Friday, November 19, 2010

"Did I Hear a Rumor That You’re Looking For A Paris Travel Buddy?" – Katie Howard

First off, Happy Harry Potter Day everyone! For those of you who have been to the midnight showings, I don’t want to know. I’m seeing it in approximately 9 hours due to the fact that the UK doesn’t believe in midnight showings. And if you want to brag, then I’ll just pull out the fact that I saw the stars at the world premiere, so ha! But I’m getting ahead of myself here. Back to 2 weeks ago…

‘Remember remember the 5th of November’, the phrase from V for Vendetta that applies to Guy Fawkes Day. For those of you who don’t know what Guy Fawkes Day is, allow for me to interject with some historical perspective. Back in the 1605 there was a group of English Catholics led by a man named Guido Fawkes who was upset with the British government because King James's nine-year-old daughter, Princess Elizabeth, was to going to be installed as the Catholic Head of State. Thus the only way to stop this would be to blow up the House of Lords during the State Opening of Parliament on November 5, 1605. Unfortunately for him, he was found guarding barrels of gunpowder and the attempt was thwarted. He was then arrested, tortured and sentenced to execution. Thus, the Fifth of November has become a holiday in the UK known as Guy Fawkes Day or more commonly ‘Bonfire Night’. This consists of building a giant bonfire where you place a little doll representing Guy Fawkes at the top, burn it, and then light off a bunch of fireworks. There's also a lot of Catholic and Protestant hate/burning of relics that I'm not exactly sure how/where they come into play, but then again, I'm not British or Catholic, so it's not really essential to me. Why the Brits want to celebrate the fact that a man almost succeeded in burning their government to the ground is beyond me, but there it is, and they love it. Needless to say, I wanted to see fireworks and celebrate a weird holiday, but when I asked everyone at work where one goes to see fireworks, I got a bunch of mixed responses, most of which were places to go outside of London, like Leeds. I’m sure the fireworks at Leeds are fantastic, but I can’t exactly just go to Leeds.

So low and behold, the Fifth of November is upon us and I still haven’t figure out where to go. That afternoon, Jeni and met up to get some coffee and to exchange books. Turns out the place we picked out along the Southbank had a little market right in front. Yay markets! It all smelled so good, and tempting. My favorite was the churro man. Haha, they don’t have proper salsa or even tortillas in every grocery store, but they have a man selling churros! Ok well if you insist on a sample churro man, I’m not going to say no. Being outside didn’t last too long. For starters there was an idiotic man who was sitting a table away feeding the pigeons. Apparently the pigeons didn’t get the memo that he left because they still kept hanging around and expecting food. And these are nasty pigeons! Secondly, it started getting very windy and slightly rainy. Just when I was enjoying people watching and chatting with Jeni, here comes London to interrupt. Sigh, what can you do? I’ve already gotten used to it. Before we parted ways, I asked Jen if she was interested in finding fireworks tonight, but she doesn’t really like fireworks. What??? Fireworks are my favorite! One of the best Fourth of July’s I ever had was when I was in 5th or 6th grade and my best friend Miranda’s parents took us to see fireworks. We sat in truck, ate slim jims and watched fireworks. And how can you forget Disney fireworks during Christmas? Not like fireworks, humph. By the time I got home, it was raining pretty heavily. I thought surely, you can’t light fireworks in this weather. Hahaha, I forgot where I was. Silly me, of course you can! Turns out I didn’t need to figure out where to go, I had a perfect view from my bedroom window. In fact I can sit in bed and see them. So that’s what I did. I made myself a cup of tea, some strawberry cheesecake, some lactose pills and enjoyed the fireworks from inside the comfort of my own room.

Saturday and Sunday were spent getting my life together. You know, doing laundry, vacuuming, talking to friends back home, blogging, writing postcards, going for a walk in the park, watching more fireworks from my window, sleeping, and American TV. I also went down stairs to complain about my bathroom, which 2 weeks later, nothing has been done about it and I’m a little upset by this. If this was TCU, the order would have been through and the problem fixed by now. And I know how the process works! I worked at the desk in both a freshman dorm and the on campus apartments and had to fill out many service request forms. For starters, one of the lights in my bathroom went out. I’d like some light when I brush my teeth please! Secondly, and the most concerning, I think my shower is leaking. Every time I take a shower, a little square of water appears on the carpet by the giant mirror on the wall. This is far enough from the door so that it has to be coming from underneath the carpet or the shower behind the wall. Yay, my room is defective! And I think possibly growing mold because it smells! And the stupid people can’t come up and look at it! I even had a dream not too many nights ago that they blamed it on me and charged me £100,000 in damages. They wouldn’t believe me that it wasn’t my fault but in fact their stupid design for a bathroom and my mom was yelling at me about how I was going to afford that. ‘You already signed your life away for TCU’ is what I specifically remember. Thanks subconscious! It seems silly now, but when I woke up, I felt stressed and it took me and minute to remember that there was no bill and I do NOT owe them a vast sum of money because they still haven’t even fixed the light in my bathroom! Gah, Westminster, you make me so frustrated!

While it was nice to have a free weekend to relax and tidy my life up, it was slightly upsetting because the reason I kept it free was because Josh’s BBC shoot was supposed to be that weekend. Instead it got pushed back to the next weekend because of the fireworks. Apparently they can ruin the sound if they’re going off in the background and there’s nothing you can do to control it. So that Monday at work, everything was in full swing to make sure that we had all the props ready for the short that Saturday. This included Josh going up to the attic space and getting down the Christmas tree. And look everyone, I took an unsuspecting picture of Josh and Ben! The woman on the right in the striped shirt is Seema and works in the production department and the other woman holding the ladder is Elena, our wonderful receptionist. I didn’t say it was a good picture or that you could necessarily see Josh clearly, but it gives you a better layout of work. Well, kinda. I know you want pictures, but I can’t just go into work and snap them. They don’t understand, I’ve tried to explain, believe me! All I get is, “why do they need to know who we are?” But before I leave, I’ll give you a video tour of the place and include a group picture. They can’t say no to a group picture before their American Import leaves, can they?

After work I headed to my film class where I ran into a bit of an awkward situation with Katie, the girl I traveled to Oxford, Bath and Stonehenge with. Don’t get me wrong, she’s a nice girl, but I think it’s safe to say we have a difference of opinion on how to travel and just taste in general. You read about how our trip went, some definite weird points. So I was surprised when she passed me a note asking to go to Paris with me. What?? A few weeks ago, I got some bad news that my old roommate and good friend wouldn’t be able to come to Paris with me like we originally planned. I was disappointed that she wouldn’t be there with me, but I knew how things work out and decided to go anyways. I even managed to convince another friend of mine to come with me and was having dinner with her the next day to talk about Paris. But back to film class, Katie and I start passing a note back in forth even though we’re sitting right next to each other like we’re in 6th grade again:

KATIE: Did I hear a rumor that you’re looking for a Paris travel buddy?

ME: Oh yeah, I was, but I think I convinced another one of my friends to come with me.

KATIE: Oh well, if it doesn’t work out, I’d be willing to tag along. Or even if it does, would you mind if I came? You can say no.

ME: Well, I’m having dinner with her tomorrow, so I’ll let you know.

KATIE: Ok cool, keep me posted.

How do you say, ‘I’m sorry, I was looking forward to going with Monique who you don’t know and that might be awkward’ nicely? You can’t. What does a girl have to go through to get to Paris here?

By the time I got home, ate dinner and watched Dexter, it was almost nine. Just enough time to blog, I thought. Well that was before I opened up iTunes and found the program that Jeni had installed. Oh dear, what have you done Miss Bell, my life will never be the same! This program look in your library, sees what bands you like, and gives you a calendar view of all the concerts by the bands you like within a X mile radius to you. Oh dear, guess who’s in London? Dirty Projectors! Spoon! Beach House! Ratatat! M.I.A! Interpol! This led to two hours of looking up concerts and ticket prices, no lie. My first stab was for Dirty Projectors, but sadly, tickets were like £50. That’s a plane ticket. But Beach House is on a Tuesday night and only £15? YES! So guess who’s going to see Beach House in London in only a few days? ME! So excited!

And now, you’ll have to excuse me for cutting short. The time has come to meet up with Matt, Laura and their friends Andrew and Annie (who are visiting from Ireland) to hang out around London before Harry Potter. The Agenda includes going to Harrods again, King’s Cross for some Platform 9 ¾ photos, and helping others with their HP shirts. God, I LOVE LONDON.




  1. Haha. Just an FYI dev, I dislike fireworks as well. They are loud, pollute the environment, and the events they are shown at always block up traffic for hours. Just my two cent. -Su

  2. i love your blog. you are such a great witty writer. happy t-day and we miss you. we are leaving the kids for a whole night so if there are no children when you finally make it back you will know why. ;o)