Friday, January 8, 2010

Christmas in the You Kay.

Get ready for a picture-heavy post! My hiatus on this blog has not been due to a lack of fun things in my life, but rather, too many! I've been traveling and seeing friends (and having my internet hate me at my flat), so now I'm playing catch up before I'm all sorts of busy again!

I went to England for Christmas time and the week before it. First stop was Brighton with Lisa! For some reason I didn't start taking pictures until after I stayed with her, so here's a picture from the vault of Lisa and I at Sussex my 3rd year of uni. We ate lots of noms from the George (vegetarian pub in Brighton), played Rock Band, Dutch Blitz, saw New Moon! (shhhhh) and generally frolicked around Brighton.

Getting off the bus, our first stop was All Sorts, a LGBT youth group/social events/awareness organization in town I was part of when I lived in Brighton. There was condom stuffing in the front room all eve! Hooray!

I always spend a lot of time in Sainsbury's when in England because a) I love food, b) I love looking at food and c) I love food that they don't have where I live. The Sainsbury's brand (above) likes to mock itself. The difference between England and America is that America's advertising tries to convince you you're getting more for less money, while England just accepts the reality that their cheaper store brand will be a bit more shite. For example, Sainsbury's Bitter, "a bit less bitter". I think the store brand of Crunchy Nut says something like, "Less nuts, still good." Hilarious.

It snowed. Southern England doesn't really know how to deal with snow since apparently the last blizzard there was 20 years ago. No joke, everything shut down. The buses stopped running down this hill, stores closed, everyone called in sick, trains and planes were cancelled or severely delayed for days. Not to mention they didn't have plows or grit to put down. Thus, I slid down this hill everyday from Lisa's to get into town and took a pretty serious wipe-out in front of some dudes.

More snow! The Level is on the right. It's named that because it's, well...level.

The Royal Pavilion all snowy and pretty! Damn the ugly fence in the way. According to the interwebs, the Brighton Pavilion was built in the early 19th century as a seaside retreat for Prince Regent, who moved to Brighton because his physician told him the seawater would be good for his gout. The Pavilion was also a discreet enough location for the prince to "have liasons" (a.k.a. bone) his ladyfriend Mrs. Fitzherbert. Eventually John Nash redesigned the place as it is today, and now you can see a very Indian-influenced appearence on the outside with a strong Chinese and Indian fashion influence on the interior.

My next stop was North London to stay with Emma K and Holly. Because Emma W's car got snowed in we ended up in London a day later, but it's okay because the three of us went to the cheap all-you-can-eat Indian buffet, where we created some pretty impressive food babies. When Emma K and I finally did get to London, via bus instead of car, we ended up with the BEST BUS DRIVER EVER on the National Express. He wore a Christmas hat and gave us sweets! His shut the fuck up on the bus speech went something like this...

"When you take a call you need to keep in mind how long you're on the phone because no one else on the coach has anything to do except listen to your conversation and nobody wants to know who did what to who, who you took home and how long they lasted. Especially because there's children and men on board and they will get jealous. Including me."

Proof that I was in England. Me with a Tesco bag full of food this time. And Christmas puddings! Which I still have yet to explore with my taste buds.

We went to Camden Town, which is my favorite place in London. It's basically this maze of crazy stores and stands selling things. I love it. Here's Holly and a crazy mannequin.

And me and a crazy mannequin!

There's a lot of weird things in Camden Town. Myself included. Tee-hee.

This is a futuristic clothing store called Cyberdog. Think clothing the Jetson's would wear. You'd think there isn't a huge market for such things, but this store is fucking massive. It goes on forever with pounding techno music and generally makes you feel like you're tripping balls at a rave as soon as you walk in. I really wish I had an excuse to wear clothing from the future.

Moped tables!
This is the face you have to make when riding the Tube, or any public transportation, really. Demonstrated by Emma K.

I spent the actual Christmas holidays in Lewes with my friend Gulliver and his family. We stayed at his boyfriend Ollie's parents' house. They had the most ridiculous spice rack ever. See above. I pretty much had an orgasm every time I looked at it. Here's Gulli demonstrating the awe-inducing power of the spice rack.

Gulli and I are both vegan so we were pretty pumped about vegan Christmas. He made nut roast using a unique method that involved chopping the nuts by cutting them with a scissor.

Gulli's family with Christmas Crackers! When I lived in England I was really confused as to why my English friends wanted to eat crackers so much during Christmas. Eventually I was clued in to the fact that Christmas Crackers are actually little wrapped containers with presents inside that explode when you tug them!

The Christmas Crackers also had hats! These are our presents.

It was a good trip overall and it was great to see everyone again (some for the first time since June 2008!). I'll be back in April heading from Dublin, to Liverpool and back down to Brighton and London, so I'll even get to hangout not in a blizzard! Thanks to everyone for hosting me, feeding me and generally being awesome!

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