Sunday, June 11, 2006

Travelogue > London: A Sunday Braai

I'm on vacation in London at the moment. This is a combination of a blog post, and a travelogue outline and general notes for possible articles for brainwavez.org when I return to Cape Town. I didn't do anything touristy today, so feel free to skip this post if you're more interested in my experiences in London.

We all got up quite late today, due to the late night the previous day. It was already incredibly warm by this time, and it got much worse as the day progressed (I spent the afternoon sitting in the shade, so I didn't get sunburnt, unlike everyone else), although by evening, once the sun had eventually gone down well after 9pm, it actually became very pleasant outside.

At around 11am Neil and Audrey left for ASDA to buy extra supplies, and just before 12pm I left to buy a new seven-day travelcard on my Oyster card at the local Londis convenience store before moving on to meet Mark at Plaistow station. It being Sunday, I had to wait ages for a bus, which then, a few stops down the line, suddenly turned off the route following a "bus detour" sign. As we were near enough to the station, and I wasn't sure what would happen if I stayed on the bus, I disembarked and walked the rest of the way, to arrive just as Mark was exiting the station building. So back we walked to the nearest bus stop past the detour route, on the way noticing a police officer setting up a barricade and detour, using orange cones, closer to the station. I have no idea of what that was all about.

The rest of the trip back to Neil and Audrey's house was uneventful and we ended up having a great day and a wonderful braai in true South African tradition. I had mushroom burgers and vegetarian sausages while everyone else had real burgers and chicken. Audrey made a great salad and vegetable bake to go with the meat (and "meat") and we spent the afternoon lazing around, talking, and doing absolutely nothing.

As the day wore on Audrey suggested to Mark that he might want to stay over. For a while he remained undecided, as he has a dodgy roommate back at his place who needs to be monitored, but he eventually decided to stay for the night.

When 9pm rolled around I left Neil and Mark nattering in the garden to join Audrey in the lounge for the Big Brother 7 recap show. While watching I lamented the fact that I'd been sucked into this horrible, enthralling show, and that I would be missing the Friday eviction (which may turn out to be one of the best), because I would be in Paris. Later in the evening, while online to work on this travelogue, I noticed that the Channel 4 Big Brother site has file footage and a live feed. I was so excited that I briefly considered waking Audrey up just so I could tell her that I would be able to continue watching when back in South Africa (and then sanity prevailed). Unfortunately, upon further investigation, I found out that the live feed costs GBP7.99 and is only available in the UK and Ireland, so my joy was shortlived (and I was grateful that my sanity had prevailed).

Audrey and Neil went to bed quite early because both had to get up early in the morning to go to work (this week Neil's on early shift), so Mark and I, who are both night people, remained awake for a few hours longer to watch some TV and check our email. As the house is so small Mark had to share the lounge floor with me, but there was enough space. My only pronuncement was that, soon after Mark removed his shoes, which, let's just say, I experienced rather than noticed, I declared them banished from the room.

Oh yeah, and he snores. A lot. So that kinda sucked.

Moment Of The Day
On my way to buy the new travelcard a guy walking in the opposite direction on the pavement opposite me (thankfully) chose the moment I was directly opposite him to spit a huge wad of gob onto the pavement to the side of him. So far that's about the least disgusting disgusting thing I've experienced in London...

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