Sunday, November 25, 2007

two days in London


Got up and headed over to the V&A to book my tickets for the Couture show. The place was packed so decided to book ahead for the next day and then get the hell out of there. got tickets for 10:15 Sunday.

Left the V&A and walked over to High Street Kensington. Ate lunch at Wagamama. Mama is right, the place was packed with posh mums and dads with their very loud children. Thanks God I wasn't hung over, I would not have survived the noise. I had a very spicy ramen soup and gyoza. Finished there as fast as I could as did not enjoy the screams of the children and parents, and wandered about the area, stopping to check out the new Whole Foods. It's a bit confusing, and the layout is guaranteed to frustrate you as you try to get around the prams, carts, baskets and people. Plus the checkout was on a different floor from the majority of the food, which was wierd. And it's really expensive, one off the displays was "free range natural hen's eggs" at a price of 35p EACH. That's about $20 a dozen! I mostly went there for some of my usual good smellies and some vitamins I can't get in Norway. (Vitamins are ridiculously expensive in Norway and not much variety.) Anyhow, loaded up on some stuff there and got talked into buying a shower gel from a line that "Madonna uses when she travels". If it's good enough for her it's good enough for me, I say!

I also went to Waterstone's and got some books and Jigsaw where I got a GORGEOUS velvet skirt. By 5 pm I was tired, my back was killing me and I was carrying about 35 lbs of books and stuff, so legged it back to the Tube and went back to the hotel to rest for a bit. The Tube, by the way, this whole weekend, has been a NIGHTMARE, so crowded and horrible. First time I have been here where I really have been hating it. I'm pretty much walking everywhere if I can.

After a bit of a rest, caught up with a London Walks pub walk through Fitzrovia, an area I am not that familiar with. It's right above Oxford Street and west of Bloomsbury. Interesting area, lots of good restaurants and stuff. The tour guide (David, he's the guy that writes the very florid London Walks brochures)(seriously, he uses words like "thanatophobe") regaled us with perfectly enunciated and very actorly stories of his misspent youth working in that area. In between his vignettes I had nice chats with a woman on the tour, an American who works for United, and we discussed (and solved) all the world's problems over some half pints of wheat beer. (Samuel Adams makes a very nice wheat beer.) She was cool.

Came back to the hotel, crashed hard.


Woke up a bit late, so had to hurry to get to my appointed time for the V&A exhibit. It was gorgeous, but I will say it was a bit "Couture for Beginners". I've had a passion for fashion history since I was a little kid, so there wasn't a whole lot there I hadn't read about, seen or heard about, but it was nice to see quite a few very nice Balenciagas close up. That man knew how to make clothes. The tailoring and precision that went into it, there really is no equal. The show was pretty packed and it annoys the FUCK out of me when people stand in the way of an exhibit description when they are looking at something else, it's like MOVE already, let someone ELSE in now! ARGH! There was also an exhibit on the life and photography of Lee Miller, of whom I knew very little, and she is a FASCINATING figure. I bought her biography and am completely engrossed in it. What I love about the V&A is you learn something every time you go, even if you think you might not.

After the museum trip I ate hummus and "the chicken" at Maroush, which was as jaw-achingly good as I remember. Satisfied, I pushed through the crowds at Harrods and wandered up Sloane Street, peeking in at Prada where I fell in LOVE desperate LOVE with her new "resort wear" skirts and dresses. Oh so very 50's New Look, giant full skirts in unabashedly feminine florals. Oh so gorgeous, and only 2800 pounds! I didn't buy one. Dammit.

As I wandered on up Sloane Street towards King's Road I saw a Supermodel. She was walking right towards me and passed me and I thought, Hmm, cute girl, nothing out of the ordinary, though strangely familiar, then thought about it and realized I'd seen her face plastered freaking EVERYWHERE for the past few years. She was about my height, skinny, of course, and wearing a leopardy spotted coat and high tops or some such. Pretty much the de riguer eclectic model uniform. The women behind me noticed her too.

King's Road was its usual crowded self. (Just heard on the news a Porsche jumped off the road yesterday and killed someone on the sidewalk, I always wondered when that would happen as people drive WAY too fast on that street!) Lots of new shops and things there. Marks and Sparks is having some nice stuff right now, got a couple of skirts there. They did not cost 2800 pounds.

(Rant time! Now for a pet peeve of mine: Why is is that when they line a skirt, the lining is too narrow for the outside of the skirt and so, even though the skirt fits, the lining ends up being too tight and ruins the look of the skirt? This happens ALL THE TIME now, like the designers cheap out on the inner materials, and so you have this lovely full skirt with a shitty cheap narrow lining inside and it doesn't fit! If the skirt is a size 12, make the damned lining a size 12 as well! Don't take away my fun with wearing a full skirt by ruining it with a narrow lining!!!! Please! My second pet peeve: Lining a stretchy skirt or pants with a lining that does NOT stretch, thus negating the purpose of having a skirt or pants that can stretch! GAH!)

I also had a laugh when I saw a Vietnamese Restaurant named "Phat Phuc". Teehee. That was down King's Road.

Caught the Tube back to the hotel from Sloane Street and am resting my sore feet. Will catch a showing of Ratatouille at 8, have wanted to see that for AGES, but I Norway they mostly dub it in Norwegian at the theatres near me, so am catching it here. Might have a beer before, or possibly after.

Tomorrow more running around before I catch my flight. This weekend went fast.

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