Lion King

On Tuesday night we went to the Lion King stage show with a bunch of pals. It's showing in a really cool theatre, have put a few shots of the outside here. The opening scene was Amazing, truly it was so impressive I got goose-bumps! The costumes are incredible and it was really well done. I would recommend this show to anyone who liked the movie, but would suggest you pay for a better ticket as I think it would be even better sitting in the main part of the theatre in line with the stage, rather than looking down on it like us. Zazu (the bird) was especially fantastic as were Timone & Pumbaa.

The only negatives I could say is that parts of the show were a little different to the movie, it still worked, it’s just that because I’ve seen the movie so many times, I was annoyed and thinking, “that didn’t happen”, or “that’s not the line”.

Some crazies in the audience started clapping along to Hakuna Matata and other songs which kind of ruined it, as the actors stop mid-way songs for one-liners, which were kind of swallowed up into the clappage. But apart from that it was wow and I loved it!

Date Night

I’d decided to arrange a bit of a date night out for Niki and I – partly to celebrate his Birthday and just cos we don’t do it often enough. We went to a cheap and cheerful Vietnamese restaurant which was BYO. Niki gets free wine from work, bummer is I don’t like wine, but the sweetheart brought me the sweetest wine they stocked - a delicious Asti (mmm tastes like sparkling grape juice), the only downside it being a mere 5% alcohol.

After that I’d arranged to go to Vertigo 42 – A posh bar in Tower 42, and, would you believe it, on the 42nd floor! The lift ride took ‘forever’ and my ears were doing strange things with the altitude! We got there at 8:30pm which was fantastic as we were able to enjoy the amazing view in the daylight and then see the sunset and the city by night. Our allocated seats were perfect, overlooking the Tower Bridge and the Thames etc. The drinks were a tad pricey but we knew that going in, we both opted for a cocktail. There was a bottle of Champagne on the menu for £795!!!!! Yes daaaarling I’ll have one of those! The staff were really nice and as there was space we were allowed to move seats to see the view from the other side. On the way to the loos you glance out and see the top of the “gherkin” (a large bullet shaped building) just a few metres away.


Sunday 22 June we decided to get a wriggle-on (shaking it like a polaroid picture) and make the most of the free use of Niki’s work van + petrol! We decided to go to Canterbury which is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. It was absolutely gorgeous weather and we had a lovely afternoon exploring the pretty town, seeing one of the Castles (well, what remains of it!), and the impressive cathedral – which is the Mother church of the Anglican faith and seat of the Archbishop.

Yellow Fever

Saturday night I travelled right across London to a workmate’s house for a housewarming party, “A Touch of Yellow” being the theme, luckily I own a yellow skirt! I met Anne when I worked in Edinburgh and she now lives here, although works away so I never see her. Most of the guests turned out to be PwC people, and it was good to meet some new faces, although most are unfortunately based in a different building to me.

Even if you “try” to socialise with Brits in London you inevitably end up with a small handful of locals and a bunch of “foreigners”. This party was no exception, Australians, Canadians, Germans, Scottish, Irish and of course your token kiwis were present.

I left the party just after 10pm as I had arranged to meet some Aussie friends in the Walkabout, a trashy yet fun chain of Aussie pubs. They were at the Temple branch, one I hadn’t been to before, can’t say it was my favourite specimen but I still had a good time, after the initial shock of paying £7 door entry!!!! That’ll teach me for showing up late.

At the end of the night we had a lovely wee walk over the bridge with beautiful view s of the London Eye and other landmarks. We also came across two cars with romantic going-on’s going on in the back seat! Of course Azz had to bang on the window and say hello =) We trawled the streets for 20mins looking for appropriate night buses and in the end gave in and got a taxi, and from their house Niki & I caught a night bus home (via McDonalds). The joys of London travel!
We didn't do much at all last weekend - I thoroughly enjoyed my sleep-in on Saturday! whilst Niki got up at some stupid hour (8am) to go watch the AB's at Pam & Kev's.

Sunday afternoon we chilled in Batterseas Park with a few of our fellow kiwis, thought I'd post this pic to show that sometimes, even in London, it's short shorts wearing weather...although you might be blinded by the pastey legs!

Battersea Park is gorgeous and we will definitely go there again, a shame that it's taken us so long to get there as we usually go to Hyde Park, which isn't half as wonderful as Battersea.

Blast from the Past

Friday night I saw a friend I hadn’t seen since I was 13. Now I know that would sound more dramatic if I was 80, but still, that’s half my lifetime ago.

I remember blogging about this awhile ago (I’m sure you all remember) but to re-cap for those that don’t hang off my every word: I had been looking to get in contact with some school friends that I made when we lived in The Netherlands. I had tried before we left NZ but hadn’t had much luck until I found Jasmijn on Facebook a couple of months ago, she directed me to a Dutch networking site “Hyves” where I contacted Anke and Marjon and some other people I once knew. We e-mailed back and forth a few times catching up on each others lives… all in English of course.

Jasmijn e-mailed me to say she would be in London in June 08 for a weekend with her family and would love to catch up. We met at Embankment tube on Friday night and recognised each other straight away – surprisingly we still look the same, only somewhat taller. It was fantastic to se her and we spent nearly 2 hours chatting to each other in a bar (yelling over the music would perhaps be more apt). Jasmijn can speak English fluently (lucky, or else we would’ve just sat there smiling at each other) and she has an amazing memory so had lots of stories to tell from our early teens.

Jasmijn loaned me a pile of letters and postcards I had sent to her from NZ after we left in 1996. The darling had kept them all, and it was so lovely to look through them the next day. They’re mostly in Dutch, it’s unfathomable to me that I used to be able to speak and write that language fluently… I could understand most of the letters but got stuck on a few words. I’m going to photocopy some of them as it’s like a diary of things I did when I was 13-16. Lots of funny stories, a few photos and other bit and pieces. It reminded me who I was spending most of my time with in those years, Kim and Kirsty had a few mentions as well as Sarah and Ricky.

I was telling Toni and Louisa the other day how (for some unknown reason) I thought I was so mature when I was a teenager (they proceeded to burst out laughing) anyway I’m serious…. I totally thought I was, but reading those letters is absolutely hilarious and proves me a wee bit wrong… just a normal teenage girl =)

Jasmijn has convinced me to try and get to The Netherlands for a weekend before we go home so I can see some of the others. It is a wonderful idea and I truly hope I can fit it in. I’ll keep you posted.

Over the Hill and Into the Hoods

Niki’s been doing quite a few overnight trips for his job recently. He generally enjoys it and as most of the other staff have families and would rather not go away he can usually pick an overnight trip most weeks, and they pay him overtime which is perfect. Last week he went all the way up to Scotland doing deliveries in Aberdeen, Glasgow and Edinburgh. He left 5am Tuesday morning and got back 5pm Thursday – his 28th birthday! He was pretty tired after three 12 hour days of driving so that night we just stayed in and had a nice home cooked dinner, including a yummy carrot birthday cake (from the shop!).

As Niki was away for two nights it gave me a brilliant reason to go to a show with Toni and I found £10 tickets for “Into the Hoods”. This is a hip hop show, so quite different to anything else on the West End. It was a story about 2 children and them getting lost in the “hood”, and then meeting all the people who lived in the “ruff” estate. The dancing was mind-blowing and there were lots of laugh out loud moments so I really enjoyed it. My only negative was that there was no singing or talking by the dancers – everything was pre-recorded. Thinking about it now, it didn’t really take away from the performance as the dancing was so incredible – I guess I just assumed it would be a musical like the other shows. My gasp aloud move was when they'd run up the wall and flip, like in the movies! Also there was an adorable blonde girl who must've been 6 or 7 who was only on the stage for a couple of mins twice, but I'm sure she was the audience favourite. She wore a gold jumpsuit, and was the fairy godmother with some crazy breakdancing moves.

We are going to “The Lion King” with some friends next week - 24 June, and I have booked two tickets for “We Will Rock You” (based on Queen’s music) for 4 August. There’s a buy 1 get 1 free deal on at the moment so we have front row seats (!!!), will be a nice change from the cheap seats way at the back that I usually buy. I’ve heard rave reviews from those residing at 69 in H-town and it’s the only show Niki has been at all interested in seeing… I’m super duper excited! Cultured daaarlings aren’t we!

Monopoly Pub Crawl

Whilst I was hanging at Hyde Park and later gossiping with the girls - Niki was occupied elsewhere. Kev (Pam’s boyfriend) had arranged a boy’s only pub crawl around the “monopoly board”. I hear some photos were taken at the start so will try to get ahold of some and post them here as you must be getting sick of always seeing pics of me! (ha like that would ever happen!).

As I wasn’t there I can’t go into detail but from reports from Niki it was a fun day, and even though they didn’t manage to get around the whole board (as it’s quite time consuming with all the travelling in between) it was a success. Niki was still standing at the end, a massive 12 hours later, unfortunately his wallet was somewhat empty… He came home to a house full of excitable, gossip frenzied, flirtini and pimms infused girls, stayed up for a while longer and surprisingly wasn’t even hungover the next day. Can’t say the same for all the other boys, or us girls for that matter.

Girls' Night In

Saturday night I’d arranged for a girls’ night at our place as Debra Fish was in town on a visit from Dublin. The plan was to meet for drinks at mine and then make our way into a nearby vodka bar by 11pm… needless to say things don’t always go to plan and we were still at my house, and all a tad sloshed, come 4am…. It was soo great to see everyone together and we did lots of catching up…and of course posed for lots of photos!

Redbull gives you wings

Saturday I went to the Redbull Flugtag, which was held at Hyde Park, with Louisa and Toni. It was a free event but tickets had to be drawn from the ballot to limit the numbers to 80,000 (craziness), and I was lucky enough to get drawn (granting me 4 tickets)!

The gates opened at 10:30am, and we met at 11am and already the crowds had taken most of the best spots! We got a pretty close pozzie but unfortunately had some tree issues impairing our view… We couldn’t see the performances of each team but had a good view of their homemade “flying machines” scooting off the ramp – and falling down 6 metres into the cold water below. There were 40 teams on the day (whittled down from 2000 entries) some really great and funny ideas and a lot of effort must’ve gone into creating them, all for their 60 seconds of fame…and the chance to win £5000. All of the flying contraptions were super size and homemade from chicken wire, plastic, cardboard, wood etc and some of the most memorable ones include a toilet, pink handbag, dinosaur, chicken, spaceship and my fave, a giant disco ball.

Later we realised we probably would’ve been better watching it from afar on the big screen, but I guess since we were at a live event the point was to see it live!