn't drowned in a condiment, sauce or seasoning.
Need to draw something soon or I'll go insane. Venting all my creative juices into writing in the meantime it seems. At home it'd be the piano. Composed something on it before I left. Didn't bother writing the notes down figuring I'd remember it by the time I got back. Wishing I didn't give myself so much credit.

London pt.3 - Royal Muse & London Booze

So the jet lag was non existent. If anything the 23 hour flight was refreshing. Walking the streets of London I'm less tired than I was at home.
The first time I walked back to Amanda's place by myself I had to look up the place number. Couldn't distinguish one place from another. Every place looks the same, every street looks the same. Never have street names had a use to me before London.
Everything's so old I asked Amanda whether they heritage list all this stuff. She said she didn't know. Thought about how things in Australia from the 50's get heritage listed. If a Brit ever asks, think I'll forget to mention the 19 before it.
Amanda's bedroom is in the top bit of the house. It's 3 levels up. Everything creaks in between.
Reading on Perez Hilton there's a movie called 'The Social Network' under way. Facebook is the inspiration. They want to get it done before its fate follows myspace. Reminds me to check my myspace account. Couldn't remember my password. Happy to know my brain has gotten out of its habit of storing useless information at least.
Next article down is on an Audrey Hepburn stamp auctioning for about $100,000. Always thought Audrey was too skinny an actress for the 50's. Can't watch her movies anyway because I can't stand listening to her accent that doesn't belong anywhere.
With Amanda off I was left with a list of instructions on how to get to her work and a map that made me rethink whether I was dyslexic. For every road I turned down there was one I had to re-walk back down towards the right direction. Feet were shot by the end. Started out wearing ballet flats but they ripped the backs of my feet off. Swapped them for pluggers which ripped the inside of my toes off. Left wishing I wasn't a girl so I could get away with wearing comfortable shoes. Hate walking on the cobbled stuff the most. Don't know why they didn't just use the stuff they use to fill around the other stuff for the whole thing.
Found Amanda's work eventually and kept walking up towards Hyde Park. Because it was over 15 C everyone was out in the park sunbaking. The English boys had their shirts off which you couldn't stare directly at unless you wanted to be blinded by the white radiating light. Ran into a palace. No idea I was walking towards one. Kensington. A pretty one from the outside, not all that grand. Passed people taking close ups of the gate. Wondered how many times they'd look at those pictures. I bothered to take very few of my own. Don't see the point when you can just google whatever you want really.
Cost 11 pound to get in. Was annoyed so many other people had the same idea as me. Couldn't look at things in peace without a line forming behind me. Wasn't allowed to use flash inside but did anyway. Everything was behind glass so it backfired at me in the end.
The rooms were small and dark. The most impressive part was the stairwell where there was a beautiful mural painted. Made me miss painting terribly.
Listened to the audio guide but didn't take much in as the only thing I came out remembering about the place the fat queen who went mental there. Think her name was Anne. Forgot to read the plaque out the front so didn't know if Elizabeth I had anything to do with the place. She's really the only royal I care to know anything about.
Diana lived there. Don't know why people made such a fuss when she died. People make too much fuss over people they don't know.
Can't stand Beatle mania. Someone asked before I came whether I was going to visit that place that had something to do with them. Don't understand the hype. I heard that Submarine song. Not the work of genius.
Hypocritical somewhat considering Chris Martin's on my 'To Do' list. Don't know that I could marry a musician actually. I'd foresee it turning into a Yoko/Lennon type thing. Not such a bad thing I guess.. the world can always afford to be a more interesting place.
Walked back home with Amanda past the giant golden statue Victoria held erected for Albert. Amanda said she was so distraught after he died she had that built for him. Thought how sweet. But wished she kept her grief to herself - the statue was hideous. Hate how the royal family spend the countries resources on themselves. Read in the paper how the Queen wants a pay rise. Thinking the French had the right idea.
The night of Amanda's birthday we went out for cocktails and Vietnamese. There's such nice places in London to go. Wish I could take them all back home with me.

London pt.2 - Lollipops & British Cops

Descending into London I noticed how green everything was. They say living in Australia you never come to know what the colour green really is. I looked down at the countryside below and thought fair call. Flying in closer I noticed how similar the houses looked and how close they were together. Wondered once there how long I could wander around without coming across the skyline again.
Finally landed in merry old England. Looked out the window to the tarmac people guiding the plane in. Reminded me of a conductor the way he was swinging his hands around. Thought about whether a conductor is just a failed musician and how hard it would be to become one. Not that hard I imagined. Mentally added it to my list of career plan B's one down from tarmac guy. Thought about how depressed the woman at the school crossing got when they said they were going to replace her with traffic lights. Wasn't sure I could handle such rejection and listed it one up from a lollipop lady.
Walked out the plane past the first class seats. Tried not to look but couldn't help notice the seats had rubbish and packagings left scattered everywhere. Disgruntled now thinking back to the cabin crew asking us to pick up our rubbish like the commoners we were back in economy class. Thought of Prince Charles calling up his assistant to pick a note out of the bin for him after he dropped it in there by mistake. Wondered what I would say in response to such a request if I was the assistant he called. Couldn't think of one that'd allow me to stay in the country. Hoping things don't come to plan C.
Was a long walk to where they check you out before you can officially enter the country. They separated you into UK, All other countries, and Other. Curious as to who they were. Must've been a flight coming in from Nigeria at the same time because I got caught up in the line with a large group of them. Needless to say they held up the line. Problems with passports, reasons for visiting etc. Every second one ended up being interrogated for something. For the first time in my life I was preferring a race of people to be American.
Surprised to see how smartly dressed the Nigerian men were. Wondered if I could pull off an internet scam I'd still be in the line wearing trakkies.
There was one lone American lined up two people behind me. The man between us was Nigerian. Felt sorry for him when he put his bag down to get something out of his backpack and got told off by the American man in that irritating accent to keep it with him at all times or he'd call security. Did my best to disguise my laughter with a cough. Tried to think of 9/11 to compose myself but the thoughts kept wandering. Telling myself to think serious thoughts only led to me remembering a news headline I read before I left: Prince Philip tells 10 year old aspiring astronaut, "You're too fat for spaceship". Set me off even more. Wishing the line was not still over 40 people deep. Starting to get some weird looks. Nigerian man behind me just looking grateful I took the heat off him.
Finally got through to the baggage. Mine was there as soon as I got to the belt thing. It's one of those seamless shell looking bags bought during the Shappelle Corby days when everyone was paranoid baggage handlers were slipping in drugs. Since gone out of fashion now we all know she did probably it.
Watching the belt go round reminded me of an invention I came up with while I was sitting on a train back home. It'd revolutionise transportation and essentially solve all the worlds problems. Basically.. eh, forget it - you'd just pinch it. All great ideas come to people on trains I've found. ie. Harry Potter. Or from Mexican kids telling us the genius of a flat bottom taco. Not once in all those years of stuffing them to only fall down did I ever think of that. Kicking myself.
Walked out to where all the family and friends wait. Looked into the crowd for my sister Amanda. Saw a guy that resembled Robert Patterson and mental noted to tell Julie later.
On the tube back to Amanda's we sat across another Australian and some British girl flirting with him. Noticed the guy had no chin. Remembered an article I read about how all important leaders in history had big chins. Wondered if this guy knew what valuable asset he was missing. Hoped for his sake his ambitions weren't too high. The girl had two orange streaks down the front of her hair on each side and a fringe that was too short. Thought the same thing about her.
Also across from me sat an exact replica of Gareth from The Office. Was pretty chuffed since I had only been in the country less than half an hour.
Got off at Fulham and walked straight into the sight of a double decker and policemen wearing their silly hats. Thought if I had to wear one I probably wouldn't feel silly because I wouldn't have a choice. That got me thinking whether I'd feel stupid wearing a chicken suit down the street even if no one knew it was me in it. Couldn't decide. Didn't care to know once I thought of the only way to find out.
Fell in love with London the moment I saw her. Granted she was putting on a good show. And I was still yet to see the state of the Themes. But the weather was perfect. Everything about her was perfect.

London pt.1 - GMT, Facebook, Annoying Kiddie

Night of my 20th birthday I'm finishing packing. Took less time than I thought. Wondered why for a moment than wondered why not. It's not like I'm packing anything other than what I use at home. If I was going to Mars for example my preparation would be more time consuming but in this case I'm just off to a more gloomier, civilized version of here. Just reminded myself to pack umbrella and shoes.
Looked at the world map on the wall and thought how I'm going to a much bigger city in a much smaller country and why everyone gravitated to a place that's in such an awkward spot. Also wondered why they bothered to cut it up into 3 countries when the whole thing is as big as my pinkie and they couldn't use a font small enough to keep even the word Wales in its own country. Remembered hearing somewhere that Wales is the New Zealand equivalent for England and victim to just as many sheep jokes. Suddenly felt much tenderness towards England.
Opened a present from Julie; a brilliant wooden art box to put all my stuff in. Will come in quite handy and I suspect more useful than the jam jars and shoe boxes I've been using. Thinking the next investment in my career should be something to replace the wall I've been using to blu tac my drawings to.
Only hours to go before my flight. Felt tired but thought for once that was a good thing. Or was it? Plan was to get my body into GMT mode 3 days before I left. Couldn't be bothered but didn't worry about at the time because even when I leave everything til the last minute, it gets done in the end. Didn't think maybe in this case my system might not work. Couldn't remember if I should be asleep or not. Worked out London was at about 2pm and figured I should be.
Got to the airport and thought there's probably a better time I could've picked to change my mind about going. Got to the checkout to put my bags through and thought of a worse one. The lady at the counter had a British accent. Part of me hoped it was a sign I had somehow got transported directly into London and eliminated the need for a 23 hour flight. Turns out she was just British.
Don't make requests to be knocked out before the flight and only waken again once in London. No one but you will think it's a sensible idea.
Was paranoid my bag was going to be too heavy after weighing it at home and coming over the limit. Came well under. Happy to no longer have the self image of Beth Ditto. Not so happy to replace it with Posh Beckham.
Went through security. Got pulled over and swabbed to explosives. Thought they didn't want to offend me by saying drugs. Felt nervous. There's always the thought in the back of your head that thinks you packed them unknowingly while sleepwalking. Reminded me of a story of a man who had a phobia of pens because he didn't trust himself to not write a confession to a crime he didn't commit. Wondered how my phobia of heights didn't take effect with air travel. Tried not to dwell on it.
Sat down at the gate waiting to board. The man across from me looked nervous because he kept fiddling. Automatically made me nervous wondering what he knew that I didn't. A chinese woman and her kid were also sitting across from me with masks on. I wondered whether they were trying to not get something or pass something on.
Forgot to buy a bottle of water on the way through. The thought of it made me very thirsty. Just like how the thought of having no access to food makes you hungry. Would kill everyone in the room for some banana bread.
On the plane I got an aisle seat which I thought was lucky because of the two overweight people I got seated next to. At least I wouldn't have to try and get around them when wanting to go to the toilet. Forgot they might at some point want to go as well.
Couldn't get much sleep because of this and the fact emirates kept wanting to feed us and sell us duty free. Thought about the airline that took one olive out of each meal and saved a fortune without anyone noticing. Every meal I got I tried to figure out what emirates might be stinging me out on. I thought the one slice of cheese for six crackers maybe.
Couldn't stand the babies on flight. The only sound worse than an upset baby is a happy one. Unfortunately there were both. A little girl about 4 kept running up and down the aisle saying hello to people including me. If I wasn't on a 16 hour flight I would never give a 4 year old a death stare - but I was. I wish parents knew anything their child does is only cute to them. I think there should be a law for children under 10 to not be allowed in public. Ideally a fetus should gestate in the womb for 10 years until we all want to see it. This would solve many of the worlds problems including over population. I don't think many women would want to be pregnant for that long unless they're Catholic or Heidi Klum.
Feeling separation anxiety from my phone/internet. Wish they could invent a plane that could handle msn and not crashing.
Got out at Singapore for a fuel stop. Lining up to use the free internet. Girl in front of me spending way too long updating her facebook status. She goes on to do a quiz 'What body part am I?' and I wanted to slap her. Wondered what Myspace guy was feeling about no one using his site anymore.
The next leg to Dubai went quickly. I watched one episode of Two and a Half Men and The Curious Case of Benjamin Button on the screen across from me. Without audio but I was getting the gist. Packed my ipod but the earphones didn't work. Sat there watching the music playing. Couldn't get the gist of that.
Closed my eyes but couldn't sleep. Suddenly thought of myself as a Sim. With levels above my head on the amount of sleep, food etc I needed and calculated where I was at with each. Sleep was at a critical level in the red. Amusement was about yellow. I was watching an episode of The Simpson's but I had already seen more times than I'd like to admit.
There's a thing on the screen you can choose to show video of the earth below and the side of the plane. Turned it on whenever we were over land. Went over some mountains I should know the name of. The ones near that major mountain I should really know the name of.
In Dubai 20 minutes late. Paranoid I'll miss my next flight. Got to the gate fine, handed over my passport to checkin and got asked whether I was lost. Wondered how that emotion got on my face when I wasn't. I thought of how I get asked a lot whether I'm lost. Self conscious now that's just my natural face.
Got seated next to a funny little englishman. He couldn't work out the inflight entertainment and asked me how to access the Wimbeldon scores. I said I didn't know even though I did. He got out his newspaper and started reading The Times. Sport section. I wondered why such old people still take an interest in who wins or not. Thought they would've realised it doesn't matter by now.