Thursday, 8 September 2011

Taking a royal dump

This last weekend was another weekend of diss work and culture. The Saturday was spent holed up in the British Library working hard. I am getting ever closer to the finish line. Hurray!

The Sunday in contrast was spent at the Royal Opera House in Covent Garden. My bf had got some tickets for an all day event. Before we hit that we went out for brunch. We went into a hotel because we wanted to avoid the tourists that usually walk around the Covent Garden area. Gosh, the brunch was sooo nice. Came with real bread, eggs, ham, smoked bacon, cheeses, as much coffee and juice as we liked. I went for the carrot juice, and they actually made it fresh everytime I asked for a new one (I might have turned a bit orange at the end of the meal).

After we headed over to the opera. The event was a bit weird. To be honest, I didn't know what to expect since I didn't look it up. It ended up being a lot of installations. The room we spend most time in was showing recorded interviews with artist from around the world (and by that I mean mainly the US). They could talk about whatever they wanted it some were really hilarious. Then there was a live discussion in another room. Mainly about the internet and technological revolution. The organiser kept talking about how technology forces so many artists to work for free nowadays and how the old model of patronage is coming back. He kept banging on and on about that. It's not that I don't agree with him, but what he should have realised (since he was the organiser) is that this whole event was free and sponsored by a big company. Made everyone hide in their seats and I secretly thought that you couldn't get me to pay to see this. Know your audience, man!

So we kinda left them to rumble on by themselves. Next we headed up to the balcony. We had a really nice view over London. The Royal Opera House is right on the corner of Covent Garden Market. The weather was really bad, it kept raining hard. But luckily the balcony was completely covered with a roof.

Peeking down on London.

 Covent Garden Market

 Hardly anyone there because the rain was coming down hard. You can't really see it though. But on the left people are crossing the plaza with their umbrellas up.

On the left you can see the London Eye.
At 2pm we moved on to the best part of the day: A backstage tour of the opera. We weren't allowed to take a lot of pictures in most areas because they are moving in the costumes and stage parts for the new productions. We started off just outside the main rooms. Looking at old stage models. Then we moved on to the royal room. It's where the royal family waits and can go directly to their own box in the main area. The room itself was not very big. But looked grand. This is the only place where I was allowed to take photos:

Nice little chandelier anyone?

 The royal loo! Kid you not, this is their private toilet leading off through a 'hidden' door in their waiting room.

 Nice old clock.

View from the loo. It was very dark. They had heavy curtains in front of the windows.

After this we took a peak at the stage from the royal box. And then headed down into the many corridors running under the opera. Honestly you could get lost down their and never see the sun again. So glad we had a guide with us.

She led us to the back of the stage. That area is huge. The whole stage can be moved around, up and down. Apparently they are storing up to 16 productions there at the same time. The whole stage can be lowered or moved to the side. It's one huge lift.

Then we went up to the top floor to see the rooms where the ballet company practices. And we went by the rooms where the costumes are made. We couldn't go in though, which was a real shame. They had little windows in the doors, so we could take a peak, but that was about it.

That sadly concluded our tour. We decided to skip the rest of the art stuff and just head home. Walking around made us tired. So that was my exciting weekend. Really enjoyed it. Now not looking forward to this one because it's all gonna be work. Urgh.

Sunday, 4 September 2011

Alphabet meme

My lovely friend tagged me in one of her memes, so I figured I better get it done and over with ;-)

A. Attached or single? Attached.

B. Best friend? Not at the moment...

C. Cake or pie? I have to choose!?!?

D. Day of choice? Saturday. I get to sleep in and get to do something fun in the evening.

F. Favorite color? Blue, orange, purple, yellow, green...

G. Gummy bears or worms? Bears!

H. Hometown? Mansie. Try to google that!

I. Indulgence? Food. Anything from soup, chips, sushi, chocolate, cookies, cake, hot chocolate... Though a daily one would be tea.

J. January or July? January. It's usually nice and quiet after all the Christmas stress and the year is still full of possibilities. July is usually just humid and annoying.

K. Kids? Nope.

L. Life isn’t complete without? Tea and a light breeze around me... (sea breeze that is).

M. Marriage date? Quoi? Does not apply.

N. Number of brothers & sisters? One brother, two sisters.

O. Oranges or apples? Apples. Because you can bake them!

P. Phobias? Spider and toilets...

Q. Quotes? Gah, I hate them. Please, no more.

R. Reasons to smile? New job! And hopefully soon a new apartment...

S. Season of choice? Autumn. Love the fresh air, the colours and my sweaters.

T. Tag seven peeps! Sorry, but that's not gonna happen. If you see this and want to join though, please link back! I would love to read it.

U. Unknown fact about me? I don't know if it's unknown, but I basically like every food and can never understand people who say they don't like something. I see how you can prefer some things, but not like something? Weird!

V. Vegetable? Pumpkin, squash, baby plum tomatoes, asparagus, green beans, broccoli...

W. Worst habits? Double and triple checking everything, e.g. before leaving the house in the morning I will check at least three times whether I packed my travelcard, wallet, keys and cell phone.

X. X-ray or ultrasound? If necessary ultrasound.

Y. Your favorite food? Bread in all it's varieties, bananas, sushi

Z. Zodiac sign? Taurus. I am said to be stubborn.

Thursday, 1 September 2011

The Rest of the Bank Holiday Weekend

Saturday I basically spend sleeping. God, I am really not used to staying up late anymore. I got to bed at 4am and only slept till about 8.30am. We went to Angel for lunch (burritos, nom nom nom) and looked around at some of the estate agent. With bf having his visa sorted it is now time to find a new place to live. Yay! Finally, we are going to move out of our studio apartment and will look for a 1 bedroom flat. Oh the luxury of having a bedroom AND a living room. Cannot wait!

Anyway, we noticed that it will be very expensive to get a nice flat in the areas we like. But screw it, I wanna live somewhere nice. So I think bf might start to look seriously at flats. I really don't have the time to help him yet. I am thinking October when I get this stupid dissertation done. Then I will have time to spend all my weekends flat hunting. Oh the possibility of not having to spend another winter in a flat with stupid windows that don't really shut! Honestly, I think windows are my top priority. I want double-glazed, please! There are other things, but that seems like such a basic thing to get right. And it will make such a big difference to whether we live in a wet, mouldy flat or a nice, dry and warm one.

I spent the afternoon napping and doing absolutely NOTHING. I was lovely! Sunday I had planned to work really hard on the dissertation. But because I tried doing it at home it was a major FAIL! I managed to type up two interviews, but that was about it.

So the next day I decided to join the boyfriend at his work (remember bank holiday, so we were basically the only people at his workplace). Oh man, it was brilliant. With absolutely no distraction I got so much done. Now I want him to take me there next weekend, but he flatly refused. He has his last day of work at the current place and won't be back for about 9 months because he's doing a secondment. Bad timing as I had just found my perfect workplace. I guess next weekend it will be back to the coffee houses and libraries of London. Urgh.

Well, the good part is that I can now see an end to this whole dissertation business. I will keep you updated ;-)