Monday, 10 January 2011

Weekend times

I really need to get this post done, as there's absolutely no chance I'll start my law homework until it's finished, and I would quite like an early night. Therefore, in the interests of making it to Public Affairs in non-zombie form, my weekend:

The weekend was very exciting, because the boyf came over from Dublin to see me and buy Converse. I hadn't seen him since October (which is a Very Long Time), so I was a little bit nervous when I went to meet him and Whizzkid at Farringdon station on Friday evening. Nervous and brain-dead, as a hard day's shorthand reduced my grey matter to the consistency of a cheap milkshake. Whizzkid had gone to meet the boyf at Liverpool Street station in lieu of me, as I have a shorthand exam next Friday and couldn't afford to miss the brain-liquification. Apparently the station was in lockdown, however, due to some sort of terror alert. I never did find out more, due to being internetless and distracted for the duration of the weekend, but if you ask a fully paid-up Londoner, I'm sure they'll be able to tell you. 

When the boys eventually found each other, they very kindly came to Farringdon to meet me, as I couldn't face rush-hour with my heavy weekend bag and brain goo dripping from my ears (that's what you call an embarrassing personal problem). We went to some sort of pub for supper, and then another one for drinks, but I am sad to say I cannot remember what they were called, and I doubt I was even aware at the time. I had an Asian selection of starters for supper, as I wasn't all that hungry. It was slightly disappointing and some very rubbery fishcakes cemented my hatred of Thai food. No offense, Thailand, but get a better cuisine. The boyf had a steak sandwich with 'weird bread', but Whizzkid thoroughly enjoyed his giant chicken burger, which just goes to show. I can't really remember what we drank after that, although I do recall Whizzkid getting very excited about some elongated pint glasses. When we had thoroughly exhausted ourselves, we wandered over to the bus stop and steamed off to Southwark, where the boyf and I caught another bus to Wapping and Whizzkid (after completely ignoring my repeated insistences that 'it's literally just around the corner') consulted his smartphone and set off on a convoluted route to Waterloo. 

I wish I could say that when we got in to the flat the boyf and I had a long romantic conversation with lots of staring deeply into each other's eyes and so forth, but we were only awake enough to exchange Christmas presents (I got him a decent-sized black leather manbag from River Island (I think) and he got me lots of lovely Muji things (including a really cute travelcard case) and a new CD (Contra, by Vampire Weekend)) and shuffle off to bed. 

Thankfully, we woke up much more human on Saturday morning, and had a thorough peruse of some guidebooks to decide how to spend the weekend (further proof, as if you needed any, that I'm not a real Londoner) after a thoroughly satisfactory breakfast of pancakes. I can't remember why, but we decided to start in Brixton. It was pretty busy, with lots of people in the market-y bits, and really beautifully sunny. So sunny, in fact, that I had to take some photos to commemorate the occasion:

The boyf: unshaven miscreant

Me, talking (as usual)
We went to a cheap and plentiful Chinese restaurant for lunch, where we were served the biggest basket of prawn crackers I've ever seen. I had chicken in black bean sauce, and the boyf had some sort of beef. 

After lunch, we did a bit more wandering, before deciding that our next stop would be the Tate Modern. We had a bit of trouble finding it, but encountered a perfect postcard view on the way:

Tourist snaps strike back!
When we eventually arrived, we were delighted to find that entry was free, and had a thorough wander around all the floors. I have to confess, Modern Art means very little to me, but as the boyf enjoys it, I am occasionally exposed and accept it as a dose of Culture. Still, I had much more fun looking at the people in the gallery than the art. If that makes me a Philistine, fine, but at least I'm never going to pay millions for red squiggles on a cream canvas.

Getting arty in the Tate Modern
Thankfully, even the boyf can get tired of art, so we made a quick trip to Oxford Street to see how the shops were faring. Without much luck on the shoe front but having indulged in some good hard scrutiny of highstreet fashions, we made our way home via a Sainsburys metro, picking up some filled pasta for supper, and a banana and Doritos for the boyf's breakfast (his refined tastes don't extend to all areas of his life). 

We woke up on Sunday morning to glorious sunlight, and did a bit of dancing around in the brightly-lit flat to Vampire Weekend while we got ready (OK, that was just me). We had decided to devote most of the afternoon to Camden and its various markets, and I'm very glad we did.

Camden was amazing! Full of people, despite the cold, and made up of fascinating nooks. I only took one picture, for which I'm now kicking myself, but I was just too distracted the rest of the time.

A souk in Camden
For me, the best part was the Stables, this labyrinth of market stalls, with nick-nacks, curios and a good salting of vintage clothes. There was also a salivation-inducing section of food stalls. We couldn't decide what to have for lunch, so eventually settled on pizza and mix&match Chinese food. I also indulged in a donut from the most beautiful stall, and was very full for the rest of the day. We went into a crazy shop called Cyberdog (I think...) that faced onto the Stables, flanked by giant robots. There was a bouncer on the door, dancers on ledges on the back wall, and incredible quantities of neon. The further you descended into the shop, the louder the music and the more extreme the clothes on display got. It seemed like a tourist destination all by itself, and the queues on the door as we left were pretty long.

I'm pretty sure that the highlight of the day for the boyf was visiting Oddballs, a juggling shop that also faced onto the market. Apparently it carries quite a lot of street cred in the juggling world. He bought some new balls to complete his set (no giggling!) and we watched a very impressive diabolo demonstration. Despite having his new bag slung stylishly over his shoulder, he asked for  an Oddballs carrier bag (one of those shoulder jobbies with string handles) so he can show it off at conventions. The long-haired young man in the shop was very helpful, and had a definite air of Enthusiast about him. I suspect them boyf could have stayed there for a very long time.

We did some more highstreet shopping in the afternoon (although still no joy on the shoe front (not for lack of trying, I might add (as someone who has now been in every shoe shop in Camden))), and then went back to the flat quite early for an evening in. We ate far too many cookies, had a napccident, and made a stirfry at 10:30 at night. Pretty tasty, though! (I realise that I have eaten almost nothing but Chinese food this weekend. Judge not.)

I waved him off at the station this morning (where he finally made a decision on Converse, and bought a snazzy red pair), which was sad, but I already have plans in the pipeline to visit him next month so I'm bearing up OK. Our teacher wasn't in for Video Journalism today, and we had a somewhat soothing talk from the Tornado, so it wasn't a very taxing day. Still, what with commuting and so forth (although admittedly I did manage to miss the rushhour despite the delayed train) I feel as if I'm only just starting to relax.

Having started, time to stop! On to the next thing, which is lots of law questions. Wish me luck!

P.S.: Apologies to anyone who has eyestrain after reading all that!

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