Published: April 19th 2007April 19th 2007
Si, me and Suz having a beer
Do not pass go, just go straight to JUST VISITING via Wimbelton Station. You have a couch, so the rent charges do not apply but you still have to use our ridiculously strong Monopoly money.
As always British Airways and Hethro pulled through. Our plane was delayed but I managed to text Stu to say I was going to be late. The only bonus was getting drunk in the back of the plane yarning to the cabin crew. One of which had been caught by those vans with speeding cameras in NZ and was quizzing me about the effect it would have on his insurance. Poor guy arrived home to find several speeding tickets.
I eventually met up with Stu around midnight, feeling more than guilty for messing him about on a Friday night. His lounge proved to be a comfortable abode, with a mattress set up all for me!
I was woken early by flatties. After a couple of sammies from my friend on British Airways for breakie, I was heading off to celebrate Suz Glenn’s belated birthday. Do I have good timing or what?
I navigated the subway system, expertly switching off the train via Bank
3pm - Si, me and Glen.
Oh yeah, Glen says hi Marty.
on the Northern Line. Armed with Stu's A to Z managed to find destination China town. The truth is I asked for directions...
I was greeted by Suz, Brad Winger and Simon Palmer. It was all quite exciting!
Sam and Toni turned up too.
The mini Grammar reunion with a couple of guys from my brothers year. Glen and an Indian chap who played soccer? Anyway, we all recognised each other and it was probably more buzzy for me but hey.
A few beers down and a 3pm Juger bomb with Si Palmer saw me merrily on my way. Cheers bruv!
Stu popped down for a beer and soon everyone was chugging along. Brad intorduced a drinking game called boxing which involved shooting beer. A concept I had not experienced since the 100 Club challenge which I failed miserabley. Stu and I headed out to meet up with Simon again. Unfortunately we were unable to find anywhere that would accept 4lads. Stupid London bouncers.
A dirty $10 hotdog and a tube ride later, Stu and I were back home and had a chill out and a JD & coke.
Sunday, Stu mooted a trip to Brighton Pier. It
The Winger family
Brad, Suz and Brads lil sister.
was a grand old day, so away we went. I was informed that the destination of my first day "out and about" was England's gay capital. The place was all class, driving in to the place there was at least 12 12year olds pushing prams.
It was a cracker of a day and we went for a wonder along the boardwalk and checked out the pier.
We played a carnival game, which I took out. Boooya! My prize was a fish. This fish now hangs proudly from my bag and often generates a bemused comment.
We had a cone of Fish and chips and took off back to London.
I had arranged to meet Simon Reeves or as many know him The Joff. He was moving flats and I was to be his bag boy. However, I was not complaining as he had a spare bed for me at his new place.
Stu the legend dropped me off at his place. I felt bad because I was a little late.
However, I found Simon on the razz and having a barbie. He was in no hurry! All class and big thanks for the burgers Emily and the beers Brooksy.
Stu gearing up to bust a move outside his whare
Anyway half cut and feeling lazy we piled all the stuff in to a taxi and set forth to Fulham Broadway - Simons new home. The place was a little bit of a dive with a broken shower curtain but it had a little balcony overlooking a pub called The Goose which would be good in the tropical London summers, I imagine.
Monday, I reluctantly got up to an empty house and wolfed down some Bake Beans on toast. Simon, I hope you do not mind but I stole some of your chilli powder (it is easy to ask for forgiveness than permission). Oh and someones butter.
I spent the day wandering around the Camden Markets and catching random buses and trains. I was in London and everything was going on around me. It was a great day of orientation and I spent the best part of it kind of knowing where I was but not really.
I put out the word to meet up with a few mates at the Walkabout to watch NZ smash Bangladesh and got an honourable turn out.
Catching up briefly with Garry Teishman, who did a brief knock at AIG before
England beach patrol
Stu did not want to be the girl the little tramp.
returning to duller pastures.
Tuesday, a bit more wandering before meeting Andrea and Eddie for a much hyped curry at Brick Lane. Andrea gave me a brief tour of the Insurance sector... feel the power. My mind briefly went back to the days of being a corporate slave. However, soon I was chugging down a curry and forgot all about it!
After a satisfying lunch, I hit the War Museum and wandered back towards the London Eye and the mighty Thames river.
Simon cooked me tacos that night. All class mate, you are a champ! This was to be my night off from partying, pheeewww.
Wednesday, I arranged to meet up with a real life Londoner! I initially met Sinead in Cairns and managed to keep in touch and arrange a locals perspective tour of the city. She definately gets the prize for Local Tour Guide Award.
Her only downfall is her distinct bad taste in humour. She calls me Dave - as in The Office's David Brent... haha funny.
Sinead took me to the "must sees" including Tower of London - which for the record is actually a castle. I had walked past it on my first
Fush n chups
England stylies. For the record they were average.
day. My eyes pointing upwards looking for the tower. No clue. We checked out the armoured pigmees which made up the British legion centuries ago, torture techniques and also joined in a BeefEaters tour of the castle. The highlight was observing the crown jewels and the royal punch bowl (priceless gems included).
Sinead then took me out for some Veitnamese. She got us slightly lost but preferred to ring and ask her friend for directions than have me help by cranking out the map! Classic. We had a lovely meal and then visited Trafalgar Square.
Lossing track of time, I was supposed to meet with Brad, Suz, Dan, Jenny and a couple others for a beer. Whoops!
We raced to meet up for a beer and to catch everyone. Unfortunately I missed seeing Jenny which I deeply disappointed in and really gutted! Sorry babe!
However, Dan Abercromby Suz and Brad were still there and we had a good laugh about some of our antics in Italy.
Dan and I took Sineads advise and went on a rampage in a bar somewhere somehow. I remember having Dan mess up on spade I was having so I took him home. Apparently
Spot of cricket - telly ho
Si, Stu and Andrea along for a couple of Snakies at the Walkabout.
it was a short walk. Just to London Bridge. We were by the river but it took us over an hour. The walk was very entertaining... especially when Dan spent 20minutes on Millenium Bridge trying to get a pic of Big Ben.
We eventually arrived at Suz and Brads flat. I set up a nest on the floor and had to convince Dan that it would be a nice gesture to give me one of the 3 blankets he had. I should have left him to find his own way home!
2hours later, I was awoken by Chris Thomas, who was getting ready for work. He was v suprised to see me on his floor. We go way back to soccer at the original mighty red and black of Ellerslie FC. Nice one bruv. Good to see you son.
Dan and I gingerly got up and forced down some hot cross buns. Whatever time it was we arose, I had not sustained enough sleep to become a functional human being. We decided to go for a walk to Hyde Park - which happened to be miles away, again.
We saw some great sights on the way. Big Ben, a
Leon and me with Gazza. Good to see you mate!
protester in Parliament Square, Westminster Abbey, Buckingham Palace, some guards standing really still and the odd double decker bus! All good.
Dan and I had an emotional farewell (cough). Then I boosted back to Si's to get primed up for a night out. One more tin of Bake Beans and I was off to meet Stu for the Deja Voddoo, Stereogram and Elemeno P concert. 3 Kiwi bands who I had not seen.
Stu and I went along with his flatty from Northland and a token Saffy. We soon bumped into Si Palmer and Reece Robby. Reece visiting just for a holiday too - so it was an added bonus to have a catch up between sets.
For the record, all the bands were amazing and the guy from Stereogram is a crazy mofo.
After the concert I ran in to Gareth John - an old friend of Marty's. Unbelievable. So I had a yarn and soon found that I had lost everyone. A state of drunken disillusion rather than panic set in and not for the first time everything in London was passing me by. I followed Gareth and took the last subway with him.
Snake bites are all class. Mmmm!
like a logical step but I was not on the right line and this was the last train. Meanwhile we were on the train... Gareth got off and I ended up staying on with two of Gareth's mates whose names I can not remember. All good though. We went in search of a bar... where ever we were. We found 4 supposedly good bars - all closed, a dirty kebab shop, and a guy with a fence post looking for a couple of kids who had stole his wallet. It was late and nothing was going on. Unsure exactly where I was, I said my goodbyes to my 1hour friends and I taxied back to Si's place. What a random night. No clue what happened to Stu, Si P or all the others.
I awoke a little jaded. I had now had a few night out in a row. Que the violins!
I headed out to meet Sinead (my number one tour guide). She was helping a friend move and so I took a 2hour train out to meet her. We decided to go for a stroll around her old place of study, while
As promised, Andrea and Eddie took me out for a long awaited curry on Brick Lane.
her friend transformed the car into something that resembled the Beverley Hollbillies wagon. She showed me a top spot for fudge - still dreaming about it. We then snuck in the back way to Trinity College, acting like we were students... great work.
She entertained me with snippets of life in Cambridge, including Cambridge University is made up of 31 different colleges. Each operate with their own autonomy. I also learned that Magdalene is said very pretentiously! It is like they have their own stuck up language there!
Next up, I was very keen to try my hand at punting. A tradition sport whereby a boat is propelled along a river by a pole, whilst balancing on the pack of the boat. Dont fall in!
It looked easy and I love canoes and all things to do with water. As I found out this was not so simple and in fact darn right counter intuative at the best of times. Sinead was eager to let me have a whirl and so I took the pole first. I got us stuck under the first bridge which was amusing. It took another boat to spin me round to get us out.
All class at the War Museum
At this stage it was more like dodgems than punting.
From there forward I got dangerously better - often thinking I had mastered it, before having a head on collision with another boat or teetering on the brink of tipping myself out of the boat.
Sinead took over for a bit to give me a breather - it was hard work lifting up the pole after a while. So it was nice to lie back in the sunshine and watch her heave my fat ass along. I got some curious looks from women passing by. Eventually I figured that they were probably wondering why I so relaxed while Sinead busted her ass!
All in all this was the highlight of my trip and I was so pumped! I wanted to float about all afternoon.
We headed back, grabbing an impressive Cornish Pasty from the best in town (again). There is one thing I never share - Mums cornish pasties. Brilliant! They are in my family history. A tiny glint of homesickness pulsed through me. I was not going to have better Cornish Pasties until I went home!
I had to grab a train home, as the bus was full.
Londons best tour Guide
Introducing Sinaed, the one and only Londoner who took time out to inform me of Londons lil gems. Including the Royal Guard.
So that sucked. I arrived home at the same time as Si, so we decided to grab a couple of beers at the local pub called The Slug and Lettuce or more well known in London as The Slut and Legless. We had a few there before saying enough was enough.
Saturday was final day in London. This also coincided with the eagerly awaited Cambridge Oxford race. So, Si and I got kitted up and grabbed a couple of doz. We met up with some of his mates at the riverside and set in for a great afternoon in the sun drinking beer and skylarking. A large marque was set up with beats cranking.It felt more like a George FM party than a "cultured" afternoon out in London.
We ended up missing the race. Oh well!
Instead we had got through our beers and partied until the music was getting too cheesy. Si got his bag removed by the cleaners which was a bit of a downer. He got his justice by emptying out all the rubbish they had painstakingly put in to bags. A bit of a release and hilarious at the same time for the rest of
Great sign with Tower bridge in the back ground.
For some reason we headed out afterwards, still, to a Thai restuarant which transforms in to a night club. Very funky. We got home at some derranged hour. The others have no consideration for my wellbeing!
My last morning in London I picked myself up out of bed around 7:30 am, making sure I woke up Si to say that he is going to miss me. The streets were deserted. Happy Easter Sunday to me! Everyone else was in bed and I had to catch a plane.
Nice, France here we come.
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