Sunday, 27 November 2011

Dear Lord...

...Thank you for my fabulous week...

Saturday 19th November

Thank you for my survival of the last crazy day of the show. Thank you for the bar shift being not as bad as it was on the previous Friday night. Thank you for the lovely lunch with my work mates between shows with the table in the corner and the candles and the huge amazing pizza. Thank you for getting us to the end of the night and the show in one piece. Thank you for the little mince pie I got from the cast as they celebrated on the stage before the show started that evening. Thank you for the amusement of seeing the body guards of the Colombian president checking out his seat and the whole rest of the theatre before it started. Thank you for the free glass of Veuve Clicquot I got to drink at the end of the show after he left a whole bottle behind! Seriously, cheers thanks a lot for that. Thank you for the amazingly fun night we had at the Phoenix theatre bar afterwards with nearly the whole gang. Thanks for the amusement created by Doctor 'Matt Smith' Who being there and for his patience with certain overexcited people ;) Thank you for the nice cab driver who got us back to Shepherd's Bush at 4am and for the Cornish pasty seller not killing my drunk friend.

Sunday 20th November

Thank you for getting me on a train to Kent reasonably early despite only having had about 2 hours sleep. Thank you for the pleasure of home comforts, good food, and getting to see my brilliant family. Thanks for  all the little things that being there bring - a cosy night in, cuddles with the cats and fresh country air. Thank you for me being able to call that and them 'home'.

Monday 21st November

Thank you for the chance to see Katy and her beautiful little boy and my godson-to-be. Thanks for keeping them both so healthy and happy. It's so great to see him grow; he's now able to smile and lift his head and interact with objects and people and his surroundings a little more. I can't wait to be his godmother on 15th January!

Thank you for my evening in the audience at the Graham Norton show! It was so much fun and such an experience. Thank you for it being no problem to find as I explored the area last week (and walked past Jonathan Ross!) Thank you to the lovely Justyna who gave me her free ticket and was so nice. Thank you for the random collide of fate which gave her priority tickets that very week she was in London, and the very week that the exquisite Jennifer Saunders was on. Thank you for the brilliance of being on the front row but not ever in shot!! Thank you for the screaming JLS fans outside afterwards who led us to where the celebrities came out afterwards!

Tuesday 22nd November

Thank you for the chance to finally appreciate a night off in London! Thank you for a lovely evening of food, drink and gossip with my gorgeous friend Sophie. Even though we couldn't get into Gordon's wine bar, we had a great meal and plenty of wine which went down very nicely!

Thank you for London being just such a great place to be.

Wednesday 23rd November

Thank you for the find of my new flat!! Thank you for aligning the stars so that the guy who happened to post the advert, which I happened to reply to happens to know someone I know and for that being a good opening into friendship and trust! Thanks that the flat is in my desired location, and is really lovely and that my new flatmate is cool and laidback and friendly and easy to chat to... thanks also that he's such an interesting, spiritual kind of person who keeps stuffed dead animals in his living room. Thanks for me not being arachnophobic and therefore not put off by the huge stuffed spider he has mounted on the wall of his toilet!

Thank you for yet another great chance to spend an evening out in London. Thank you for the cheap and great seats I picked up at the last minute to see Joanna Lumley and Robert Lindsay in 'The Lion in Winter' at the Theatre Royal. Thanks again that Sophie could join me at the last minute. Thanks for 2-4-1 pizzas at Pizza Express with Orange Wednesdays. Thanks for free dough balls and garlic bread. Thanks for the loveliness of a freezing cold Trafalgar Square as a venue for making phone calls and waiting. Thanks for the brilliance of the play: its cast, hilarious script, beautiful scenery, costumes and lighting and sprinkling of Christmas spirit.

Thursday 24th November

Thanks for a chance to browse around Camden market. Thanks for making the weather still mild enough that I could buy lunch from a stall and eat it outside. Thanks for the little pang of emotion I felt when walking into a shop there and hearing Amy Winehouse's 'Rehab' playing. Thanks for my giggly hairdresser Raymond who was desperate to cut my hair really short as he reckoned I would really suit a very short bob. Thanks for making it not too painful handing out lots of cash to secure the room in Islington. Thanks for the London Overground system which I discovered for the first time as there's a station right near my new flat.

Friday 25th November

Thank you for my lovely work mates, who made the return to work for training almost a pleasure, despite the dullness of the 4 hour session! Thank you for the amusing moments such as the role plays. Thanks for the little sneak peeks we took of the stage as they were rehearsing and for how amazing it all looked and sounded. Thank you for the chance to meet and chat to one of the cast members (Stephen Wight) outside stage door afterwards who seemed very nice and friendly. Thanks for the fact that I accidently got lost when I went for a wander after work as I discovered a very cute Christmas market outside of St James' church on Piccadilly and gorgeous little shopping arcades of the type they have in Cardiff, which I've missed so much.

Saturday 26th November

Thank you, thank you for this long, exhausting, amazingly fun day! Thank you for getting me up and into London with plenty of time to spare in the morning (I was due to meet Sophie and 9.45). Thank you for me getting there so early I had time to drop my bag at work, and therefore get to sneak backstage to see the back of the new set. Also it was interesting seeing Soho in the morning! Very odd - almost unrecognisable! Thank you for the simply fabulous morning we had at the Dress for Success event. It was a pretty unique experience; a charity fashion event in the House of St Barnabus, Soho Square: a big old Georgian property, with lot of rooms all full of rails of clothes, raffles, cosmetics and all other things girly. Thank you for the free champagne and cupcake included with the ticket - it really was a morning that could have been designed for me! To add to this, the event was advertised as being hosted by Jennifer Saunders and Betty Jackson (I know, I know - I've been a tad stalkerish this week but I can't help it!) and we would have the chance to 'hear them in conversation' (they're patrons of the charity). They eventually turned up - fashionably late, of course! - and there she was again! <3 Thank you for keeping me upright. Thank you for her gracious, down-to-earth personality which ensured that she was happy to mingle amongst everyone there for over an hour, chatting, drinking champagne, posing for pictures and doing a little shoppin'. Thank you for the 3 separate conversations I got to have with her and for having another picture taken with her. Thank you for the amusement caused when we noticed her daughter was working collecting empty glasses; thank you for it being our pleasure to make her pleased by being recognised! Thank you for the opportunity to dress up a bit and wear my beautiful Dune heels. Thank you for the giggles created by us realising that there was no official 'in conversation' and the idea that the advert could have meant hearing them in conversation by eavesdropping! Thank you for a great chilled out lunch in Soho afterwards with Sophie. Thank you for olives and Whittard's iced tea.

Thank you for getting us through another long and dull training session at work that afternoon ahead of opening night. Thank you for making the managers listen to my plea and not putting me on bar this week! Thank you for the fact that I enjoyed going back to work even after such a fantastic week off. Thank you for the excitement of seeing for the first time our 'House Full' sign! Thank you that our new co-workers seem nice.  Thank you for the buzz and excitement - and stress! - of such a busy opening night. Sadly I haven't got to see any of the play yet but it looks and sounds amazing and the audience at the end seemed really positive about it. Thanks for the chance to meet the brilliant Graham Linehan during the interval. Thanks also for us all getting to meet the wonderful Marcia Warren at the end of the show as she appeared in the foyer looking lost on the way to the after party! Thank you for the prospect of a busy and fun few weeks/months ahead!


Monday, 14 November 2011

And in other news...

OK OK, I won't just leave it at that. I will expand and give a full update of events of the last couple of weeks.

Firstly, I just about managed to avoid the screaming Belieberites in Westfield. I was in there just before though, and wondered what he was there to do, as I couldn't really see any Christmas lights... there were some on the outside of the building, but the people inside would not have been able to see them. And there were some Christmas trees outside with fairy lights on, but I couldn't picture him scrabbling underneath the lower branches to plug them in... although that might have been more entertaining! I shall have to pay a visit sometime to see if it's anymore obvious without the thousands of sobbing teenage girls in the way.

All the lights in central London are now on. Here's some pictures:

Battle of the department stores:

Selfridges window displays:

Cool Carnaby Street:

Although autumn has nearly been usurped altogether by winter, there still are some beautiful colours around. Here's another of Hyde Park when I was walking though last week:

It's all very pretty but it's certainly getting cold!

Had a wonderful Sunday yesterday with Sophie. We went to Kenwood House, which is an English Heritage property in Hampstead Heath. It was a gorgeous autumn day so it was lovely strolling around. Inside the house itself they have lots of portraits, including Rembrandts and Constables, plus the most beautiful library I've ever seen! Afterwards, we walked up the road for Sunday roast at a pub called the Spaniards. It is one of London's oldest pubs and features in Dickens' The Pickwick Papers; Keats is said to have written poetry there, and legend also has it that highwayman Dick Turpin was born there. I don't know about all that, but can confirm it was very busy, they had a lovely log fire burning in the corner and we spent quite a few hours eating good food, drinking good drinks and having a great catch up :) The pub itself coupled with the dog walkers coming in from leafy Highgate made it feel just like being in a country pub. Perfect!

One more week left of the show! I had bar training and did my first shift on bar tonight. I think I'll prefer doing front of house, but it'll be nice to do something different from time to time. Plus there's tips to be had on bar (sshh!) and you get to leave earlier, which is nice. Missed working with my normal lovelies though.

Celeb spots have picked up again in frequency! Out and about too - not just in the theatre. I have spotted Ronni Ancona and Paloma Faith in my travels, plus someone who looked a LOT like Bill Nighy - can't be sure it was him but I really hope it was! Plus Angus Deayton came into see the show and Richard Curtis. Which brings us back to the nuts.

It was on Wednesday night. After the latecomers had been taken in, the people on front doors came into the foyer to tell us that Richard Curtis was in! How exciting! I resolved to make sure I saw him before the end of the evening. About three or four of us were left in the foyer to sort through the ticket stubs. Suddenly, there was a knock at the door and a young woman was outside. Tony went to let her in, and she was followed by a guy with a large frizzy afro haircut. The interesting thing was that the girl was dressed in a kangaroo costume. They blathered on and on for 5 minutes about why they were late, the tube delays, how they were worried they'd miss the show, how they were so pleased we could take them in, etc etc. But not once did she offer an explanation as to why she was dressed as a marsupial. Hm. Tony took them into the stalls, ensuring everyone inside the auditorium could get a good look at her. As soon as they'd left, the rest of us died laughing.
During the interval, I was posted at the back of the stalls. I soon spotted kangaroo girl, but there was no sign of Richard Curtis. Then, suddenly, he appeared, clutching an ice cream! Oh joy! He was on the same row as kangaroo girl! I got to witness RC climbing over the girl dressed as a kangaroo to get to his seat. One of the great perks of my job hahahahaha! Oh - and for the record, I stole his half empty box of unwanted nuts after he'd finished them, not for some crazy cloning experiment or because I'm a freakish fan or because I plan to put them on ebay - it's just so I can use the sentence 'I stole Richard Curtis' nuts'. Honest!

So, week off next week. It'll be a busy one, but lots of fun and exciting stuff planned! More details to come.

Have done an infintessimal amount of Christmas shopping and should probably do more soon. Met up with the lovely Jess and Alan last weekend for lunch as they were in London for the weekend. Ollie has gone to Singapore and we managed to Skype on Saturday which was lovely :) I'm hoping to get out there for a visit in the new year. I am promised lots of a) heat and b) noodles.

Apple crumble cupcake is good.

A sentence not everyone can say...

I stole Richard Curtis' nuts!!

Thursday, 3 November 2011

Christmas Lights

The good news is, Oxford Street Christmas lights are ON!

(excuse phone camera quality pictures)

The bad news is, I've just learnt that the Westfield shopping centre lights will be switched on next week by Justin Bieber.