Tuesday, 3 May 2011

Long and lazy weekend - the second

So the second long weekend has come and all but gone and I am pooped. Last weekend felt like a mini-break, I think largely because of the weather and impending bonhomie over the then impending royal wedding. This weekend has felt busy. Not bad, but busy. And well-earned after a difficult, distracting three days at work where productivity was hard, hard won. Computer malfunctions and difficult personalities didn't help so much either... 

bunting along the Southbank
LB's long weekend take two didn't get off to the best of starts as he had to go into work to make sure the BBC's websites didn't crash from all the wedding-related traffic. They didn't - just - but my usually unruffled, unfazed lovely boy was all but ruined by the adrenalin, stress and frustration of the day. I usually joke that going to work for LB is like going to camp - he has his friends and every morning they meet for coffee and then they have lunch and some of them go to photography club and they sit in their little teams and do activities otherwise known as work. On Friday LB wanted to pack up his bat and ball and leave camp forever. It was that bad.

Chinatown celebrates the Royal Wedding
I, on the other hand, had a lovely morning on the sofa watching the live coverage of Wills, Kate, Harry and The Dress. Thankfully it didn't rain but even if it had poured I don't think the million odd people who flocked into central London would have been deterred.

Heading into Soho that afternoon it took me a good four tube stops - from Hyde Park Corner to Leicester Square - to work out why all these people were boarding the train with suitcases and tents and a slightly stinky air about them.

I didn't take this photo - a friend and former colleague who braved the crowds did. She also managed to fight the throngs to get this classic photograph.....

But central London was awash, not only with the great unwashed, but flags and bunting and people simply revelling in the good mood - the only verb for it really. And I was in Soho to revel too. Not so much in honour of the royal wedding but weddings generally - and my friend Cleo's particularly. Only a girl planning a big fat Greek wedding with 600 guests would have the chutzpah to hijack Kate and Wills day but it was such a lovely afternoon that veered into a hilarious evening - sodden with cocktails and deafened with karaoke. We started at the Dean St Townhouse for high tea and prosecco before heading to Lounge Bohemia in east London, my old stomping ground for lychee martinis and these:

Before heading to Dalston for sushi and more cocktails before heading to Brick Lane for a private booth and concert bill featuring the inestimable talents of Dolly Parton, Belinda Carlisle and The Spice Girls. There may be video footage of seven women hanging from the walls and dancing on sofas while singing at the very top of their lungs but to the untrained ear it sounds like a herd of cats being slaughtered. But it was a lot of fun. And unlike last weekend with my spectacularly poor ability to hold myself upright after copious amounts of liquor, this time I was fine. I mean, my head hurt a little on Saturday morning but I was undamaged and still holding the contents of my stomach so it could have been worse. Never again...

Saturday itself was a bit of a faff before me and my tired LBB took ourselves back to the BBC for a filming of one of the world's guiltiest TV pleasures, So You Think You Can Dance. After Friday night I know absolutely that I cannot dance (or sing...) but god I wish I could. Even with all the pointless standing about you have to endure with live television there is something quite incredible about seeing someone backflip their way across a stage in time to music.

Bills in Covent Garden
Yesterday LB and I went into Covent Garden for brunch with Cleo at Bills, this cute organic cafe in a hideaway courtyard off Long Acre before meandering through Kurt Geiger and emerging with some new sandals (LB being now a shoe connoisseur after my weeks of sandal-less moaning and some inspired research in response to my brief) and then to Southbank to check out the Festival of Britain. Mostly I was impressed with the huge sculpture of a fox made out of hay but the Bondi girl in me was touched by the efforts at a seaside, with a mock beach and bunting. I can't get enough of the bunting these days but I suspect that's because my wedding-soggy brain is in decorations mode at the moment.

From Southbank we headed home for some perfunctory housecleaning before my still-tired LB reawakened his obsession with Masterchef Australia while I cooked him dinner, a surprisingly delicious laksa.

Today we braved the gale force winds for some culture at the V&A - a really fascinating exhibition of contemporary South African photography. LB found it quite depressing, I found it sad, compelling and quite beautiful in parts so I'm glad we went. Otherwise the high point of my day would have been the hour long nap I had this afternoon.

Street art in Camberwell. Something about frogs and princes maybe?... 
Tomorrow it is back to work but the highlight of this week is undoubtedly and already the arrival of one of my dearest friends from Sydney - making her debut on British soil. I can't wait to see her, I only wish I didn't have to work but I'm so looking forward to showing her London. Let's just hope it behaves, starting with the weather.

No comments: