Wednesday, September 26, 2007

The Thames Festival

Two weekends ago the South Bank hosted a 2 day celebration of the River Thames. I went along, never one to let a free London event get away. Sadly I could only make the Saturday night (as Sunday was holding a Formula 1 race). Along for the ride was Sarah and Channa, still working her new philosophy of 'mates before men'. We did also get her to ride the tube as she has a slight tube phobia. Sarah's 'man friend' Peter met us down there as he was working on Saturday later than the rest of us. With the Festival finishing at 10pm each night, there wasn't much opportunity to sample the stalls, and food and entertainment and exhibitions that made up the show; secondly we aimed to see some French acrobats that were performing at 8pm in the shadow of the London Eye.

The acrobats' show started slowly and didn't seem to be heading anywhere, but about half an hour in, their 'string tent' was hoisted into the air with most of the team suspended beneath. Half the crew were playing instruments 100 feet in the air while the rest did their aerial stunts. It was all very ethereal and magical as the 'string tent' twirled one way then the next, lit up with lights which cut through the night sky like searchlights all whilst band played this spooky music like the kind you find in horror movies as the large chested blonde is being followed. It was all great fun and we headed home once it was over. I was disappointed to have missed the fireworks which actually took place on Sunday night. Damn!

Friday, September 14, 2007

Knocked up in the O2

I really wanted to see the movie 'Knocked Up' after seeing some really positive reviews around town, a successfully rounded up a small troop to come with me to see it: Sarah, had heard of it but didn't really fancy it. Channa, again, had heard of the film but didn't mind seeing it. Mel, er... she said yes straight away.

I got my choice my venue too. I had been longing to see a movie at the Vue O2 for a while, and my suggestion of going there met no objection. Two for two! I did strike out on mode of transport though. After sorting out meeting times to catch the tube to the Dome, Channa chipped in the she wanted to drive as she hated tube travel. I was unsuccessful of changing her mind. So a quick reshuffle we needed.

We arrived deliberately early to check out a few of the bars but I ended up getting a bite to eat in a Frankie and Benny's whilst the girls all went straight to dessert!

I think everyone enjoyed the film but I had to turn away from the screen toward the end of the movie and the 'crowning' scene! It re enforced my wish never to have kids, and if it does happen, to be down the pub at the birth and nowhere near the horror that is child birth!

Wednesday, September 12, 2007

On yer bike!

The route:- which will take you past Buckingham Palace, The London Eye and The Houses of Parliament

On Sunday September 23th there is a London event on, sponsored by Hovis, and called Freewheel London. It is a completely free event which I guess has been designed to get more people cycling in London and will see several roads in London closed for the day for the sole use of cyclists! A 9 mile route has been drawn up that uses mostly Embankment, but will bring everyone back to St James' park where there will be stalls and demonstrations and entertainment and the like. It's not meant to be a race, but just a fun day out, so sign up and I'll see you there.

N.B I actually signed up without even owning a bike. I'm buying one just to take part in something different.

Have a look at the event website here.

(map used without permission, but I hope they don't mind as I'm helping to promote their day.)

Sunday, September 09, 2007

The lure of the fire water

I guess I'll live to be a hundred and still not truly understand the attraction of consuming large quantities of 'falling down juice' then spending the following day feeling like caca!

Oh well.

On Friday the original plan was to go Tiger Tiger in London as a Facebook friend, with the same name as me, had invited me for a 'leaving' do, but I was not able to rustle up anyone interested in going. There was interest from Channa and Sarah to hit the bars of Brick Lane, however. Hence, a new plan evolved; a simple plan. Channa and Sarah had never been to the bars there, and it is one of my favourite places to go! I love it when a plan comes together!

We 3 were to meet at Liverpool Street station, but I was to wait 25 minutes for the 1st of the ladies to arrive >:( It was only a short walk to the Cafe 1001. Once there I was shocked by the transformation; not in the decor or clientele, but in the atmosphere and 'essence' of the place. Before the smoking ban, the place had a seedy feel, with lots of groups huddled around the tables, piled on the well worn, leather sofas or scatter cushions, propped on the lower edges of the concrete pillars; all lit softly by candles or table lamps, with the DJ playing his non commercial funky house, loud enough to prevent normal conversation. But now it felt sterile, looked clean (although the furnishing were just as tatty as ever) and was nigh on empty. It was the first time I've chosen where to sit, usually I sit where I can. It was still a good night though.

I sent a MMS the Gregg to show him how empty the bar was and he rang me soon after to say that he would come down and join me, now that he had finished work. We all checked out The Big Chill bar before catching the last train home. It wasn't until I was home that I realized how drunk I was. 'Never again!' (Ahh, who am I kidding!)

more photos on Facebook, here.

Get well soon Mel

Just wanted to wish all the best to my fellow Australia companion and co worker Melissa. She was rushed to hospital, with a suspected pulled muscle in her back, but after some tests it was believed she had and infection on her appendix, which had caused inflammation which was thought to have in turn caused the back pain. After emergency surgery it was found that the appendix were not inflamed, and now she had now developed chest pain and laboured breathing. I dropped in to see her after work yesterday and frankly she looked really, really poorly, and right now the doctors are scratching their heads and don't even think she has an infection anymore!

Here's hoping its nothing serious. Get well soon Mel xx

Stars of the future (?)

On Tuesday I went to what can only be called an amateur singer/songwriter showcase. As regular squish pages fans should already know, Catherine is a budding singer and at first I thought I was to see her sing, but it turned out that we were to watch one of her manager's other singers. Myself and Channa agreed to come along and Cat drove us to Benthal Green and the Backyard Comedy Club, where it was being held.

We watched quiet a few singers during the night, many of them singing songs they had penned themselves. To be expected, the talent on hand fluctuated wildly. I couldn't give you any names but in my opinion the best singers of the night was a guy with a guitar and brunette lady in a brown top. Channa also spotted, during the night, the comedian Lee Hurst who actually owns the Backyard Comedy Club. She suggested on sneaking a pic but it would of looked too obvious.

Thursday, September 06, 2007

'Save the cheerleader. Save the world'

I now have my region 1 copy of the complete first season of Heroes. Top banana! I have to thank Jason for switching me onto this show which first premiered in the UK on the Sci Fi Channel. I had seen the promos for the show but totally missed its arrival. In my opinion, one of the best series on TV right now, and it feels good to have it in my possession whilst most other people are only now discovering the show at the moment on the BBC.

NB It also helps that the fox Hayden Panettiere is in the show. Cue much drooling!

some pics from the Heroes european promotional trip

extra yummy (in London)

Big thanks to, and

Wednesday, September 05, 2007

The bank card fiasco!

Let me take you back to July and the start of this story. In July I had taken a lot of cash out of my account in one go, what with my 2 weekends away (Ibiza and T4), and for the most part after that I lived on my credit card having blown all of my meager wages by week 3. Hence, my pin number slipped from memory from lack of use. I ordered a new pin in time for August, but then came the Barbados trip. I hadn't had enough time to memorize the number so when I returned I proceeded to input the wrong pin code into ATMs over the following weeks. "Why not just look again at the new given pin number?" you ask, because I'd blooming lost the slip!

My 3rd and final strike came last Friday morning; payday. 'No big issue, I thought. 'I'll just pop into the bank, draw a weeks worth of cash out, and order a new card and pin'. To my horror I learnt that without a card I could only withdrawn £50 per day. Which did me no good as I had a credit card bill and BT (phone) bill to pay that day. Luckily Sunny at work borrowed me some money to save me from defaulting on my bills. Each day now I've had to journey to Gants Hill just to get my £50 pocket money. Hopefully my card will arrive soon because the car is running out of petrol and the bills have taken priorty! Eek!!

Shaking my groove thang in Romford

Me, Channa, Cat

Last Friday night I was out for a drink and a dance with Channa and Catherine. The night was to take place in London for one of Channa's work colleges' birthday but Catherine has an aversion to London at the moment; finding the guys too creepy and the journey home too troublesome. So we ended up in Romford, in a club I'd never been to before or even heard of; Opium. It kinda had a Moroccan feeling with its styling cues, also with its many booths with cushioned floors and added scatter cushions.

We first went to Edwards though, where we had a run in with one of the bar staff. Whilst at the bar Channa made an offhand comment about being before a guy next to her which this barmaid overheard and aggressively responded that she would get us thrown out if we gave any more attitude! I asked for her name because I found her reaction over the top, and her manner, rude. She refused and attempted to explain her actions away. Long after me and Channa we still brooding over the episode.

Unfortunately Channa became a little worse for wear later on during the night, a victim of a lack of track time with drink. And we were worried about Cat earlier on! We all left about 1.30 as all 3 of us had work the next day.