Thursday, 26 February 2009

Hmmm :)

After wasting most of yesterday, I thought I'd make better use of my time today, so I seized the moment and embraced leaving the pub and went to Henley-on-Thames for the afternoon. I bought some bubble bath and strolled along the streets, was offered some lemony cake in a clothing store that was celebrating their first birthday, took a picture or two, then got the bus back to Mill End and walked the mile back to Hambleden through the fields.Walking back towards the market square.Some pretty timber framed buildings.Henley-on-Thames...a bridge over the Thames - clearly.

I've been having such a good week and I have so much to look forward to right now! I've been paid! I have so much to explore! I have cheap shopping trips in Camden! Tshirts, cameras, airplane tickets home, books, music, a new coat and pair of shoes even! I'm soo heppy!

Threatening myself and writing to-do-lists seem to be working and thank goodness for that!

Tuesday, 24 February 2009

Days off

Last night, after a lovely veggie curry in Brick Lane, Paul and I went to Club 1001, sat on some comfy cushions and drank organic grape juice. It was really cool and trendy with a warehouse look, and across the way from Rough Trade Records (The Strokes and the Libertines).
A series of pictures - messing about with the camera - it's ok, 'cos everyone takes photos in London.
Brick Lane in the East of London.
I got all camera shy and Paul made me stand here for the picture. I got all embarrassed and bashful!

Today, after a very late start we visited the natural history museum in South Kensington. Probably should've gone to the V&A instead, sigh. We kind of just walked around glancing at exhibits half heartedly, and spent more time staring off into the distances and sighing.

'twas an impressive building in any case.

Monday, 23 February 2009

So lazy

I'm damn bone idle. I hate how I waste so much time doing nothing, indulgently reading in bed, drinking tea and eating buttered toast. I'm glad to be in London again, although it felt like I hadn't really been gone. I got off the train at Paddington and was like, 'oh, here I am again'. That too, is indulgent...days off work and visiting London. I've worked hard this past week, so I suppose I deserve it. We're going to Brick Lane tonight and tomorrow we're going to the Natural History museum.

I totally wasted today, lying in bed listening to the traffic and the people going past outside. It feels like I've been sick for so long too, and I'm wishing I could get rid of this cough and just be well again. I need to take better care of myself, eat more salads and less chips and ale at supper time. Maybe I just needed to sleep and recover, but it's difficult to get over the guilt feelings.

If I had the money, I'd have gone shopping today, go into that cool clothing store Paul showed me and play with the idea of buying a tshirt. I also wanted to get a picture or two for my walls...my bedroom is so bare. I really feel like I've settled in there so quickly and easily, I've done well and I'm pleased. London still appeals though, and I'm really glad that I'm pretty close.
It's my blog dammit and I'll post pictures of me if I want to. Judge me if you will! This is me in my new room above the pub. Black and white hides a multitude of sins :)
Henley-on-Thames last week. Henley is a pretty town, with quaint shops and some pretty buildings. I'm looking forward to visiting High Wycombe soon too, which is apparently quite similar, only a bit bigger.

Saturday, 21 February 2009

A barmaid

Last night I fell asleep as soon as I put my phone down and woke up this morning with my book still lying next to my pillow, unread. I rolled out of bed, pulled my hair back and went downstairs for my tea and breakfast. Gill had already started polishing in the bar and I helped her with the cleaning, then sat back with the newspaper and another cup of tea. We finished by 11 o' clock and I went up to read some more of my book of erotic prose and eat shortbread and chocolate brownies and down more cups of tea. I've been helping myself to the parsnip and ginger soup and chunks of buttered brown bread, and puddings in custard :)

I've been settling in this week, getting familiar with all aspects of this residential free house. It's been going well and the chef, the manager and the cleaner have all been singing my praises, which makes me feel pretty darn good about me. Yay for been fabulous :) Hehe. Phrases like 'a breath of fresh air', 'slotting in excellently' and 'a joy to be around' have been coming up a lot...ok, so the last one I may have made up, but that's the general idea anyway :)

I've not done much in the way of exploring my surroundings yet, but I'll be around for a while so there's no rush. I cant believe the contrast between this job and the one I started in Scotland, or that anyone would actually work in those conditions on purpose. I hope that pretty Eastern European Petra managed to get another job and out of there.

Wednesday, 18 February 2009

A new job and a new home

I arrived here on Sunday night, Andy picked me up from the station at Henley on Thames and helped me with my bag upstairs to my room. It’s a large room, warm and comfortable and with a lot of cupboard space for which I have no need. I have my own bathroom too, which has everything in it that a bathroom should have, for which I am pleased. My room overlooks the beer garden which I believe in the summer months gets packed. I worked my first shift on Monday with Claire behind the bar and I think it went pretty well.The bar is a 400 year old building in the small village of Hambleden, it’s pretty and it’s quaint and has been used in the filming of many movies because there are no street lights and once the cars have been removed, it could be a village any amount of hundreds of years ago! I think I shall like it here very much.

I’m going to skip backwards to the few days before I arrived here, starting with a poetry reading at Covent Garden. It was really cool with these drunk elderly ladies, one reading poems, one singing and dancing and waving her arms in the air, and the other playing her guitar and singing. Paul read some poems too and we drank coffee while another young bloke who couldn’t have been older than 20 read some poems about sleeping with a barmaid and his love for his friend after sleeping with that friends girlfriend. I thoroughly enjoyed the night and walked back to the buses in the snow and the rain.Holloway Road - LondonI worked a shift at the George in Holloway too. Marcus showed me how to use the till and pour pints of lager and Guinness. I had a great time chatting with the locals and pouring them their drinks all night. After cleaning the bar and packing up I got home at half past twelve and slept in exceedingly late the next morning. Saturday was Valentines day and we went to the Tate Britain to look at the William Blake room which was well worth the almost 2 hour long journey to get there due to engineering work on the underground. I felt sick and was whiney and moan-y and probably quite unpleasant to be with but Paul took it like a man and soldiered on (for which I was impressed). What I was also impressed with was the lovely dinner, wine and pudding that evening, none of which I was expecting at all! I even got a rose!
Sunday passed by in a blur of blankets, cups of tea and raspberry cheesecake…until I had to get myself together and get to Paddington Station, say goodbye and get on the train again. And that just brings me back to where I started…crowded train, phone calls, heavy bag, pints of Becks at the bar and meeting the locals…

I'm sitting in Starbucks in Henley-on-Thames, the Doors are playing, I have my latte with sugar free hazelnut syrup and all is well. I'm pretty happy right now.

Wednesday, 11 February 2009

Should I stay or should I go...

Wednesday eve was so good. The underground was packed going to Holloway and I had to wait for two trains to go by before I could find small space on one. I walked in the wrong direction, through the throngs of people headed to Arsenal before I realized that I was going the wrong way. I got some pink milkshake and found Eden Grove road, right by the tube station and went in to speak with Peter. I was greeted enthusiastically, and given a part time job behind the bar, flattered, and I left there with a huge smile and a swelling ego. I practically floated down Holloway road, singing along to the Libertines and met Paul on the corner, by the tree.

Leicester Square on the weekend.
The room at The Phoenix - London 'Chill' House. I shared this room with 3 French people, but left early. I got back in yesterday afternoon, plugged in my ipod and the first song that came on was The Clash - Should I stay or should I go. Not very helpful.

...now things are all up in the air, leaving me unsettled and confused. I love the city. I love the lights, the people, the fashion, I love the underground! I love London and if I were to leave right now, I'd be very sad, for more than one reason. I left the Phoenix with my bag for Baker Street tube station, changed at Picadilly Circus for Holloway Road and felt super cool on the tube, listening to The Velvet Underground - on the underground. Haha!

We ate soup and buttered bread last night and spoke. I came up with my plan of action, which all makes pretty good sense. But this morning I'm thinking differently again. How long can I continue to be so foolish? I've gone on, in my way, for as long as I can remember. It's not doing me any good, nor is it getting me anywhere. I've had fun. Now, maybe that time is up. For right now in any case.

For today anyway, I shall stick to that intention, see it through and make my decision.

Oh I hate choices.

Sunday, 8 February 2009

It went so quickly.

The weekend has flown by in almost a total blur...not a total blur though, I think I can account for my time. It was another late start this morning, by this morning, I actually mean this afternoon. I left Holloway on the 29 bus to Trafalgar Square, got off and continued my search from yesterday. I wandered all around Leicester Square, Soho and Covent Garden. I had some luck in Soho and am looking forward to a phone call tomorrow :) So yay for good news!

The fairy lights on Holloway Road are so pretty, left overs from Christmas for the winter :) I love the long lie-ins, songs for me played on the guitar and sung, many cups of tea and the streams of pretty words.

I go again tomorrow, but happy and excited instead of nervous and unsure. And that's good, right?More pretty words.

It's been a good weekend. Good music, great company, walks around the city, tea in coffee shops, poetry. I feel calmer than I should. That in itself worries me.

Saturday, 7 February 2009

Turning points

It's been a strange week, and I'm trying to figure out where I should start. I might as well begin with a ten hour coach ride to Pitlochry, Scotland...
I arrived late in the evening, was taken straight to the kitchen for dinner and shown my room in the hotel. I had to be up early in the morning, was given my uniform and started work straight away. There were many reasons why I wouldn't stay, and to go into them all now would just be dull, so I'll skip all of that to two days later and another stupidly long coach ride back to Milton Keynes, a taxi ride before dawn and some snow. A lot of snow. A train ride to London and some running about looking for a job. It'll probably be alright.Now, I'm just leaning back with a cup of tea and smiling, listening to Paul on his guitar. It's all good.