Every single night, the same arrangement

Last three weeks

I haven’t had the internet for over a week.  Sadly, with my tech support/Husband overseas, I had to make do with just my data allowance on my sparkly new Nexus 5X, which I very quickly blitzed through.  So what have I been doing without my beloved internet?

Working
I started my new job on Monday and so far, so statutory.  I’ve been reading insanely long government documents, and trying to decipher wordy guidance.  It has not been the most fun ever.  It’s also very daunting that I now have 8 people working for me.  8!  I can’t even count all of them!  Next week, I move desks and do yet more reading, and maybe one day I’ll be able to finish something I start without having to go to a meeting or getting distracted by a Very Important phone call.

Shopping
My parents took me to the Ashford outlet last weekend where I compulsively bought some new Skechers.  I don’t even need them.  Ashford was actually a bit disappointing and in no way matches up to my trusty Swindon outlet, but it was good to have a change.  I’ve also bought a lot of Tatty Devine, including two wishlist items.  Ooo, and the Liberty beauty advent calendar which is tempting me from the bedroom as I type.  When is it December?

Brunching
Like the trendy, young people we are (ahem) Tim and I went for brunch at The Refinery at Bankside.  We’d been there once before for his birthday which was most enjoyable then and brunch was equally enjoyable.  I was very surprised that it wasn’t really busy – my pancakes were delicious and not expensive so it’s surprising to me that we walked straight in.  I’ll definitely be going back for yet more pancakes.

Culturing
After brunch, we visited the Tate Modern to see the World Goes Pop exhibition.  I hadn’t really considered that most of the Pop Art I’ve seen and appreciated is American and British, and this exhibition showed stuff from all over the world – Asia, the Middle East, Latin America.  It was political, feminist, folksy and all very mind-expanding.  Many vaginas with mirrors, including some in a beautiful room byJana Želibská that I really liked.  The final room was really disorienting – repeat pattern wallpaper by Thomas Bayrle which made my eyes dizzy, sexually explicit films which a bunch of gay men seemed really into, and a radio advert on repeat which almost drove me insane.  Lovely bit of neon by Chryssa Vardea in there though.  We then had a lovely walk down the river, and sat outside the Oxo Tower until we were frozen having one of our legendary conversations.    

More shopping
As we made out way into one of the Tate’s shops, I told Tim a fascinating story about how one of my biggest regrets was the day I didn’t buy a Tatty Devine/Tate necklace that I saw in the shop years ago.  I could see the jewellery cabinet was still in the same place it’s always been in, and thought I’d have a look at their current selection. AND SAW THE REGRETFUL NECKLACE!  I hesitated for a moment – originally £160 and now at half price, it was still more than I’d budgeted for the day.  But Tim’s wry knowing smile gave me all the encouragement I needed, and I snapped it up – the last one they had.  He really is a bad influence on me.

Buffy-ing
I’m now done with my Buffy rewatch, having watched almost 2 and a half seasons in the last three weeks.  Angel’s on hold for the moment, mostly because I couldn’t be bothered to chop-and-change the DVDs in the drive.  I forgot how ridiculously melodramatic season 6 was, and how season 7 all runs into one.  I could never remember the difference between “Bring on the Night”, “Showtime”, “Get It Done”.  The whole middle of season 7 was just pointless.  However, I do still think “Once More With Feeling” is one of the best episodes of television of all time.  And 7 improved dramatically when Eliza Dushku turned up.  God bless Faith.

Waiting
But the waiting is now over, as a very jet-lagged Husband has returned.  I got to the airport way early as I was far too excited, and then burst into tears when I saw him walk through the arrivals hall.  The relief at finally being able to see him, be able to talk to him, is almost overwhelming.  He crashed a couple of hours ago as the time difference has broken him, but hopefully we can quickly get back back into our happy routine.

Last night, I ate the best cake of my life

WeddingThe last couple of weeks have been… emotional to say the least.  On any normal day, there’s usually something that makes me wobble – animals being cute, internet stories being a bit too real, friends and family being adorable – but October has tested my emotional resilience to the max.

First up, saying goodbye to Husband as he travelled 7000 miles away for a three week work trip.  My goodness, that was hard.  I drop him off at the airport all the time as he’s forever going somewhere, but never this far and never for this long.  I got home from Heathrow Terminal 4 and just got into bed as I was so wrung out.  This is the longest we’ve ever been apart, and the time difference is a killer so we haven’t even been able to chat over Hangouts that much.  It’s the WORST.

In spectacularly bad timing on his part, the weekend after he left was Ryan and Nikki’s wedding, something I have been counting down to for a good long while.  Not just because I love weddings (I really do), but because I had been asked to be a bridesmaid which was super exciting for me.

I’ve been a bridesmaid once before, a very long time ago (I was also on my own at that wedding – why will no partner ever see me bridesmaid!) and it’s a job I loved.  One of the best parts of the day was helping Nikki put her dress on – I hate to be sappy, but it felt like a real honour.  And she looked beautiful – I’ve shown photos of the bride to whole bunch of different people who have all declared how much they love her dress.

I made a decision to not take any photos.  I’m forever taking photos of things – on holiday, in restaurants, just out walking – so this time, I left my phone and my camera in my room and just allowed myself to experience the day.  And OK, I took a couple at the end of the day (I couldn’t skip doing my Project 365) but I’ve been able to steal photos from their Wedpics account, like the photo at the top.  I have an entire album full of gorgeous photos from the day and I didn’t lift a finger.  I can’t wait for the official ones.

The whole day was filled with love, and I was genuinely sad when it was over and everyone trundled off to their hotels.  Quickly, someone else plan a wedding!

But just to warn any future wedding planners, I will cry; probably more than is healthy, possibly more than the actual people getting married.  Sorry about that.

We wend our way through the longest part of the day

Green Room2

Thursday felt like an insanely long day.  It was the penultimate day of Ryan, Tim, Husband, and my Work Week Hustle Fitbit Challenge and I was determined not to be last (Tim and Husband were in a whole other league to Ryan and I).  As it turns out, the 20,000 steps I did on Thursday nudged me firmly into third place so I was happy with that.

The day started with a trip to the University of Winchester for a very productive meeting (and a productive 3000 steps).  In the afternoon, I jumped back on the train into London.  I wanted to go to Selfridges to visit Tatty Devine, but South West Trains messed me about so much that I ran out of time.  I did manage to make it to Liberty though where I visited my favourite section of the store, Co Bigelow.  I credit their Mentha shampoo with curing the mild alopecia areata that I suffered from a couple of years ago, so wanted to stock up on some more.  Plus, who doesn’t love a trip to Liberty.

Liberty CoBigelow

Super cute neon!

After my mini-spree, I walked back down Regent Street to meet Tim at Leicester Square and we walked over to our newest favourite South Bank restaurant, The Green Room.  Tim had found an offer for BOGOF burgers, so it seemed a perfect place for our Christmas gift exchange.  The restaurant is full of props and recycled items from The National Theatre, great food, and very happy staff, and I very much enjoyed spritzing my vinegar onto my chips!

We both bought each other a book and an item very much South Bank based, purely coincidentally but it shows how well we know each other.  I already started reading my copy of The Secret History of Wonder Woman on the train on the way back, and my Mini Moderns tea towel with a print of the Royal Festival Hall’s carpet (long story) has taken pride of place in my kitchen.  I also got a bonus gifty of Adam and Joe’s XFM shows – WOO!

Husband had already warned me not to let Tim walk too far (they were engaged in their own step battle) so we only did one lap around Waterloo.  Also because my beautiful Nike x Liberty trainers were killing me.

I had a very good night sleep after my 10 miles.  And we’re all taking the week off challenges now.  Maybe a month.

Stumbling through irrelevant crowds to make their rendezvous

CamdenPassage2Last weekend, after our amazing visit to Present and Correct pumped us up, Tim and I decided to have a bit more of a wander around Angel and Islington.  I really liked what we find.  Really liked it.  I’ve said before that I’m not a big fan of London but everything about this area appealed to me.

We found Camden Passage straight away, and manoeuvred ourselves passed the queue for The Breakfast Club to look in all the little shops along the way.  I dragged Tim into Smug which OMG I loved (and I’ve just discovered their blog as well, which might fill the hole that Domestic Sluttery has left).  Emerging out the other side, we went into Waterstones and performed our usual ritual of commentary around the piles of books.  We then decided we were hungry and The Goodlife Diner was calling.  We had breakfast.  YES!

They were good pancakes.

Not wanting to go home quite yet, we then made our way over to the Regent’s Canal and had a lovely walk down to Kings Cross.

There were lots of people out enjoying the sunshine, cycling or walking down the canal path.  I want to go back and try The Filling Station at some point – I’d seen that online and looks so unusual.  There was a worrying moment (well, worrying for me) when the path we were walking down was closed and we were sent out onto a temporary structure on the water.  It was a bit wibbly – I’m not the most confident near water.

Our ultimate goal was Camley Street Natural Park and we finally dragged ourselves round the corner only to be greeted by this.

Regents canal 5BLOODY CLOSED!  ON A SATURDAY!  Gutted.  Ultimately, it might have been for the best because by this point, we’d walked about 10 miles in the heat.  Ooof.  Slightly grimy and sweaty, we walked over to Kings Cross to get the tube back to Waterloo, noting that bizarrely, the Kings Cross mural has been amended to remove Zooey Deschanel’s beautiful face.  Convenient.

I had to jump in the shower as soon as I got home to wash the yuck off, but this was probably the most enjoyable 10 miles I’ve walked in a long time!

You got spirit, yes you do!

PCC VM

Finally, the Prince Charles Cinema got ahold of the Veronica Mars Movie, so I of course jumped at the opportunity to see the film in my favourite cinema seat in the UK.  Tim was kind enough to come with me, despite the fact the poor lamb seemed exhausted, and I met him after work in Soho Square which is looking a bit grimy since the last time I was there.

We wandered into Soho to Honest Burger for some yummy honest burgers.  They’d kindly sorted out a table for us really quickly so there was no wait at all, which was pretty lucky as I was starving.  I was initially confused by not having a fork, but I went with it as I didn’t want to appear to be a nerd and dug in with my fingers.  Tim’s homemade lemonade looked delicious, and I regretted not having it but overall, I really enjoyed trying out somewhere I hadn’t been before.

Looking for something sweet, we stopped in to Scoop Gelato where I managed not to spill coffee and chocolate gelato down me and we continued our always random and obscure chat, which is what I’ve come to love from my Tim dates.

DSC_1412

I think this is the first time I’ve been to the Prince Charles Cinema without getting straight into pyjamas, and it felt a bit weird sitting without a blanket and a bag full of snacks to get me through the night, but we did manage to get our usual seats so I was happy.  The screening was part of the PCC’s Geek Out series (they’ve previously had Serenity) so there was a quick check to see if anyone was in fancy dress – I had briefly considered going as a dead Lilly Kane (not really) but no one else was playing.  Then a quick quiz, which I’m pretty sure we would have won if we’d taken part.

And then the film.  I have seen it a couple of times on Blu-Ray since my one and only cinema screening, coincidentally round the corner from the PCC, but I purposely haven’t watched it since booking these tickets.  It still made me laugh and jump in all the right places, but I only cried once this time.  Tim giggled at everything Dick Casablancas said, and I giggled when he failed to put his bum on the seat on the way back from the bathroom.  It was lovely seeing it at the PCC, and I hope this isn’t the last time I get to see it at the cinema.

In order to get our step counts up, we walked back from Leicester Square to Waterloo, through the groups of drunken morose England fans (HA!), and then I jumped onto the train waiting to take me back home.

In fact, it was decreed by its creator that this place shall never age

Thorpe park

I live about half an hour away from Thorpe Park so when when the idea of a trip comes up, it’s quite easy to say yes.  Especially when there’s the promise of a free trip.    Some kind of witchcraft was done and a pass was produced that let us get in without paying – amazing!

TPI’m certainly not a veteran of the park, but I’ve been a few times so I know what rides I like.  I know Nemesis Inferno makes me sick, Colossus batters my head and spine, and the water rides make me a little grumpy, so I avoid those and go straight for my favourites.

We headed for Saw straight away as the ride time was listed as 5 minutes.  This, of course, was a giant lie but the queue was really fast moving and it wasn’t long until we were on the first ride of the day.  I love Saw and it makes me scream and giggle like a mentalist – everyone likes sitting next to me as I’m such a source of amusement.  It was on this first ride that I realised my decision to wear a dress was incredibly stupid, and I would appear in most of the photos desperately trying to stop it from flying up.

SawAfter Saw, we hopped on Samurai which never fails to amuse me, before walking over to Stealth, almost getting distracted with the sight of a Henry Hoover cuddly toy (mainly me).  We were pretty pleased with ourselves by our progress so far, and the park really wasn’t very busy so as the sun came out, we expected to be done with Stealth pretty quickly and on to lunch.  The queue didn’t seem that long at all, and certainly the shortest I’ve ever seen it.  And then we waited.  And waited.  And waited.  We realised that they only had one car on so it took forever to get to the front and we may have gone a little mad with hunger and sun exposure.

Stealth

Stealth queue But then we were on, and up, and down again, and all was right with the world.  Bless you Stealth, you trusty classic.   We trundled off to the Calypso BBQ for some food which we did eventually get after a long queue to order and a longer wait to get the food.  They also need to get bigger tables as we couldn’t quite all fit comfortably, but they all did their best.  I developed a mini-crush on employee Drew who was RIDICULOUSLY adorable, Tim punched a man into spilling his drink (accidentally of course), and we all stuffed our faces with burgers and lattice fries.  Yum.

And then the newest ride at Thorpe Park, Swarm, which is admittedly 2 years old now.  I remember being not particularly impressed with it two years ago as it felt far too safe and I managed to pull my shoulder out, but thought I may as well go on it again.  The queue here was really short as well, so we actually went on it twice – once forwards and straight back on it to go backwards.

Swarm2There was much discussion in the queue about what the Swarm actually was.  Were we battling the Swarm?  We were the Swarm?  I don’t think anyone knows, including the marketing people at Thorpe Park who seemed to change their mind halfway through coming up with the theme but they’d done a fair job at making the whole place into a disaster scene.  I’m pretty sure this is the only ride I’ve ever done sitting both forwards and backwards and whilst I was still pretty ‘meh’ at the forwards, the backwards was AMAZING.  We got strapped in at the back of the ride, and it only really hit me about a second before moving off that we wouldn’t be going forwards.  I loved not knowing what was coming and seeing what you’ve ‘missed’ once you’ve gone passed it was so fun – like the billboard that wasn’t there in 2012.  Going up the first incline seeing the view from the back was actually quite stunning and we could see for miles.  Backwards was definitely my favourite, and a much shorter queue too.

SwarmPeople needed caffeine and a sit down at this point – we’re not young folk anymore – so we stopped at the “meat baguette” place to get harassed by some geese.  I thought we’d done pretty well so far but we hadn’t yet done my favourite so I dragged everyone to the only non-S ride we’d do that day – Rush.

Rush

I love Rush- this is a pretty terrible photo for such a great ride but the queue moved so quickly that I didn’t get a chance to photograph it properly.  I was going to GIF it, but it comes out a bit pixelly.  No matter.  Only four of us went on, which was a bit ironic as Rach pointed out this was the only ride that we’d all fit in one row.  The hydraulic noise immediately makes me so excited and the swinging sensation is so relaxing.  My favourite thing is to look backwards when you get horizontal, although it made me miss Jaina as we used to do this together!  It’s also hilarious to watch the other riders, and one woman in particular made me laugh with the utter fear written across her face.

With about an hour left until the park closed, we thought we could sneak one more ride in, so Ryan, Nikki, and I went on Saw again whilst the others very graciously waited.  The queue was a bit longer, but not quote long enough for me to digest my coke so I got a bit hiccuppy actually on the ride.

We were all pretty tired by this point, and I’d ended up with very localised sunburn, so we started to make our way back to our various cars.  I drove Tim back to the station and I ended up on a mission to find Husband a wired keyboard where I ended up buying some My Little Pony PJs.  I think the other shoppers in Tesco were quite wary of the slightly sunburnt, grimy woman, stumbling about the shop with arms full of 80’s themed PJs and computer hardware.  And milk.

I feel a bit battered and bruised today, and I’ve yet to regain full movement in my weary arms.  My knees aren’t too happy either but it was worth it to spend the day hyped up on adrenalin with my favourite people.  As Tim and I noted, there was a bit of a UKIP vibe to the Thorpe Park customers, and I do wish they’d ban smoking like Disney have, but as the park wasn’t nearly as busy as normal, we managed to avoid most of the crowds.  And I only a saw a couple of stag and hen parties!  31st May – good day to go.

You’re Norman Bates with a briefcase

Corrie flowers

A couple of months ago, I was sat in a conference hall in Manchester listening to a very important man talk about very important things, whilst sneaking a look at Twitter.  Tim and Rach were in the middle of a conversation about Coronation Street tour tickets going on sale, and because I don’t know how to mind my own business, I butted in and demanded to go with them.  About 10 minutes later, the tickets were booked and I immediately began to get a bit giddy like a dork.

I haven’t watched Coronation Street for a very long time so I have completely lost touched with what’s going on.  However, I spent quite a large proportion of my childhood watching the soap opera with my parents, and I still remember so many story lines – that kind of nonsense never leaves my brain.

Last weekend, we finally made the journey up to Manchester.  On the train, no less.  Which in hindsight perhaps wasn’t a good idea because of goddamned maintenance near Euston.  It also appears as though pretty much everyone in the south was travelling to Manchester that Saturday, so much of our journey was spent rammed into the carriages.  I chose this moment to put my assertiveness training to the test when I discovered some drunk hen party attendees were sat in our seats, but I think the sweet old man who sat opposite us had it worse as he had to endure their penis straws for longer than us.  Bless you, old man.  Bless you.

Sheffield station

EVERYONE FROM THE SOUTH

We eventually made it to Manchester Piccadilly, slightly sweaty and getting more bolshy by the second (mainly me).  We were staying at The Place Aparthotel, just around the corner from Piccadilly, and although we were too early to check in, it was easy enough to dump our stuff.  The receptionist did his best to confuse us (“I was just going to call you – would you like two apartments?”  No.  How about you give us what we booked?) but all was OK as we walked over to Quay Street Studios.  But first – LUNCH!  We found Taps Pour House in the Great Northern Square where I got giggly at the thought of pouring our own beer.  And I don’t even like beer!

Taps

Tim was an expert.  Rach made me pour hers and I was… not an expert.  You might say I was TERRIBLE.  I have decided not to become a barwoman.  Yes, the pub was gimmicky, but the food was great even though they forgot my sweet potato fries.

Sufficiently stuffed, we wandered over to the tour, got our backstage passes (HEE!) and waited a few minutes for the tour to start.  We had a great tour guide who showed us the behind the scenes stuff first of all – the green room with many many pigeon holes for the actors, the dressing rooms – mostly closed but with a couple of open doors – the costume room, and corridor upon corridor of depressing wallpaper.  What struck us was how crappy everything was, which sounds bad but it’s fascinating to see what the cast and crew had to live with.  When you think of a TV show, you think of fancy furniture and decor but they really didn’t have this at Corrie.  It was a little bit like an old folks home which was astounding.  No wonder why they went over to a new studio.

We were then shown a short montage of clips featuring many from my era.  I felt myself getting quite teary at some points.  Oh shut up, you would too.  The montage room was like a holding pen as we had to wait for the tour before us to move on – they’ve got quite a slick operation with tours every 10 minutes.  Next up – sets.  We saw Gail’s kitchen and living room, and Carla’s flat (I wasn’t too sure who Carla was) and then the tour guide pulled out the big one – the Rovers.  We sat in one of the booths (MORE HEE!) and the guide gave us the opportunity to have our photo taken behind the bar.  HELL YES.  We didn’t have to buy it (we did) but it was so fun to just be behind the bar.

Out through the toilet door, we saw a couple more sets including the Underworld knicker factory, a barge (again, I wasn’t familiar with this plot) and Jack and Vera’s living room.  I started to get a bit emotional again as the guide pointed out the chair that Jack and Vera had died in, then a bit creeped out, before I remembered that no one actually died in the chair and that this was all fictional.

We were marched through the production suite, the guide telling us that this was the boring bit.  Yeah, maybe boring for some people but this nerd wanted to see their tech!  Their Christmas decorations were still up as they’d moved out over Christmas a few years back and there were some holes in the wall where they’d taken some tech to the new studios, but we were whizzed through this bit so I couldn’t look at it in that much detail.

We were gathered up in front of some doors which we guessed would be the doors to the street and the end of the formal part of the tour.  Tim commented that the tour was quite theme tune light as we hadn’t heard it at all by this point but of course they were saving this until the end.  She pressed a button, the doors flew open, the theme tune started, and I cheered.  No really, I did.

We hadn’t been allowed to take any photos so far but when we were let loose on the iconic street, we were allowed to go nuts.  And we did.  We spent ages wandering around the houses, the gardens, Rosamund Street, Victoria Street.  So long that the guy at the photo counter felt the need to comment on it.  Hey, we needed to get our money’s worth!

We reluctantly dragged ourselves away and back to the hotel and checked in to our RIDICULOUSLY HUGE apartment.  We had a living room, two bedrooms, two bathrooms, and kitchen, and we could very easily get lost in it.  Such a great base for our weekend.  I had a quick shower to get the train grim off me, and then we went pretty much straight out to Missoula and The Alchemist for dinner and cocktails.  I don’t drink very often, so two cocktails sent me into La La Land.  I got giggly at pretty much anything (including a poncho sold in Londis).

Cocktail

The Alchemist was great fun as we watched the insane cocktails being made.  Conical flasks, bunsen burners, mini-saucepans, and lots and lots of fire.  So much fire that a woman’s handbag got set on fire at one point.  She seemed ok with that.  After waiting far too long to get served (I am out of practice for bars), I had my Cola Bottle Libra which I was amazed to discover tasted exactly like cola bottles (kinda the point).  

I avoided a hangover on Sunday morning (YES!) and we trundled back down to the much quieter Missoula for some yummy breakfast and 100% less Rihanna than the previous evening.  Our train journey back was much more relaxed as well, despite having to race to get our connecting train as The Train Line had horribly miscalculated the journey.  Thanks for that.

It was a whirlwind trip to Manchester, but so much fun.  I have now vowed to not look at another long distance train for another year as two days after Manchester, I was on another train to York (and back, on the same day) for a meeting.  I’m tired just thinking about it.

You can see more of my photos on my Flickr.

Let the seasons turn

River Thames

In the bright spring sunshine, I took a drive to see my BFF’s brand new amazing digs in south London.  I donated a vintage Poang (yes, vintage), had a nosey around, poured a bucket of scorn on his bookshelf organisation, and we then went for a wander to explore his new neighbourhood.

And I love his new neighbourhood – I’ve always said that I couldn’t live in London, but some of the wharfs along the thames are stunningly beautiful.  I could quite happily while away the hours on my own balcony watching the boats go passed.

We stopped for lunch at the amazing Greenwich Union pub – I want this as my local!

Greenwich Union

Next up, was an incredibly stressful ice cream ordering experience at Black Vanilla.  Beautiful ice cream, but the tension levels were high in that shop!

Black Vanilla

We walked a little further along the river up to the statue of Peter the Great, where I fell in love with some more apartments and Tim stared a small statue in the face.

St Peter

We then went back to Tim’s and amused ourselves by watching emergency vehicles trying to get through traffic.  It’s really addictive – I had to drag myself away!

Greenwich

I got home and immediately loaded up Right Move to find and find myself an apartment with a view – I found a really nice one in Wapping but it is currently on the market for £6.5 million, so I might need to save up for a bit.

Restaurants are minefields for the socially inept

Canteen menu

The past few weeks have exhausted me.  And tragically, the chores are not complete yet because we have bought a new kitchen.  This is extraordinarily exciting, but it’s also led to the almost GUTTING of the rest of the house, as we very quickly have to find temporary homes for the current contents of our knackered, broken kitchen.

My internal chant throughout all of the tidying has been “imagine when it’s done; imagine how amazing it will be” and that so far seems to be working.  And my little treat of dinner and deferred Christmas present swap with the BFF was just what I needed as a mid-renovation reward.

We went to Canteen on the Southbank, which is our locale of choice these days and despite the ordering taking so long that a set menu expired, it was actually a really lovely place to go.  Lots of 1970s-esque booths and furniture, and so spacious.  I really enjoyed my fish finger sandwich and chips, and I think Tim liked his pie and mash.

DSC_8248

After our incredibly long dinner, we went for a wander round to our Singing Lift which was sadly out of order, and then continued our nattering to Waterloo station.  I’m very much looking forward to watching, reading, and using my Christmas presents of Helvetica, The Comedian (the first film to feature a Mild Concern citation), Just my Type, and some very cute Wonder Woman coasters.  He knows me so well.

But there will be no fun until after the kitchen is done.  The next two weekend are pretty much exclusively taken up by tidying, tidying, tidying, and a heck of a lot of visits to the dump.  I want to sleep just thinking about it.

By the way, the title is from The Rosie Project which is my favourite book of 2014 so far.  It doesn’t refer to either Tim or I.  Well, maybe me just a little bit.  I was on the verge of tears throughout most of it – so beautifully written.

Grace, put yourself down for a towel too.

PCC Christmas

Last night was the 9th Prince Charles Cinema Pyjama Party, and the theme this time was Christmas films.  I haven’t been to a PJ party for ages, and unfortunately, I appear to be out of practice as I slept through about half of it.  TERRIBLE!  I clearly had not re-read the tips for how to survive.

Tim and I met for dinner beforehand, and we still haven’t managed to figure out what food is good for keeping awake as I dragged him to a carb heavy italian place.  We had food that was either too mushroomy or too peppery, and then rushed over to Cafe Nero for my injection of caffeine.

We made our way to the Prince Charles, fought our way through the crowds when the doors opened and into our favourite seats – score!  The cinema was surprising empty – I thought it would be more popular – but it did mean there was more space to get comfy despite the feet that appeared through the seats next to me.  The temperature was just a little bit too cold, which was perfect for me as it meant I could wrap myself up in my matryoshka doll PJs and Ikea Gurli blanket without getting too overheated.  There’s nothing worse than a warm slumber party.

Quick sidenote – the member of staff playing Father Christmas was hilarious.  He was clearly uncomfortable and a tad embarrassed about being stood on the stage in a costume and kept giggling to himself whilst trying to talk in a Father Christmas deep voice.  He ended his ‘skit’ by saying “I’ve been Santa” which made me laugh a lot.  Oscar for this man!

First up, Scrooged and I had forgotten how funny this film was.  The hysteria normally reserved for 4am had already started for us, particularly when one character yelled “OOO, Claire gurl!” completely out of nowhere.  Bill Murray was acting the crap out of it, and I got giggly thinking about him playing his Bob Harris in Lost in Translation in the same tone as Frank Cross.

Then a brilliant double bill – Home Alone and Home Alone 2: Lost in New York.  I cannot count how many times my brother and I watched these films, and we used to drive our parents mad by constantly quoting it.  Watching it as an adult gave me a different perspective and it made it an incredibly disturbing film to watch.  Joe Pesci has the skin melted off his head.  Twice!  I worried about the risk of infection.  Still hilarious though.  One woman behind us could barely control herself.

And this is when I then fell asleep.  I had agreed to myself that I could have a little nap during National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation, which by the way is a horrible film.  I thought I’d try watching a bit of it, but the recent troubles on the set of Community have made me rethink Chevy Chase, and scenes like the one with the lingerie sales assistant are just creepy.  So I napped until Elf.

And then I napped during most of Elf.

And then I napped during most of  The Muppet Christmas Carol.

This was not my intention (although Tim rightly pointed out that I was turned sideways to the screen with my head resting on the chair) but I did at least want to enjoy Zooey Deschanel.  Instead, I gave myself a crick in my neck and odd dreams about Muppets.  I did find Michael Caine’s very straight performance in A Christmas Carol very funny (the 20 minutes I actually saw).

And then before I knew it (mainly because of the sleeping), we were turfed out onto the early morning London streets and we both wandered our different ways home.  Husband treated me to a cooked breakfast at our local Harvester (which seemed insanely cheap) and then more sleeping.  Hopefully I’ll be in a decent state to actually make it through work tomorrow.