Gin and The Geek

Having started half term week with the death plague from hell (aka the common cold), I finished the week on a real high.

Thursday saw early birthday celebrations with the beautiful Miss Kitty. Finally watched It Follows which takes the whole ‘sex and death in horror movies’ idea to a new level. Anyone who grew up with 80s teen slasher films such as Friday 13th or Halloween, or any of the number of copycat films that followed, knows the rule, if you have sex, you are most likely next on the killers list. In It Follows, the main protagonist is told, in a rather brutal fashion by her boyfriend, that now they’ve slept together she is consequently cursed to die. The only way to pass on the curse is to sleep with someone else, but, should that person die, the curse reverts back to you. Basically, you can never really be free. There’s some interesting discussions about what this curse really represents. Is it the fear of commitment, a metaphor for unwanted pregnancy and shying away from motherhood, is it simply a cautionary tale for a new generation? One thing It Follows is, is an atmospheric, subtle, yet horrifyingly creepy film. Definitely a must watch.

Friday was a day for bringing unexpected joy to one friend with a surprise drop in. Inevitably, when dealing with my own blues and mean reds, I forget that other people may be going through the same. I simply popped in to see Mumma W, because I’d not seen her for a while. For her it was a lovely surprise and really brightened her day. It’s nice to do something for someone else without meaning for it to be a big gesture and then later discovering it made a real difference. 

Friday evening was most definitely the proverbial calm before the storm. Dog walking, winning a charity quiz and chilling before the weekend onslaught. 

Then, onto Saturday. London, Day of the Dead exhibit at the British Museum, complete with margaritas, the smallest hotel room in the world, Byron burgers and the fabulous Evans and Peel.

Giant skeletons greeted us on arrival at the British museum, decked out in their Day of the Dead glory. Inside, there were only a couple of exhibits. As it was the final weekend of half term there were more interactive, family oriented activities. There was, however, the opportunity for nachos and margaritas. Margaritas in a museum! Brilliant.

 
We decided to stop off at the hotel and then nip out for a late lunch/early dinner at Byron burgers. Considering I’d picked the hotel based on price and location in relation to The Royal Albert hall, it was only when we set out to dinner, and later to the cocktail bar, that we discovered how perfectly placed it was for everything we wanted to do. Just at the end of Earls Court Gardens, a less than five minute walk from Earls Court tube station it was perfect for a London stopover. The room was little bigger than the  double bed and it was right on the railway line but, as I said, for somewhere to bed down after a night on the town, it was ideal. The receptionist was friendly, rooms were clean and the shower was possibly one of the best I’ve used. They could do with upping their pillow game though. 

The main event for Saturday was cocktails at Evans and Peel Detective Agency. Like the rum bar I went to in Perth, which required knowledge of a constantly changing password to gain entry (that and special powers in finding the door through which you whisper your password phrase), Evans and Peel requires you to be in the know. First off you have to book a table. Then, on arrival, you have to buzz for entry before being admitted to the underground reception area. Once there, you have to explain to the receptionist why you need to see the detectives. We’d concocted a story about a friend in our secretarial pool, a mysterious statue, a disappearance and some suspicious characters now following us. We even brought a ‘bodyguard’. Once he’d heard our story the receptionist took us through to the waiting room and suggested we made ourselves comfortable while he went to get someone to look into the statue. Making ourselves comfortable meant imbibing a large number of cocktails, showing little regard for the sensitive ears of our fellow drinkers and much hysterical laughter. The bar offers table service and, when our two hour reservation slot was up allowed us to stay at the table until the next people arrived. Fortunately for us, although perhaps not our purses, they did not. 

  

Thankfully, my tactical gin only plan meant Sunday morning wasn’t too painful. Except for my neck and shoulders from the wafer thin pillow at the hotel. And I was tired. Still, nothing several coffees at Pret and a bacon and egg breakfast muffin couldn’t handle. The day was beautiful so we opted to walk to the Albert Hall, with the option for stopping for more coffee or a museum, on the way.  

 Conveniently, the Natural History Museum is situated about halfway between Earls Court and the Royal Albert Hall. Even more conveniently, there was no queue. Not an opportunity either of us could resist and so, with a couple of hours to kill, we did dinosaurs, the chrysalis and the wildlife garden. What I love about the London Museums is that, because they’re free, you can just drop in and see a bit or you can plan a whole day and do the lot.   

  
Finally, it was time to walk the rest of the way to the Albert Hall, for a massively overpriced lunch and to wait for the doors to open. Star Trek and the London Philharmonic Orchesta. Fantabulous! And it was. The orchestra played themes from all parts of the franchise, while montage clips or all out scenes from the show played on the big screen. At times I forgot I was listening to a live orchestra. For the most part TOS and TNG dominated, not surprising as they were the only ones with films as well, but there were scenes enough from DS9 and Voyager, which reminded me how great all the incarnations of Star Trek were and how long it had been since I had given time to the later shows. I’d also forgotten how dark DS9 got and how desperate it seemed, at times, for the Voyager crew. More importantly, I realised I’d never paid the musical score much heed, aside from each show’s intro theme. A shame considering how each composer had toiled to write original orchestral music which not only underpinned the action on screen but also provided a suitable musical accompaniment to Roddenberry’s futuristic vision.  

  It was a thoroughly fantastic experience and a wonderful end to a super fun packed weekend up in the big smoke. Ok the hotel pillows, as mentioned, weren’t up to much, and The Royal Albert Hall clearly trades on its reputation as an excuse to bump all the prices up, but neither of those knocked the shine off. London, I don’t always love you but just this once, you came up trumps, you magnificent city. 

Until next time, LLAP.

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