Emptied of expectation. Relax. (tinyjo) wrote,
Emptied of expectation. Relax.

Spent a very pleasent long weekend. Off to London on Friday to rendezvous with Mum for her birthday\Christmas present - a trip to the Globe, a go on the London Eye, an overnight stay and then to top it off, a day at the National Portrait Gallery. All these things turned out to be fantastic fun, marred only by the complete lack of free wireless networks :( Even the hotel, which I had simply assumed would have one didn't.

The matinee at the Globe we saw was the Comedy of Errors. This wasn't a play I knew at all beyond knowing that it had 2 pairs of identical twins in it. It was played in the way I imagine a whitehall farce would have been and was hilariously funny - we laughed and laughed. The 4 actors playing the twins were particularly fab and the casting and makeup had been cleverly managed so that they did really look very like each other, rather neatly. The programme mentioned the cast watching Up Pompei and Something Funny Happened On The Way To The Forum during rehersals and it showed :) Top stuff.

The Globe itself is also pretty magnificent and much less uncomfortable than I had feared. We didn't fancy standing up all that time and so had got seats on the middle balcony. Hiring chair backs and cushions made the whole thing pretty comfortable, although the seating was fairly crowded - we would have had trouble if we had had larger bums.

The London Eye was very pretty - it was quite cloudy but then the sun started to break through, which was gorgeous. Unfortunatly, it started to rain part way through so I didn't get many good photos but I do have some.

The letdown of the weekend was the hotel, which was the 4 star Thistle Trafalgar Square. I have to say that while it was perfectly adequate, 4 star it was not. Ordinary rooms, fire alarms going off (1 full alarm and then another 20 mins later that got turned off after a minute), and a mix up which meant that we were kept waiting over an hour for our room service (we thought ordering in would be luxury!). I think it had a bit too high an opinion of itself!

We finished off by going through nearly all of the National Portrait Gallery on Saturday. Seriously, we did most of it. Skipped a bit of the Victorians\Edwardians and a bit near the end of the Stuarts but not much. I just love looking at portraits - it fascinates me to see the ones which really help you to imagine the subjects as real people. There was a great one of John Donne, very recently aquired, of him looking very much the 16th century goth which was great.

Back in Oxford, I headed off to get my hug ration and wish Alex a happy birthday by way of a nostalgic dinner at the Radcliffe Arms, after which we moved over to the Hardcourt Arms where we got the scrabble board out. I haven't played Scrabble for a long time - Dad and I used to like it and I remember being hugely proud of myself when I beat him in a one on one game when I was about 14 - I knew he would never have let me win so it felt like a big achievement. This time, Lorna showed that classicists do have some advantages by beating us hollow with the help of Ellen :)

Sunday was the rocket vs airship extravaganza, which was rather fun. I managed to capture it on video, although I haven't looked at the results on a computer screen yet. I wasn't that taken with the new look Perch - 4.75 for a piece of bread and 2 very thin slices of cheese struck me as cheeky (to be fair, it was just advertised as cheese but I had assumed for that price there would be a bit more of it!). All very "gourmet" seeming. They're getting a proper food menu soon apparently, and I dread to think what they'll charge for that!

After that (see, what a busy weekend!) we headed over to the Phoenix where we watched Scanner Darkly, which I did very much enjoy. Alex says it was a very faithful adaption (I haven't read it) and I found it very evocative. Between them though, that and the black coffee I drank while watching it (no tea!) combined with the real Coke had at the pub to put me in a very odd mood so Alex and I headed home to have a bit of a slump before starting on the new week.

So, a busy weekend. Next weekend I'm off to my folks place for a week, while Alex is away with the hippies which should be very relaxing, I hope. In the meantime, based on a check with HR about what the policy covers, I have decided to go ahead and get a doctors appointment to get my thyroid checked on the NHS so I'm heading over for that on Wednesday. We'll see what they say.

I really need to either figure out a way to bluetooth photos to my computer in bulk or get round to transferring everything over the wire - I'm getting quite backed up with images on the camera now. Still discovering nifty features and so on - it's even got a built in photo editor where you can adjust the brightness, contrast, etc before sending the pics to your friends.
Tags: health, holiday, reviews
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