Sunday, 24 March 2013

Lovely London: First Impressions

  • Everyone hates the weather. It snowed! Sure, it's March. Sure, the last time these people saw sunshine we were all still pondering the likelihood of the Mayan end of days looking anything like this great new film 2012. Sure, sure. But you're Londoners. It's in your blood to cope with this kind of weather. You're meant to relish it, and then come to my country and complain about our weather.
  • That's just the way the Tube smells. You know that sour, old milk kind of odour? Apparently, there isn't a choice about that.
  • There's less obsession with royalty... Unless you make the rookie mistake of seeing a magazine stand and learning than the royal baby is now the size of an apricot or an eggplant or what-have-you.
  • ...and more with James McAvoy. Him! Mr. Tumnus! The guy who played the guy with muscular dystrophy! Goddamn Gnomeo! He's a big shot action hero now and, it would seem, London's favourite stepson. In the past four days, seventeen action films in which he holds a gun aggressively on the poster have been released. He is acting in MacBeth, Hamlet and the Tempest, all at once. I think I saw a cologne in Boots. Now, I don't have a problem with any of this, and he seems like a pretty nice bloke from his Wikipedia article, but all I can say is that I didn't see it coming.

I guess I should've paid better attention to Wanted.

  • Squirrels are great and nobody cares. Have people been desensitied here? I don't get it. Can't they see the little hands?
  • There are dead celebrities everywhere. William Blake is a bit of a hero to me. His poetry is outstanding. The effect he had on his contemporaries, and indeed on English literature, is rivalled only by the greatest writers in human history. His work is poignant, captivating, political and proud. Oh, right, and he's buried to your left there.
  • You must make your peace with limb loss. Have you been caught in those train doors? I have. Ouch.
  • Food is better than Jamie Oliver told me it would be. I mean, really. I expected to find legions of pasty, miserable people lolling in the gutters since, once they tipped onto their backs, they were incapable of righting themselves again, WALL-E-style. If not that, I was waiting for some poor anaemic to pass out on me. Well now, I haven't seen any school dinners so perhaps I can't talk, but has J.O. not been in central Londom recently? PRET A MANGER IS EVERYWHERE. And I can't move for the number of Whole Foods. I know it can't be all this glorious but I'm still waiting to see a queue go out the door at Macca's.

First image sourced from here.


Thursday, 7 March 2013

Long night, White Night

Melbourne threw its own Nuit Blanche. I think this whole world's most liveable city affair has kind of gone to its head. Australian culture dictates that a night out must must must involve booze, lest it be labelled a waste and gay. My charming countrypeople! So what started out as a bright evening of culture and jazz dissolved, by about 3 or so AM, into a distopian day-night with tumbleweeds of empty vodka bottles, Pie Face wrappers and abandoned shoes. I wish I'd taken a picture of the bottle-o because it was empty. I mean it; spirits gone, two little miniature bottles of bourbon arranged thoughtfully on the middle shelf.


Aiie, but I am being negative. My own White Night was... multi-faceted. That has to be the word. Highlight of highlights: I saw Cent une tueries de zombies (have a look if you don't mind the gore). 101 zombie deaths cleverly edited into 40-something glorious minutes. Not for the faint of heart. (They even included my favourite zombie death, but be warned: this video is graphic.) I also got to see Flap!, the very best live outfit in Melbourne, perform, which was excellent as always. They have this way with an audience; it's hard to describe. Every time I've seen them (and I admit, there have been a few) it takes about three songs for them to win the crowd completely over. You know the kind of person you don't actually know, but feel close to and want to buy a pony for? That's this band. They're good value folks.

After the zombies and the music it was getting towards that eerie stage I told you about. I'd said goodbye to J and IMJ (soft!) and just sort of wandered. Things get very strange for me when I'm low on sleep. I don't remember much, but I have distinct memories of trying to walk toe-heel instead of heel-toe. What can I say? In the immortal words of Honey Boo Boo Child, girl's gotta get her beauty sleep.
I resurfaced at 6am, ate too much breakfast (cold scrambled eggs, bleagh) and went home, then to work. Probably should have had a lie-down beforehand; probably shouldn't have drunk six espresso shots in half an hour. Was it all worth it? You know, I think so.


Eternal Brunchtime of the Constant Dine

I figured that, after quitting my jobs (oh joy! oh bliss!) I'd have time to do all sorts of things I used to enjoy; you know, sleeping and smiling and breathing. But -- my God, and I never thought I'd say this -- being a Lady Who Lunches (my ultimate career goal, no lies) is damn hard work. Not only have I had to brush my hair, but I've been flat out, going from one cafe to the next. In the last week, I've had more flat whites than I've seen in a season.

It's been so lovely to see everyone. I didn't realise I had so many sensational people in my life until I started saying goodbye to them. I didn't realise how much I'm leaving behind, really. It must be that cliche of leaving and appreciation and lack thereof.

It still doesn't feel real. I suppose it will when I'm being rained on in Hyde Park -- ooh, actually, writing that gave me a bit of a chill -- or being rained on at Portobello rd, or even being rained on in BHS as I try to piece a life's worth of linen together.

Thanks to the magic of scheduling, it's exactly (exactly) a week until I leave. And once I'm over there, I'll have lots of exciting things to say. How thrilling! See you then, if not sooner.

Sarah Illenberger's watermelon