I Hate Public Transport With A Passion

Writing

If you’ve happened to be following my journey on the misery train so far, you’ll know that my belief firmly holds – trying to live in London for two weeks on £30 will make climbing Mt. Everest look like a walk in the park in comparison.

 

My hands are already physically shaking as I type due to my inner yearning for anything sucrose, glucose or dextrose based before I become comatosed by the end of this post.

 

So before I’m induced into a diabetic coma, I just thought I’d update you on day 3 as I don’t know if they’ll still let me write from my prison cell once I’m taken in for stealing a loaf of wholemeal from my local Saino’s. Either that or I’ll be lying under a park bench looking like the voldemort baby I presented to you in the other post. So with that being said, I better pull my fingerS out and start typing just that little bit faster.

 

Ayway, where was I? Oh, yes, I was about to break into a song and dance about how much I deteste everything and anything to do with public transport. Speciifally the red buses here in London, as I’m too poor to use the tube I’m forced to sit reluctantly on the slow-coach bus. With the simple learning lesson being ‘money really can buy you happiness’. If the last 3 days have shown me anything, it’s shown me that my level of hatred is a bottomless pit. Yes, just when I thought I couldn’t despise something anymore, I come to the stark realisation that my hatred has a basement.

 

Let me tell you for why:

 

 

1) Buses are magnets for the people you cross the street (3 times) to avoid

 

Just when I thought the tube had the biggest share of the wannabee murders, rapists and tax evaders, the red buses of the city of London quash this idea in a heartbeat. Honestly I  would quite willingly hang off of the roof of the double decker by my hair than sit next to another person simultaneously, grinding their teeth and frothing at the mouth from their morning dose of listerine all while indulging in a sing-along of the old favourite ‘Kumbayah My Lord’ whilst rocking back and forth hugging their knees to their chest. (And there’s me thinking men can’t multitask).

 

2) The Loudly Obnoxious & The Obnoxiously Loud Phone Callers

I don’t care what you’re having for tea, that your boyfriend dumped you for your sister, that your gerbil croaked it (ok maybe this one). I don’t care, and neither does any of the other psycho passengers on  the bus. So why then do you feel the need to tell us all about your boring life at the top of your wheezy lungs? And while you’re doing that at the front of the bus we have your second cousin in the back trying to shout above your shouting on the phone, yelling to us all ‘thank Jesus that I’m a good person, no one else matters only me’. Seriously the amount of people I hear gloating and boasting about their delusioned sense of self is truly sickening. I thought this country had a problem with depression not self obsession?! Perhaps the 2 really are linked. I don’t care if you think you’re God’s gift, you certainly aren’t mine so clear off!

 

3) Petty Thieves

Why should I work my ass off all day in a 9 to 5 for some thug to hop on the bus without swiping his oyster, contactless or donating a kidney at the very least? Point being, time and time again I see these thieves jumping on the bus not paying, instead heading straight up to the top deck and not being stopped or questioned by the bus driver once? Seriously why should I pay for them to have a seat on the bus? They aren’t paying my rent, bills or travel, so why should I cough up on theirs? If I still have the moral decency to pay when I have literally nothing left at this stage, why can they not pay the fare when they are almost certainly not in as dire a place as I at this moment in time?

 

Ok,  I need to stop now, I’m getting heart palpitations. Let the story continue another night.

Try Something Different In London

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In preparation for my night of silent discoing  this weekend I wanted to keep the theme going and share with you some quirky activities you could try while here in the capital:

  1. Dans Le Noir

Fancy eating in a restaurant? Hell Yes! In complete darkness? Um…..? If you don’t fancy your date, or still do, but just don’t fancy them seeing steamed spinach sitting pretty on one of your big buck teeth then this is up our street for sure. With the aim of the night being that you devote all of your attention and senses on the food, and not any visual distractions, this should make you enjoy the act of ‘tasting’ much more. Plus it’s quite a fun experience, start a food fight, noone will ever know it was you!

Dans Le Noir, Farringdon, EC1R 0DU

silhouette of person holding glass mason jar

Photo by Rakicevic Nenad on Pexels.com

 

  1. The Clink Brixton

Would you eat a meal cooked by convicted criminals at a prison restaurant? The suspicious part of me fears they’ll poison my confit duck but obviously noone has been poisoned yet, nor have any of the diners choked to death on an overly large shard of ‘misplaced’ glass, so I guess the prisoners must be doing something right. Infact so good is the system they’re running at the Brixton joint that it’s been reviewed highly on Tripadvisor. Infact the whole ethos behind the restaurants functioning should be credited. The prison restaurant aims to rehabilitate offenders, giving them a responsibility and a goal to work towards their City & Guilds NVQs, with the aim one day for them to assimilate into society a changed person, a better person. Maybe I’ll give it a visit actually (though stick to ordering a coke, kidding).
The Clink Brixton, HM Prison Brixton, SW2 5XF

silhouette of a man in window

Photo by Donald Tong on Pexels.com

 

  1. House of Dreams Museum

Or shall we say nightmares, yes if you’ve got OCD or a sane bone in your body for that matter this place may leave you scared and scarred. For this guy’s house is like a hoarder on ‘shrooms holy grail. You visit his house and leave with tears of both joy and sadness in your eyes, flabbergasted at the thought that every inch of a house could be covered in everything from dolls heads to clown masks. All I can say is bring your camera and a loved one for some emotional support.
House of Dreams Museum, East Dulwich,  SE22 8RG

girl doll in white fur dress holding blue handkerchief

Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

 

  1. Silent Disco Tour

You know I had to throw this one in the mix! Why make a fool of yourself in a closed confined space when you could do it in the centre of one of London’s most bustling tourist hotspots  – the West End! Yes, you and a bunch of other fun-lovers will walk in twos on a guided audio tour of theatreland, punctuating the facts and figures about the famous area will be brief yet savoured moments of ‘Simon says’, where you will have to throw some serious shapes as you gallivant past the home of Kinky Boots and Dreamgirls. Move well enough and you may even find yourself on one of their stages (or the asylum).

West End Musical Tour, London’s West End, WC2

man in gray shirt walking on pathway

Photo by Ben Herbert on Pexels.com

 

5. Be A Member of The Knitting Kittens Club

Knit Jumpers For Kittens at Battersea Cats & Dogs Home. Knit something your granny would be jealous of, like some little mittens for kittens at the adoption centre. Killing two birds with one stone – you get to learn a new skill and secondly you are putting that skill to good use. Plus you may even get to meet the kitten you knitted something for afterwards! Who doesn’t love animals, who doesn’t love little mittens? Only psychopaths. So don’t be one today and instead help a kitten in need. Remember, the best way to feel better about yourself is by helping others. If you’re ever feeling a bit down maybe give this or something similar a go.

The Knitting Kittens Club, Battersea, SW8 4AA

adorable animal cat close up

Photo by HM hmw on Pexels.com

I hope the above gave you some inspiration to try something a little different here in London!

Ghost Stories – Continued

Writing

So I’ve made it, with a sustained pulse so fast it almost flatlined and enough buckets of sweat to fill the oceans twiceover, it’s safe to say ‘Ghost Stories’ did it’s job of being terrifically terrifying last night at the Lyric Theatre in Hammersmith, London.

 

Not to give the plot away too much, but it basically follows the narrator on a journey through 3 individual ghost encounters, executing a jumpscare once every couple of minutes it felt like. It got me thinking, what causes us to ‘jump’ when we’re scared, surely the little skip in your seat wouldn’t serve you much of a purpose, or would it?

 

What Is A ‘Jumpscare’

 

A  technique bringing about an abrupt change in audio or image in order to frighten the audience.

 

What Happens When We Are Scared By A Jumpscare:

 

The sudden change of stimulus causes a series of chemical reactions in the brain to facilitate the ‘fight or flight’ mode. Specifically a part of the brain called the ‘hypothalamus’ activates two systems in the body which prep you for that survival instinct on whether to run for the hills or fight it out. These are the 1)sympathetic nervous system and 2) the adrenal cortical system.These systems work to transfer stress hormones throughout the body to cause the symptoms we know of including an increased heart rate, tense muscles and dilated pupils. Increased heart rate = more blood can flow to the muscles energising them to run or fight and to the brain for quickfire decision making in the face of danger. Muscles tense energized by glucose and adrenaline. Dilated pupils allow as much light in as possible so the perceived threat can be seen clearly.

 

So now that you know a little about what happens inside of you when you’re scared, will any of the below trigger the physiological effects above in you?

 

 

Courtesy of Bros Top 11 (not my material)

 

Did it work on you? If not, would you pay money with the intention of getting scared out of your mind like I did?

 

The Land Of Ice & Fire – Northern Ireland

Writing

I’m returning home for a short stint of rest and recuperation tomorrow, which normally means gorging on copious amounts of chocolate until someone shoots me with an insulin pen while drowsily watching yet another round of ‘Saving Private Ryan’. My dad’s choice btw, who I’ve no doubt will be out for the count before the opening credits are up.

 

This thought reminds me that I don’t go home enough. If you, like me, have spent considerable amounts of time away from your hometown, it feels weird going back. Why? For a reason I just can’t put my finger on. Everything is I guess, familiar in appearance, yet strangely it just ‘feels’ different. Well, at least it does in my case.

 

Northern Ireland may be a small place geographically, but I’m proud to have come from it. What other country hosts an accent so childlike one second yet so abrupt the next? What other place mentions their links to a ship that sank so proudly?! What other country sets the scene for so many epic moments of the Game of Thrones saga? Which reminds me, did I tell you about the time I signed up to an extras agency in Northern Ireland and oneday received a text message from a member of the extras casting team? Put it this way, the reason you’ve never seen me in GoT is because £400 isn’t going to buy me a realistic enough wig after shaving all of my hair off for one of their scenes. That was pretty much the offer you see, would you shave off all of your hair for £400? Maybe you would, but I wouldn’t! I’d probably have went through all of that to get 2 seconds of camera time and even then it would be of the back of my patchy shaved head! Yes, I know, I’m a glass have full kind of girl.

 

A change of scenery will be good no doubt, not that I don’t like London, but twisting the phrasing, a break away from sweaty bodies in tubes and overpriced milk won’t be such a bad thing I don’t think.

 

Well…..off I go, hope you have a great weekend where you are.

Fun Obscure Things To Do In London

Writing

When walking the dog just doesn’t cut the mustard why not try:

 

  1. Laughter Yoga

Pretend to be 5 years old again and you may end up laughing for a lifetime. From personal experience I would definitely recommend even the most hesitant of sceptics to give ‘walking on hot coals’ and talking gibberish to strangers a go atleast once. Studies have shown that laughter boosts the immune system. So  perhaps the secret for a happy healthier life isn’t eating your greens it’s smiling even when you think you can’t.

  1. Goat Walking

OK, so it’s not exactly in London but at just a stone’s throw away in Kent how could I say no? Look at their little hooves! With proof that animal interactions boost the feel good hormones in the body, it’s a no brainer. Go forth and have a little trot around with Billy the kid.

  1. Silent Disco Walking Tours

After seeing a bunch of people throwing rather odd shapes on the streets of Covent Garden a few weeks ago it sparked my curiosity as to what sorcery had bewitched them? Turns out they were on a silent disco escapade through London’s West End. Drowning their headphones were the iconic tracks of Les Misérables, The Lion King and much much more. If you want to get into theatre mode in prep of a show or just have a whale of a time give this a go. I really want to”!

  1. The Hunterian Museum

Not that I’m encouraging anyone to snap a quick pic of a pickled foetus anytime soon but if you look long enough at  the pruned sheep hearts and brined pig stomachs there are some fascinating feats of biology  preserved before your very eyes. Not for the faint hearted or ill-stomached (see what I did there) but for those of an inquisitive disposition. I’d recommend giving the museum a visit once it reopens in 2021 (I think I went in 2017). I’m sure it’ll be worth the wait.

 

Booking the trip to London then, yeah?

Japan Matsuri 30th September 2018 held in Trafalgar square London. Celebrating UK-Japan relations.

Japan Matsuri – 2018

Writing

‘Matsuri’ means ‘festival’ in Japanese, and on 30th Septmeber in London’s Trafalgar Square the festivities were well and truly underway. Multiple elements of Japanese culture were highlighted at the event, some of which I will share with you below:

Origami – This visually stunning art form was on display for all to enjoy. The word ‘origami’ comes from the Japanese terms ‘ori’ = ‘folding’ and ‘kami’ = ‘paper’ (Kami was changed to gami due to rendaku). One of the most classic origami models in the culture is of the ‘paper crane/ orizuru ‘. In particular the ‘red-crowned crane’ holds special significance, it is believed that its wings carried souls up to paradise. Other recognisable  figures include the  Kawasaki rose, the cat and the dragonfly.

Japanese Matsuri 2018 - Origami workshop and contest in London Trafalgar Square

As you can see in the picture, a mini origami contest was held, F*ck sake Fuka you’re an origami wizkid – taking just 39 seconds to make……….ur….something!!

Matsuri Art Wall – The 9 metre long canvas stood parallel to The National Art Gallery and in true style was open to  festival-goers to let their creative juices flow. Sketching their own fantastic creations in front of one of the nation’s best art galleries.

Matsuri wall at Matsuri Japan festival celebrating Japan-UK relations. Held in Trafalgar Square - London

FOOOOOOOOD!

Japanese food sellers at the Matsuri event in London

Apologies, there’s no actual photo of real food! Although some names that definiely gae me fod for thought:

a)Takoyaki

b) Kara-age

c) Amazake

d) Okonomiyaki

Do you know what the above are?

a) mini savoury wheat flour balls , usually filled with savoury ingredients: diced octopus, onions, pickled ginger.

b) A Japanese frying style, a popular type is fried chicken

c) Fermented rice drink

d) Japanese savoury pancake a common filling of which is shredded cabbage.

Japanese Calligraphy and Manga Art Workshop

Japanese calligraphy at Matsuri 2018 London

Japanese manga portrait at Japan Matsuri, London

Demonstrations and a change to give it a go yourself – beautiful Kanji  characters were on display during the Japanese calligraphy workshop.

Manga – ‘comics/cartooning’ – the art of drawing Manga was celebrated through personalised portraits.

Japanese Tableware

Some of the most quaint and beautiful tableware has to come from Japan, whether it’s minimalist and clean or exquisitely decorative, all is simply quite stunning.

Japanese Tableware at Japan Matsuri, London 2018

tattoo waves japanese plates

Sweeeeets!

Japanese sweets pocky matcha, chocolate, watermelon

Lemonade popular in Japan - Ramune

Pocky + Ramune = Japanese treat

Pocky – chocolate coated biscuit sticks originally sold in 1966 in Japan. Since then, flavours have certainly became alot more experimental, you can now get: cookies and cream, green tea and coconut to name but a few. Definitely give them a try.

Ramune – meaning ‘lemonade’ a fun drink which involves the owner self-carbonating the liquid. In other words making bubbles magically appear. To open the bottle, a device to push the marble inward is provided. The marble is pushed inside the neck of the bottle where it rattles around while drinking.

The event is annual, I would hihgly recommend going if you’re in London late September next year (or the year after, or the year after or the…….).

Alternative London #1

Writing

Leake Street, Waterloo/ Lambeth

This quirky creepy tunnel encloses all kinds of goodies under it’s archways. From the hard to miss graffiti to the more tucked away eateries offering all kind of delicacies. Such as Banh Bao Brothers , Rat Bar and Draughts.

And let’s not forget to mention The Vaults! If you don’t know of it, your life has been boring af! Bit harsh, if you haven’t heard of it, definitely check them out if you’re into interactive theatre and altogether electric eccentricity.

The Vaults at Leake Street Arches, Waterloo, London.. Graffiti on the exterior, interactive theatre experience inside.

And now, onto the graffiti!

Here are some of my favourite pieces within the 300 metre long tunnel, I think art constantly gets replaced with new art so I think it;s good to get a snapshot of time of the art of the moment:

Graffiti, street art, London, Banksy, Waterloo, Lambeth, tunnel , City

Wide shot of the tunnel, sorry for the car!

Celebrity spotting! Anthony Hopkins and Tilda Swinton.

Mind blowing artwork exhibited within the archways at The Rat Bar.

A rodent twist on the masterpiece - The Mona Lisa by Leonardo Da Vinci at The Rat Bar, London.

A rodent twist on the masterpiece – The Mona Lisa by Leonardi Da Vinci at Rat Bar, London.

Model, Posing on the stairwell of an exit/entrance to Leake St, Waterloo, London. City Street Art UK

You Know I had to do it, Nike call me!

Word 'Boyish' and alien image visible. Boyish Graffiti in Leake St, London. City street art.

Disturbingly Beautiful.

Graffiti of Pac-Man, Leake St, Waterloo, London

“Computer games don’t affect kids. If Pac-Man affected us as kids we would all be messing about in darkened places munching………”

We Are All Mad / Follow Your Heart

The wonderful pieces above  are just the tip of the iceberg, I’d highly recommend paying the archways a visit if you come to London. It really is a feast for the eyes.

Photographs taken by @claudiarosemoore

An image of St Paul's Cathedral in London, UK.

7 Interesting St Paul’s Cathedral Facts, London

Writing
  1. Standing Tall – The cathedral stood as the tallest building between 1710 – 1965. Now The Shard bloody eclipses everything!!
  2. 35 years – The length of time it took Sir Christopher Wren to rebuild St Pauls’ cathedral after old St Paul’s was destroyed in the Great Fire of London 1666.
  3. Secrets held within – A notable feature of this London treasure is ‘The whispering gallery’. A whisper against the wall can be clearly heard at the other side, 112 feet away!St Paul's Cathedral taken from the side closest to the River Thames. Summer 2018, London, England, UK.
  4. Sir Christopher Wren  – The St Paul’s Cathedral designer was the first person to be laid to rest in its grounds.
  5. War – The cathedral was hit by several German bombs during the Blitz in World War 2. One was removed before it exploded; had it not been, St Paul’s would’ve been demolished.

St Paul's Cathedral photographed  from the Southbank side of the River Thames in Summer 2018. London, UK.6. Life And Death – Funeral services for several famous people have been held at St Paul’s, including Winston Churchill and Lord Nelson. The wedding of Prince Charles and Princess Diana was also held there.                                                                                                7. The Greats – The two largest bells in St Paul’s are named Great Tom and Great Paul. Great Paul has not rung in several years due to a broken chiming mechanism. Great Tom is sounded for the death of a member of the royal family, the Bishop of London, or the Lord Mayor of London. Don’t ask me where they got their names, atleast it’s not Big Ben!