Please excuse the layout of this post – really struggling with how my photos are posting now that I have to retrieve them from the Cloud. If anyone has any suggestions of how to fix this, please do let me know!
Daniel’s recent trip to visit me was the catalyst, the straw that broke the camel’s back, the tipping point, the last straw – whatever you want to call it – that caused me to start my new regime of eating less. For two weeks we ate and drank continuously. We ate out every day, at least twice a day and drank copious amounts of alcohol. Besides him going to visit his gran for two nights we spent every moment together and it was awesome. Sadly, too awesome. It was his first visit to me since I have been in the UK and it has been hard without him since he left. All my bravado about long distance has gone out of the window a bit but that’s a story for another day.
Here are some highlights of our trip.
The Book of Mormon – excellent show by the makers of South Park. I was a bit dubious going in, knowing how contentious South Park is and knowing the show is about religion and ‘making fun’ of Africa and things going on there. However, what they addressed really IS going on – like genital mutilation of women being one example. I really did not find it any way demeaning (even though there was a shitload of swearing)! I came away from that show knowing more about Mormonism – what an absolute joke that people really believe all that shyte – and seeing that people can laugh about things that are actually real and hectic issues. The songs were all very catchy and easy to hear and continued the story. It flowed well and every single character was easy to like and enjoy. I would definitely go and watch it again – in fact I want to take Nicholas to see it in December and get his take on it.
After the show (we went to the matinee) Daniel said that he really wished we could go and see a comedy show. We tried Google to see if we could find one close by, but nothing came up. Then lo and behold, while we were walking around, a guy came up to us with flyers to a comedy club with a 20% discount for that very night – in an hour’s time! And oh what an interesting night that was! There were 3 comedians and all of them pontificated about politics and racism (all men, 1 White, 1 Black and 1 Indian). A lot of the stuff I didn’t understand as I am still coming to grips with British politics but the interesting part about it all was the reaction of the crowd! People were walking out and saying they hadn’t come here to watch this shyte kind of vibe. Even though I didn’t get some of it, I still found it funny but yeah, the people walking out definitely put an even more interesting slant on the evening. It was really fun!
Wicked – Wicked is the story of the Wicked Witch of the West in the Wizard of Oz story. Took a well known story and put a different slant on it. The acting and costumes and sets were all brilliant and the twist in the story was great. A lot of people apparently go to this one many times. Definitely a once off for me and Dan.
Camden Market – One can never get tired of browsing around Camden. Always some funny characters to see and be entertained by and of course, the food selection is just INSANE. In fact, we took so long to eat there because we couldn’t decide. We eventually chose a Hungarian food stall because it had tables you could sit at and we needed to rest for a bit. We probably chose THE most unhealthy option in the whole place as well!
Ronnie Scott’s Jazz Club in Soho – Dan and Don (the gran’s boyfriend) had surprised the gran. Dan by not telling her he was coming to the UK for a visit and Don by arranging a weekend in London with us and not telling her. We managed to keep it a secret so gran was VERY surprised to see Daniel at her front-door when he arrived. And then even more surprised and thrilled that they would be coming to London for the weekend! Anyway, jazz is not our thing but we went because they wanted to and it was another nice surprise for gran. It turned out to be such a fun afternoon. A band called The Jive Aces were the act and they were funny and very good. The songs were all tunes that people know from movies or adverts. We chose to eat there and the food was excellent, albeit a bit pricey. The show lasts about an hour and a half. Definitely worth a visit, especially if you have older folk visiting and not sure what to do with them. It does require booking way in advance though.
Had to get this picture – of Dan looking at some art! LOL. Not his cup of tea really – National Arts Museum
After the show we wandered around Central for a while and by the time we got back to Richmond, it was time for a pint at what had become our local in the short time that Daniel had been here. Turns out it was open mic night and we had the most fabulous time listening to all the talented people having a go! Daniel’s gran and her man are such good sports and I think they had a better time than us! Lots of wine was consumed!
The Queen’s Rose Garden – Regent’s Park – Did not know about this part of the park and was so pleasantly surprised by how beautiful it was. So many variations of roses and they all smelled different and beautiful! Lovely place to go if you want to propose marriage to the love of your life.
Slam Dunk Festival – The whole reason Dan came to visit when he did, was because we wanted to go and watch one of his favourite bands play at a festival in Hertfordshire – Mad Caddies. So we spent two days doing this. One day to get there and go to the festival and the next day to recover and get home. It was a very interesting experience to say the least. Coming from a background of years and years of trance party experience (with one rock festival – Ramfest) in there too, this was totally different! Even if I just compare the Ramfest experience with this one because the genre of music is similar, it was still so different. Or maybe it was just because we didn’t know anyone so there was not that familiar vibe of walking around and bumping into people. Or maybe it was because it was gently drizzling the entire time. It was still really fun though! The bands we wanted to watch were all great, the sound was amazing and we had a fat jol. We tried really hard to get drunk but that didn’t happen – not sure if they watered down the drinks or what (they were rather cheap). Anyway, probably for the best because we got to go home and enjoy the quaint little hotel we were staying in and were not at ALL hungover for the free breakfast in the morning! We even went for a little walk in the town before hopping on our bus to the station.
Our stay in Bradford-On-Avon. The second week of Daniel’s visit we decided to drive up to Bath for 4 nights. Turns out we had booked a cottage on a farm in a town about 15 minutes outside of Bath. It was so beautiful and exactly what we needed after a hectic ten days of being on the go non-stop. We had lots of big ideas about seeing as much as we possibly could in those 4 days – maybe even driving up to Wales – but the moment we got there we were so overcome by exhaustion and the beauty of the area that we literally didn’t leave for 2 days. There was a farm stall 5 minutes walk from us with milk and cream straight from the cow, fresh, HAPPY meat and everything else we needed so all I did those first days was cook! LOTS of food and drink consumed. We managed to make it into the village on the third day – SO old! And on the last day we caught the train into Bath, did the hop on, hop off tours and in so doing, managed to see as much of Bath as possible in one day. We left feeling revitalised which is the main thing.
There is no set date yet for Daniel’s next visit – he has to at least pretend to run his business for a while again – but that doesn’t stop me from nagging him about booking his next ticket at every opportunity. 😉 Can’t wait for our next adventure!