Sunday, 21 December 2008

Passport, check...

So I wish I was asleep right now but for various reasons, among them cold feet, I am not. Wide awake would be too strong a term and yet here I find myself, vaguely awake but far from alseep - and typing. I can't decide if it's narcissistic or just peculiar. Either way - it's technically tomorrow by 26 minutes which means I'm Sydney-bound in exactly 11 hours.

I'm really so excited to be heading home for Christmas, though it feels a little strange at the same time. I haven't been gone long enough for it to feel like any sort of significant homecoming and yet there's a weird sort of ambivalence to it, for want of a better word. I guess because I know I'll be back in London in a months time and am not sure how I feel about that, despite so looking forward to next semester, and I'm also not sure how I feel about not knowing exactly when I'll be home again. It's a whole lot of strange wrapped in a whole lot of yay. Gosh I can't wait to be back in Sydney.

Though ironically enough London has proven quite charming-slash-quirky-slash-sunny (shock! horror!) the last few days. Maybe The Tired has turned me slightly gaga but I could swear to a smug but dulcet whisper of nar-nee-nar-nee-nar-nar being carried on the icy winds strangling every street corner in central London...

Yesterday I went to Borough Market. If heaven were a place on earth that sold cheese and brownies and organic vegetables and "Specialities by Italian monks" it would be this very place.

Just so divine - before the crowds get to be too much you can seriously just do laps of the entire market sampling repeatedly from all the cheese platters and bread stalls. There is something here for every appetite and I only sated one of mine (the inner organic vegetarian one) so I'm determined to make this a more regular visit in the day-to-days of London life next year.

Then last night I went out for dinner for a school friend's birthday. The night before we'd had our end of term party, at this cool little champagne bar in Soho called Amuse Bouche. Tres fancy but a lot of fun - and a lot of free champagne... Last night was more of the same, only not so free, but then how can you put a price on drinks that look like this:

If ever you have to fill out one of those ridiculous time sucking but secretly kinda fun "how well do you know me?" emails... well my favourite drink is now officially (and after some concerted research it must be noted...) the lychee martini. Hello my friend. (Pansies remain optional).

After eating this amazing Moroccan meal one of the other girls from school, who appears to know every well-connected person and hip establishment in the entire Zone 1, and probably also Zone 2, took us out. We went to this member's only club called Sketch: picture if you will (no pun intended...) the requisite skinny door bitch plus the most hilariously hipster crowd known to man and the tabloids, think dudes in skinny jeans with afros and sunglasses and girls who haven't eaten since 1997 in faux fur coats, shiny lycra tights and crazy headbands.

The wallpaper was a moving video art installation and the halls were filled with paintings and kinetic sculptures and so much attitude I just had to laugh. I've never felt more like a tourist than I did last night - but I have to admit, it was so fucking out there that cool really is the only word for it.

It wasn't a late night but I've felt exhausted all day today, especially after letting my inner anal retentive clean freak loose on the house. But I feel happy to leave now knowing that the kitchen cupboard doors sparkle like new.

Ok. I need to find me some sleep.

Sydney here I come...

Wednesday, 17 December 2008

Cake and vodka

I. am. so. tired. I am SO pleased that I never have to work with two of my three group members ever again and I. am. so. SO. in. need. of. sunshine.

We had our group presentation yesterday and I suppose it went reasonably well, given my exacting standards but a big "whatevs" because the semester is now finished and I have five days to re-set my body clock, pack and starve before arriving home for a month of sunshine and swimming and family time. Hur-rah.

I am so exhausted that I physically have the shakes. On Sunday night I was so tired and stressed that I didn't get to sleep until 4.30am - but at least I spent the time productively, cleaning the stove, re-writing our group report and finessing my presentation. I wanted to vomit after we were finished - thanks in part to the sudden departure of adrenalin but I'm unwilling to rule out the diet coke and red bull I had for breakfast as another contributing factor....

Sunday, 14 December 2008


I had an interesting discussion with a friend last week. Following a conversation we'd had the day before about my inability to complete anything with more than a few hours to spare, she confessed the next day to having pondered later about whether I was the laziest ambitious person she knew or the most ambitious lazy person. I conceded that would indeed be a tough nut to crack. And then we parted ways and I went home and did my washing, re-arranged the contents of my drawers and considered writing my essay.

I'm not sure if I've solved it for her but I can tell you this much for free - when a girl is too busy even to procrastinate she is fucking busy my friend.

Monday, 8 December 2008

The final countdown

This time in two weeks I will be kicking about Hong Kong airport waiting for my connecting flight home. Too exciting!

If only this week was over already. Currently I'm 17 minutes down with only six gazillion to go. The sad thing is that there is so much to get done this week I'm not even sure six gazillion minutes will be enough. Just as long as I don't eat my way through this assignment like I did the last. Hell no.

It has been a reasonably productive weekend I suppose - though someone please remind me of my rule about not drinking diet coke after 4pm - another 4am session of bolt awake thumb-twiddling and I will do more than howl in frustration.

Two more weeks, two more weeks.

I went to a school friend's birthday party on Friday night - more cocktails (hello raspberry martini my friend) and a chance to wear some ridiculous heels and a sparkly dress - certainly a shift in gears from my usual attire, channeling 12 year old boys in my converse and baggy pants.

Everyone was in good form, and I think might have even been hit on - though it's hard to know, the last time someone hit on me I was five and in the sandbox, and you know, literally hit on. A slightly peculiar guy but fun to pretend I was normal. He told me I had a lovely nature - I told him that was lovely as usually people found me sarcastic and combative. I think he thought I was joking. Whatever the case it was nice to have a moment of non-social retardation, however fleetingly. And I look forward to welcoming back my social life at the end of this week, once the project is finished.

Until then I shall just continue to whisper softly to myself "two more weeks, two more weeks..."

Friday, 5 December 2008

Happy Hour

A rhetorical question obviously but could there be anything more wonderful than £3 cocktails? Apart from anything else they help keep the maths gloriously simple when it comes to multiplying by four...

Yesterday was a cocktail day. It had to be done. In fact, I could probably argue for it being a cocktail week. [Have just realised how close I'm skirting to poster child status for Alcoholics Anonymous - but whatever, it's been a long few days...]

Earlier this week I went babysitting. Old friend of my mum's hairdresser who now lives in London with her husband and four kids. I don't remember the last time I baby-sat, I certainly don't remember the last time I had to duel intellectually with a seven year old (Are you married? Why not? How old are you? I think mid-30s [are you fucking serious?!?!?...] How many degrees do you have? Our other babysitter has 10.) but it was a good night, and a dream run once they were all in bed. Lovely kids, lovely parents and a house full of Australian food stuffs. Oh Vegemite I've missed you.

It was a late night though, or perhaps I should say early morning, as I didn't get home until 2.30am. Thankfully they paid for a cab (living as they do on the absolute other side of London) and I had a lovely ride home through the deserted streets of London - and a free philosophy lecture from my cab driver about why it is important to be good in life.

Then yesterday I had my first slide exam. One hour, 12 slides and the most vomitous drivel imaginable masquerading as rigorous visual analysis. You can see why I needed a cocktail or four. Perhaps I'll re-imagine the evening as a homage to Martha Rosler's Semiotics of the Kitchen from 1975 - C for Cosmopolitan, T for Toast on the couch at home, M for Mild headache this morning...

I do need to get up and get on with the day - I have a date with the library this morning and a longstanding guilt-riven obligation to the temple that isn't quite my body to take it to the gym. Then I need to come home and get this bloody group project started. We have 10 days to put an entire issue of an art magazine together - from concept to editorial to ads to images. If we can pull it off it will be phenomenal and I'm looking forward to it but it's going to be one loooo-oo-ong week. A week punctuated by fun outings for birthday parties and hopefully some tobogganing in Hyde Park, but nonetheless a disproportionately long and stressful week.

In my Peter Pan happy place - this is where I would be this weekend:

Swimming from Bondi to Bronte. I am so longing to be home in the sun and sea that I feel physically a bit sick. And no, before you say anything, it has nothing to do with the cocktails.

Monday, 1 December 2008

A daycation to Camden

This afternoon, at the behest of my sanity and upon the invitation of Kirsten, I took a daycation to Camden.

Famous for its market, its Lock and a pervading air of scruffiness, Camden has a fascinating sort of charm. It's kind of where fads of past decades go, not to die as it were unfortunately, but to live in a kooky kind of co-existence. Patent leather platform Doc Martens, meet gold lycra tights. Mohawk, meet the backcombed bee-hive. That sort of thing. It's a fairly tawdry place and over-run with tourists, which is a shame as apart from anything else, it means you can't gawk in a tourist-like manner and take photos in any of the totally bizarre stores selling day-glo spiked collars and PVC t-shirts while scary looking goths spin discs in the corner. I swear to god - I just have to hear the distant doof doof of techno and I feel like I'm back in high school. And I remember acutely how uncool I was.

You can buy almost anything here - especially if it's made from polyester leopard print or reconstituted plastic... It's a terrible thing really when you enter a store and your mind immediately starts to narrow.

There was lots by way of food though and tempting knick knacks of the dust-gathering variety and plenty to distract and amuse and I dare say I'll be back at some point for a good rummage. As long as they hold off on the acid house music.

I can't quite believe tomorrow is the 1st of December. Holy shit. This time in three weeks I will be somewhere over Mongolia, assuming my plane leaves on time... which means there are only three weeks left of school for the year. If my last essay is anything to go by, I suspect there will be lots of procrastinating and online pondering in the next two weeks as I struggle through the world's most torturous group project. Stay tuned for news on that one.

There isn't really much else to report at the moment as I have spent the better part of the weekend asleep. There's a certain decadence to going to bed and not setting the alarm that I rather enjoy and I don't regret a single hour I've spent under the covers these last two days. If nothing else it's been a pleasant way to distract from a pervading blasé faire sense of statelessness (masquerading as homesickness) that seems to have overcome me of late. Thankfully I'm not going to have a minute to think about it between now and when I check in at the Cathay Pacific desk in three weeks time. And failing that there are always chocolate and peanut butter milkshakes to distract me.