Bill Bailey: Larks in Transit Review

Bill Bailey Larks in Transit

Back in 2015 I had a ticket to go and see Bill Bailey which I was over the moon about but unfortunately in the end I couldn’t go and see him. I had a ticket for his London show because at the time I lived in London, attending university and what not, but I dropped out and didn’t have the money to travel from Telford to London for the night. I was disappointed and for a while there was no more talk of him going on tour again.

Then last year I saw the announcement for the Larks in Transit tour and as soon as pay day came around I bought a ticket for his Birmingham show. I really wanted to see Bill because I’m a big fan of ‘Black Books’ and I’d already seen Dylan Moran so I wanted to see Bill as well. Originally I was going to go by myself but in the end my Mom bought a ticket so we could go together – we weren’t sat together but it didn’t matter too much.

To be honest with you I haven’t seen many comedians, I’d seen Dylan Moran… And that was about it. I’d really enjoyed him though and I was certain I would enjoy Bill Bailey just as much. He had quite a good turnout, managing to fill most of the Birmingham Arena (formally known as the Barclaycard Arena, formally formally known as the NIA). My view was okay, I was close to the front but very far on the left side of the stage whereas my Mom was more central but towards the back of the arena. I’d bought my ticket a year ago whereas she’d only bought hers a couple of weeks ago because I didn’t want to catch the last train home by myself.

I wasn’t really sure what to expect because I hadn’t seen any of Bill’s stand-up before, hadn’t read any reviews, watched any clips on YouTube, I pretty much only knew of him from Black Books.  But I had faith that since I’d enjoyed the show so much I would be sure to love his stand-up. And by the way if you haven’t seen Black Books then you definitely should, it’s so funny.

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The first thing that I automatically liked is Bill’s energy – to be truthful the first few jokes sort of went over my head a little bit but to me it didn’t even matter, I was still having a good time. When I got into it, maybe ten minutes later I was gone. The first half was good and I was sold on Bill’s jokes.

I think my favourite part is that Bill is like massively intelligent, he can play all these instruments, speak God knows how many languages and this is what he chooses to do for a living and honestly I’m living for it. All the musical elements were my favourite. Also Bill accidentally standing on the disco button had to be one of the funniest things I’ve ever seen in my life.

Before I knew it the first half was over and I went looking for my Mom who told me she was at the bar but she was chilling at the upstairs bar whilst I hunted around in the downstairs bar so in the end the pair of us gave up and returned to our seats. I’d also ran straight to the bathroom the moment the lights had come on which was lucky as when I came out the queue for the ladies was suddenly a mile long.

Although I’d enjoyed the first half I definitely preferred the second half. The whole ‘major and minor’ key bit was absolutely hilarious, I couldn’t stop laughing and I don’t think I will ever be sat down and tested on my knowledge of bird noises again. And the Teresa May dance track… The second half just honestly had me crying with laughter from start to finish and I’m really glad I decided to go. It was worth waiting an entire year.

After the show I had some difficulty finding my Mom but luckily she’d bumped into my old manager who managed to help us find each other and we headed back to the train station together agreeing it had been good. From there things kind of sucked because when we got back to Telford my Mom insisted that the pair of us had to walk home even though it was midnight and made us walk down pitch black alley even though I told her it was a bad idea. But it was worth it for such an amazing night.

My review has by no means done the show justice but basically, go and see Bill Bailey if you have the opportunity to. And watch Black Books, that show is absolutely hilarious!

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Top 10 AOA Songs

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There’s nothing I love more than a good list so I figured since I’ve written my top ten favourite songs for most groups at this point I might as well make one for AOA as well! Here goes nothing.

10. Short Hair

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It’s definitely not AOA’s best song but ‘Short Hair’ is still catchy and a good song. To be honest with you I’ve only listened to it a handful of times but it’s a good song, just not very high on my list of favourites.

9. Oh Boy

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I’m not sure whether I’ve been listening to the Korean or Japanese version but this song is awesome. The girls all look amazing in the music video and it’s definitely one you can jam to. If you haven’t heard this song then I definitely recommend giving it a listen.

8. Bing Bing

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This song was released at the same time as ‘Excuse Me’ and most people seemed to prefer this one. I can see why, it’s a good song and I really liked it – I loved the whole magic concept and the whole thing was just brilliant. The girls looked amazing and the song was good. Definitely a good AOA comeback!

7. Like a Cat

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This used to be my favourite song but unfortunately I listened to it one too many times so I don’t love it as much as I used to but it’s still a good song. Does this song count as iconic yet? I definitely think it should do. The girls looked so good, especially Jimin, and the whole music video was amazing. The choreography is also really cool and it’s just a good song.

6. Ai Wo Choudai

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The title sort of translates to ‘Give Me Your Love’ and it’s a really good song. The music video is very simplistic as it’s just the choreography but the girls pull it off well and they all look amazing, especially Hyejeong who looks like Harley Quinn. I’m so glad I came across this song because it’s really good and I can’t recommend it enough.

5. With Elvis

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This is a song written for AOA’s fans and oh my god it’s so sweet. Their fans are called ‘Elvis’ which is a reference to their debut song, hence the song title name. I’m not normally a fan of slow songs but this one is perfect and so sweet, I could listen to it over and over again. I just love it so much! It really shows how much AOA care about their fans and it makes me love them even more so it’s definitely one of my favourites.

4. Good Luck

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I’ve talked about this a bit before but this is the song that turned me into an AOA fan. I listened to their song ‘Heart Attack’ and absolutely hated it so I assumed I wasn’t an AOA fan but I saw a few people talking about their ‘Good Luck’ comeback so I decided to give it a listen – and quickly became a fan of it. I’m so glad I decided to give it a chance because now I love AOA!

3. Excuse Me

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I don’t understand everyone who hated this song or called it a flop because I honestly loved it from first listen. Whilst most people preferred ‘Bing Bing’ I was bopping to ‘Excuse Me’. It did well on my ‘best K-Pop songs of 2017’ list because I honestly just really liked it. All of it – the concept, the outfits, the choreography, the song itself. What a good comeback, I don’t care what anybody says.

2. Bingle Bangle

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This song actually started at number eight on the list because I didn’t love it upon first listen but after listening to it on repeat I’ve decided that I actually love it so much. ‘Bingle Bangle’ is AOA’s latest comeback, their first one without Choa and honestly it was amazing. The music video was so cute and is now probably one of my favourites, I love the dance and the song is super catchy. Check it out if you haven’t already!

1. Mini Skirt

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I used to like this song but I didn’t particularly ‘love’ it or anything until I saw the choreography for it – I’m not sure what I loved about it, I just did. It’s a really good song and there’s nothing I don’t love about it. Well, I wasn’t a fan of Jimin’s black bob but like I can let that go. Their outfits were awesome and it was definitely their best comeback.

So there are my ten favourites AOA songs, feel free to tell me yours!

Five Things I Wish I’d Known Before Starting Secondary School

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The other day my friend Becca shared a Facebook post that shocked the lot of us – we’d officially left school five years ago. A whole five years of our lives have passed since we were sat at school believing it’d never end. That means that I started Secondary School ten years ago this September! That’s absolutely crazy – at the time it felt never ending but now it feels like it’s been about five minutes since I put on my brand new uniform and caught the mini bus to my brand new school.

A lot of young people will be starting Secondary School this September and I wanted to pass on a bit of my wisdom to those people. There’s also some advice in here for people already at Secondary School. So here I present, five things I wish I’d known before starting Secondary School.

1. Friendships Will Naturally Form

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It’s quite sad to leave most of your primary school friends behind and head to Secondary – in Telford we have way less Secondary’s than Primary’s so I started Secondary with about three other girls who had been to my primary school. I got on well with them but in my last year of Primary I’d been best friends with two year five girls and had grown apart from my friends in the same year as me. And anyway, I wanted to make some new friends. Because that was the point, wasn’t it?

This meant I was friendly to absolutely everybody – which I absolutely advise because what’s the point in being mean – but it also meant I tried to force myself into being best friends with people that I had little in common with. Be nice to everyone and you’ll soon find the people that you share similar interests with and that you naturally click with.

Also remember that your friendship group won’t necessarily stay the same the entire time you’re at Secondary School. My best friend in Year 7 wasn’t my best friend in Year 11 and that’s fine! People change over time, especially when you’re teenagers and sort of figuring out who you are and what you’re interested in and people naturally gravitate away from each other. I had several different friendship groups over my years at Secondary and I value all of them – but I’m in the right group for me now.

So my advice is to be nice to everybody – some people won’t be nice back but try not to focus on them. Focus on your friends and having a good time (whilst studying and working hard too obviously).

2. Boys Aren’t That Important

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I’m sorry to all the boys reading this but as I’m a girl most of this advice is tailored towards girls.

I don’t mean my point as in ‘ignore all the boys, they’re worthless’ – if you end up making friends with a ton of boys then great, that’s cool! What I mean is that you shouldn’t put your value on whether you have a boyfriend or not, like I did for the majority of my time in Secondary School.

You will probably develop a crush on someone there – you’re there every single day and it just kind of happens. Me and my friends regularly discuss who we had crushes on in Secondary School and have a good laugh about it now because we would just never go there now. We honestly can’t believe some of the people we used to have crushes on back then.

In fact there was one guy that me, Jess and Hirst all dated at one point who we wouldn’t even want to talk to nowadays let alone date them. I remember he broke up with his current girlfriend to be with me which at the time I thought was like a massive romantic gesture but now raises complete alarm bells – if he could do that to her, what would stop him doing that to me?

My honest advice would be to try and forget about boyfriends and just focus on having a good time with your mates. I hate the fact I spent so much time at school hating myself because the boys at my school didn’t find me attractive – big deal! Who cares what they think? Enjoy the time you have now with your mates before you all get jobs and only hang out once a month – you can tell yourself it won’t happen to you but the moment you all get different schedules you’ll find once a month is actually a blessing.

3. If You Don’t Understand Then Just Say So

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Okay this is bad to admit but in Year 9 we were doing a Science test and we were sat two to a table with instructions not to cheat. My friend kept glancing at my paper and whispering “Are you thick? That’s not the answer, this is the answer!” So obviously I put what she told me and passed the exam. During my GCSE year I was put into the higher Science class – and didn’t understand a word of it. By the end of the year I failed my first GCSE exam and had to be put down into BTECH where I had a year to complete a two year course.

For a while I felt like I was extremely stupid – never mind that I was in top class for every other subject, I was failing one class so I was an idiot. But I wasn’t. I just didn’t get science – still don’t in fact. And that’s fine. I should’ve been more honest at the time that it was my weaker point and maybe someone could’ve helped me.

This bad habit has kind of followed me throughout my academic life. In school I was very much ‘I don’t get it but I just won’t say anything’ – I kept this attitude in college and university and it’s such a bad habit! If you don’t understand then put your hand up and say “Hey, I don’t get this, can you explain it in a different way?” Everyone learns differently and no one should expect everyone to understand from just one explanation.

I had a friend who regularly talked to teachers and they went through what she didn’t understand until she did, and when it came to exams she knew how to revise and always did really well. I never knew how to revise and ended up ‘winging it’ more than half the time and trust me, it’s not a good habit to get into because it’s difficult to break it. Ask as many questions as possible – if you’re embarrassed to do it in front of the whole class then either call the teacher over when everyone’s started working, speak to them after class or even send them an email and tell them you were too embarrassed to say so in class but you really didn’t get it. You’re not thick or stupid for not understanding, it just needs to be explained in a different way.

4. Just Sit Down and Do Your Homework

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At the start of every academic year I was full of good intentions – I’d do my homework the same day it was set as soon as I got in so I didn’t have to worry about it anymore. And within a couple of weeks it had slipped and soon I was only completing homework for the teachers that I knew would give me detention if I didn’t complete it. And even then most of the time I was completing it the lunch time before the lesson itself. This is another bad habit to have!

I’ll be honest with you, homework feels like a massive pain and even now I sometimes sit back and think about how happy I am that I no longer need to do any. But it’s set for a reason so do your best to always complete it. If you don’t understand then either ask your parents for help or do your best and then go back to school and explain you tried but didn’t really understand.

Also, terrible advice here, but if you do your homework regularly then on the odd occasions you do forget the teachers are more likely to forgive you and give you an extension. I remember my friend lying to the teacher and saying she’d done her homework but had left it at home. Because she regularly did her homework and never really got into any trouble the teacher went “Okay, I believe you”.

But honestly, just do it! Preferably on the day it’s set and as soon as you get in so that you don’t have to worry about it after that.

Another tip – make sure you accurately write down what you’re supposed to be doing. Once I wrote down ‘RE poem things’, sat down to my homework a week later and had no idea what it meant. I did the work wrong, because I genuinely forgot what I was meant to do, and the teacher accused me of being lazy. Which was fair enough but I wasn’t lazy for doing the wrong homework, I was lazy for not recording down what I was actually meant to do in the first place.

Start as you mean to go on and do your best to complete all of your homework!

5. You Don’t Have to Decide Your Career Right Now

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I know the pressure will feel like a lot because suddenly your teachers are banging on about how important it is that you pick the right GCSEs that will define your entire career and whatever but trust me, you don’t have to pick at age fourteen what you want to do with the rest of your life. I’m twenty-one and I still don’t really know what I’m doing and I’m currently working a job I wouldn’t have dreamed of having in school.

Picking my GCSEs was a bit different because at the time we were told if we picked certain subjects we’d get a qualification called the ‘English Baccalaureate’ – I had to Google it and according to Google it’s still a thing but after I’d picked my GCSEs I was told this qualification had been dropped, something I was absolutely livid about. To get this qualification you had to have English, Maths, a humanities subject and a language subject.

Ultimately I don’t think this would’ve drastically changed my GCSE choices – I chose History, Spanish, Music and Performing Arts. The only thing different would’ve been that I definitely would not have picked Spanish because although I’m desperate to learn a new language there’s just not enough emphasis on language for British children in public schools to completely pick up a new language. The only phrase I remember from Spanish class now is ‘tengo barba y me lamo’ which literally translates to “I have a beard and I lick myself.”

When picking your GCSE choices don’t stress yourself out – pick subjects you’ll enjoy and that you’ll feel motivated to study for. Obviously there are some subjects you have no choice whether you do or not like English, Maths etc. But at our school we had two full days dedicated to whichever GCSE options you’d picked. For example once every two weeks I had triple Spanish on a Tuesday morning. Not exactly my idea of fun but it wasn’t the worst thing ever. Now if I’d had to do three hours of Geography or three hours of Art I might have genuinely jumped out of a window, that would’ve been Hell for me.

If you have an idea of what you want to do then pick subjects that relate to that. If you want to study History at university then it might be a good idea to pick that for a GCSE. But don’t worry about ‘picking the wrong ones’, it’s not worth getting stressed about.

Also make an appointment with the careers advisor in Year Eleven, I remember going to the library with my friends and all of us begging for an appointment soon because we were stressed and didn’t know what to do. She was nice, she didn’t scoff at me wanting to become a writer one day, she actually found some useful things for me to look through and talked about how I could achieve that. I wish I could speak to a careers advisor now, god knows I need one.

My point is that at the time I didn’t know what I wanted to do and that’s fine, if I don’t know now at twenty-one then I certainly had no clue back when I was fourteen. And if you do have an idea then that’s awesome, work towards it and do your best to achieve it! But don’t stress if you don’t have a plan.

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There we go, that’s enough wisdom for one day. Feel free to leave a comment, if you have your own advice, if you’re after advice, if you wanna tell me a story, just comment if you want to!

Top 10 Favourite Crayon Pop Songs

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Crayon Pop were the group that officially got me into K-Pop and I still love them today. However they’re officially ‘on hiatus’ as Soyul left the group, got married and had a child whilst the other members are currently working on solo activities. I’m still hoping for a comeback one day even if Soyul’s not there but I guess we’ll have to see. Anyway, I thought I’d write a list of my ten favourite Crayon Pop songs!

10. 1, 2, 3, 4

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Usually with K-Pop I just tend to like the title tracks and not really any of the other songs on the album – I don’t know why, I just can’t get as interested. I bought Crayon Pop’s ‘FM’ mini album and listened to all three of the songs. While I didn’t really like ‘HaPaTaKa’ I did really like ‘1, 2, 3, 4’. It’s just a sweet song that never gets boring to me so it’s definitely on my list of favourites.

9. We Are Pirates

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I’m incredibly salty that they didn’t film a music video for this because it’s such a good song and I’d have loved to have seen an MV of the girls dressed up as pirates. But unfortunately we didn’t get one, maybe there wasn’t the budget for it but either way I really loved the song. Pretty sure this song was a Japanese release like ‘RaRiRuRe’ which was another good song but ‘We Are Pirates’ was just a lot better.

8. Bing Bing

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Although ‘Saturday Night’ is Crayon Pop’s official debut song, ‘Bing Bing’ was actually released first when they debuted as ‘Hurricane Pop’ (before Way joined the group). There are a few different versions of this song, I love it when they have the dance break in the middle with the sun glasses – that’s personally my favourite version although I do love the version where Soyul raps as well. It’s a really fun and upbeat song which I will probably always love!

7. Dancing Queen

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I love watching the dance practice video for this song because the girls are just so full of energy and honestly I wish I had some of that. I’m not sure about the music video for this one, it’s a bit random but the song is still amazing. I wish I could’ve seen them perform it live.

6. Bar Bar Bar

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I don’t care what anybody says this song is iconic and amazing. Yes it’s a bit repetitive but it’s a lot of fun with a cool dance. I know the whole routine but can’t make it to the end without wanting to collapse so honestly for anyone that claims this dance is ‘easy’, do you wanna try doing it whilst looking as flawless as Crayon Pop? The song brought them a bit of fame but unfortunately not a lot which is sad but at least they had a hit song which turned into something pretty iconic.

5. Uh-ee

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This is another song where the choreography looks relatively easy but the moment you try to do it you find it’s actually more difficult than it looks. Crayon Pop are so full of energy and I wish they got more recognition for that. ‘Uh-ee’ is one of the first songs I liked by them and I used to watch the same fancam of the song on repeat which is how I picked up the choreography. The song may seem a little childish but it’s a lot of fun and I love it.

4. Doo Doom Chit

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The last comeback they had as a full group before Soyul left and they all went on indefinite hiatus. I loved everything about this comeback – the MV was great, the choreography is a lot of fun and the song itself is just great. I don’t care what anybody says, I loved this comeback and wish they could’ve released more after it.

3. OK (Strawberry Milk)

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‘OK’ was the debut song of Crayon Pop’s sub-unit ‘Strawberry Milk’, made up of the twins Choa and Way. This was one of those songs that I immediately loved upon hearing and had it on repeat for the next couple of weeks. The MV was really cute and I love the choreography for this one as well. This is one of the best sub-unit songs I’ve heard and in Korea it was pretty popular, a lot of idols sang and danced to the song. This song is another one that’s iconic, let’s be real.

2. FM

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My first comeback as a fan! I remember they dropped the MV whilst I was at college in Film Studies so I stuck my headphones in and watched the MV in the middle of class, praying my teacher wouldn’t look over and ask what I was doing. I loved it. The song was awesome and I loved the whole super hero concept. I also loved Gummi’s hair and went into the hairdressers to see if they could do something similar (they could’ve done but it would’ve cost a fortune and I’d have been in there all day apparently so uh I gave that a miss). This comeback was one of their best and I loved it so much.

1. Saturday Night

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I don’t know what it is but at the moment I’m in love with Crayon Pop’s debut song, ‘Saturday Night’. Their outfits were funky, they were upbeat and I love Way’s rap. This song wasn’t commercially successful so Crayon Pop had to take to the streets to promote their music as no music shows would let them promote, which is why I won’t stand for anyone saying Crayon Pop got famous by ‘luck’. Yes, it was lucky that ‘Bar Bar Bar’ was a success but they worked hard to get to that point!

So there we have it, my favourite Crayon Pop songs. Let me know yours and if you haven’t heard any of these then be sure to give them a listen!

Weekend in London 19th May 2018 – 21st May 2018

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A couple of months ago Kyary Pamyu Pamyu announced she was coming back to the UK and I just knew that I had to go. I last saw her when I was at university so that was back in 2015, three years ago now! I went with Jess when she played at the Roundhouse in Camden and I’d loved every second so I decided to go again but by myself this time. Although my friends like K-Pop they’re not really Kyary fans so I figured it’d be best to go it alone.

Since I love spending time in London I decided to extend the trip by an extra day. The concert was on a Sunday so I figured I could go from Saturday to Monday and make a full weekend of it considering I needed to book the Monday off work anyway. I decided to see a couple of theatre shows on Saturday, do a little sight-seeing on Sunday, go to the concert then come home on Monday. I booked things a little bit at a time over the past couple of months (I had the train tickets booked before I even had my ticket for Kyary) until it was all sorted.

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I got the train to London early on Saturday morning and got there for about 12:30PM. Check-in at my hotel wasn’t until 2PM and my first show was at 3:30PM so I had plenty of time and wasn’t too stressed. Over the weekend I decided to tick an item off my bucket list which was ‘Leave books around London for strangers to find’. Unfortunately I was too nervous to stop and take any photos so I have no proof but I did leave some books! My first one was in London Euston – I left a copy of my favourite book ‘Only Ever Yours’ by Louise O’Neill on a staircase for someone to find.

I walked down to Camden Market which is known for having lots of amazing different types of foods but of course I ended up in McDonalds and had lunch in there. Look, it’s cheap, quick and I can sit inside while reading my book which was all that I cared about. Over the weekend I was reading ‘Your Turn to Die’ by Sue Wallman which I finished before I got home and I will probably write a review about at some point because I really enjoyed it.

Once I was done in Camden it was almost 2PM so I decided to head to the hotel. Back in September I stayed in hub by Premier Inn at West Minster and it was probably the best hotel I’ve ever stayed in so this time I went for the same chain but stayed in the King’s Cross hotel. It was more than I’d usually spend on a hotel but after having a bad experience in my regular London hotel I now prefer to spend the extra and stay in a trusted chain hotel.

On my way there I hid another book on a bench outside King’s Cross Station, this time I left a copy of ‘The Lost and the Found’ by Cat Clarke – and when I went back about an hour later the book was gone so I guess someone took it! I hope they’re enjoying it.

Check into my hotel was easy and I was in room 1047 which for some reason was a disability friendly room. I’m not complaining but what I’d liked about the hotel room at the West Minster hotel was the high bed which I didn’t get this time but the bed was two singles pushed together to make a double and it was massive so I decided not to complain.

After chilling in the room for a bit I headed to my first show of the day which was ‘Ruthless! The Musical’. I didn’t know an awful lot about it but I’d watched a scene on YouTube and had decided to give it a go. I found the theatre quite easily because it was where I’d seen ‘Mischief Movie Night’. I picked up my ticket, headed to my seat and was immediately disappointed to discover my seat was literally right behind a massive pillar that covered half of the stage. For ‘Mischief Movie Night’ I’d sat in the circle which had given me a brilliant view but this time I’d opted for stalls because it was cheaper. I could see why.

I sat there feeling really salty until the lights went down and luckily the theatre was quite empty so I moved along a seat and I suddenly had a perfect view of the stage. The first half of the show was good and I really enjoyed it. The show is about a talented girl named Tina who will do anything for the star part in her school play. As it’s a musical there were obviously a lot of songs and I thought these were really good. The show was funny and a little bit shocking sometimes and I was enjoying it. Unfortunately the second half kind of lets down the show because it’s not as interesting and doesn’t really seem to have much point to it. The cast still did amazingly and I’m glad I went to see it.

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I came out the theatre at about 5:30PM and set off on a mission to find somewhere to eat before my next show at 7:30PM. I am someone who can’t stand getting to the theatre late, I would rather lose my money than go into the auditorium after curtains up so I like to arrive at the theatre half-an-hour beforehand so I can grab my ticket, head to the loo, get a drink if I’m feeling ambitious and still have plenty of time to find my seat. So I needed to find somewhere quickly.

Of course finding a space in a restaurant at dinner time on a Saturday night in Central London is never easy so I walked around in circles, glanced through every window trying to scan for an empty table and kept coming up blank. Eventually I headed into a place called Bill’s Restaurant where the food looked quite expensive but hey, I’m in Central London so what did I expect? I’m really glad I found it because I ordered a chicken burger and it’s like 6:10PM by this point so I’m very stressed about being late for the show – within two minutes the food had arrived. It was literally the fastest food I’d ever received.

Because it arrived so quickly I took the risk and ordered dessert. I ordered a chocolate bomb which also arrived quickly but was a bit awkward because the waiter stood in front of me and slowly poured the caramel over the bomb whilst I just sat there and didn’t really know what to do. Worth it though, it was really tasty. I paid the bill and managed to get to the theatre with plenty of time.

My 7:30PM show was ‘The Play That Goes Wrong’ and it was my fifth time seeing the show. I’m a big fan of Mischief Theatre and this show is really good. I enjoyed it but unfortunately I think I’ve seen it maybe too many times because although I still found it funny I knew what was gonna happen each time which takes away the shine a little bit. But it’s definitely a show I’d recommend.

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I got back to my hotel at about 10PM, had a quick shower, wrote in my journal then got into bed to watch Family Guy before eventually switching off and going to sleep.

I didn’t pay for hotel breakfast this time so I had a lie-in and when I eventually did wake up I had a chill morning in the hotel. I’d bought some biscuits the day before so I had them for breakfast and discovered the hotel TV had a YouTube app so I watched some ‘Buzzfeed Unsolved’ before deciding to get dressed and do some sight-seeing.

My issue with sight-seeing in London is that I’ve been an awful lot of times and there isn’t much I haven’t seen. I decided to go back to the Natural History Museum in the hopes I could finally see the T-Rex exhibit this time but when I got there I ended up going through a different entrance and I was really disorientated. I had a look at some of the exhibits but suddenly those biscuits just hadn’t been enough for breakfast so I went off in search of food. Nothing in the Museum café really made me happy and I ended up walking here, there and everywhere in search of something to eat but I really couldn’t find anything nearby.

In the end I went to Kings Cross station and went to Giraffe for a burger. It wasn’t anything special but there were plenty of free tables and their milkshake was tasty. Plus it filled a hole and that was all I cared about.

Now I’d eaten I decided to go to the Foundling Museum. It’s a museum I’ve been thinking of visiting for a while but never got round to it. I wanted to go because even though I’m 21 I’m still a big Jacqueline Wilson fan and I’d loved the ‘Hetty Feather’ books so I wanted to see more of the real-life foundlings. It was £11 for entrance and although the first room was really interesting I didn’t really enjoy the rest of it because it seemed to have little relevance to the foundlings. I’m glad I went though since I’ve been thinking about it for so long. My favourite was the tokens that the Mother’s left with their babies so they could identify them if they wanted them back when they were older, pictured below.

Foundling Museum 2

Once I’d left I wasn’t really sure what to do so I sat in the park outside the museum and read my book for a little bit before making the decision to go to hmv in Oxford Street. I wanted to have a look at the K-Pop albums but unfortunately they’ve either gotten rid of them or moved them to a place where I couldn’t find them. I had a browse through the rest of the shop before I decided to go back to the hotel and chill before the concert.

I bought some snacks from Waitrose which I had in the hotel room whilst watching some more YouTube videos. Unfortunately as a size 20 girl who’d been walking around boiling hot London I had been starting to chaff quite badly so I needed some time to chill in my pyjamas so that it wouldn’t hurt too bad by the time I got to the concert.

It felt like two minutes had passed and it was time to go. I got to the venue after the doors had opened but the queue was still all the way down the street so I joined the back. I don’t mind doing anything alone but I do find it quite sad queuing by myself especially when I’m surrounded by friends who are all chatting to each other. The guy in front of me was alone and the girl behind me was alone but none of us talked to each other, maybe we were all too shy.

I could’ve died, we were getting closer to the venue and this taxi driver stopped his taxi in the middle of the road and I made the stupid mistake of making eye contact with him so he yelled “Who’s playing tonight?” so in front of everyone else in the queue I had to yell back “Kyary Pamyu Pamyu!” which is a pretty cringe name to have to yell in front of everyone and honestly if the ground could’ve swallowed me whole in that moment I’d have been happy.

Kyary was playing at the KOKO in Camden and to be truthful I’ve always wanted to go to a concert there because as a teenager pretty much every emo band I loved had played a show at KOKO and I really wanted to go. I don’t know if there are people who love that venue but I did not. It’s very grimy with a strange layout and the loos were a bit grim. Maybe I’m just not grunge enough anymore. It’s probably an ideal location for a rock concert, not so much a cutesy J-Pop concert.

I had assumed the Kyary concert would be full of girls but nope, it was 75% men and a lot of them were extremely tall with absolutely no mercy. When Kyary came out I wasn’t even sure if she was on stage yet because I honestly couldn’t see her and I remember looking at the woman next to me and we both just shook our heads because we couldn’t see a thing. Maybe I wouldn’t have minded but these men blocking my view weren’t even getting lit, I was screaming the lyrics to ‘Candy Candy’ and they were stood there barely bobbing their heads. A few people moved back and my position got shifted and in the end I could just about see her if everyone in front of me aligned perfectly and my head was at precise tilt and ultimately I did really enjoy the show.

Kyary Pamyu Pamyu 3

The theme of the concert was ‘haunted house’ so a clip was played before the start of the concert and although it looked cool it wasn’t planned very well because it was in Japanese with no subtitles – which is fine considering Kyary’s Japanese and we were all there to listen to J-Pop but 98% of us couldn’t understand what was going on so it was a bit lost.

The set-list was as follows:

– Fashion Monster
– Invader Invader
– Candy Candy
– Kura Kura
– Saigo No Ice Cream
– Serious Hitomi
– IYAHOI
– Koi Koi Koi
– Slow-Mo
– No No No
– Furisodeshon
– Mondai Girl
– Ninja Re Bang Bang
– Mottai Night Land
– Cherry Bonbon
– Kira Kira Killer
– Tsukematsukeru
– Sai & Co
– Crazy Party Night

ENCORE:
– Easta
– Kimino Mikata
– PON PON PON

She played pretty much all of my favourites and it was a really good night. Also her speaking English is one of the cutest things ever, she’s so sweet. I’m really glad I went, it was such a good night and she’s amazing to see live.

I was planning on getting an after concert Maccies but unfortunately I didn’t feel hungry until I was back in the hotel room having a shower by which point I could not go back out, my thighs would’ve killed me. I had another chill evening watching TV before finally going to sleep, feeling a little bittersweet this time since I knew it was my last night here.

I forgot to mention I’d also left a copy of Louise Rennison’s ‘Angus, Thongs and Full-Frontal Snogging’ on the underground for someone to find so here’s hoping someone found and enjoyed that one.

Got up the next morning at about 9:30AM and packed my stuff up before heading out at about 10AM. I don’t really like doing much on the last day since I hate having to lug around my backpack full of stuff so I headed to Wetherspoons in Camden – I’ve found I can’t really get in there for dinner but it’s usually nice and empty to get breakfast. I had a full English, finished the book I’d been reading and then wrote in my journal because I’d been way too tired the night before.

I left a copy of Holly Bourne’s ‘Am I Normal Yet’ on a windowsill in Camden, popped into Waterstones to buy myself a replacement book and then headed to the train station. I get stressed about missing my train too so I like to be there nice and early so I can chill before going home. Before I knew it I was back on the train and heading home!

It was a good weekend and I’d love to go back to London ASAP but unfortunately I am doing my best to save for Japan and South Korea in September so it might be a while before I go back to London but I had a really good time. Definitely a weekend I’d like to repeat.

Story Time – The Motown Prank

Motown Prank

Most of my favourite posts to read back are those which relate to my personal life. So after getting permission from my friends I’ve decided to start writing a segment called ‘story time’ where I write about stupid or funny things that have happened to me and my friends. I wrote one back for Halloween where I told the story of Becca’s Dad pranking us all [x] so here is another prank story titled ‘The Motown Prank’.

In September 2015 me and my friend Jess J went to university. Neither of us liked university very much so we were looking forward to coming back to Telford for the weekend, which we’d planned a while back so we could go to Birmingham to see Dan & Phil. We agreed with our other two friends Becca and Hirst that we’d hang out at some point over the weekend so we could catch up.

Jess’ birthday was coming up and I found out the same weekend we were all meeting up that ‘Disney on Ice’ was going to be in Birmingham. I had quite a lot of money from my student loan so after making sure everyone would be free that evening I booked us each a ticket as Jess’ birthday present. I didn’t tell any of them what I’d booked but my plan was to tell Jess then message Becca and Hirst to let them know as well.

So Jess’ birthday came around and I told her we had tickets for ‘Disney on Ice’ and she was pleased. We were sat in her uni room and I said “Wouldn’t it be cool if we pranked the squad somehow?” Jess agreed it would be pretty funny but neither of us could think of anything so I agreed to go home and google what else was happening in Birmingham that weekend to give us some inspiration.

When I got back to my room I messaged Jess and informed her that on the same day we saw Disney on Ice there was going to be a Motown Evening, something I knew none of us would particularly want to go to. So me and Jess came up with an idea. I’d tell the squad we were going to a Motown Evening and we’d pretend Jess was secretly a massive Motown fan who was over the moon to be going.

This was the plan until Jess said “Wouldn’t it be awkward if you genuinely did buy me Motown tickets because you thought I loved it but it turned out I didn’t?” And thus a new plan was formed.

On the day me and Jess practiced the prank all the way from London to Telford until we were pretty sure we could do it without laughing and giving it away. Things did not get off to a good start since we met up with Hirst and Becca, went out for dinner and then realised we’d spent so long eating and catching up that we’d actually missed our train. We had to rush to catch the slow train which would get us into Birmingham after the show had begun.

We got onto the train and managed to get a table with me and Jess sitting opposite each other like we’d planned. I had promised them I would tell them where we were going the moment we were on the train so I did “I’ve booked us tickets for a Motown Evening.” I told them.

Now Hirst actually looked pretty happy about it but Becca has never looked more miserable in her entire life. Jess smiled and said “That’s cool” to which I replied “Well aren’t you excited?”

“I mean yeah it sounds okay.”

“But you love Motown!”

“… I don’t really know much about it but-”

“But you listened to tons of Motown! I went into your YouTube history to see which episode of Dan & Phil Sims we’d last watched and I found tons of Motown videos? I didn’t pull this out of nowhere Jess?”

“… Hollie I think I might’ve been skipping through a playlist? I really don’t know much about Motown. We’ll still have a good time though!”

At this point my voice was extremely high and I was blushing bright red because I’m no actress but luckily Hirst and Becca were looking slightly awkward and trying to reassure me we’d still have a good evening. Hirst was a lot more convincing than Becca.

Then came my favourite bit of the prank. We reached Wolverhampton so I opened my phone and went “Oh My God guys, I’ve just had an email from the company. They’ve cancelled the Motown Evening and aren’t offering refunds.”

I started to lose it a little at this point, Becca and Hirst were both outraged and I was trying my best to look distraught. I handed the phone to Hirst thinking she’d automatically see who it was from and would realise it was a prank and the whole thing would be over. She did not.

Motown Prank 2

She read the email but didn’t check who it was from and just sat there going “Well what are we going to do? What are we supposed to do now?”

Jess and I were both starting to laugh at this point but I managed to push it aside for one second and asked “Who’s the email from?”

To which Hirst and Becca exploded “Who cares!? I can’t believe it’s cancelled.”

Now at this point me and Jess can’t hold it back, we’re like peeing ourselves with laughter and Hirst and Becca are still outraged by this fake email so in the end I managed to say “Just read out the whole email. Everything. Absolutely everything it says.”

Becca took the phone and read out the entire email before realising what was happening. She tossed my phone on the table without reading where we were going so Hirst had a look and the two of them figured out we were actually going to see Disney on Ice and not a Motown Evening. I asked how they felt to which Becca said “Mad that you lied but so happy we’re not going to a Motown Evening.” We had a good laugh about the fact we’d pulled it off and me and Jess hi-fived.

It probably doesn’t sound as funny in story form but I was honestly weeing and I still can’t believe they fell for it. We did try to a pull another prank a year later but unfortunately we didn’t pull it off because the train was too full. I would like to prank them like that again one day though!