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Michael’s Travel Diary

Sunday, 14 May 2006

Location: London, England

MapEntry 32 - Rounding out London (April 10th - 14th)

HAPPY MOTHERS DAY MUM HAPPY MOTHERS DAY MUM
HAPPY MOTHERS DAY MUM HAPPY MOTHERS DAY MUM

and to all you other mums out there reading this, happy mothers day to you too.

Hey guys, I have left London (for now... I WILL be back) and am in Copenhagen now, so I figure that I better get this thing all up to date as I wait for the Contiki tour to begin. So, a bunch of new photo pages went up over the weekend (some less inspired than others) and this entry should get me up to date until the tour starts. Also look for some technological upgrades to the greatest travel blog in the world* probably starting from the next entry.

I really didn't get up to much more in the second half of my London stay than I did in the first stage. On Wednesday I started looking into the different agencies around town and started to do a bit of a ring around. I had a mixed response from the agencies when I said that I was going on holidays for another 10 weeks or so before coming back to London to work. One of the agencies was should have tried to avoid lying and straight out told me that were gonna throw the resume in the bin. One of the others was much more helpful, and I had a 15 minute conversation with the guy who was interested in my past jobs (which I've always had trouble explaining). When I asked if it was just going to end up in the bin, he said it wouldn't but to be sure that I got in contact with him again before I got back to London. I also looked around on the net and found a couple jobs that sounded similar to the work I was doing at Toyota and were paying quite reasonably too. Wednesday night was the UEFA cup final (I think) and the TV reception went out at the house so I headed to the nearest pub (Walkabout) to watch the end of the game. The spanish team thumped Liverpool, and put on 3 goals in the last 15 minutes... so it was 'kinda' worth seeing the end of the game.

Thursday was the beginning of the 2 day 'heat wave'. Apparently that's what you call a series of 22 degree days in London. Warnings about drinking lots of water, avoiding the subway if feeling ill, and pasty white people taking as much clothing off as possible to get some some (and somehow coming away lobster red) filled the town for Thursday and most of Friday until the rain came back. Thursday I headed to the Tate Modern, a gallery of paintings and sculptures from the 20th century. Included in the collection were a handfull of Picaso's, which stood out like dogg's balls despite me not knowing anything about art, and the Monet painitng Water Lillies (look it up, it will be familiar). The one thing I did decide though was that art and religion have a lot on common - they are both talking out their asses, at best guessing at what is actually going on. How can a painting that is about 4x4m in size, painted entirely in red, except for a 2 inch wide vertical strip on the right hand side that is in purple, be described in any other way than how I just described it? More importantly, how can it possibly be a social commentary on life in the France in the 1960's?

Boar's DIY guide to becomming a famous painter:
1 Get yourself a canvas.
2 Get some paint - any type will do apparently, as long as you give a reason for using what you use. Oil and house paint seems common.
3 Throw the paint on the canvas - don't waste too much time on this, it isn't the important part.
4 Explain what it is - this is where you have to spend your time. It doesn't have to make sense. The more sense it makes, the more chance someone will challenge you. For example:

"This piece was designed to express the way in which society views different pieces of furniture with varying regards of respect. In the post 911 world, I feel that chairs and tabels are being given less preference than beds and bedroom furniture. This artwork, which may look like a BAKED POTATO to the untrained viewer, is actually expressing the reverse paradox of the YOYO theorem in which SHABBY CHIC furniture, the like of which IKEA produces, is ruining the masculinity of western culture"

If the above statement makes any sense to you, please seek professional help, or pick up a paintbrush and start painting.

It also helps if something tragic has happened in your life, if not, you may have to die before it is worth anything. The more outrageous the death, the better. With these simple tips, you too will have pieces of art in the Tate Modern.

Having said some of that, I really did like some of the paintings, but that didn't happen until I stopped reading the commentary on them. (the red painting with the purple stripe was never gonna get the nod from me, commentary or not. If I could paint it, I'm not interested). I actually became drawn to the Surrealism paintings for some reason. I didn't read what they were meant to be about, but just looked at the pictures and though to myself, that shit looks cool.

I also wandered into the Museum of Natural History to have a look around there. That kinda becomes a seen-one, seen em all case. Each museum of natural has a noah's arc of stuffed animals. They did have a dinosaur bone collection that was pretty cool though. They also had a Sequoia tree that was cut down from California, and it is amazing to see just how big around these things are. In the avo I headed to Camden town and bought a couple new T-shirts so that I look a little different in the new photos on this tour!

Thrusday night I headed out with Tony (one of the housemates at the place I am staying at) to a concert with a couple Norweigen bands. The first band, Ungdom Skilen, were pretty heavy rock and had some funny looking band members. The main band, Datarock, were actually pretty cool. They played all of their classics, including:

The family fun song 'I Used To Dance With My Daddy'
The aerospace classic 'Night Flight To Ur-Anus'
The oldest of their songs 'The N-N-New Song'
Commodore 64 worshipping 'Computer Camp Love'
The aptly titled ode to Molly Ringwald 'Molly'
And the song I have no idea what it is about 'Fa-Fa-Fa'

Pretty cool night though. Had a good time, got a few drinks into me (lets not discuss the cost) and extended to the furthest north point of London that I did for the whole stay.

Friday I headed into London and caught up with Kristy again. Didn't do too much, other than enjoy the rare glimpse of a Lonodn heat wave. We walked past an ice-cream parlour that was bursting at the side with customers and headed to the waffles. People looked at us with the most bewildered faces I have ever seen. 'What are these people doing? Don't they realise it is 22 degrees? How could they be eating anything other than ice-cream?' Having stood out for long enough we followed the Lodon heat-wave policy and headed to a beer garden. We had a beer (wine for the lady) looking over the Themes and then had some Wagamama noodles for dinner before the rain came in. Friday was actually dismally quiet... I feel ashamed.

Saturday was a pretty hectic day, cleaning up my mess in Sarah's room (she was arriving back from Croatia) and I ran into the city to get a pair of thermals to use in place of my $3 thermals that I got from Dubai. I only got pants and that cost me about $65... Again, I'd rather not discuss it - why didn't I just get them at home? I was gonna watch the FA Cup, but no-one was home at the appartment, so didn't know when or where to watch it. I figured I don't like soccer, so it doesn't matter. Well, apparently it was one of the best of all time, and I missed it... sounds like my impression of soccer in general... a whole lot of waiting, and when something good happens, I've wasn't looking anyway. Saturday night i had a cruisy one, with the house packed again, and a big spaghetti dinner.

Then the rest of the night was used trying to figure how the hell to get to the airport in the morning. It appeared as though the lines were not working, due to engineering work. But in the end, the first train wasn't running until about an hour after I had to leave. So we (Sarah and Alissa, I was a by-stander loooking dumb and confused) re-planned the trip to involve a bus ride to a never before visited destination (mmm Park Lane, nice area) and catching a different tarin. Altogether it went okay, well I got to the airport, but was a long trip. It didn't help that I actually got off the bus at the right stop, but couldn't find the undergound and walked the wrong way! Like I said, I made it with plenty of time to spare, so it is all good.

Big thanks to Sarah (and the rest of the housemates) for having me stay for the week. It was awesome. I will be sure to drop back in when I get back to London (well, i do have stuff there!). Thanks also for all the help sorting out getting me to the airport on Sunday morning, much appreciated. Also, thanks for the phone call Friday night Tony, even if was a drinking call! It was good talking to you and Amber, continue keeping me posted on the going's on down there.

I accidentally left the aussie sim card back in London, so will be on the UK sim card, probably from now on till I leave the UK again. Text messages will cost a fortune ($1.80, compared to 25 cent on Aus sim) till I am back in London, so I wil be cutting back just a bit I think. But feel free to keep textin or callin me if you like, I just will have to email replys unless it's urgent I guess. Also, if you have a text to Aussie sim since about 6pm saturday aussie time, I wont get it till August, so I hope it's not urgent!

For those that missed it - London Number:

+4477 4862 0944

As I said, I'm now in Copenhagen, which had a story or two in its own right, and I will put another update up just before camp (sorry tour) starts on Tuesday night.

Till next time....

*As voted by the authors of the website www.planetranger.com/boar