Friday, 14 November 2014

All the happenings and the doings, from red poppies to gender bending

Old boss you was rite it was the left kidny i was goin to hoperate agin close to your ospitle just as i was going to dror mi nife along of er bloomin throte them cusses of coppers spoilt the game but i guess i wil be on the job soon and will send you another bit of innerds
Jack the Ripper
O have you seen the devle with his mikerscope and scalpul a-lookin at a kidney with a slide cocked up.
It was a dark, still night. There was a gentle drizzle falling and our hoods were pulled against the chill of the cold air. Hands in our pockets we stood, transfixed, as in the glow of a street lamp our tour guide described in gruesome detail the horrific murders by the notorious serial killer, Jack the Ripper.

Throat slashed to the bone.
Sliced open, guts removed and thrown over her shoulder.
Womb missing.
Positioned knees up, with her personal affects arranged around her bloodless corpse.

We stood where her body was found. She was just one; in each case the mutilations more gruesome. We retraced Jack's footsteps as he ran away from the crime scenes.

Luckily, I did not faint during the graphic retelling - we had been warned in case we were a sensitive nature. Now, I am of a sensitive nature, but I'm also horribly curious, and now I endeavour to research as much about Jack the Ripper as I can which will likely result in a month's worth of nightmares. Was it the Freemasons? Were they covering it up? Why only prostitutes? Was it a doctor - the precision of the slices…was it a mad man? Were the women being silenced? 

***
Of late I have been quite the little London tourist. Jack the Ripper tour, preceded by a delicious curry on the famous Brick Lane (butter chicken, naturally). 

A couple of weekends prior, I saw the fireworks at the affectionately known Ally Pally - Alexandra Palace - in (dis)honour of Guy Fawkes. I had to research this as well - why the bonfire? Why the fireworks? He was hanged. It didn't make any sense! The fireworks were lovely if very cold, and my attempts to warm up by drinking copious amounts of mulled wine and cider didn't work. Nicole and I had staked a place early in the day with barely a soul to be seen. Come 7pm, we had children tripping over us, people trying to sit on our blanket and just..people..everywhere. 
"Be as big as you can, Nicole!" I said, "Let's stretch our legs out."

At one point, I even tapped a man on the shoulder as he had moved directly in front of my folded legs. "Excuse me, but my legs go there." I'm such a bitch.

Remember, remember the fifth of November,
Gunpowder, treason and plot.
I see no reason, why gunpowder treason
Should ever be forgot

The Tower of London. I'm sure you all saw it in the news; over 888 000 ceramic poppies were laid in the moat to represent each of the lives lost in WWI. Thanks to Nicole and her friends, I was given a ticket to see inside the castle walls. It was a wet, rainy day. I was testing out my new raincoat, and it kept me nice and dry (£4, charity store - think it's a kids size). Naturally, London's underground was at a standstill due to engineering repairs on the tube lines". Damn you, London underground. I both love you and hate you and like you and loathe you! Grrrrr.

The amount of people visiting was unbelievable. We waited in the rain by the little clock symbolising that a tour was to start in 5 minutes, when it was announced that due to the weather, no tour would be running. No matter, we would read the signs - all of them!

The Tower of London has a very interesting and long history. We saw the bedchambers of age-old kings, and scratchings in the walls where prisoners were held. We saw artefacts and weaponry and the beautiful red poppies through the windows. At one point, we thought it would be a good idea to join the queue to see the Crown Jewels - the line is moving fast, right? An hour and a half later, we were at the front of the line under the "No photography allowed" sign. I'll admit, and I had wanted to see the Crown Jewels, that I was a fraction frustrated. Nevertheless, the jewels were beautiful, the crowns, tiaras, rings and sceptres, the beautiful gold workings on the punch bowls and other ceremonial dishes.

On the tube on the way home, I flipped to the news on my phone. "Huge crowds have been to see the Tower of London poppy garden despite warnings to stay away until after half-term and to avoid a Tube station closure."

Oops. That explains the sheer number of people, then. Typical ;)






Seeing as it has been almost a month since my last update, there have been a great number of little things that have happened too. Of course, I've seen another two shows; Forbidden Broadway (my face hurt from laughing so much) and Matilda - a masterpiece with obvious music and lyrics by the love of my life, Tim Minchin.




I attended a travel company's brochure launch, and slapped down my £10 deposit on not one, but two, half-price tours (the 2nd one may have been assisted by cider). I'm putting plans in place for my epic trip of next year once my contract is up. So far, the sketchy details are:
  • A week (or two?) in Greece. I'm desperate to see the history and culture and I love the ancient mythology.
  • 9 days in Egypt. Yep. That's a thing that's happening.
  • A week in Italy, where I will eat until I look like a piece of pizza.8 days sailing the Croatian islands, jumping off boats and celebrating my 20-somethingth birthday (Still south of 30!)
And then back home to London where I will be well and truly broke and exhausted.

There has also been Halloween. Gender bending, I donned a beard and went as a lumberjack. Every girl needs a beard! When my beard became too itchy, it became my chest hair. It even became 80's bush for a little while… this is what happens when Sasha drinks too much cider, kids! I'm surprised at how big Halloween is here in London. Lots of kids trick-or-treating, and so many people dressing up! The BritBound Halloween was great fun as usual, and we sailed up and down the Thames with Big Ben and the London Eye as the perfect backdrop.



Oh golly. So much has been happening, and there is so very much to come. December will probably be the death of me. I love you all. Remember that, ok?

Exhaustingly yours,

xx