Sunday, May 27, 2012

A trip to Windsor

We haddn't done a day trip out of London for many moons and so our trip to Windsor (Although techiquely not out of greater London) was a welcome addition to our sunny anniversary weekend. We took the train from Waterloo, and arrived at Windsor at around lunchtime.

I'm not too sure what we were expection but Windsor is a larger tiwn than we'd envisioned, although completely over run with tourists (like ourselves). The cute little town is filled with restaurets, shops, merchandicing shops, and endless tour busses and businesses cashing in on families with open wallets.

There was not a cloud to be seen and we strolled the streets and riverside before heading across the bridge to Eton, home of the private school and many games of cricket. We saw posh, well educated young men walking around, probably getting up to all sorts of mischief such as eating after dinner mints before dinner.

Back in Windsor it was time for a frappachino and to brave the ques into the castle. It actually didn't take too long to get in and when we did it was worth the wait and the price. We wandered around the buildings listening to the informative and very good audio guides. The highlight for me was the state rooms which were completely over the top and akthough still used, looked like a museum of a wealthy families estate from a bygone era. I really wish we could have taken some photos inside but were forbidden to document those rooms with anything other than our wee memories.

We had some average Spanish tapas for dinner, caught the train home and headed out to Covent Garden for my work farewell. Good day had by all.

Anniversary and Horrors

Pip and I were to spend our second anniversary together in London and in what more appropriate fashion to celebrate our tightening bonds than with a night of music by one of our favourite bands.

Our second anniversary day consisted of lunch together near Pip's work and then I picked her up ready to go at around 4:30. on our way to Brixton I reaoized that I'd left the tickets at home. Not a great start to the evening as we had to travel all the way back home first.

upon our early arrival at Brixton, we treated ourselves to dinner at a little place called 'Hive'. Here we had burgers and a drink. Pip tried Pimms for the first time and after our below average service by the waitress whos day we were interupting, we headed down to the venue.

The first opening band had already begun at 7 o'clock. So we grabbed another drink and saw a band of either gender confused heavy mettlers. More drinks and a neat band called 'Toy' who were kind of like 'Joy Division' meets 'The Horrors', after that was a band we don't know the name of but they were very interesting. By this stage we'd made our wy down the front where it was nice to be with Pip as we're usually further back. The band consisted of a fellow seated playing a bass, a guy drumming and singing here and there and another bloke playing keys and guitar. The music was sort of experimental rhythm in sort of a jam format, quite left field to that of even the other indie bands there thag night.

Finally Faris and his chaps hit the stage at around 9:30 and we were treated to a fantastc set featuring mostly tunes from thir latest two albums. These guys are great live and we bitb had a great time even with both Pip and I getting into scuffles with annoying drunks who wer just ghere to cause trouble.

Monday, May 21, 2012

The Graham Norton Show

When saving up to move to this overpopulated island called England, Pip and I used to spend our Friday nights after work watching television. Not that we were big TV watches but Friday night had a great lineup: Next top model (Ahem) 7 Days and The Graham Norton Show. So it was quite the surprise when a friend called us up to invite us to the filming of the show.

Luckily for us, Olivia had been before and had also sat in the 'red chair' so we were allowed priority tickets which meant we avoided hours of lining up and disappointment when the show filled up and they stopped letting people in. Instead we went to the pub and then back to the studio to skip the line and take our seats.

The guests on the show were Sir Tom Jones, Gary Barlow and Will Smith. Now the show turned out to be so good that it will forever remain a life highlight for me personally. We actually got to sing the theme song from 'The Fresh Prince of Bel Air' along with Will himself. We also got on TV kind of. We tried to get a good screen shot when it was on TV but the only one Pip could get that wasn't blurry was with me behind Graham (Literally, not figuratively).

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Tuesday, May 15, 2012

A night of spontaneous comedy

On a glorious spring Sunday evening in a tiny Hammersmith theatre, iPhones were being quickly slipped into the pockets of a lucky few, as we all waited for a tall gentleman who resembles popular depictions of Jesus to appear and start prancing around a stage, articulating absurdities in a witty, playful manor. That is what us lucky few paid for and that's what we got.

Ok so I can't paint a picture as well as Russell Brand but that could be why he's the one we've all come to see. My day off last week saw me spending considerable amounts of time on Facebook. I just so happened to be online when Russell Brand posted that he was to do a show that weekend and tickets were on sale from this very second. I was able to snap some up before they sold out only minutes later.

The day of the gig, I had worked until 4pm and after a night out with Pip and her friends, I was lucky to have enough energy to fuel some of my excitement. We took a bus as it required no changes and the tube had been have problems all day (almost making be late for work that very morning). The bus took about an hour to reach Hammersmith and we passed through a part on London that I wish never to see again. It was like neighborhood after neighborhood of poverty stricken, run down and disused shops and houses, almost a different world compared to the London that we are used to. We made it eventually even with a 10 minute hold up due to a minor car crash.

Lyric is a theatre/creative space/cafe/recording studio. The theatre itself is tiny which was fantastic as it felt like we were just hanging out with Russell in someone's big front lounge. There was no photography allowed so this is the only one I was able to snap (And it doesn't even have Russell in the shot).