Farewell London, eating in the dark, what I am reading…

July 31, 2009

Last weekend Paul and I had our farewell party at a local pub. Heaps of people came and we were there from 3pm until 10pm! I drank a LOT of juice. Unfortunately most of Paul’s photos are dark and blurry.
North star
Above, heaps of the peops at our farewell do. Below, with some friends (Cheryl, Charlotte, Kara) at the nightclub Cargo last Friday night. We saw a very cool band, Yacht, but as the music was blaring and the base was vibrating our bodies, I wondered: ‘Is my baby being totally vibrated right now?’
Last night Paul and Cheryl and I went to the restaurant Dans Le Noir? and ate food in pitch blackness. It was quite a strange experience. I did enjoy it but was not very impressed with the food (and the two courses cost £32).

Our boxes of stuff were picked up yesterday to be shipped back to Australia. Now we have lots of cleaning to do and lots of stuff to get rid of. I can’t believe we are leaving in three days. It doesn’t seem real. I would like to go to the White Cube galleries on the weekend to see the current Gilbert and George exhibition and maybe the Hayward to see the Walking in My Mind exhibition.

I also think I’d like to do some wandering around central London to say goodbye. I have really loved London. I am however very excited about seeing my friend Sam and spending three days with her looking around Hong Kong (she informed me yesterday that rain is forecast for next week!) and I am starting to get very excited about being back in Brisbane and seeing family and friends. I am really excited about discovering Brisbane again. People often bag it out for being small (and very spread out) but I always felt there was a lot of stuff going on when I lived there and I really like it. I’m planning on going to the Gallery of Modern Art on my second day back (there is an exhibition of photography by young people from Palm Island that ends that day).

It’s been a while since I did a rundown of the books I’ve been reading, but that might be because I haven’t read many books this year.

Bad Science by Dr Ben Goldacre
I have wanted to read this book for a while. It is really very good! I have seen/heard Ben Goldacre talk a few times and he is really intelligent, informative and funny. You’ll learn a lot about the scientific method and how science works, and how science is abused and also about bad journalism when it comes to science. A very informative book. He is an NHS (National Health Service) doctor and a regular columnist in the Guardian. You can read his columns and other stuff at his website.

59 Seconds by Professor Richard Wiseman
A popular psychology book by a professor of psychology, this is an interesting book and the difference between it and other self-help books is that it is actually based on psychological research. It does have a tendency to simplify things and be contradictory sometimes but I am enjoying it. Richard Wiseman has a blog too.

Quicksilver by Neal Stephenson
This book of three novels is the first of three books in Stephenson’s Baroque Cycle. I have finished the first novel, Quicksilver and I enjoyed it a lot although I had to do a lot of looking up European history. The book is set around the end of the 17th and beginning of the 18th century in England and focuses on lots of historical figures (philosophers, scientists, politicians and other people). I plan to finish the other two novels in book one one day.

The Life of Pi by Yann Martel
I’m a third of the way in and so far, am not impressed. Some of my friends really love this book but I really don’t understand how. It’s quite annoying and has such a tone of ‘isn’t religion so amazing and wonderful and mysterious’ so I’ve spent most of my time reading it thinking, ‘actually no, I don’t think so.’ I wonder if I’ll finish it.

Sunny weekends in London

June 1, 2009

Yesterday (Sunday) Paul and I wandered around Hyde Park and Kensington Gardens with Kara and Cheryl. We checked out the current exhibition at the Serpentine Gallery (films and photos by Luke Fowler) which was interesting. Below are Paul and Kara outside the Serpentine Gallery in Kensington Gardens.
Paul outside the Serpentine Gallery in Kensington Gardens
Kara in Kensington Gardens
The photos below are from the Peter Pan statue in Kensington Gardens.
Peter Pan statue in Kensington Gardens
Peter Pan in Kensington Gardens
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Madeleine in town and Kara's birthday

May 11, 2009

Last week Madeleine was in town for a few days on her way to Baltic Pride in Latvia. I met up with her on Friday at the Barbican Centre (and got a bit lost trying to find her – that place is massive!). We caught a bus down past St Paul’s and up Fleet Street and the Strand and had lunch with an old school friend of hers in Covent Garden. Then we wandered up to the Portrait Gallery and looked at stuff there. I had been to the portrait gallery a couple of times before but had somehow missed the top floor – and looking at all the portraits of historical figures I was reminded how little history I know. Luckily Madeleine (who has English parents) was able to fill me in on some stuff. When we were done we looked in book shops on Charing Cross Road. We also went to a lovely little cupcake shop and had very cute (and yummy) cupcakes. I had a really lovely day.

On Saturday it was Kara’s birthday so I had brunch with her and lots of her friends at the Pavilion Cafe in Victoria Park over her side of town. Sonja brought along a plate of lovely cupcakes she’d made. After yummy brunch, Kara, Nicole and I wandered through the park and up to the Broadway Market (which I had never been to before – I also hadn’t been to Victoria Park before). It was really lovely. We wandered back to Nicole’s house – where Paul came and met us (he’d had another Microsoft exam that morning – he got 93%) and then Kara and I went down Brick Lane and then back to her place for a little rest before heading out to Cargo that night for birthday drinks. I’ve been to Cargo three times, all in the last two weekends!

Paul and I thought about going to Richmond Park on Sunday but ended up staying home and tidying the house (probably for the best). We might go there next weekend (and try to get a posse together for it). Also, Daniel S is in town next weekend so it will be nice to catch up with him.

What a fun weekend

May 5, 2009

I have had a really awesome fun weekend.
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Hanging in the East end with Cheryl

May 4, 2009

Last weekend Paul and I went to art galleries around Mayfair (below are photos of the Sadie Coles Gallery).
Sadie Coles Gallery Read the rest of this entry »

Good-bye good friend

April 27, 2009

On Friday evening Paul, Kara and I went out to Heathrow airport to say goodbye to Lucy R as she headed back to Australia. It was a couple of months earlier than she had originally planned and it was sad to see her go. It’s nice to know she will be in Brisbane when we move back (it’s nice to know we still have some friends there after being away so long!). Unfortunately her brother is sick so that’s why she’s gone early. Hopefully with modern medicine and all his family and friends around him he’ll be better in no time!
Seeing Lucy off at Heathrow airport (to go back to Australia) Read the rest of this entry »

Easter weekend

April 18, 2009

Paul and I didn’t do a lot on the Easter weekend because the weather was so bad – it was cool and overcast for most of the weekend – we actually stayed home and watched movies on Friday, Saturday and Sunday. On the Monday we went to the Wellcome Collection and saw a couple of very good exhibitions (Madness & Modernity: Mental illness and the visual arts in Vienna 1900 and Bobby Baker’s Diary Drawings: Mental illness and me, 1997-2008) as well as some of their permanent exhibits, (Napoleon Bonaparte’s toothbrush, Charles Darwin’s walking stick in) Medicine Man.

On Monday evening I saw the great documentary Afghan Star about the Afghan TV show of the same name. It was really uplifting – unlike other Afghan films I’ve seen.

In the last week I saw the photography exhibition Dreams at the Viewfinder Photography Gallery in Greenwich and I hung out with Lucy N’s partner Jamie. We went to The Bloomberg Commission: Goshka Macuga: The Nature of the Beast at the Whitechapel Gallery. There are a few other exhibitions on there that I’d like to go back and see. I also had dinner at Helen’s house and last night Paul and I went to the launch of Lady Sovereign’s new album Zigzag.