Tuesday, June 05, 2007

Arrival: London 07

Our plane left Melbourne last friday night at around 11pm- which was good.

We popped some herbal sleeping pills, put the ear plugs in and the eye masks down and passed out for the next 7 hrs, waking up at around 5am as we approached Hong Kong.

It was a humid morning in HK. Temps of 31 degree's with some light showers clearing.

Lush green hills surrounded the airport.
1.5 hrs later we were back on the plane heading towards London.

An hr into the flight we discovered NONE of the onboard entertainment worked in our seats. Neither did the reading lights. Water started to drip from the ceiling above the seats infront.

12 hrs to go- with NOTHING to do.

I chose to obtain a trance-like mediative state. Staring into nothingness, not moving (which was lucky- AS THERE IS NO ROOM TO MOVE IN ECONOMY!).

Ains chose to weep. Weep, despair and get free vouchers for duty free from the air stewards.

Amazingly, somehow, we made it to heathrow with our lives and relationship intact. We lost some sanity though.

However we were quickly re-introduced to London bullshit incompatence as our plane made it's way to the gate.

There was no gate for us....

We had to wait on the airstrip for 30 mins while Heathrow, y'know, found somewhere we could, like... GET OFF!

Then.... once we got to a gate.... we had to wait a further 40 mins while, y'know, Heathrow found some landing crew to, like, open the FUCKING DOORS!

The air stewards started of appeasing the passenegrs with good humour, but by the end of it they stated "We'd try and tell you a joke, but quite frankly we're as pissed off as you guys!"

Once off and through customs we had to, like, wait another 45-60 mins for our baggage to get OFF THE PLANE!

I think only one baggade handler was actually working that day. I think he had to walk to the plane, grab a hand full of bags, walk all the way to the baggage carousel, throw them on it, stop for his smoko, then repeat.

Heathrow have aplan to appease the customers when waiting for their luggage. They throw a decoy bag out on the carosel that gets everyones hope up. But after 20 mins of watching this bag go around without getting picked up, you soon realise the scam.

Anyways, FINALLY with our bags claimed, we made or way OUT! Ainslie had to step right into her sisters Hens' party while I made my way to The Rad pad, Borough.

Once off the train and into London I was hit with the smell of London in summer and that pugent scent sparked a stream of really good memories. Such adventures we had!

London in summer is truly fantastic! Everyone is out and in very good moods. The weather is super! The sun is your friend here, not the burning sphere of destruction it is in Australia. There is loads of stuff to see and do and there is a real sense of inspiration and awe!

After a shower and change of clothes I went to a friends bbq, where I zombied through the night. Then crashed for a solid nights sleep!

Sunday ex house mates, Anika and Anna and I walked to Spitafield markets where we meet up with two other good friends. Had an amazing cheap lunch! (You can get cheap, good food in London- it just takes awhile to work out HOW).

The girls were going to spend the rest of the afternoon in the park, but i had to jump on a train and head north of London in Harpendon to a family get together. Traditonal English roast!

Oh yeah... daylight saving!! It was still light at 10pm when we jumped on a train to come back!

Yesterday (monday) we walked into the city via the whiskey shop. Nice way to start the morning while spending about an hr talking scotch and getting free tastes of top premium single malts. It was great! The great thing of scotch is the diversity of noise and palletes! It almost rivals wine!

I think I know what purchases I'll be making at the end of the week. Got my eye on a rare lowland malt that's no longer in production- and it's a reasonable price! Ains has her eye on another lowland malt thats quite fruity and flowery. It has a nose of peaches and pink carnations!

After getting a nice buzz on we were going to the Tate Modern, but we passed that and crossed the Millenium Bridge and headed towards St Pauls Catherdral- my favourite building in London. We were hungry so we hit a beautiful pub designed in the early 1900's in Blackfriars for a pint of English ale (Timothy Taylors) and some pub grub!

We then walked up to Travalgar Square and went to the National Portrait Gallery- which was ace and very inspiring!

Followed by a coffee break then a spot of shopping in Covent Garden and then back home.

The old neighbourhood is looking pretty good. Less like a warzone ghetto and more like a nice area. The high street has a few new restaurants and we had dinner at one of them. Lebanese.
Once again, great food and amazingly for London- excellant service! We drank a quite nice Lebanese white wine!

Today Ains has gone out to face the BRUTAL Oxford Street shops. I couldn't bare it, so I'm just chilling at the flat- planning to do some work type applications and maybe head out for adventure this afternoon.

There's a rabbit warren of back alleys and shops in between Carnaby St and Soho that I want to explore. I also want to return to the Natural History Museum and get a photo of the Blue Whale skeleton- but if I go alone- who'll take the photo of me and the whale??

Or I might pop into my old work. I was planning on doing that later in the week but.

London is RAD!