Sunday, 10 June 2012

Moomin Valley

Yesterday I went to Covent Garden to have a mooch around the shops and I found the Moomin Shop. I'd been meaning to find out where it was all week, so it was really nice to just stumble across it. It's in the main market building and you have to climb some wooden stairs to get to it. There's even a few Moomin characters to see along the way. It was so cute inside as well with all the stuffed toys and wooden bookshelves. I used to watch The Moomins on TV before school and I remember reading some of the books when I was younger. I think my favourite character was Snufkin because it was always a big deal when he was back in town. I wanted to buy so much, but I limited myself to a tote bag and a card for Father's Day.

I had a look around the rest of the markets and then went to a fancy chocolatier for a present for my dad, where I was given a free truffle for myself (wahoo!) I also picked up a small present for my friend from a homeware-y type shop as she turns 22 next week. Then I picked up a dress from Oasis which may be my graduation dress, but I haven't decided yet. They were having a 20% off sale so that kind of persuaded me, but I'm still not 100% sure I'll keep it. I think it's a bit too summery and floaty and not tailored enough for a graduation dress, but we'll see.

THEN I WENT TO SEE THE LION KING AND IT WAS AMAZING AND I WAS ON THE FRONT ROW AND I ALMOST CRIED WHEN IT STARTED IT WAS THAT GOOD. Phew. So that was emotional. I'd managed to get tickets the night before from for £50 down from £65. It took me a while to find a site I trusted as I didn't want to get ripped off. This one was listed on the STAR (Secure Tickets from Authorised Retailers) website or something, so I knew I'd be ok. The performance was so amazing with all the puppetry and scenery, it really was a spectacle in the truest sense of the word. However, I think it's hard to separate the Disney film from the show when it's the same story and they share the same songs, so that you can't help but compare it all the way through. Apart from that it was amazing. Scar was suitably evil, and Mufasa was the great king we all know and love. I went home very happy.

Today I went to the Summer Exhibition at the Royal Academy of Arts with my friend Harriet. It was nice to see her again and it was nice having some company whilst doing some more London sightseeing. There were so many piece of art to look at, it was just as amazing as it was overwhelming. It was lovely to see the work of new artists next to those who are well known in the art world. Most of the pieces were up for sale as well, so it was nice to be able to see which ones had been bought. Some people have quite a different taste to mine! We broke for lunch and went to Wagamama's where I had chicken katsu curry (standard). We nipped back in to look at the last few rooms (they don't normally let you in and out, but I think we charmed the guy on the desk) and then went to the gift shop where I bought Wreck This Journal, which is basically a journal that lists a different way to 'wreck' it on each page. One of the first few tasks is to break the spine of the book, and even that made me cringe! The whole idea is to stop being so scared of making mistakes and start being a bit more creative and experimental. It should be really fun.

Back to the grindstone tomorrow. Although I'm not really doing anything that taxing at the moment, I think it's just the idea of getting up early which makes me want to curl up in bed and never come out. Last week in London!

Friday, 8 June 2012

Life On The Strand

Well, getting up at half seven every morning is killing me. I'm kind of glad that it's only been a three day week, I don't think I could have lasted much longer. I did work full time for a while before I went to uni, but my hours were 12 - 7pm so I didn't really feel the pain of dragging myself out of bed at the crack of dawn every morning (well, sometimes it was painful).

My first day didn't start off too well as I went to the wrong reception desk and then the right reception took about half an hour to get in touch with someone from the office, as the person's name who I'd been given wasn't in that day. This made me extra nervous, and the receptionist kept asking me to spell my last name for her which got a bit tedious. Sometimes I hate having a weird last name just for that fact. People panic when they're presented with something a bit foreign and I can tell they're thinking 'OH GOD HOW DO I SPELL THAT?' Although I'd probably do the same in their position to be honest.

I finally got into the building (success!) and I was given a grand tour of the building (it's massive). I don't know how much I can say in terms of the stuff I've actually been doing, but it's been pretty interesting seeing how a book comes together and taking a look at all the different ways a work is publicised. The photocopier is now my best friend and I've probably contributed to deforestation in some way. Captain Planet would not be happy. Sorry nature.

My second and third days were a little easier because I know most of the team's names now and know where the main things are - post room, storage room, kitchen, free cakes and books room. You know, that sort of thing... *chomps on cake whilst leafing through War and Peace* Now I don't have to ask questions every two minutes, I feel like I'm actually contributing something rather than getting in the way. It must be a bit annoying having to show a new person every two weeks what to do. But it is free labour. Ha!

In terms of sightseeing and things like that, today I wandered around the London Eye and Parliament Square which was very pretty. Although the grandeur of the Houses of Parliament did made me a little bit angry, as it just made me think about all the posh Eton boys sat inside deciding which local library to shut next whilst rubbing their hands with glee. Urgh. I promptly rode the tube back to the flat afterwards.

Which reminds me that the tube is robbing me blind. Well, perhaps not blind, as every barrier I pass through kindly reminds me how much I have left on my oyster card. -10p people, -10p. I have no idea how I've managed to go into minus numbers. Is someone going to chase me down for 10p? I'm clearly living on the edge.

Tomorrow I'm going to sleep in (yay!) and then see if I can buy some last minute tickets to a theatre show somewhere. Mind have a wander down Covent Garden as well. Lovely stuff :)

Sunday, 3 June 2012

You sound like you're from Lanndannn

I'm here, I've made it to London for my two week work placement. Hurray! I'm not sure whether many people will be interested in my escapades down here, but I thought it would be nice to keep some sort of journal of my time in London. After all, 'what better way to share my private thoughts than to broadcast them on the internet'...

My placement doesn't start till Wednesday, but I wanted to avoid the bank holiday crowds so I booked my train for today (Sunday) which allows me some time to get my bearings. My train left at 14:55 and took just over two hours to get into London as it only had a few stops. I'd reserved a table seat but I'd forgotten just how awkward it is sitting straight across from a stranger when you can't help but look at them now and again because, you know, they're straight across from you and just THERE. And then there'd be times when she'd see me looking, and I'd think, 'Oh god, she thinks I'm crazy' and quickly look away, but then that probably made me look even madder. These are the socially awkward situations which I suffer through every day... But apart from that, everything was fine. Well, apart from the creepy guy across the aisle who kept staring at me, so that I had become part of a crazy staring circle thing, and nobody knew where to look and it was all very awkward and all so terribly British. I was also living in fear that the train conductor wasn't going to accept my ticket, because I'd cut up the card I'd used to buy them as it had expired. I'd sellotaped it back together just in case, but he didn't even ask to see it, thankfully. It did look quite pathetic.

Getting the tube wasn't too bad either, except that the Northern line has so many different branches I thought I was going to end up in the wrong place, and the underground still reminds me a little bit of the film Creep. Someone carried my suitcase up the stairs for me though, which was nice. I was too tired to care whether he was being sexist or not so I just thanked him at the top. It was probably more due to the fact that I got to the bottom of the stairs and groaned 'OH GOD' than anything else. Ha. My lovely friend was waiting for me at the gates to take me to her friend's flat where I shall be staying for the next two weeks, which is just a short walk from Archway. I dropped off my stuff, had a cup of tea, and then we headed down the road to a pub for some dinner. I think they were supposed to be having an outdoor Jubilee barbeque, but as it was raining there was no one outside and there was just one cold looking chef stood next to a barbeque under an umbrella. I felt quite sorry for him, poor guy! Apparently they usually have quite a large menu, but this time they had a special 'Jubilee Menu' which only had a few things on it. The portions were still massive though. We were both pretty tired after dinner so we just headed back to the flat.

I've unpacked a few things and now I'm going to settle down and watch The Apprentice final on iPlayer. Hurray for London! I think we're heading to Covent Garden tomorrow or something, but we shall see. I've only been here a grand total of three times so I'm sure there's plenty for me to see.

Latest Instagrams

© The Stones Inside My Shoes | A UK Lifestyle Blog. Design by FCD.