Thursday, October 20, 2005

London

Running away to Berlin was not enough. I have been muttering about needing to get away to an island for eons and eons. Now sure one of those sun filled islands with cabana boys and people waving palm leaves sounds nice. But I haven’t won the lottery this month so a quick trip to the Island of the Mother Tongue would have to do. Lucky me too, cause Mother Nature cooperated and made it sunny and gorgeous out the whole time I was there. And in reality… it more than sufficed; it was just what the doctor ordered. I had an absolutely lovely weekend with lovely people. People I wish I could have spent more time with and remembered to take pictures of, but it was 3 days of scrambling around. The following is a short run down of what I managed to do in the three days and a "photo commentary" on Ally Pally. Friday was a funny day. On Thursday I had the interview for the post I recently accepted. After being back out at my old building during my lunch on Thursday I turned it back around the next day. It felt odd when I left and it felt odd when I was back. There I was stuck in a training in my old building, a useless training- the best and usual kind non?? The best part, besides lunch with a dear colleague, was high tailing my ass out of there to catch a plane to London. Where the lovely people were waiting for me. I can't begin to describe how nice it is to stay at a proper home. Sure I have my flat, and I am trying to make it mine but it won't be a home in the same way. It won't be a home that has knitting magazines by the bedside for me to look through :) On Saturday I was sent scrambling round and round and round. I got my value out of that day travel card that is for sure! I had a friend’s graduation from Cambridge. After which we met up with Helen to do some irresponsible shopping (FCUK, go ahead rearrange the letters...) drinking on an empty stomach (a recurring theme for the weekend- one in which my Irish Alcoholic genetics do NOT help) and a trade of yarn 5helen gets a sweater). Then on to Tom's Vodka Jellies book signing/press party. All V. Bridget Jones. V. Bridget Jones to the point of including me rolling out of a car with motion sickness and “watering a plant” after hiding in the footwell of the 2 seater of my friend and her boyfriend to get a ride home. Amateur EAT before you DRINK!! On Sunday after a lovely and lounging morning I headed out to Ally Pally. Ally Pally is the first “fibre fest” I have been to. And really when Polly said it would be overwhelming I had no clue. I was ASTOUNDED by all that I saw. I thought it would be slower on Sunday. I was wrong, not the waves of retirees as predicted, but I do still believe I lowered the collective age. I first did a tour of the halls. In the first hall there are people who walk and knit with Big Sticks. I saw a VERY frightening “fashion show” complete with dancing models- who need to stop the side to side hip bouncing. And this... it is for Kristine- Who needs French lingerie?? In the second hall I saw all the artist knitting exhibits (that last one... me and my pure mind will leave you gutter waders to caption it). And in the last room I went through the yarn stalls. Some with too much acrylic, others with piles of bags of yarn for people to wade through and some of the very scary booths- Amelia has a photo of the bucktooth hair clip dolls place. She forgot to note that the lady running that booth. DRESSED LIKE HOLLY FREAKING HOBBY. People need help… (Debbie Bliss’ booth the place where I finally crashed down for the last hour, cause it was enough and the nice people were there). I hit all the “good” booths (I am too tired to search up all the links and I am not putting photos. Polly and others took better and me I was in overwhelm. Tink is all about the quirky Ally Pally photo parade)- Habu, Alchemy, Get Knitted, Rowan/Jaeger, Touch Me, Alchemy, Hipknits, Kaalund and Debbie Bliss. I saw the local specialty booths. I saw the specialty yarn booths (just say NO to that creation made of 15 novelty yarns). But by the end of Sunday and after the rounds… there wasn’t much left and there weren’t many deals to be had either. Ally Pally is not like those US fibre fests I hear of people getting insane deals at. So as lame as it sounds… I touched a lot of yarns I had only ever heard of by name and I returned with enough Lorna’s Laces in the Tuscany colourway to make a pair of socks (though later after seeing Amelia’s scarf - isn't she GORGEOUS??, I wish I’d splurged and gotten some Lion & Lamb. Amelia wishes she would have done an extra repeat). I ran from Ally Pally to meet up with Amelia on her way back from Lille and the DePalmas concert. We had a lovely chat and drank again on an empty stomach. Really twas a chat I didn't want to end. All of this lead to me RUNNING everywhere to get to the airport in time. Long story short, I didn’t make it. Well I did but it was Air France, and one never cuts corners with Air France. Seems Arthur the British God of Transport doesn’t like me either. I think the Gods of Transport have created a Union against those of us who run on Latina clocks... Therefore I headed back for an extra night at the most lovely of hosts. Arthur and local transport weren’t exactly friendly but I got there. I swear you couldn’t find a cuter, sweeter and kinder couple to stay with. I thought Arthur was going to let all hell rain on me after all that. I mean getting back to the lovely happy place was a game enough involving many types of transport. But luckily turns out that I wasn’t on his true shit list. I found an inexpensive roundtrtip ticket to go back on the Eurostar. AHHHH the joyous heavens of luck open up on me. "Barely" cost me anything, easier transport and I get something for it- a return trip! Bless Arthur. So for Monday, I called in a sickie. I slept in (I was wound a bit tight on Sunday night). I took a bath. (People I have a 2ft x 2ft shower. It has been over a year since I took a true bath. All hail the Lush bath bomb and the HUGE bathtub). I wandered through the Kew Gardens. I watched television in English. I had thoroughly forgotten the magnetic pull of CNN. It suctioned my ass into a comfy chair for hours. I made my way out in the afternoon and hopped the train back to Paris. I thought for a while Arthur was fucking with me as I had the world’s chattiest person sitting next to me. I was NOT interested in talking. He was some wacko American who lives in Paris (I know I am one to talk, but this guy was going on about Nixon… even I don’t go that far). He finally went to the food wagon. I flirted with the cute guy across the way and then took a nap. After landing I shuttled myself home and collapsed. I have to say that the weekend in London… was easily one of the better weekends I could have had in a very long time. EXACTLY what the Dr. ordered again! Lovely people. I can't begin to describe how lovely. And if I did I would just be going on and on and on. And even better there was yarn too :)

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