I am a local and a groupie with groupies

Trip Start May 27, 2010
Trip End Aug 31, 2011

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Flag of United Kingdom  , England,
Monday, August 2, 2010

Another week of traipsing around London, fighting and cussing crowds of tourists.  I am pleased to report that while I would be considered by some as a tourist, I consider myself a local now.  I think that's all that matters.
Being a local has it's perks, but, in this case, downfalls.  In the precinct where I work there are often live open air theatre and music performances.  And so, I have become a groupie.  Sitting outside in the garden beside my office at lunch last week I noticed a peculiar group of young people rehearsing a take on Shakespeare's A Midsummer Night's Dream.  Given that my writing bears such an uncanny resemblance to Shakespeare, it's only natural that I would be drawn to such rehearsals.  So I saw the actors being directed by their stumpy-legged director, and saw their interpretation of the story taking shape.  This week, while eating my leftover pasta lunch in the park, I was able to watch the first half of the performance.  Having seen that the main players move throughout the garden during the performance and suggest that the audience follow them, on Friday I positioned myself so that I could catch the last half.  For fear of being recognised as "that crazy chick with the dark sunglasses that's always watching us", I thought it best to head back to work on time and avoid a possible citizen's arrest for stalking.  Perhaps next week I'll head out there again and join in, for I have learnt all the lines from a script I printed, and I've even seen the actors doing their warm-ups and have learnt how best to exercise my voice and project.  I think I would make a welcome addition to their posse.  I don't think it would matter that I don't understand a word of Shakespeare...
I must be a park local as well, because I have become familiar with the two men who bring their dogs to the park for a run.  One of the dogs has the same mottled grey hair as it's owner and looks like a horse, while the other looks nothing like his owner (to be honest, I'm not sure I've ever seen a person who looks like a Pug!).  Cute little thing though, it reminds me of the late Bozo.  In other dog news, it appears that Baxter and Wedge were required to attend a second interview for their call centre jobs, and left home again during the week to make the appointment.  Silly silly boys. 
My fellow local (Gemma) and I felt the need to get away from the hustle and bustle of the big smoke and headed off to Oxford on Saturday morning to see how many brain cells we could rescue by spending time in a historically academic location.  We got the train from Paddington and set off with our thermos and little egg-sandwich triangles.  I'm glad I made the sandwiches (skills acquired from a Girl Guide lesson) because Gemma forgot to pack the yo-yo's.  I always did prefer savoury over sweet.  So, with our bellies settled and having seen some lovely British landscape along the way, we arrived in Oxford to a waiting brass band and welcoming party of fire twirlers and ventriloquists.  (OK, so the bit about the thermos and egg-sandwiches was a bit far fetched, but the last bit about fire twirlers and ventriloquists is absolutely true.  Why would anyone argue otherwise?  Come to think of it, I'd better add seeing a ventriloquist to my list of things to do.  Lie exposed, right there.) 
We walked into town and dropped our bags at the hostel and then wandered through the busy streets and waved to all of our fans.  I was particularly overwhelmed when we walked through the covered markets only to find a pie named after me.  So it became apparent that not only am I a groupie, following Shakespeare plays around the park, but Gemma and I have groupies too.  By way of explanation, we went to a couple of pubs on Saturday night and drank 7.3% cloudy cider and ate the worst scampi ever.  At the fourth pub, our fan base was uncovered when Wazza appeared at our table and failed to disappear for the rest of the night, despite our best efforts at deterring him with a barrage of insults and lies.  He fancied Gemma - I told him she was a lesbian.  He asked her age - she said she was 37.  We told him to buggar off - he stayed.  In the end we let him buy us some jaeger bombs, but sadly, very shortly thereafter we told Wazza we had to leave, and did a runner. 
On Sunday we woke with heads as cloudy as the cider, and headed into town in search of food and despite only being 10.30am, I had tapas and orange juice for breakfast.  It was actually just what the doctor ordered, and I'll keep it in mind for next time I wake with a cloudy head!  With our stomachs full, we went in search of a park with nice green grass to lie on while we waited for train time.  We wished we could be back on the punt we took on Saturday, floating along the canals while someone else did the hard work to get the boat moving.  But after a restful hour on the grass, we got up, stocked up on noodles at the Chinese grocer, and then got on the train to head back to London. 
So it was another successful week in England.  

Other important things that happened this week:
- Kevin Spacey turned 51
- Heidi Kay went shopping in Hammertown
- A ranga appeared on the cover of the Australian Womens' Weekly magazine
- Brooke and Clint were engaged!  So very, very exciting! 
- A US man reportedly became pregnant
- Heidi Kay went to dinner on the Strand with Gemma for their two month anniversary
- It rained in London
- Heidi's orchid bloomed (which turned her thoughts to her Frangipani plant back at home)
- A plane crash in Pakistan killed 152 people
- Bullfighting was outlawed in the Catalonia region of Spain
- Heidi Kay ate way too many M&M's and felt sick
- Chelsea Clinton got married, but no one cares about that
- It rained in London
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