Where the Wi-Fi at?
As close as London is to home, I do not get to play host as often as i would like. Therefore, when the opportunity for a visit comes my way from the pals back home i tend to jump on it like a car bonnet. Although, i would never, jump on a car bonnet. First off, i don’t own a car and i have seen far to many road rage interactions between taxi men screaming at people for touch the hood of there cars. Besides i don’t tend to jump, not much. Not really ever. Unless of course a song i just love comes on in a club. Then who does jump up and down like a little girl shouting ‘OH MY GOD’? Me just me? No? You at the back? No you don’t agree, ok just me, moving on.
A few weeks ago i had the pleasure of playing host, to friends from home. My good friend Elaine, and of course the bestie Sinead. They were over for a weekend of fanciful fun frills. They would be staying a entire friday through to the weekend. Game on. I get to show them what my life in London’s all about, how i spent my evenings, and my days off. Dinner out, drinks at trendy bars, mornings at museums, lunch at the best locations and of course dancing the night away in the hottest clubs. Of course its a fecking show. As soon as a friend books the flights you shout great cant wait *takes spoon of ice-cream out of mouth, lowers laptop off lap, looks at clock on beside table to check the time. Oh its 9:00 o clock on a saturday night and i’m already in bed, sounds about right.* If you really decided to take your friends on the average day in your life, there would be a lot of visiting the bank and post office, shopping in Sainsbury’s and hours of them sitting in the bathroom watching as you groom yourself to death. So you do what any normal person would do, show them a months worth of activity in one weekend to insure its not in the remote bit relaxing and border line stressful as you try to keep to a airtight strict schedule in the effort of fitting all the fun activities in. Great as i said game on.
Is it just me, or any time a irish person boards a plane to visit you in london, the heavens open up to shower the place down in pissing rain for the majority of there visit? Is it to insure they do not get too homesick, or too comfortable to a place that isn’t 75% rain? Waking up the friday to be greeted by a storm brewing, must be the day they arrive. Victoria was the happy middle ground to meet the visitors as i travel through the station daily on route to work, and they can hop on a bus. Buses from london airports are not my thing, they take too long and you always have to deal with some random bugger sitting down next too you with his luggage at his feet basically barricading you inside. There is a undercarriage on a bus for a reason you bastard. After the ‘HEY YA’’S swift hugs, we joined the queue to get them some travel cards. This is my lest favourite part of the weekend. Elaine was a first timer and had to go whole hog and get a oyster card and top up, Sinead a frequent flyer just needed to top up. This in itself is a fine task, its the line of tourist in front that make it a balls.
‘How much to Piccadilly circus?’
‘The oyster travel card is 5 pounds, if you top up by 5 pounds you can get to Piccadilly circus and have extra credit still left on your card for another journey’.
‘5 pounds for the card, and then 5 pounds top up for the card’.
‘No sorry, how much to Piiiicccadilllllieee Cirrrrrus?’
*ticket station worker rubs brow in frustration and repeats the same sentence again*
‘How much to piccadilly circus?’
After around 10 minutes of back and forth, usually the tourists gets the message and buys the pass and moves on. The whole process then starts again with every single fecking person ahead of you in the queue.
As it was Elaine’s first time in london, i need expect the usual frustration with the tube, but to hand it to her, she was cool as a cucumber about the whole thing. ‘Stand to the right Elaine’ ‘ok cool, no bother’. You have to stand back from the barrier Elaine as to not block the sensor’ ‘ Ok cool, no bother’. ‘Elaine the drive has asked can he strap you to the top of the tube carriage to save space?’. ‘Yeah no bother at all’. Irish manors the entire way, saying no bother or i’m grand, even when your not, cause lets be honest, no one really truly cares if your not grand. The girl is a trooper, i would challenge any of you to get her angry. *Challenge accepted, said Elaine’s small very convenient travelling suitcase on wheels*.
Where the Wi-Fi at?
Like anyone visiting a friends house they were all like ‘ where the free food at? Where the wi-fi at? Where the drinks at? Christ people can be so demanding. Love you guys really. I have never considered myself OCD about how clean and tidy i can be. That is until i have friends over staying in my personal space. Then, i become a space invading cleaner from one of them spanish resorts that mutters how messy your room is while your still there. The girls had to put with my tidying up any thing they left on a surface for more then 20 seconds. ‘ Ray i am still wearing them’ says Sinead as i try to tidy her shoes that are still on her feet under my bed.
Our first activity of the morning was to Frequent the V&A museum, which as it turned out had a very nice exhibition on ‘Club to the Catwalk’ London Fashion in the 1980’s. Here we met up with Chris and wandered around the exhibit oohing and awhing in the appropriate places. There was a very fecking annoying lady coughing up a lung as she wandered around talking extremely loudly. At one point as i was leaning in to look at the detail of some studded leggings, the bitch full blown coughed up in my face, she got a dirty look and a muttered ‘ oh christ you dirty bitch’ for that one. Seriously grab some manners when you grab a tissue.
I paid for it, I'm having it
As i had never been, i organised a bit of a treat in the form of afternoon tea for the 4 of us. This took place in a hotel in bloomsbury. Nothing makes you feel more out of place, then a bit of posh nosh in a place you have never been before. Lucky for us, the place was empty. We were seating in a table in the centre, there appeared to be a work conference taking place in the hotel as periodically a business man or woman would come out and sit on the couched seating that surround the dinner tables. They spent there time on the phone, while staring jealously at the delicious display of food at our table. The food was amazing, if only i could eat mini everything all day long. I completely understand now why ladies do lunch. I would totally be all up in its face if i had known this was what was waiting for me at the table. I feel like marrying a dying elderly man who has loads of money just so i can lunch everyday like this, like Marie Antoinette bitches.
I do not know what it is about nice locations, but they tend to bring out the secret kleptomania in myself. Its like as soon as you entire a building that does not have everything from the pens to the chairs nailed down you want to start stuffing your bag with what the idiots have left without a security tag as if it is labelled free. ‘Oh wow look at all the colourful pillows on the couch, they look so soft’ . Secretly i think, how many of them could i fit in my bag? The girls come back from the bathroom to gush how there are loads of hot towels and hand cream at every sink, i think, oh i wonder would the cream be secure enough to be in my bag next to the pillows without opening and damaging them? ‘The pictures on the walls are really nice aren't they. Now here is where i draw the line. Come on guys, please be realistic, with all the pillows and creams in my bag, i wont be able to fit all those 5 foot stainless steel framed pictures of Fruit in my bag. Oh go on then, lets see how many we can get. Did you guys enjoy your food *yes it was lovely, as i waddle to the door, with a chair glued to my backside*.
Now as all your irish ladies know out there, a trip to London would never be complete without a trip to a giant over sized Primark so you can fill your travel bag brimming full with all their glorious bargains. This is my idea of hell, i hate the place, the people the smell, the people. As it was a must and literally they would not take no for answer i let them loose on the nicer of the evil shops in tottenham court road. I tried i really did for 5 minutes, until i over heard one lady go ‘ there is snot all over this t shirt’ and my feet were trod on a couple of times - fuck this shit. Il wait outside. After 45 minutes Sinead finally appears, flustered from the war like situation that is trying to pay but invigorated by the bargains.
All the Single Ladies
As both ladies are lovely and single, it only seemed fitting that a straight nightclub for the night of drinks was a must. To many times had they come bopping along to the various gay club locations only to be surrounded by many men who were not interested drinking the milkshake that they were bringing to the yard. As it was still pissing rain, we decided to keep the location of the club as local as possible, so Camden was the choice. KOKO was decided upon of course after a few drinks at the Worlds End. I love the Worlds End, the place cracks me up, its the biggest load of miss matched people all huddled together in what looks like an abandoned B&B drinking away to heavy metal music, whats not to love about that? Although from what i remember, the ladies bathroom was suffering from some sort of flood. The floods consistency and what it was made up off we shall not go into too much. Shit everywhere.
KOKO is renowned in London as a fantastic venue. Many of my favourite indie artists have played there live. The building is amazing, as its a converted old theatre which gives the place a incredible authentic vibe, with its gold moulding still intact around many seating boxes, teared seating up stairs and football pitch like entrance to the main bar. What i had not bargained on is that on saturday night KOKO turns into Guilty pleasure night. Basically its the gayest straight nightclub night you can find anywhere. The place was heavy on the Spice Girls and golden gay classics in a over the top kind of way that it simply worked. The music was interrupted frequently by various acts, my favourite being 3 over weight bears wearing shiny red leotards dancing to Single ladies. Im sorry but that is just hilarious and fantastic in any language. Randomly a life-sized cut of out of Nicole Scherzinger was making the rounds, allowing you to get a photo taken with her. That was until some guy ripped her head off with his teeth. I still regret not getting a photo taken with it. The night was a success given that none of us had a penny to our names leaving the club, the prices were outrages so they were. Also we drink a hell of a lot. After a 15 minute bus ride, we were safely back at my house. What would any sane irish person do, after a skin full of drink? Of course pop the kettle on from some tea and cake. Cake i baked myself i thank you very much.
|Sinead & Myself @KOKO LONDON|
|Chris & Elaine @WORLDSEND LONDON|
Let just chill
As Sundays goes. it was spent in the hung over haze. Lack of sleep, water, food will do that too you. It was late afternoon when we finally set out. Elaine would by flying back to the home land that evening we thought it would be best to set out early. Given it was Elaine's last day, we gave her the choice of what to do after breakfast. Lucky for us, she choice to hang in my house, she didn't have to tell us twice, between the weather and the hang over, i was already sitting on my chair with a blanket on my knees reading.This time we had a extra companion Elaine’s suitcase. It appears they had fallen out over the weekend and now were at odds. ‘Wheres Elaine?’ back there giving out to her suitcase. Poor girl did struggle with the bag as it kept on veering off its wheels and put passers by in danger of be smacked in the legs by the demonic bag. It is safe to say i doubt the bag will ever make a return trip. Sinead Had a extra day as she was due back monday, so the evening was spent doing something that is more in tune with my London life style. Thats right a big cup of tea and a movie. As there was 3 of us, and Sinead is not as willing to bend to my will in what to watch we couldn’t decide for a half hour and ended up watching some new episodes of Birds of a feather ( thats right if you haven’t heard its back, whats that, how is it? Meh its alright i suppose’).
Catching up is a major part of any weekend friends come to visit or vice versa me visiting them. So sitting back watching a Brought back TV show may seem like a waste to some people, but this is gives ample time to fill each other in, with the goings on our our lives, the small stuff we don’t send across Whatsapp. I look forward to this lazying about as much as the adventurous nights out, as it allows me time with my slices, who if i get too above my graces or in any way shape or form change my irish ways get promptly put back in my place. Cheers guys. Lovely weekend ‘No bother says Elaine, Ryan Air ask would she mind sitting on the wing of the plane she said ‘ya grand’.