Affirmation 12/15/17

Deep breath. Let yourself slow down. Take stock of each good thing as you breathe in calm. Friends, family, shelter, kindness, food, peace, puppies, music, down to the tiniest thing. Breathe in knowledge of each piece until you are fortified by mindfulness of the many good things in your life.

I’m glad you’re here.

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Adventures in Basic Lessons

254) Fly a kite
255) Teeth are not forgiving. Take care of them.
256) Camp
257) Go to camp
258) At least one summer be a counselor
259) Try foods that scare you or sound/look gross
260) Ice skate every winter
261) Study
262) Sidewalks are for 2 things. Walking and chalking.
263) Learn a foreign language. If only with the most basic understanding
264) Keep a journal of even the most trivial things.
265) Have a zombie plan
266) Treat your robots well
267) Keep a flashlight in your car
268) Keep a blanket in your car
269) Try your hand at a sport for at least a year
270) Play tag with your friends even if you think you’re too old.
271) Same with hide and seek
272) Knit
273) Cross stitch at least once.
274) Be familiar with geography
275) Camp out in the backyard. One time more than you feel cool enough doing.
276) Know how to build a fire.
277) No lemonade stands
278) Know the Bill of Rights
279) Memorize a piece of literature; poem, monologue, piece from a book, etc.
280) Hike
281) Join a club.
282) Climb on things.
283) Go ahead. Cut your own hair. Just once though.
284) If your shirt has eyes they better not be on your boobs.
285) Snacks on roadtrips are a must
286) When you’re pretending to be a ballerina make sure the room is cleared.
287) Never let your roots show
288) As often as you can let your hair air dry.
289) Learn how to play Bridge
290) Pee outside at least once
291) You are never too old to play floor is lava
292) If you can help it don’t raise your voice.
293) Command a room without being demanding
294) If his pants are tighter than yours he is not for you
295) If his pants do not stay on even with the aid of a belt he is not for you.
296) Your shoes and belt and purse don’t have to match.
297) Don’t wear a belt unless you need it
298) The bigger your boobs are the less appropriate a fitted vest is
299) Live as simply as you can tolerate.
300) Ice cream sandwiches build friendships.

I’m wide awake; it’s morning

tLet me begin by saying I came back to the room exhausted. I could barely stand anymore. I briefly slept for about an hour. Well, now it’s 4 am and I hate that nap.

Anyway.

Overall today was an exciting day.

After I got sleepypants out of bed we headed off to Kilburn station, which was a lot farther away than Willesden Green, but we go a little lost. We took the Jubilee line to Green Park station and then took the Piccadilly to Piccadilly Circus station, which thankfully was not a real circus. 

This put us right in the heart of Soho.  We wandered around the area for some time. Went to a few shops. Went to a mall. (Dirk, I have something for you). ALSO! Dirk! I saw that boombox bag today. There was a yellow one and a white one and wee black one. They actually had connections for you ipod in them as well and had speakers. only 19.99 pound.  

Eventually we ran out of open places to go so we stopped in a cafe where we found someone who didn’t hate us at all for being American.  We were standing outside the cafe looking in deciding whether or not to go in because it seemed full. The owner opens the door and says, “Come on then, ladies, we’ll make room.” We walk in. He moves a woman there by herself to a smaller table and seats us at her table.  We order our food and he brings out to us. He was actually quite great. We paid and he asked us how long we were there for and what we were doing for New Years.  We told him. He said that he hoped to see us again before we left, but if he didn’t happy new years anyway. Sweet man.

After some more wandering we finally got to get into the gorgeous Palace Theatre on Shaftesbury Avenue to see Monty Python’s Spamalot. Now, I expected nothing less than fantasmic, and I got so much more. Even in my exhausted state I fell in love with the characters, laughed out loud numerous times, and oh, did I mention we were in the front row. Three rows back and I’d have been called on stage. The Lady of the Lake was superb. She was a Swedish woman who won the Swedish/Spamalot version of the show in America where people were trying to get on Grease. She was perfect. Her timing was excellent. Her voice was phenomenal. Also, a little surprisingly she was not a small woman.  I mean she was no cow, but she was about my shape (plus butt) and a little taller. I was surprised.  Lancelot and Gallahad had me wondering the whole performance. They both seemed so familiar.  But strangely enough my heart belonged to Patsy by the end of the show. He was spot on. I could not have been more pleased.

When the show ended we fought the massive crowds back to the subway and got home quite quickly. I think we’re finally getting a hold of this underground business. Tomorrow will be a new test.

Tomorrow we’re going to Oxford, which means to get there we’re also going to King’s Cross. Platform 9 3/4 this way. Now we have to get ourselves to the station and THEN figure out how to get to Oxford.

I think there’s a very distinct possibility that by the end of this trip I’ll have lost a fair bit of weight. We walk so much and we eat about a meal and a half a day, if we remember our half. Can’t argue with that kind of success, eh?  Then maybe I can start dressing like the women of London who all seem to have embarrassingly not called each other in the morning to make sure they didn’t all wear the same thing. They all seem to be sporting leggings and calf high boots with the tiniest mini skirts. And some other outrageous shirt. I saw a girl tonight in a dress, no that’s not fair to dresses. In this shirt that just covered her bum. Sleeveless. And boots. WHAT?! It’s 30 degrees! They’re all wearing this outfit though. Except for all the black women I’ve seen. We’re dressed much like them. Jeans. Shirts with sleeves. Sweaters. People clothes, not doll clothes. Oh well.

I also need to call John and Bea tomorrow after we figure out what time our train gets to Manchester to let them know when we’re coming.  We check out of our room on Friday at 9:30am, so we’ll probably be in Manchester by about 11:30 depending on the train schedule. 

oi, Mum, wanna drop a few extra bucks on my card, just in case?  Lovelove

 

Happy New Year, everyone. Make better choices in 2009. K?

Alright then.

First of all. We’re alive. Yea! We’ve not died. Yet. How happy for you. More for us though.  That’d be a fair bit of wasted coin, eh?

I’m writing to you now from a quaint and finally warm room with quite the slanted ceiling. It’s dangerous to a midget.  Speaking of midgets, if you met our bathroom…He’s sporting this miniature sink. I don’t mean it’s a little down scale. I mean that the width of it is equal to the breadth of my hand. It’s precious. But more on today later. First, yesterday.

So after a no terribly uncomfortable 7 1/2 hour flight (I think I watched the same 3 episodes of the Office and two episodes of Monk…about 5 times each) from Chicago we desperately sought wifi to inform our mothers that we were alive. We successfully made about four people hate us so far. Hooray. Last night we went down to the lounge of our hotel where were stared at by two blokes, for nearly two hours.  Not just like won’t stop looking, but WON’T STOP LOOKING! They went outside to smoke and still managed to be staring at us.  It was ridiculous.

Brett, you will be pleased to know, in the hotel room last night we walked in and I said to Bethany upon observing the sketchy pull out couch and the double bed, “wanna share the bed?” After about 5 seconds of thought she flopped onto the bed and sighed relief in the form of “okay.”  Moments later I throw myself on the bed and breathe the same sigh.  I look over at her and ask as sincerely as one can ask, “Wanna jump on the bed?” As she mulls the consequences over I begin to get up knowing she’ll feel inclined to do the same.  We totally jumped on that bed!

I personally had the individual experience of finding someone else’s poo in our toilet last night.

 

Alright, on to today. 

We overslept a bit and got up around 9:30 (that’s 4:30 am, for you homies!) Quickly we checked out of our room and got on the “Hotel Hoppa.” (Couldn’t make that up if I wanted to).  We went back to the airport and talked to the lady at the ticket desk for the trains and underground. She sent us to Paddington Station and then to magically find our way to Willesden Green. So after what should’ve been no more than probably 40 minutes on trains turned into a two hour adventure from the frozen depths of hell.  We’d get on a train and be totally on target an then hear “This train is terminated at this station.”  Which just so you know, does NOT mean they blow up the train there. Much to my disappointment.

We finally made it to Willesden Green.  Figured out how to call our hostel. This is when I met the Canadians because it’s also when Bethany went to call. As I wait impatiently for Bethany’s return a woman in her 60s I’d guess runs across the street in a dress for 20 somethings.  As she nearly gets hit by a car she grunts out a strong and terrifying “AAACK!” and declares them a “bloody nuisance” as she flips them the bird. Bethany comes back as I’m secretly hating her for taking so long and spending so much time inside.  “They don’t have us in their system,” she tells me.  I look at the confirmation papers in my hand and, sorry mum, say, “That’s bullshit.” She explains that they’ll shortly be coming to talk to me about it and I can just show them my papers. 

Several moments later an attractive dark-haired bloke walks up the street and shouts “Hayley Johnson” as he reads it off the paper in his hand.  “Yeah?”  (How tragically American of me).  We shake hands though he never tells us his name.  I hand him my papers. He assures us he will be back in two seconds. (The time difference reaches further than zones. Apparently a British second is 3 minutes. That’s six minutes!) He comes back across the street and addresses a police officer before approaching us.  He points up the street to us. And Bethany says, “Oh no! We’re getting arrested.”   We were not arrested. The man from the hostel calls us down the street and leads us to his car.  He drives us about two streets and parks in front of a house on Anson Road.  We cross the street and head up four flights of stairs to the top of the building, which has no heat yet as our electricity had not yet been turned on.

We sort everything out and he leaves to get us some power.  He comes back and we are instantly warmer.  He also invited us to his brother’s Jewish wedding in Liverpool this weekend. Tempting? No, not really, but he was very attractive.

After some sorting of things out we decided to head out into the cold.  (We learned by the hostel fella that this was likely the coldest day they’ve had all year, though tomorrow is to be colder. It may even snow).  We walked to the end of the street. Looked left and saw more houses.  Looked right and saw lights.  So we headed that way in hopes of finding food, which we’d not had all day.  We walked to the end of the street and turned.  KFC, that’s familiar.  We pressed on.  A beautiful bakery stood on our right.  We pressed on.  McDonalds. Safe. Burger King, sketchy no matter your country.  We finally settled on a cafe.  A place where everyone seemed to know everyone.  The large woman in the booth next to us explained how much she hated these booths because the chairs do not pull out, so she can barely get in, let alone out. 

We walked back toward our street and decided to stop in the bakery to get food for breakfast in the morning, and also a wee fruit tart for dessert.  

All in all, save for the lengthy train changes and lack of towels in our room it’s been alright.  Tomorrow should be better.  We head to SoHo to see Spamalot and whatever else we SoHo choose.  

A story.
We’re walking down the street back to our flat and Bethany looks at me and says, “What if we just got jobs and didn’t go back?” Before I even get the chance to answer her she trips and nearly face plants right there on the sidewalk.  “I think it best you not stay here.” 

Also, I’d just like to say it doesn’t matter what country you’re in, War Games is still no good.  You can SO win at tic-tac-toe, Dr. Steven Falken. You so can.

cheerio.