Weekend in London 8th June – 9th June 2019

London 2

A few months ago my Mom announced she was going on holiday to Spain for a few nights. People that know me know that I don’t get on well with my step-dad and the thought of spending five nights alone with him was not appealing in the slightest. I like going to the theatre so decided to book one of my usual trips to London for one night to escape for a little bit.

On the Saturday I caught the train early-ish, around 10AM and made it to London around 12PM. I don’t normally bother with a suitcase when I go to London for the night as I can fit my things into a backpack but I hadn’t stayed at home for two nights prior to going to London and hadn’t had chance to pop home so I had no choice but to take a suitcase with me. Luckily Euston do store bags for people but Jesus wept at what cost? It was a lot more complicated than it had been when I’d stored my bags in Japan because my bag had to go through a scanner like you get at the airport but I suppose you can’t argue with safety precautions. At least my suitcase was safe and I didn’t have to lug it into the theatre with me (though I think they’d have denied me entry anyway).

My first show was ‘Betrayal’, a show I didn’t know much about and had only booked because Tom Hiddleston was in it. I went straight to the theatre and joined the complicated queue system – luckily there was a member of staff outside who pointed people in the right direction and made sure people were in the correct queue. There were people lurking near the stage door who I guess were there on the off chance they’d meet Tom – me and Becca had been planning to do this the week before when we were in London but unfortunately didn’t have enough time.

Betrayal

Picking up my ticket was easy enough and I went off in search of the bathroom. I ended up at the top of the theatre and stood in a ridiculously long line and when I got to the front I was annoyed to discover there was literally one toilet. Whoever designed that needs to re-evaluate their life.

My seat was good, I was down in the stalls, a few rows back and on the aisle. This ticket hadn’t been cheap and I’d forked out £140 to see this show. There were signs everywhere advising that if you needed the loo mid-show that was a shame because you wouldn’t be allowed back into the auditorium. You literally couldn’t miss them yet it didn’t stop one bloke getting up mid-show – the attendant literally sprinted down the aisle to tell him he couldn’t go back in if he left so he reluctantly went back to his seat.

The show began and it wasn’t a long show, only 90 minutes without an interval and relied heavily on the three main actors which were Tom Hiddleston, Zawe Ashton and Charlie Cox. I’ll be 100% truthful and admit that whilst I was happy to see the show as I would’ve been gutted to miss it, it definitely wasn’t my cup of tea. It was just three characters talking, lots of long dialogue and not much action. Which like is fine. Just not particularly my cup of tea. The play was non-linear as the further into the story we got the further back in time we went, and the basic plot was that Zawe was married to Tom Hiddleston but was having an affair with Charlie – I can’t remember the characters names, sorry!

I’m also very ashamed to admit this after how much I spent on the ticket but once or twice I did nearly fall asleep. No disrespect to the actors who did an amazing job, or the story itself, it’s just I’d had a lot of late nights that week and there were a lot of long, dramatic silences in this show. When the show finished I had wanted to try and meet Tom but I was so relieved to walk around and wake up a bit that I decided to just collect my luggage and go find my hotel. A lot of people did try and meet Tom, the girl sitting next to me literally climbed over me to leave the theatre so she could go and join the queue by the stage door outside. I would’ve loved to have met him but I was pretty much a walking zombie by the time the show was over.

In the end it was quite lucky I didn’t join the queue as the trip to my hotel was actually quite long. I’d booked a Premier Inn in Chiswick, an area I’m relatively familiar with as I used to stay regularly in a budget hotel in that area. This meant it was quite out of the way of central London which is a both a pro and a con. A pro because the general area is quieter and a con because it takes longer to get there.  I caught the tube to Turnham Green and then went off on the fifteen minute walk to find the hotel.

I’ve discovered that generally you can’t go wrong with Premier Inn and if you get the right deal they can actually be cheaper than most ‘budget’ hotels. After a few naff hotel rooms I’m comfortable just sticking with Premier Inn for the moment. Check-in was easy and my room was a decent size.

I was then met with a dilemma. I had a ticket for ‘Mamma Mia’ at 7:30 and I’d been hoping to get to the hotel, have a power nap and head back out. Due to how long it had taken me to get to the hotel I literally had ten minutes in the room before I needed to head back out to get to the theatre in time. It was just as well I wasn’t hungry because there definitely wasn’t enough time to get dinner. I was honestly so tired that I wondered about losing my money and just getting an early night. If I’d nearly fallen asleep at ‘Betrayal’ would I last for an evening show?

In the end I knew I’d regret not going so I put my shoes back on and headed out. It did take a while to get to the theatre but I got there in plenty of time to use the loo, grab a drink etc. It was nicer as I’d been able to dump my backpack in the hotel and only had my handbag with me now. My seat was good, I was on the top balcony at the end of the aisle but on the front row and the stage didn’t seem very far away at all. There was a bar to stop people toppling over the edge of the balcony but if I leant forward it didn’t obscure my view.

Mamma Mia

The show began and I’m so happy I decided to just go for it as the energetic music and general atmosphere of the theatre kept me awake and I loved every second of it. At the end the actress playing Donna announced this was the last night for a lot of the cast including herself and it was a bit emotional, and I’m truly glad I didn’t miss out on it. I had seen ‘Mamma Mia’ in London previously with my Mom but at the time I wasn’t a fan of the film. I am now and was glad to see it now that I’m a bigger fan of the story and the songs. I also didn’t remember the atmosphere being as fun as it was but maybe that’s because it was the casts last night or maybe that’s always the atmosphere? I’m not sure!

The journey back was long and unfortunately I believe I picked up a bug on the underground. The journey was convenient actually as I didn’t have to change but I remember sitting in a seat, listening to my iPod and holding onto the bar for some reason and I think that’s where I picked something up. I made it back to the hotel feeling a tiny bit under the weather but I shrugged it off, had a shower and settled down into Premier Inn’s comfortable bed and went to sleep.

One of the most convenient things about Premier Inn is that in the lift they advise what breakfast times are the busiest, which are quieter etc. I’d paid extra for a Premier Inn breakfast so I didn’t have to faff around finding anywhere to eat and when I went down it was a bit busy but they managed to find me a table straightaway. Everyone milling around was doing my head in so I didn’t spend long down there before heading back up to my room.

I’ve been to London so many times now that I feel like I’ve ‘been there and done that’ with all the tourist spots so I chilled in my room until it was time to check out and then headed back to Euston so they could store my suitcase for me again. I don’t understand their prices though because three hours and under is only £6 something, anything between three and twenty-four hours is £12. Where is the logic? Surely between six hours and twenty-four hours would be a bit more fair than three?

I spent some time chilling at Euston before hopping back on the tube to go and see ‘School of Rock’. I’ve seen this show a couple of times and hadn’t intended on going to see it. For Christmas my Dad got me some ‘theatre tokens’ which were a thoughtful gift but unfortunately are only redeemable either over the phone or in person. I hate talking over the phone so had originally been planning to bring them with me then shop around until I found a show. I accidentally left them at home when I set off a couple of days previously so on a whim just paid for a ticket to see ‘School of Rock’ again as I do love that show and it had been a while.

It was when I reached the theatre that I began to feel under the weather again, I could feel my throat was a bit funny so I decided to treat myself to a cookies and cream ice cream which didn’t help very much but did taste really nice. My seat was good, just a few rows from the stage and the view wasn’t blocked. It’s a decent theatre, not massive and quite modern so I enjoy my visits there.

As usual the show was amazing, if you’re a fan of the film then I think you’ll definitely enjoy the stage version. It’s essentially the same storyline as the film but with more songs. My favourites include ‘Stick it to the Man’ and ‘When I Climb to the Top of Mount Rock’. When I first saw the show they were giving out badges but they’ve stopped doing that which is a shame but I’m glad I got one!

School of Rock 2

After that it was back on the tube to Euston, quick dinner at Burger King and then time to catch my train back to Telford. I’m glad I went but gutted I picked that bug up on the tube as it lasted a week and I haven’t felt that ill in a LONG time – it was actually horrendous. But overall it was a good weekend in London and I’m looking forward to my next theatre weekend – I just need to book it!

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Weekend in London: 2nd March – 3rd March 2019

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You may recall my post from last year where me and Becca went to see Cursed Child for the first time. Before the show had even finished we both decided we needed to come again but this time in better seats. More tickets were announced about a month later and we quickly snapped up two tickets worth £150 for both parts which was a bit of a leap from the £30 we’d paid for both parts the year previously. We had to wait almost an entire year but eventually the date came around and we were off to see the show again.

The first time we went we came on a Wednesday meaning we’d both had to book two days off work. When we booked the second batch of tickets though we both knew we worked Monday – Friday 9 – 5 so we were sensible and bought tickets for a Saturday so we didn’t have to take any time off work. London was a little busier due to it being a weekend but it’s not like it mattered as we were in the theatre for most of the day.

We caught the 10:08AM train just as we did the year before which got us into London Euston at 12:33PM. Both times I’ve been super stressed that one of the trains is going to get delayed and we’re going to miss the first half of part one but of course that didn’t happen. Our train was reduced from ten carriages to five but we both managed to get our seats and our carriage actually wasn’t too busy which was strange.

By the time we got to London we were starving but knew there wasn’t much time to be fussy about where we ate so we ordered food inside London Euston. I got Burger King which I don’t love but will eat when desperate and Becca got two pizza baguettes. Last year I’d been convinced the show started at 2:30PM when it actually started at 2:00PM – we were lucky we’d arrived early to take photos outside the theatre as otherwise we probably would’ve been late.

This year we were way more stressed for some reason and the moment we finished eating we went straight to theatre. Google Maps kept screwing us around but luckily we managed to find the theatre okay, picked up our tickets and went straight inside. We were so worried about being late we actually ended up in our seats 35 minutes early. This was good though as it gave us time to use the loo, grab a drink and just generally chill before part one started.

Cursed Child

We were on Row J in the stalls at the end of the aisle so the view was much better than when we’d been at the very top of the theatre. Last time there’d been a whole section of the stage we couldn’t see. I’d been worried about someone tall sitting in front of me and they did but if I leant forward I could see between their heads and still had a good view.

Some of the cast had changed whilst some were still the same – me and Becca had a conversation about who we thought had changed and we mostly disagreed on who was the same but both agreed it was definitely the same Draco as when we’d last been. Regardless of whether they were the same or not the cast were amazing and I quickly got sucked back into the story. I’m not a big fan of the plot but it’s told better on stage than it was in the screenplay, it just works better.

I think I prefer Part Two to Part One but Part One is still amazing and it was great getting to see the magic closer up this time. Before either of us knew it Part One was over and we had to come back later for Part Two which started at 7:30PM.

Because we’d been in such a rush to find the theatre and get inside we hadn’t taken any pictures yet. Luckily it was still bright out so we took individual pictures in front of the theatre and Becca eventually worked up the courage to ask a woman if she’d take a photo of the two of us. It came out really nice and then we set off to find somewhere for dinner.

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Last year we’d checked straight into our hotel so we could dump our bags but this year they weren’t too heavy so we decided to just go out for dinner instead (which turned out to be a good choice as you’ll discover later). Finding somewhere to eat with available space in Central London is never easy and we walked around for maybe half-an-hour to an hour before finding an Italian place that was relatively reasonably priced and had a table so we went inside.

It was a bit crammed but it was a nice place. Becca flitted between wanting a meal, wanting a starter, not wanting to eat at all, and then said she’d love a dessert but there weren’t any on the menu. Luckily I found the dessert menu on the table so Becca settled on a slice of apple pie and two chocolate milkshakes whilst I had an orange juice and spaghetti Bolognese. It was a nice meal and killed sometime between part one and two.

Last year after seeing the show me and Becca had made some poor decisions and spent a lot of money on unnecessary Harry Potter merchandise. We both agreed this year we would stop each other from spending – mostly because of a concert ticket fiasco the day before but let’s not get into that, that’s for another post. We needed money for the following Friday so we agreed not to let each other make any unnecessary spends. Which is why I was nervous when Becca kept suggesting we go to PRIMARK as they had a Harry Potter section.

After getting Becca’s word that neither of us would spend any money we went to have a look and it’s safe to say the pair of us nearly caved in. There’s nothing I love more than house specific merch and our town is dreadful for that. Becca really wanted a Slytherin night shirt and I wanted a Hufflepuff nightie but we didn’t let the other spend any money before heading off to see Part Two.

I personally think Part Two was funnier moments and just generally prefer it (although as mentioned, Part One still has amazing moments too!) so I was looking forward to this one and it was just as funny as I’d remembered it. Obviously the whole of it isn’t hilarious there are some dark or sad moments too but it’s still amazing. And just like that Part Two was over! The day we’d been waiting for over a year had finished.

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I won’t talk anymore about my personal opinions on the show as I already did that on last year’s post but like if you’re a Harry Potter fan you need to see this show, it’s actually amazing. If you read the screenplay and hated it, don’t worry, I get you, but it’s much better on stage than in the book.

After leaving the theatre it was time to check into the hotel which should’ve been a half-an-hour tube journey away. We got on the Northern line to Waterloo and prepared to change to the Jubilee line only to hear an announcement that it wasn’t running. Neither of us had any signal so we left the station and went to find an alternative route. My phone was being relatively useless (telling me we needed to catch a boat) but luckily Becca’s phone took us on a route that involved a bus ride and then getting on the DLR.

It was getting quite late at this point and both of us were exhausted. I was suddenly worried check-in would close and checked the booking.com app to see if this was the case and it advised check-in was until 11PM. It was now 10:50PM. I tried ringing the hotel to let them know we’d be late and ask if anyone would be there but nobody would answer even though I was getting charged 19p a minute to call the stupid number.

When we finally got off the DLR Becca followed the Google Maps instructions on her phone and was clearly so keen to get to the hotel that as I hurried to keep up with her I almost fell over. Unfortunately it was really confusing trying to find the hotel as it was next to a river, lots of areas were blocked off and there was construction work everywhere. At one point I could see the hotel but couldn’t tell how to get there. We even had to duck under a chain (or crawl under in my case) to get to the pavement. I could see Becca getting increasingly frustrated and was relieved when we finally reached our hotel.

Last year we’d booked a twin room and had arrived to find we’d been given a double bed but decided to just put up with it. This year we were actually given twin beds but they were so close together it might as well have been a double. We were so tired that neither of us cared and within an hour we were both in bed.

Neither of us slept particularly well but we couldn’t have a lie-in as we had a slot booked at Madame Tussauds for between 9:45AM – 10AM, and as the jubilee line was down we had to allow for more time to get there. I got up feeling like an absolute zombie but managed to throw some clothes on and we were out by 8:15AM.

The trip to Madame Tussauds turned out not to be too difficult but we did both nearly fall asleep on the first bus. We were a bit early so we grabbed a drink and then played I Spy to pass the time. In the final round I nearly murdered Becca ‘cos her one was stupid (“I spy with my little eye something beginning with T” – answer turned out to be ‘Transport’). Whilst we were playing we joined the queue and before we knew it we were inside.

I hadn’t been to the Madame Tussauds London since I was about 12 with my Mum – we came to London for the day, queued three hours to buy our tickets and by the time we were done it was all we’d had time to do. With Becca we bought our tickets in advance meaning we got in a lot quicker. As it was a Saturday it was quite busy but it was worth it, we love places with lots of photo opportunities and that’s pretty much what Madame Tussauds is for!

Madame Tussauds

We took tons of photos in every room and I’m happy with most of them, I wish my hair had looked a bit better but that’s life I guess. We had our photo taken on the ride mid-way through Madame Tussauds but neither of us liked it very much which was lucky as we didn’t really have the money to spend on anything other than food. They’d also added the Marvel 4D cinema since the last time I went and as a massive Marvel fan I really loved it. The last section was Star Wars themed which went completely over my head but Becca’s a big Star Wars fan so she had lots of photos in there.

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Madame Tussauds had killed an hour or two so when we came out we still had a few hours to go until our train home so Becca asked what I wanted to do. I said I wasn’t sure so with a grin Becca asked if I wanted to go to Kings Cross.

We’d been last year and that had been our absolute downfall, I’d spent way more than necessary at the Harry Potter shop and knew I would again if we went but for some reason we still agreed. As we got on the tube I made Becca agree that we’d only spend £15 each.

When we got to Kings Cross the queue to have your photo taken with the trolley had been cut and we were a bit confused so we decided to go into the shop instead and there was even a queue to get in there. I’ve never seen it so busy in my entire life but it was midday on a Sunday so I guess it made sense. Inside was absolutely rammed so I felt like I couldn’t have a good browse, just getting to Hufflepuff section took about 50 years. It didn’t stop me from buying a Cursed Child lanyard (which I now wear at work like a lame-o) and a Hogwarts Oyster Card holder (as my Hufflepuff one from three years ago had finally bit the dust). Overall I spent about £7. Becca spent about £25, I can’t even remember everything she bought, I know she bought a little Ron necklace to match her Harry one which I’m a bit jealous of. There was a necklace with Luna’s glasses on, I might have to go back and buy that ‘cos it was so cute.

Once we were done in the shop we went and asked about the queue for the trolley photo and the woman informed us it hadn’t been cut it was just so long that we had to go and queue outside so we did that. This was only the third time I’d been but the other times I went it had only taken about 20 minutes max to get your photo taken – we queued for over AN HOUR. We’re such Harry Potter trash I swear to God. We killed time in the queue by doing impressions and just generally messing around until finally it was our turn.

Becca’s been a few times so she’s had her photo taken with every scarf at some point so this time she picked Gryffindor as it matched her outfit. I did the same as I already have Hufflepuff and Slytherin so I only needed Gryffindor and Ravenclaw to complete my collection and Gryffindor matched my outfit. We asked if we could have a picture together and we changed into our actual house scarves (Becca’s a Slytherin and I’m a Hufflepuff) and asked for a fight photo. It came out quite well so when we went in I bought the group one where we’re looking at the camera, Becca bought both group ones and her solo one. Becca ended up going quite a bit over the budget in the end.

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As we’d queued so long to have our photo taken we now had to head back to Euston to grab lunch and head back home. We were both exhausted and kept falling asleep on the first train back but after that we had to change twice until eventually my Mum picked us both up from the station.

Overall it was an awesome weekend, it was great to see Cursed Child again (in better seats) and we’re already talking about going next year and visiting the Studios as well next time which would be so much fun. I’m already going to see the show again with Hirst in August and my friend Janie has mentioned going and seeing it but honestly there is no such thing as too many times with Cursed Child!

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.

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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.