Went up to stay over with fellytone_k8 in London on Friday night (bought Vol. 9-11 of KareKano while I was on Charing Cross Road, so I'm slowly catching up) and then made my way over to Baron's Court, where we met up. It was a very sunny day, so I finally got to try out my new sunglasses - they work and they also go a long way towards making me look glamorous, no easy task. Lots of time was spent talking about various things and then we made our way over to Pizza Express, where we proceeded to talk about more things and go off on interesting tangents while devouring pasta on her side and pizza on mine. Then we both decided to have dessert because the sundaes there are so delicious. After that came the VM marathon, which went into the early hours of the morning, because she was too nice to let me go to bed without finishing the series and I wasn't nice enough to say "no". We had much fun discussing Pizonica, LoVe (seriously, will there ever be a better name for a ship?) and general plotlines. I said "Poor Piz" so much during this VM marathon that I think it should be put on a T-shirt (I said "Poor Wallace" a couple of times but I pitied Piz many more). And dude, Lilly's portrait freaked me out. I thought for one moment the eyes or the lips were going to move. And they made Amanda look very feline, but that's all to the good. Lilly was a cat in human skin.
Next day we got up bright and early (very bright and early for me, because my room faced south and has light curtains, so it lit up like a beacon as soon as the sun hit the windows) and were out of the house by 8.35. I took my sunglasses again because it was already so bright (and very warm). Then we waited at Victoria for Felly's friends to arrive. I tried to get money out, couldn't, had a small heart attack, then managed to do so at my own bank's cash machine (which was being temperamental, so thank God). We got a deal on 2 for 4 for going to Dickens World. This is a new theme park that has just opened in Chatham, Kent. It's all inside one building and is based upon Charles Dickens's life and the world he created in his novels. There is a 'dark' boatride, for which they give you plastic ponchos, but unfortunately Felly's hood came off so her hair was splashed at the crucial moment. Yours truly managed to stay fairly dry. Then we queued up for the Haunted House, which turned out to be a disappointment. Seriously, if anyone is thinking of going, don't: nobody jumps out at you, there are no animatronics, it's watching films of ghostly scenes from Dickens's books and short stories. That really is it and it's a shame, because the house looks really good on the outside and the entrance hall has a very nice flickering chandelier. Fagin's Den turned out to be a playroom for the kids (very ironic) and the Old Curiosity Shop turned out to be the gift shop. The Britannia Theatre hadn't opened yet. We went to Dotheboys Hall, the school from Nicholas Nickleby, where there was a fun game of interactive Charles Dickens Snakes and Ladders; possibly the most fun we had, as it involved us doing something rather than listening and watching. There were actors wandering around in costume, getting people to do things in the crowd: skipping was very popular as was a game of throwing coins into a pewter mug. Felly managed to get four in, no mean feat. The only other place we could go was Peggoty's Boathouse, which turned out to be a cinematic experience in 4-D (although it seemed much like 3-D to us) that depicted Dickens's life. It was well done and it was quite open about Dickens's failed marriage and his problems. The gift shop was a little bare but the place has been open little more than a week, so they have plenty of time to iron out the kinks. It's definitely a great experience for the kids and the set design is fantastic, they even have the smells, it's just a shame there isn't more, especially given that adults pay £12.50 to get in (it's £10.50 for students). Perhaps when it's up and running, they will expand. An odd thing: even though the place seems to be there to teach people about Charles Dickens and his work, the names of the 'worlds' only work if you've actually read the books.
Veronica Mars/Charles Dickens cross-over: in My Big Fat Greek Rush Week, the boy who steals freshmen items to sell has the surname Fagin. He mentors three 'at risk' kids who are all thieves. I love things like that. I didn't even notice until I watched the episode for a second time.
I had a phone interview on Friday, so I'll hear about that next week and I also wrote something so I've been creative, too. Good times.