I went to London! It was great!
We arrived at our friends Will and Mary Kate's flat in Greenwich on Thursday night and drank wine and admired their many nice house things that we couldn't have because they were from IKEA and we live in an IKEA-free wilderness and were very impressed by the fact that they left cinnamon mints in a little bowl for us in our room and then fell into a DREAMLESS SLUMBER. Woke up to a lazy lazy breakfast, followed by a train into London Bridge for a mooch around Borough Market avec copious snacking, because, really, how could you resist the yumminess? I bought posh lip balm in Neals Yard and we ran into Mary Kate completely by accident in the street (because, y'know, London is small and villagey like that, erm). And then
we went to Tate Modern and had lots of fun. We gazed at THE CHASM and then watched small children gaze at THE CHASM, then gazed at the Rothkos and watched small children ditto ("Mummy, it's like a picture of a headache!"), and saw lots of other brilliant art, then had rather excellent brownies, then saw more art, then I was arted out so B went back to worship the Rothkos some more and I went to the shop and bought a birthday card and kaleidoscope kit for sister Jen, perpetual postcard calendars for us and our hosts, and a necklace for me. Result.
Because our friend Shane is very organized, there was an actual Evening Plan, so off we went to meet Shane and Emma and Will and Mary Kate in some sort of Indian tapas restaurant (no, I'm not sure what that means either) which fed us tasty grub and beer and thyme lemonade. I legged it to the pub once I'd finished in a panic of OH GOD I HAVE ARRANGED TO MEET PEOPLE HERE AND THEY DON'T KNOW EACH OTHER, and lo, there was ultraruby
outside having a pint and we managed to immediately recognize each other despite having only met once before in the middle of a muddy field. Then there was my friend Sara from college and all the folks I'd left in the restaurant and biascut
and much talking and ending up in a dubious Soho drinking den that I will swear I have ended up in on several occasions before, when it used to look even more like my late Nana's front room only with a bar in it. There was drinking. Oh yes. It was a most excellent evening with excellent people. Taxi home and sleeeeeeeeep.
An even lazier and slightly but not too hungover breakfast on Saturday, and then I went off on AN ADVENTURE: viz: to bextera
's flat for a bookswapping lunching gathering with, it appeared, half the internet. It was great - Bex is a fabulous host, I met several of my lovely friendslist (some for the first time) and adorable bity internet celebrity baby Gnipper and many other delightful folk, I ate tasty food and laughed a lot, and (despite my vows not to take anything) ended up with two excellent books with Murder in them. majea
, I will send you that CJ Sansom when I'm finished with it, or bring it to the next book swap! A somewhat circuitous tube journey (because HALF THE TUBE WAS SHUT) with cigogne
later, and I met up with B and my sisters and others in Finsbury Park for food, and then a taxi to Angel for Jen's birthday do in a very funky-looking bar with big comfy sofas and twinkly lights and W H Auden poems written in marker on the toilet doors. Heaps of enjoyment was had by all, despite bar staff so spectacularly useless that poor Kellie spent about forty five minutes waiting to be served at one stage (resourceful girl that she is, she then ordered two of everything so we wouldn't have to deal with the bar again for ages) and they closed half an hour early because they were understaffed. Hmph. A last one in a late bar, an eventually triumphant attempt by B to find falafels in a sea of poncy wine bars, what I think of as an Archetypal London Minicab Journey home (sense that driver had no idea where he was, ineffectual attempt to overcharge us at destination), and yesssss, more sleep.
Sunday I had planned to meet braisedbywolves
again and possibly go to see the Peter Doig stuff at Tate Britain, however Jen and I had remembered the night before that We Have A Song To Sing At stellanova
's Wedding And, Er, Hadn't We Better Practice It? and decided to do that instead while B went off to have fun with art, etc. Due to HALF THE TUBE BEING SHUT AGAIN, I had a Commute Of Great Randomness to Jen's, involving, amongst other things, a boat. Song arranging/rehearsing/teadrinking went well despite our rather fragile state, and I hope it won't be spoiling the surprise too much, stellanova
, to share our discovery that C & C Music Factory's "Everybody Dance Now" (complete with moves) makes a very special end to a Wedding Medley. Then back to town, quick pub pie, train to Gatwick, boring Gatwick delay, plane, etc.
AND THEN I went home. The end.