Wednesday, 7 March 2012


I need you to each take 30 minutes of your day.
I need you to watch this film.
I need you to act.

We can inspire change.
We can stop a monster.

Thank you.

Thursday, 1 March 2012

...And then there was a weekend in London (Part IV)

(By the time I complete this weekend’s shenanigans, it’ll be time to start over on the forthcoming events... It seems a lady’s work is never done.)

Carrie and I had the standard wardrobe dilemmas… “What to wear?” “Does this look okay?” “Can I wear this and that together, or is it just weird?”  - All those hundreds of questions that make men cower in the corner and break into a sweat. Women are quite good at answering them, quickly and efficiently but in the process of trying on multiple combinations.

We left the boudoir after additional glasses of wine and got aboard the good old London bus to from Balham to Clapham Common (apparently there are no direct buses from Balham to Clapham Junction – how utterly ridiculous). We joined our superb group of friends, at Chez Gray. It was an equally lovely boudoir where we proceeded to consume more beverages to eliminate the stresses on the purse later. It all got a little rowdy, and as was to be expected the conversation tone lowered significantly. It’s what happens amongst friends, sadly. Even the educated amongst us (the entire group) joined in…

Before it got worse, we vacated the flat and navigated to the first pub.

I don’t know where it was or what it was called, but it was a very small pub, with a wedding out the back. There was a group playing monopoly. I, the token monoply loser, advised a fellow loser from this random group of strangers how to win – monopolise the board and bankrupt your friends. When you win a single game of monopoly, it seems you are granted the divine right of passing along the knowledge. I have in all the years I have played this very British boardgame, won once. But the power to share my knowledge had still been gifted. The board was packed up shortly after so I don’t believe my new companion was given a fair shot… but he knows for next time.

Somebody bought crisps. I don’t know who. But they arrived at our table. They’re tempting at the best of times, but even more so when you’ve given them up for forty days and forty nights, for no other reason than to see if you have the willpower. So far so good and I didn’t even succumb to the temptation when inebriated. It seems I’m made of stronger stuff than I give myself credit for.

Then again, maybe not.

By the second pub I’d briefly become the tearful drunk girl. Oh the shame. I swore never to be her. Carrie bought another drink for me. And then it was fine. I jumped back on the band wagon and wholly embarrassed myself with some atrocious dance moves.

I can’t really elaborate on the night, since I don’t remember huge amounts of it. I do remember the almost punch up I had in Macdonalds with the moronic cashier.

Please note, he was not a moron because he worked for this fast food chain, I think he was a well-developed moron long before he found his job.

I had ordered a chicken nugget happy meal (the rationale being that there is less food therefore it’s better for you) and an impromptu portion of onion rings. Twenty minutes later, I was still stood there. It might not have been twenty exactly since all perspective of time disappears with alcohol, but it was longer than was acceptable for fast food.

He handed me my food but instead of the onion rings, I had a quarter pound of ‘meat’ sandwiched in a bun (bread that I can’t eat thank you very much). I calmly explained that I had in fact ordered onion rings, but it was so noisy I don’t think he could hear me. So I proclaimed a little louder … “ I’m sorry, I ordered ONION RINGS!”

But I couldn’t be bothered to be persistent and strain my vocal chords over a burger. So I relented and skulked off to the table to join the team. They shared the burger between them and I looked woefully at my golden nuggets of chicken and suddenly didn’t fancy them anymore. I don’t think I wanted them in the first place; since that ‘restaurant’ makes me feel a little gross when sober.

Next to us was a party of chimps.

I use that phrase in its truest sense.

The aftermath of three drunken, hungry men.

Although only the remnants of a feast remained, I couldn’t get over how much food three young (heavily intoxicated) men could eat. It had to be documented, but I got my little camera out too late and was unable to press the buttons quick enough. All that was left was a Macdonald’s carcass.

The night bus.

Such a wonderfully bizarre experience where you meet all manner of people. Some quietly minding their own business, others out to make as much noise as possible. I’d like to think I was comfortably in the middle, but I think perhaps it would be the latter… sadly.

We made it back to Carrie’s boudoir, threw everything from the bed to floor, clambered in and passed out. I didn’t even drink my obligatory three pints of orange squash (a preventative hangover cure if ever I saw one…).

We woke Sunday morning and Carrie refused to deliver her now iconic phrase, “I think something died in my mouth…” So I said it for her. I felt pretty disgusting (nothing that a shower and coffee wouldn’t sort) but generally just tired. The ninja hangover caught up with me on the train home. Git.

Luckily, we’d had coffee, or a mocha – there was a whole mix up with the caffeine based hot drinks and something to eat at The Nightingale CafĂ©, 193 Balham High Road. It was on the wrong side of the road to sit in the sun but it was pleasant enough. Great spot for people watching. And also marvelous cakes and pastries. I could have sat there all day… well until I got cold and fell asleep at the table.

And yes, because the sun was out so were the token shorts and flip flops. When will people learn that sunshine doesn’t necessarily equate to warmth? It is highly frustrating but also equally funny to watch as the goose bumps appear.

Roll on some more sunshine this weekend please, just don’t expect my little milk bottles to be making an appearance any time soon…But I will be reappearing in London town.
More adventures to follow.