Little Miss Fussypants

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

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Flag of United Kingdom  , England,
Monday, February 14, 2011

I had yet another crazy dream this week.  It featured Christina Aguilera and I was like her roadie.  But on this one occasion, she needed a back up singer, and she chose me to do the job.  I was petrified and wasn't sure I could live up to the expectations of the crowd.  In the real world, later in the week it was reported in some bad press that she's losing the plot anyway.  So I figure even if I sang as badly as I did at the pub that night when I ruined the Mumford & Sons number, I wouldn't have been the one to blame for her career meltdown.   

In other random sleep behaviour I was found to be talking in my sleep.  It would appear that after a few too many ciders at the Queen's Head I passed out on the bed, half undressed, while old mate watched Match of the Day.  When he tried to rouse me to get me to put my pj's on and go to bed, the following dialogue was exchanged: 

Philo:    Are you going to get changed and go to bed?
Heidi:    Chips
Philo:    What?!  (laughs)
Heidi:    Chips
Philo:    Chips?  Do you want chips?  (laughing)
Heidi:    No, SHIPS
Philo:    Ships?  Chips?  What?!  (more laughing)
Heidi:    Oh I have to help Mum 

And then I woke up, shook my head and laughed my head off for about half an hour after I'd realised I was talking jibberish.  Too funny.   

It is literally impossible to get to work on time in London I've decided.  Impossible.  Even when I think I'm on a roll and I leave the house a bit earlier, I get the bus, and then I manage to get onto the early train which should get me to work on time, something goes wrong.  What does this say: that I should leave the house another half hour earlier than I need to?  Buggar that.  I'd rather be late than half an hour early.  It's just ridiculous, because even when I do try my hardest to get to work on time, something gets in the way of my punctuality.  F you London Underground.  You suck.  

What also sucks, is the amount of spit and dog shit on the footpaths in London.  I am constantly looking at my feet as I pound the pavements, watching out for turds and dirty spit.  I'm wondering if it's because there are no nature strips like we have at home that people choose to dump their refuse wherever they please.  Whatever the case, it's really gross.

Takeaway coffees - status symbol, treat, or actual convenience?  All around the world, this phenomenon has taken over all walks of life.  Almost any time of day you can find a person wandering streets or office corridors with a paper cup in hand, its plastic lid in situ.  The vessel for steaming hot coffee.  From Pret to Starbucks to Gloria Jeans, you can buy a takeaway coffee more or less anywhere.  I've never been particularly fond of the takeaway coffee.  In more recent years this is because I stopped drinking coffee, and I guess because takeaway tea just doesn't have the same appeal.  But I do wonder what is going through the minds of the people who cannot make it through rush hour without their takeaway grande soy milk chai latte.  Aside from the expense (and yes, I am herein admitting my tightarseness), the coffee is usually shit.  Most people will attest to this.  So then, I question, is it really worth it, or could the coffee machine at work do the same, if not better, brew?  Or is it that the coffee-holder thinks they look special by carrying around a coffee cup and making friends with the barista that they politely hand over 2.50 each morning after they get off the 8.05 from bumfuck idaho?  Perhaps we're all too busy and consumed that we don't have time to sit down and have a coffee anymore and read the paper like in the olden days and letting our coffee cool, instead of hurriedly sipping it through the tiny hole in a plastic lid which will inevitably burn our tongues.  There's no time for the simple pleasures anymore.  Well perhaps that's just it: the simple pleasure is now having a takeaway coffee each morning.  I bet those coffee fiends wish they'd gotten up half an hour earlier in the morning when it's pissing down with rain and they're trying to hold their briefcase and umbrella while talking on the mobile and trying not to spill their Arabica bean blend all over their suits.  That half an hour might've meant they'd either miss the rain or have more time to sit and enjoy their coffee and make use of the free wifi.   

I went to Huggins' place for dinner on Wednesday night.  We met up in Tooley Street just after work and made our way to her place in Willesden Green.  It had never been more apparent to me than it was that night just how fussy an eater I am.  When Huggins revealed what was on the menu I was terrified - mushrooms, olives, strawberries, tomatoes: four foods I do not eat.  Huggins was very apologetic, but so was I when I realised just how immature my taste buds were.  Mushrooms, as it happens, don't even tend to have a massively strong taste.  And so I ate most of the mushroom risotto that was served to me apart from a few of the fungi which I left on the side of the bowl.  I wasn't just being polite.  In fact I was facing up to the realisation that I have to learn to be comfortable eating more and varied foods.  I don't gag violently when I eat mushrooms, nor am I allergic to them.  So why the upturned nose whenever I'm faced with a meal in which one of the ingredients is a mushy?  It's not necessary.  And I am going to make more of an effort to eat them more in the future.  No, I will never love them and I may never buy them in the supermarket and eat them on toast for breakfast.  But I will embrace them when they are served to me, and will not offend my hosts by highlighting the fact that I don't like them when the truth is I don't dislike them.  Mushrooms are such a common additive to a lot of foods these days.  Olives, however, I will not embrace.  There are some things I'm allowed to not like.  

We concluded the night by sharing scary stories and talking about ghosts and haunted houses, all borne out of the topic of Marchlands, a new programme that has started on one of the English TV channels.  Marchlands is the story of three different families living in the same house in the 1960s, 1980s and present day.  The families are linked by the spirit of a young girl – the 1960’s family’s daughter, who died in mysterious circumstances.  I think it's going to become my new favourite show (even though it is English).  So before we left Huggins' place, Gemma shared a story about her childhood home and the various happenings that suggested there was a ghost or unearthly being living within its walls.  I relayed the story that is Lalene's, about the man that was hiding in her cupboard when she was a little girl.  And we talked about the ghosts at Thorpe Park who have all but protested that the site for the proposed new rollercoaster be reconsidered.  The jury's still out about whether I believe in ghosts or not.  I'm sure there has to be something else out there.  But until I see proof, I'm indifferent. 

Towards the end of the week I was feeling better again.  Which was lucky, because come Friday afternoon, Philo and I were to go on a road trip to New Forest to spend the weekend.  The main draw card was a cider house that Kirsty at work had stumbled upon when we were googling places to go for weekends away.  Even better, was the B&B that we found located right by said cider house!  So we booked a couple of nights there and arrived late on Friday afternoon.  Before we set off, I got myself a Bobby-burger that I'd been craving all week.  I haven't been to see Bobby for quite a while, since he was so jealous of Philo the last time I went in there.  We've been too scared to go back ever since, just in case he picked Philo up and put him in the fryer with the chips and then abducted me to go to Dubai with him and be one of his wives.  But my solo trip to see Bobby was incident-free and I scoffed the burger and chips.  I maintain that the hash brown is unnecessary.

It had been my task to research what there was to do in the New Forest area besides drink cider at the cider house.  The list was rather small, mainly because the options consisted of a lot of bike riding and physical activity.  And we all know how much I love bike rides and physical activity!  So with those options safely left for others to enjoy, we spent the rest of the weekend at the pub in Burley, hunting roaming ponies and sampling the local cider from a 1.5L bottle.  

On the way back into London and still craving dim sims, we made a pit stop at Jumbucks in Shepherd's Bush.  I had been told that Jumbucks imported dim sims for the people like me who can't live without them.  I was informed that the dim sims had become too expensive to import anymore and that they did not stock them.  Instead, I opted to spend a ridiculous amount of money on a packet of Twisties, some Tim Tams and the best BBQ Shapes I have had in 9 months.  Yum.  

And if all that wasn't enough food for one day, Philo and I had a frozen pizza before resting up for our Valentine's Day night out.  We'd decided upon Jamie Oliver's Italian restaurant, not too far from my place, and made our way down there at about 7.00.  It truly was pukka tucker.  We didn't see Jamie there, but I did take a piece of the restaurant home with me, in the form of a napkin printed with the words "Jamie's Kitchen".  You could buy them, 12 for 4.  Philo asked if I wanted one to take home as a souvenir, but I quickly replied that I already had one stuffed into my handbag, which comment was met with an eruption of laughter!

Monday was another leave day (we've been asked to use up all our leave before April) and so after a bit of a sleep-in I was craving pizza again.  (I eat really well, hey!)  So we drove up to Pizza Hut and ate as much greasy pizza as our expanding stomachs would allow, and then headed to the bowling alley to knock over a few pins and work off the breakfast/lunch we'd devoured.  It's safe to say that I didn't win.  But I did come out with some aching muscles afterwards, having tried to imitate the ridiculously awkward bowling style of the Asian strongman in the lane beside us.  Pete his name was.  (It was on the scoreboard overhead.)  Pete was all strength, no precision though - I reckon in the whole time we were there I knocked over more pins than his speeding ball did.  He was one of those dudes who thought he was pretty good because he could hurtle the ball down the alley at a million miles an hour.  But the simple fact was that not only did he look stupid when he was bowling, he was shit at it too.  I got to thinking that he probably fuels his bowling body with dumplings.  So with that in mind, we went off to the Asian grocer and picked some up so I could make a dumpling soup to have for dinner.  I feel like I haven't stopped eating all weekend.  I think I might have to take up ten pin bowling full time as a form of exercise.  It works for Pete.  

Happy happy birthday to my one and only nephew (so far!) who turned one on Sunday.  I.  Can.  Not.  Believe.  It.  2010 absolutely flew and he is growing into a lovely little man. 
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Kylie on

Just this morning I was thinking the same about nature strips...

kimba on

Love that to nicked a napkin! So not much has changed since our days thieving from the pubs in Fitzroy? ;)

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