It struck me that I haven't written much about myself lately... so I will try and remedy that.
I got my sample sale package from Green Knickers today, a company that makes knickers (underwear) from organic cotton. I already have a pair of Green Knickers cycling pants which has a special pad to make cycling more comfortable (very good if I want to wear a skirt). The sample sale allows you to choose three pairs of pants in your size for £10 (which is a saving of over £5). I got two pairs of cream side-ties and a pair of bright pink high-thighs with an embroidered Earth on the front. :) I've never had side-ties before, so it's a new experience for me! Side-Ties
On Friday March 6th, I went to visit my friend Lydia in London. I'd planned the journey weeks beforehand, buying a funfare ticket from National Express for £5 and then the journey back on Monday by megabus for £3. I took the afternoon off to make sure I caught the coach but the bus into town was late. And I hadn't accounted for Friday traffic. So I missed the coach by TWO MINUTES and had to buy a train ticket instead. Now, technically, the train gets there faster. But that's not the point. My journey to London was meant to cost me under £10. Instead, thanks to the FORTY-SIX POUNDS train ticket, it ended up costing me over £50. Not to mention that I had to get the one-coach train from Great Malvern. Yes, one coach at five to six on a Friday evening. How stupid can you get? We were packed in like sardines until Stroud. Even after that, it was crowded until Swindon, when I changed. But once I got to Paddington, travel was very smoothly. I didn't have to wait for the train to Shepherd's Bush Market, and the bus I needed to catch turned up right away outside the station. Country bumpkin here didn't realise that you had to put your Oyster card on the yellow pad, not the screen, so I got a free ride, haha.
After a rest, Lydia and I went to see a band she knew, which was playing in Battersea, specifically The Duchess pub on Battersea Park Road. Now Battersea Park Road is a long one and all we knew was that the Duchess was at 101. They didn't tell us which end of the road it was, and there was an accident in the middle, so we parked and walked half-way down the road before Lydia decided that we'd gone far enough and we walked all the way back to the car and drove. Of course, the pub was just beyond the bridge where we'd stopped and we arrived just as they were finishing. I was pretty drained from the early start and the travelling so I didn't talk much but it was nice to meet new people.
The next day, Saturday, we had tickets to see Three Days of Rain with James McAvoy. We went to Le Relais de Venise for lunch (steak and chips + special sauce with secret ingredients). I wasn't sure if we'd fit that in, because the play was at three, we got to the restaurant at quarter to two, and you cannot make reservations at this restaurant so we had to queue. But we managed to have starter and main course in 30 minutes and then Lydia caught a London taxi, and the cabbie in true London style did a U-turn in the middle of the street. We got there with ten minutes to spare and even had time to buy a programme and sweets (since we'd skipped dessert at the restaurant). Three Days of Rain was AMAZING. Very intense, very thought-provoking, great production. Plus, James McAvoy in a white vest (that's a British English vest, not an American English vest) in the rain. What more could you ask for? Lydia and I were discussing it all the way back to her house, where we packed and then drove down to Salisbury to see her dad. Her dad now has two dogs, one of whom is antisocial. He kept trying to get it excited, which is not what you're supposed to do. I was glad to go to bed.
Sunday, Lydia saw her mum and I saw my grandparents, who were staying over at my parents' house for the weekend. This was a complete coincidence which happened only because Lydia hadn't told me she'd already planned something on Sunday with her mum and decided that we were driving down to Salisbury without telling me, having assumed that it would be okay for me to stay over at my parents', again without telling me. Hopefully, that will teach her not to just assume things are okay next time, but I doubt it. We then drove back to London and had a rather deep and far-ranging discussion about life and motivation. And then I went back to Gloucester on Monday. The 11:00 coach was half an hour late but that didn't matter as I didn't need to be back for a certain time.
Two weeks ago, Helen came to visit me and we went to Cheltenham. She had NEVER been there before. Just to put this in context, she's lived in Bristol for the past four years, coming up to five. Now, Bristol is a big city but still, Cheltenham is Cheltenham. It's only forty minutes away, hardly a trek. Anyway, Cheltenham is quite snooty, thinks a lot of itself, but this is understandable, as it's VERY pretty. For those of you who've seen Bath, think of Bath but much more in your face. Bath tends to be more gracious, it's more sure of itself; Cheltenham goes "Ooh, LOOK at my RACE COURSE and my PUMP ROOMS, which are JUST AS FAMOUS AS BATH'S, and look at all my nice EXPENSIVE SHOPS and did I mention that I'm the HEART of the COTSWOLDS and I have a JAZZ festival AND a literature festival?!!" I exaggerate but only slightly. Chichester, for example, is a much bigger city and has more industry but it's Cheltenham that's the HEART of the Cotswolds. We did eat in a nice restaurant called Lazy Daze, which did a set menu of two courses for £10, three courses for £13, good bargain. I wanted to make a reservation for Mum and Dad for last weekend but didn't find the website in time, ho hum. Afterwards, we did some browsing, which is a serious occupation for Helen. Note to self: do not go into The White Company shop too often, because the candles smell divine (narcissus! fig!) and the crockery and clothing are GORGEOUS. There's also a shop called Vinegar Hill, which does LILY candles (I love that scent, it's so different from other flowers), DANDELION candles and lots of other amazing stuff. So I will be visiting that again... as soon as I have money, cause I'm currently broke.
Mum and Dad came up last Saturday because the electrician was coming round to fix an extractor fan in my kitchen and put the light switch on the outside wall, so I didn't have to keep reaching between the fridge and the wall. The switch was easy, the extractor was not, because there was concrete in my wall. -_-; It took four hours. We were meant to go into town to have lunch but eventually we just drove to Sainsbury and bought some sandwiches, did my weekly shopping at the same time. We did go into Gloucester eventually, but the cafe I wanted to visit shut at four o'clock, so we had to make do with Caffe Nero. Then they dropped me off at the flat and went to their hotel and we all got changed for dinner. I'd booked us a table for three at The Daffodil, which is a former 1920s cinema that's been converted into a restaurant. (Anyone wondering about the difference between Gloucester and Cheltenham? The old Cheltenham cinema was converted into... a restaurant. The old Gloucester cinema was converted into... a Wetherspoon's pub. Enough said.) They were extremely impressed by the decor (the inside still has the original sweeping staircases and projectors above the landing) and the food was GOOD. On Sunday, we went to Bristol. Helen hadn't booked a table for us, which meant very unhappy parents, but fortunately the restaurant she chose wasn't busy, so we were able to eat. Mum and Dad then argued and Mum sulked, so we just went back to Helen's flat by boat (yes, you can do that in Bristol, very nice).
So that's my March. Currently obsessed with Fleet Foxes.
White Winter Hymnal
Lydia and I discovered a mutal love of Fleet Foxes when I was in London. And then, the Friday after I came back, I get an email from Ticketmaster. I see that Neil Young is playing in Hyde Park this June. I'm quite fond of his music so I click on the link. This is my thought process looking at the Saturday line up: Neil Young, cool... ooh, The Pretenders, love them... oh wow, Seasick Steve, excellent... ZOMG FLEET FOXES?!!! I called Lydia up, so incoherent that I sounded like Beaker from the Muppets and proceeded to flail all over my living room. Good thing I live alone, I'm sure I would have been sectioned if anyone had seen me. And the upshot is we are now seeing Fleet Foxes this summer. EXCITEMENT! :D