October 2011 - London and Barcelona

I don’t know what we were thinking this morning… Why oh why did we both wake up before 5am this morning? To what point was this going to help us get through our day? I packed, had a shower, a snooze and still managed to get to breakfast at 7am—Choc Chip Pancakes. YUM!

Back to the room, little more packing, an episode of Chuck and a little waiting before our day finally began. Just before 10 we headed out to Abercrombie & Fitch. I’m glad we didn’t leave it any later. A&F is in this side street, off Regent Street, in this old building that makes it like a rat maze. And the rats—I mean people-were everywhere. The store had not been opened for 10mins and the place was barely bearable, in fact both Jonno and I had to breathe a sigh of relief on exit. I’m not sure I ever want to go back. But the mass of people weren’t the only reason for this thought. Basically the prices were what you see in USD only they were GBP. It was ridiculous and people were paying it too (I bought 1 item, but it was the planned item because the difference basically meant the shipping if I ordered it online). There were six people in front of me in the queue, when I left there would have been 25-30 people waiting for the cashier. One guy in front of me spent 310 pound on next to nothing (a few shirts). CRAZY! This does not bode well for if A&F ever come to Australia, I expect the prices to be as ridiculous as they are over here.

Next stop Hensleys Toy Store for a cute distraction. The walls loaded with replicas of EVERY characters wand from Harry Potter, a replica (and smaller scale) chess set from the Philosopher’s Stone. I had to agree and laugh my ass off when Jonno said Voldemort’s wand looked like a Dildo. We played for a bit but had to head back to the Hotel shortly after to finish packing and checkout of the Hotel. Jonno went via a stationary store and I went by the cupcake place we had walked past almost everyday on our way to the shops. YUM! (I’m saying that a lot aren’t I?)

So at 1215 after stuffing up my comp nights and charging me for one night (luckily they took it off the bill in the end) my bill for 2 breakfasts, 1 dinner and drinks (divded by 2) only came to 86GBP. (And about 30GBP of that was internet). Seriously good effort.

Taxi over to Canary Wharf to dump bags to cab back into Charing Cross to meet Brad after spending less than 5mins in the Hotel. We went to a Mexican Place called Wahaca, its a chain but the food is amazing. Brad ordered what he thought was Sangria with Tequila, only to find it was more Spicy Tomato Juice with Tequila that was meant to be skulled. It was so hot we needed Mojitos to cool down afterwards. The food was little tasting plates of quesadillas, tacos and other mexican paraphernalia. We both had our stuff and needed to walk it off. We walked down to Westminster and across the bridge and we kept walking and walking, and walking and walking and finally we made it to Tate Modern Museum.

The building is imposing inside and out. You walk in and there is this HUGE expanse of empty space running to the top of the building but you are on Level 2. The building goes down a whole other floor! I think the building itself grabs you more than anything else inside it. The art was, a little weird, hard to follow what they were going for. There were a couple of interesting temporary exhibits including paintings and photographs of families from across the world, their stories representing everything from Polygamy to Blood Feuds, to Terrorism, to Spiritual Rituals and Rabbit Proof Fences (instead of pictures of a family it was pictures of rabbits).

6pm and it is already pitch black, Brad and I walk back across the Millenium Bridge towards St Pauls to jump on a train and head to Victoria Station. I may have missed out last night because everything was closed but not tonight people, tonight I was determined to see Wicked =)

Since both Brad and I had seen it before in Australia we were comparing. Staging wise, London won because of the fact that the stage is specifically designed for Wicked here with tracks. The set changes had a flow that I can’t remember in the Australian production, and a few extra things suspended in the sky. Performance wise, Melbourne won for me (and Sydney for Brad). Elphaba just couldn’t compete with Amanda Harrison and the dancing was not a stand out at all (although the lead guy did dance more flamboyantly than his Australian counterpart, I don’t think that was a good thing though).

It was a long day. I didn’t see the room until 11pm that night. Jonno had hogged all the internet connections for 24 hours (3). His reasoning was that I wasn’t around and so he connected his ipad, iphone and computer to the net. I hate to point out that it is a 24 hour connection and at some point I would be ‘hanging around’. I now have to pay more money for a slower internet connection because today is the day Drink Deep is released. Of all the days for Jonno NOT to think.