Chronicles of one girl's journey to London - from conception to eventual migration.

Thursday, September 29, 2011

TO TAVIRA WE GO!

Well, we went and are back now. "We" is Emma (flatmate and good friend) and myself and we had a very relaxing time. It was also Country 13, yay!

Etch has a timeshare in a flat in Tavira - located in Portugal for geographically challenged readers - and let us use some . . . share of his time. We flew from Stansted to Faro, the nearest airport, on Thursday night after work. This was to ensure maximum time in the sun from Friday on!

The weather was fantastic and the reason this post is going to be so short is because this is all we did:

Thursday
Arrive at flat by midnight. Sleep.

Friday
Wake up early, get some breakfast and lunch supplies from on-site supermarket. Eat. Get into bikini. Lie down by pool. Snooze. Dip in pool. Lunch. Lie in sun. Snooze. Make lasagne in flat. Eat. Chat. Sleep.


Saturday
Wake up early. Eat. Get into bikini. Lie down by pool. Snooze. Dip in pool. Lunch. Lie in sun. Snooze. Walk 20 mins into town at about 4pm. Walk around. Drink sangria. Go to cosy restaurant for dinner. Drink sangria. Walk back to resort. Chat. Watch TV. Sleep.


Sunday
Wake up early. Eat. Head to beach with packed lunch. Back to resort's on-site restaurant for very delicious dinner. Drink sangria. Back to flat. TV. Sleep.

Monday
Wake up early. Eat. Lie down by pool. Snooze. Dip in pool. Pack up. Taxi to airport. Leave!

It was a great break but we were both also looking forward to coming back to move into our new house! We have a lovely place in Tooting Bec (only 2 miles from old place) with Sara and Etch!

Friday, September 16, 2011

UNLIMITED MOVIES? OK!

After living in London for over a year, I've learnt about a few of the perks and savings tips that can be taken advantage of to make a social life easier.

There is, of course, the very popular Happy Hour - a concept practices around a lot of the world - where you can get drinks for 50% cheaper and so on. I'm not really a big drinker anymore but I do enjoy taking advantage of this.

Then, there are the usual Groupon, KGB Deals (a personal favourite actually), GoGroopie, Red Letter Days and so on that most people will also have heard of in some way (note: a really great one if you live in the Isle of Man is Isle of Deals and all proceeds go to a good cause!).

The one I like the best is the Unlimited Card at Cineworld. For those who enjoy a weekly trip to the movies, this is definitely worth it! As of September 2011, it costs £17.99 per month for access to all Cineworld cinemas in London to as many movies as you want. Seeing as a movie at Cineworld costs £9.20 a ticket for a 2D movie, you can make this back by watching just 2 movies in a month.

We used to go once a week and spend up to £40 on tickets and food. Now, it's half that if we want the popcorn (always). There is a £1.50 charge for 3D movies but I am OK with that as I don't really enjoy 3D movies and so tend to forgo those when possible.

Thursday, September 8, 2011

THE WEST END

New York has Broadway, Toronto has King Street (OK, so it's not world famous) and London has the West End. That's right, we're talking musicals! Stage plays! Sequins! Glamour! Drama! Showtunes! Vaseline smiles! Jazz hands!
In the last 2 months, I have been to 3 different productions, all very different and different levels of awesome.

1. Wicked, Apollo Victoria
Qas and I went to see this in July as part of our anniversary weekend. It was, in a word, spectacular. While it is very corny in some ways, you expect that from theatre so it's digestable. What makes it so great is the talent of the cast. The Wicked Witch's voice is just brilliant and Good Witch Glinda is the perfect mix of well-intentioned and selfish. The stage effects and costumes make this a brilliant watch. Fans of The Wizard of Oz will not be disappointed.


2. Batman Live, O2 Arena
Qas and I went to this over the August Bank Holiday. And while not technically in the West End it's still a pretty cool stage show. It is definitely meant for kids, though, and you can expect the same level of corny dialogue and "gee-whiz Batman"s that you would get from the cartoon or reading the comic book. What made this really fun to watch was the circus performers. Because the show is based on how Dick Grayson becomes Robin, a lot of it is based in the circus. There were 3 very cool moments in the show: the Batmobile on stage, the scene in the asylum and a spectacular entrace by the Joker! It's on a limited run in London but will be around the country all year.


3. Thriller Live, Lyric Theatre
Don't go to this. Seriously. If you love Michael Jackson and do not want to see his wonderful career made into a sad, unintentional parody that looks like a high school show then stay far, far away. Qas and I got tickets from BritBound for only £20 each for the Upper Circle, which is a definite bargain no matter what show you see. But I felt cheated when I saw this. It was not worth any amount of money. They took songs like Bad and made them into happy, skippy songs with amateur choreography and poorly executed, lazy dancing. Not everything was terrible. The show's two saving graces were the kid who played young MJ (pretty good!) and the fact that no one attempted to sing Billie Jean. Instead, a guy danced while lip-syncing. His dancing was pretty good, so that part was alright. But, my God, this was like Glee and High School Musical put their reject cast members on a stage and said, "Do some Michael Jackson".



I'm hoping to catch Lion King soon, as well as We Will Rock You and maybe Shrek.