Ahhh how London has changed from the inside out!
As the sun has finally made an appearance the city has changed, literally the streets are full with every man and their dog chatting and laughing and conversing. It’s as if all of these people were in hibernation over winter and have finally braved the daylight. Cafe’s are packed with people in Tooting and people fight to get good tables out in the sun and drink beer no matter what time of day it is, it’s almost the complete reverse effect of winter in that business stops for a minute but it’s for business owners to go out into the street and soak up the sun or to party rather than for people to hideaway from the snow.
The sound of the ice cream van has become common place although you never actually see the van you always hear it playing ‘Teddy Bears Picnic’ rather than the old faithful ‘green sleeves’
With the arrival of the sun comes party invites here there and everywhere, the first of which was Glen’s best mate Lenny. I took Roxanne along one sunny afternoon after work. Unfortunately I hadn’t reminded him that we were both sans meat but nevertheless we tucked into a salad and enjoyed the company. It was nice/strange being back in that house without Glen. But he has been encouraging me to get out and meet new people so I have been trying to accept most offers.
Working in a sociable job helps too. The next party was Sally Ann’s from work which ended up being a sausage fest as more guys showed up than girls. We started out in the boat shed in Kingston which is lovely but very popular so quite crowded, you would never know its there because you have to walk through a park to get there and it’s right on the water and people simply grab a pint and either sit in the beer garden or lay out on the grass by the water it’s lush in the sun.
I ended up in the corner talking to a group of guys about their extensive porn knowledge, before regaling them with tales about Australia. Most people I run into here are convinced that Australia is rife with things that can kill you on a daily basis. Snakes that make their way down the street and hide in your toilet, crocodiles in the pool. And my personal favorite drop bears. I politely remind them that if it was that dangerous to live there then why is it inhabited by 20 million humans? We don’t learn crocodile wrestling 101 in school, we aren’t taught how to treat a snake bite, the average person wouldn’t know a deadly snake from a venomous one and so on and so forth. Meanwhile poor Sally the host of the evening was so smashed that she was wandering around the house with a huge bump on her forehead looking for more wine, her ex had passed out face down on the gas top stove with his crack peeking out from his low slung jeans so we amused ourselves by pouring cocoa pops and milk down there for a laugh, he didn’t even flinch mind you. And Sam from work was teaching me how to do a Somerset accent. Before coming here I would’ve recognised that accent from TV as the accent that English farmers have that haven’t been to the big city before and only have sheep as company. Now I can pinpoint exactly where it’s from when I hear it.
About a week or two later broke as anything we went out in search of fun after work one evening, this time ending up at the Chessington Oak which is an incredibly cheap pub where you can get a large glass of wine for £1.40 and the food was really reasonable too. I ended up tucking into a sundae randomly which in hindsight probably wasn’t the smartest thing to do mixed with alcohol – but oh well live and learn. They have karaoke there and pub quizzes too and a few of the girls ended up getting up to sing as the wine was flowing freely by this stage. Before we knew it we were on a bus headed for Kingston singing along to Sally’s blaring iPhone completely unaware of our surroundings in true drunken style.
Then onto the old faithful Hippodrome where dreams are made of – once you pass through the airport security a world of sleaze bags and tarts await you. It’s one of those places with strobe lights and sticky floors and ridiculously priced alcohol. We had the pleasure of being there on Cheese night. When the girls first told me I thought it was like a Cheese and wine appreciation night but no. They were playing the old Spice girls songs, Aqua, Peter Andre etc it was fab and we literally did not stop dancing until the place closed at 4am when the entire club are pretty much evacuated altogether. I braved the nightbus and went home before crashing in bed. That following morning I had missed calls from Sally so I called her back and it turned out they were still up and still drinking and had decided to have a barbecue that day as it was another stunning day out. Apparently they had kept themselves up playing charades all night (how very english) Charades takes hours when you’re drunk so can keep you occupied for a long time. So I had a shower got changed and made my way back into Kingston for a barbie. We sat out in the back garden lapping up the sun, at the bottom of which they had previously found a dead cat in the garden and buried it a few months ago but a fox had dug part of it up and so there was a cat leg there randomly. I was getting drunk again by this stage so I walked…umm staggered to the back of their yard to see the leg and was introduced to stinging nettles. See they don’t have snakes and spiders that can poison you in England just innocent looking plants that when you rub up against them sting the crap out of you. In my slightly inebriated state I thought it would be a good idea to offer my arm sacrificially to experience the sting – took a few seconds but yeah it hurt.
Sally’s housemate Lydia’s brother (confusing much?) was celebrating his 12th birthday that day so they had invited their mother and sisters over that day to celebrate. Her brother turned out to be this great little guitarist and ended up belting out all these songs X-factor style. Again though there was mostly meat at this bbq which equals drunk Lucinda as I was only feasting on salad and rolls. I went home that night and crashed again highly satisfied but a bit exhausted after my weekend of excess.
And then the headache started..you see the downside of spending more time around people is that you are more susceptible to catching things. And what I thought was a secondary hangover ended up lasting for three days. It was behind my eyes so I just assumed that it was tension, or was caused from staring at a computer screen for too long. On the third night I arrived home and my roomie Roxanne had been getting bites we don’t know what from for the last few weeks and was itching. We were lying there talking about it then I started itching, thinking it was a psychosomatic reaction to her itching I shrugged it off. I noticed a few spots on my face earlier that day but I just thought that it was a minor breakout due to my poor diet the last month. I mean my immune system has been really low, I lost my voice for about 4 days and could barely speak on the phone so I was just recovering from that. I went to go to the toilet and brush my teeth before bed looked in the mirror and was shocked to find that I had these spots appearing all over my body. I ran into Roxanne and showed her and she found it hilarious which it would’ve been to anyone else but I was actually in a panic about it. I was convinced we had bed bugs or god knows what else.
I woke up the next morning with even more lumps appearing on my neck and scalp and on my forehead. I desperately tried to cover them in the hope that no one would notice at work and I could simply go to the hospital afterwards and get looked at. But well the rash had other ideas it became more and more itchy as the day went on before I said to one of the managers ‘Look I don’t know what this is but I need to get it seen to, do you think I could go early if the phone lines quieten down?’ About an hour later I was pulled off the phones and taken in the boardroom they wanted to see what the rash looked like, suspecting it was Chicken pox they realised they would have to get me out of the call centre as our manager was heavily pregnant and obviously we work with a lot of people so the potential for an outbreak would be very high, embarrassed I hurriedly went to casualty where it was confirmed by a triage nurse that it was in fact chicken pox as I had never had it as a child. I went home and locked myself in my room, miserable and feeling like a leper. We were joking in the house that I was diseased and those that hadn’t had chicken pox would leave the room when I entered which I understood but still felt like shit. Especially as my face looked like someone had attacked me with a cheese grater. I looked grotesque, the blisters would pop during the night and I had a fever and just would sit and panic about what I was going to do about my next pay and whether or not I would get sick pay or would I have to work for the rest of the month straight to make up for my days off?
I finally registered with a doctor that in itself was a bit of a nightmare to say the least, you can’t just walk in off the street and register you need to find one that serves your area. Prove that you live there, bring ID then book in to register. Then they get you to urinate in a cup, they even weighed me and asked about my history and offered to do a HIV test which I accepted, not really sure why because it would be highly unlikely for me to have it.
The upside of all of this is that I managed to finish the second episode of the sitcom during my down time, and also have started researching other potential employers to visit so I have tried to make use of this time. Other than that it has given me some much needed rest, not under the best circumstances but oh well.
Still desperate to get my haircut! I finally saw an actual doctor yesterday who took all of 2 seconds to confirm that my chicken pox was no longer contagious. Providing a letter for me to take to work appears to be not so easy, so I literally am free to go back to work but cant until this doctor get’s off his arse and writes that letter. Try explaining that to work without them thinking I’m just taking time off for fun.
Yesterday I made the most of the sun and my disease free status. Roxanne and I went to Hyde Park and rented Barclay’s bikes and rode around. Hyde Park seems like a totally different park to the one I came to know during Winter wonderland. The grass is green, flowers are everywhere, hundreds of people lie on sun chairs and row in the lake and ice cream trucks are abundant. The bikes are so cheap and such a good idea too.
Then we went home and a had a baraii (south African barbecue) we made lots of veggie stuff so Roxanne and I didn’t miss out. We ended up burning the entire contents of the Christmas tree that we had in the backyard which had been stolen off the street by us months ago, and ended up on the rooftop looking at the stars. It was a good day/ night and wasn’t at all expensive so it felt good too. My latest pay was a lot better but hardly amazing, I treated myself to an early bday present which was a used smart phone which I have been having quite a few problems with unfortunately so I may have to take it back. I really wanted to be able to start taking my own photo’s for this blog but It wont let me which is frustrating beyond belief. I know it’s used and I don’t expect perfection but I do expect simple functionality like a working camera.
So that’s me for now, still got my spots not sure when I’ll be back at work probably not too much longer but there you have it. The sun is shining and I’m trying not to worry too much because it doesn’t help anyone or anything. Trying to keep my head down looking for work. I finally bit the bullet and subscribed to Talent Manager which is a production website that sends out jobs to your inbox and production companies all over London use it as their database when looking for crew. It may be a long shot as it’s a lot of freelance work and I have to pay monthly for the privilege but I figure I have to do SOMETHING and if it gets too much I can cancel it so I’ll give it a go and see what happens….twinkle twinkle ting *