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Sunday, September 03, 2006 

Maybe its because I'm not a Londoner...

London has the very best of clubs, and the very worst. My most recent London experience was, unfortunately, the latter.

It started at the apartment in Aldgate. Tired and highly strung from spending four days living in extremely close proximity with my sister (the same bed) was turning into a joke. I love her from a distance, but sleeping, eating, and drinking with her is not exactly my idea of heaven. I layered on the scarlet nail varnish and forced myself to endure the few hours of her prancing around the room in a black mini dress, straightening her naturally poker straight hair, and telling me that my eye brows don’t match, I’m too dressed up, I’m under-dressed, my heels don’t exactly match my belt, and do I think her bum looks big in this?

I downed the Pimms and lemonade and forced myself to carry on quietly without forcing the tweezers down her throat. A painful tube ride later (strip lighting flashing cheerfully), and a rather awful experience involving eight lemons and two bottles of rum in Tesco’s later, we arrived at Hammersmith and went in search of taxis. The first taxi driver was extremely helpful in telling us he didn’t know the area, and couldn’t help us. The second was marginally better, but took us to the wrong street, dropping us down some dark alley and leaving us to negotiate our own way. After walking for ten minutes in six inch heels the five of us arrived at a strip club where the bouncer helpfully ordered us another taxi.

This taxi did, eventually, take us to our destination. Unfortunately he also took fifteen pounds off us to get completely lost, and then make us find the right street in his pocket A to Z. Personally I felt that this was taking the piss, but our relief at arriving quelled a few of my objections.

Meeting up with the rest of the party meant standing in the doorway of a smallish house just outside Hammersmith and enthusing over the birthday girl’s dresses, property developments, interior design, and the fact that my sister really doesn’t look so young. This, coupled with more pimms and lemonade, and possible the worst Mojito I have ever had the misfortune of drinking, was a headache in the making. But it didn’t stop there. From there the party moved via three cabs across zone two and ended up fuck knows where.

This cab was much better. It only cost us twelve pounds and the driver was flirty, complimentary, but never sleazy, so earning my London cabby thumbs up prize. He was the only one in my entire visit who earned this so he was special. The club was the kind of club where you spend a shit load to get in, then find that the place is half empty and really you’d rather stay at home with a DVD than go to all this trouble and then contemplate staying here for another three hours minimum. In a word, it sucked.

While enduring classics such as the Baywatch theme tune and a disco version of Celine Dion’s “My Heart Will Go On,” I downed Sambuca shots, got off with the birthday girl’s younger brother, and sat on the bathroom floor phoning everyone I could think of who might, just possibly (say in an alternate universe) also be awake.

I then ditched the guy (my brother nicknamed him “The Oompaloompa,” and he sang along to Baywatch) lost one shoe (later found), and completely failed to listen to anything that anyone started to try to tell me. I also got asked if I was on coke, and if so, could I get him and his girlfriend some. Surely I wasn’t that bad?

When finally we arrived home, there were only a few hours before I woke up with a screaming hangover, the taste of truly disgusting curry still in my mouth, and the knowledge that I was leaving in two hours, hadn’t packed, and had a seven and a half hour bus journey before home. Wonderful.

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  • An albatross can fly for thousands of miles without getting tired. I've always thought that love is similar to flying, therefore we should aspire to be like the albatross.

    I don't know if I can do that. So far I haven't been so lucky. But one day I'll test my wings with someone, and flying won't be so hard after all. Or so painful.
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    * In 2001 one New Zealand fishing boat killed over 300 seabirds in just one trip, while fishing for ling.
    * Each year over 300,000 seabirds are killed by longline fishing.
    * Over the past 60 years some albatross populations have declined by 90%.
    * Annually around 10,000 albatross and petrels are caught in New Zealand waters alone.
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