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Cardiff- London

Signposts and Goodbyes

It would appear some of my weird crazy ramblings have elicited some positive, if not vaguely concerned comment from Mrs Fryer about some of my writings. It did get me thinking on some rather odd tangents, like, as one of my work colleagues would attest too, an old boss of mine always had what I termed an 'eloquent turn of phrase'. This boss, a Chemical Pathologist, so not without a level of intelligence stratospheres above mine, used to take the longest way around when needing to describe something. It used to annoy a lot of people. I really liked it. This then got me thinking about the skill of concise writing. James once related a story about Winston Churchill, so bear with me as this has a vague connection to the UK, a young officer was tasked with providing a written report on something related to the war effort. On handing it in, he apologised 'Sorry Sir, if I had more time I would have made it shorter'. Mr Churchill, was well chuffed with this response and duly promoted him. I was then reminded of another story related to my brother, his graduation from high school, if memory serves, and a teacher used this to describe one of James' contemporaries; 'if he was any more laid back, he would be unconscious'. Given that this has stuck with me for nigh on 17 odd years, clearly it has resonated for some reason. Something to aspire to. Squirrel.

We did see some down at the park. Like distracted children, we did hang around watching their crafty ways. I mean they literally squirrel stuff away. So cool. Some dogs seem to be as amused and intrigued by their dashing skills of digging holes to hide their proteaceae delights away in as well. Other things that Cardiff had to offer, apart from the consumption by me of enough potatoes to send Cardiff back to the Scottish 1850's, was a bay area which we caught a water taxi down to. Strangely they have a Norwegian Church down by the water, which must have some historical reason for been so placed. I couldn't work it out, but it was curiously adjacent to the site that Scott embarked on his ill fated Antarctic expedition. We went to the Cardiff Castle, but decided to abandon its internal interests as the cost was 12 pound each. Instead we walked around the Natural History museum for free. Well, it only cost a small amount of patience due to the entire pre school population of Cardiff been on various exciting excursions. Must be holidays. Anyway, it was pretty average. But cheap. More spare change for potatoes and gravy. We also drank some Corn Moonshine out of a jar at the bar in the hostel. Delicious like potatoes it was not. Cardiff, plenty to see and do. We pretty much saw and did enough. Even went to the movies for the budget price of 4 pounds. Saw 007 do his thing. Was cool because we almost saw ourselves walking around London in the background.

I will probably be in London finishing this post off, which is weird because currently I'm in Cardiff writing about a future that hasn't happened but would have by then. If you think that made no sense, spare a thought for me in two days time when I accurately predict a win by NZ in the big game. I'm going to get Emma to read this, so as to verify that I didn't go back and alter it. I mean I could just edit it out by then, including this sentence so I don't come across as being totally unhinged. Or not. We shall see. Or maybe only I will? Now my head hurts. I better go pack all my stuff away in preparation for tomorrows departure, in my sweet new wheeled travel case. Some room to get super fun presents for the young niece.

So I did end up showing the previous paragraphs to Emma, it appears it will be a little strange but that's okay. Pretty much how I talk and act in real life..........I always liked authors who write like they're talking to you. Reading back on the posts, things did get progressively stranger along the way. Which is reflective of the company I was in. Hopefully will manage not to almost knock myself out like I did the other morning when putting my shoes on. Almost had to go to Hospital and find out how good this NHS system really is. But I was alright, just a semi-concussed ouchie. What an amazing few days. Crazy. Surreal. I mean, NZ won!!!! Am now writing these parts on Monday the 2nd. Iceland Airwaves festival is about to receive me as a guest.

We kicked back into London after catching different busses from Cardiff, in time to roll into the hostel, then it was out to Bond Street to the HMV store. Unfortunately didn't get to pass GO so missed out on $200. Didn't matter because we had a more important date, it involved Enter Shikari doing an album signing. For those not familiar, like myself a few months ago, they're a band. So now your up to speed. I had the pleasure of chaperoning a superfan, and taking some photos of her and her new best friends. They all got along pretty well and I assume it's only a matter of time before Emma invites them to Auckland for a Sunday roast. Fingers crossed she doesn't open the oven door and cause all the pudding to deflate like a shipwrecked soccer ball.

We did have a cracker of a Sunday roast, actually on Sunday. Which was last night. It was good. Super great, pork of course, with all the trimmings. Considering it was our final overseas meal together, we went out on a pretty good note. For the preceeding few days we had been hitting up cheap meals courtesy of the local supermarkets. I ate 5 sandwiches in a single day. Only spent as much as the two coffees I bought in the morning. Strange. Some things are as expensive as at home, such as coffee, but if your smart about things it's almost cheaper then at home. Especially if you get someone 2 for 1 Vodkas. Which is what occurred on the post game crazy times that were experienced after the Final. Which happened the day after the signing day. Sorry if I jump around a bit, but here is some wise words for you, “It’s a poor sort of memory that only works backwards” which strangely links us back to the time Emma and I stared out of a moving train window in Siberia and went through the looking class. Now I've forgotten what I was saying.

The day of the Final, we kicked around London. By kick around, instead of catching the Underground everywhere, we decided to walk topside. Actually, this was the day after the Final. So, the day of the Final we went to Camden. Right, I'm on track again. In an effort to avoid the 87% of London tourist, we headed out fairly early and a good decision it was too. I wanted to get some more photos on my camera, incedently my phone died yesterday. It's been repaired. Fingers crossed I don't loose all the photos. So, managed to get photos in Camden and also had deliscious breakfast at the Cereal Killer Café. They have heaps of Cereal goodness, all the sugary ones and we got super sugar highs. It was fun. Then spent some time devoted to my shopping needs. Now we were sorted, boosted back to the Hostel, discarded our treats and geared up to hit Trafalgar Square. Managed to get a pretty sweet spot, secured drinks just as the game began. Man, it was an awesome experience. Crowd was cool, I enjoyed the outcome, because Emma went a little crazy. Super excited. History, we were a part of it. High fives all over the place. We were a little tipsy. And it was only 7 Pm, so we had to keep the party going, hence the Vodkas. I had forgotten that Emma swore off Vodka after our night in Vienna when we drank every shot on the menu, then I finished off a bottle of Vodka with the barmaid. Needless to say I'm not really sure what Vienna actually looks like. So, a massive day.

We functioned pretty well the next day. Which is when this super massive walk occurred. Our hostel is near The Shard. Get a map of London for this part because it'll be more exciting to play along at home. So from Guy's Hospital, we walked to the Thames, then followed the river along past The Globe Theatre, The Tate (which as a building I really like so will throw a photo up), all the way to Westminster Bridge. From there we jumped across, said g'day to Ben before purchasing some sandwiches. Which we duly consumed underneath Churchill, in Parliament Square, whilst listening to the bells from Westminster Abbey ring for 15minutes. Pretty epic. It was also really sunny. I mean, we have had some amazing weather. Always when we do really cool adventures. So, after our pit stop, we walked up Birdcage Walk and if you are been sneaky and looking ahead on your map, you'll know that we were heading to St. Jame's Park and yep, Buckingham Palace. I mean, we pretty much did all this without realising we were ticking off all the sights. No map, just random aimless walking and inane ramblings. And some grumblings because I hadn't eaten mashed potato for about 16hrs and was feeling lightheaded. Boom. Buckingham Palace done. Walked back down the Mall to Trafalgar sq. Salutations were given to Nelson. Emma got a quick, albeit entirely inaccurate history lesson. Then we headed back to the Thames. Emma got a history lesson on my speech impediment I had when I was little. That was actually an accurate lesson. We followed the Embankment, Paul's Walk and all along the waters edge to the Tower of London, then back across the Tower Bridge to our hostel. It was pretty epic. Think it took a solid 3 hours at least. Many things were discussed, including why the Pigeons have no feet in London's Underground.

So that may be everything that's happened in the last few days. So we all know about the All Blacks winning. Heavy stuff 'aye. Good though.

Parted company this morning. It's North for both of us, except I go all the way to Reykjavik. My phone died as well. Just about to go check if the kind people have managed to restore it. Otherwise I loose a stack of photos and other important stuff. Like an alarmclock. Memories are intact in my brain though.

Update, phone has been re-incarnated as an actual functioning phone, complete with camera and the ability to alarm at 7:50 AM and wake everyone up because I'll snooze it when I go have my shower instead of turning it off. There's always one annoying person. The other morning it was the guy who decided to blowdry his hair in the room really early. I know right, a guy. Blowdrying his hair. He then put a hat on. Are you kidding me, who takes a hairdryer overseas. Just use the hand drier in the shower. Personally I have not even been using a towel. If a hostel doesn't supply one, for minimal cost, then I have been using a t-shirt. Heheh, probably why I stink.

So, here is the aforementioned Tate Modern. I think I like it because it reminds me of the 'Animals' cover by Pink Floyd. Just the same era building, it is a super ugly era to be honest but, isn't there a saying along the lines off; 'there is truth in ugliness'? There should be. I could just look it up. Good tunes on that album, which helps. Maybe some Camden art as well.


Posted by kidd1200 10:02 Archived in England

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Love your blogs Daniel and continue being you as your writing is hilarious and includes a potted history of a bit of everything really whilst we learn about the places you are passing through. You are like a modern day Homer, a wandering rhapsode of sorts, able to use language in the way it was intended so I have muchly appreciated your diary blogs.
The thousand canopies and shutter clutters would be greatly inspired if they read your blogs although a lot would get lost in translation. Keep enjoying and keep tight grip on your new add on case on wheels!

by Love the ramblings

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