Wednesday 24 July 2013

A very Contrary holiday

Much to the annoyance of my flatmate I've rather last my way over the last few months, and I don't mean in the way her boyfriend is incapable of getting to the Tesco in Bow with less than four attempts. That's the trouble with big life changes, they have an impact and it's rather inevitable that my changes wouldn't bring a well of goodies.

So, with Clare escaping the insanity of Contrary Towers for lots of sun, sea and I presume wild sex, I also decided to actually take a few days off to see if I could get my mind to try and join up some of the unjoinable thoughts that are rattling around...

Yep, I took a holiday.

Admittedly not one that might be recognised my normal people. I kind of started on Friday night and did something I've not been able to do in ages, I went to the cinema alone. Really this was because I needed to see something silly and not have to think about things too much, so The World's End seemed the perfect solution. Inevitably I asked for opinions on Twitter and, well, only got one and that wasn't great, so I ignored it and, after popping in to Tesco for a box of Maltesers to pig my way through, went anyway.

It was good.

Not the most comprehensive review I'll grant you, but honestly if I was to explain why I thought it was really quite clever it would be an epic spoiler to end all spoilers. So, good one liners, some references back to the previous outings of Pegg et al and a bit of a rekindled bromance to suit. Oh, and a mint cornetto.

So film done I headed back east, changing at Bank as I didn't fancy Mile End, really, who could. Trouble was the DLR was going to be a seven minute wait. SEVEN MINUTES. I blame Boris.

I'd already been toying with walking so I decided this was a sign, left at Monument and wandered towards Tower Hill. As you do. Trouble was I still couldn't decide what to do. So I did what any sensible woman would do. I sat down and presented my options to Twitter: tube, DLR, taxi, Boris bike, Bus or walk...

First response from a good friend of mine was to walk as it was cool, so walk I did. It was certainly a lovely evening for it and I only thought "what the hell was I thinking" a few times as I walked through some of the more desolate parts of Wapping and Shadwell. After all, it was now getting dark.

The next morning I was up not as early as I wanted to be so I could spend the day in the office, things I wanted to clear up. I did have a deadline though as I intended to head to Brick Lane at some point in search of fabric. And a baegel.

Oh yes.

As I was determined to do things differently, or I couldn't face the hell known as the Central Line I found a comfortable number 25 omnibus, got out my book and settled down to read as it fought its way from Oxford Street to somewhere near Aldgate. It was really quite a pleasant journey and nicely set me up for my contrary holiday as I couldn't understand a single word that people were saying.

Fortunately the journey was swift and with a flourish - read: nigh on emergency stop - I hopped off and meandered on in search of a mad fabric. Which, naturally, I found.

Trouble with holidays is they have tourists.

Baegel. Nom.
And Brick Lane really has tourists. I don't like tourists. Meandering bastards blocking the pavements in random and unpredictable ways, couldn't they see I was a woman on a mission?! Eventually I made it to the 24 hour baegel place so I could indulge in a hot salt beef filled baegel and, of course, send a picture to annoy my flatmate. So I did...

Burgers were being promised back in Contrary Towers so back I crawled though I didn't expect to see people for long as the travellers had to be up at 3am. I've not had a burger in a while and these really were quite lovely.

Sunday dawned rather early, I was wide awake long before their alarm went off and enjoyed the delicate night sounds of Poplar, such as something that was very much like a pistol shot. Next noise, after the alarm, was Clare making an almighty clatter before texting to say she could never be stealthy. If I was mean I would have said I'd been woken by it...

Good job I'm not mean!

Baby carrotz
The only worry was that I was going to be held responsible for anything that happens to the Contrary Garden. Oh dear...

I was awake nice and early to water the garden before having a day of generally sorting bits and pieces out. I had intended to start cutting fabric for dress making, but, being a ditz, hadn't remembered to pre-shrink by washing so cutting and sewing would be delayed until Monday. I could live with that and, with a an maniacal diligence proceeded to do very little all day.

Chillie putting out...
Actually, I say very little, but that's not strictly true. I did some work, made some deductions, sent emails about deductions and... Buried a ghost. I'll not say any more about that to anyone other to Clare if she wants to know, some things really aren't for public consumption.

Oh, I also made a bag. As you do.

Monday. 5am. Awake. Not just awake, up, ready and resisting the urge to head for Mile End and ultimately W1. At 0701 I was in the Fortnum and Mason of Poplar (Lidl) to stock up on, well, everything. Turns out it was the grocery shop where we need all the really heavy stuff. What was worse was the probably alcoholic gentleman - he had a trolley with many loose bottles of lager - decided to flirt. *sighs*

Sew, a needle pulling thread.
Anyway, little trolley filled I struggled home, actually struggled, and collapsed in a heap. But not for long. I spent the day pattern making, watching cranes being erected, sewing, cleaning, vacuuming and generally being busy. I even found time to poke my legs out in the sun. It was really quite an eclectic way to spend the day.

Which was nice.

Happy Birthday Clare x
The evening saw a visit by my bezzie which mostly consisted of us chatting for England, drinking teh winez, eating lasgna (the last of my frozen batch) and toasting my flatmate on her big birthday.

Tuesday was a bit weird. I needed a few bits and pieces and vaguely thought that the Waitrose/John Lewis at Canary Wharf had a haberdashery. Turns out I was wrong. Pfft. So I scooted on the Jubilee Line to Bond Street and needed supplies. And went home.

Fortunately the effect of being abroad continued, I didn't hear another english accent or, indeed, speak with
*our* crane
anyone again including until now on Wednesday night. Uh oh. Now the irony is that when abroad I do speak, at least once I re-acclimatise myself to the relevant language, but here I just saw nobody.

But that's okay, I sewed and fiddled and thought and slowly but surely switched gears.

Which brings me to Wednesday. Another early start, more sewing and twiddling. More looking at cranes and wondering what the hell the builders actually do. And more watering the garden at 6am before the sun decides to be mean.

Checking it fits!
I did though finish my dress, or at least the first one. And made a matching tote bag. And I am in the middle of getting ready to cut fabric for the next dress. So that's good.

I've also cleaned, vacuumed, done washing and eaten probably too much. I know it's not most people's idea of a holiday but, really, this is progress for me. I still can't see myself going off to sunny climes and sit by a pool alone, but at least I managed a few days. And sure it would be nice to go off and spend time somewhere with someone but, well, I don't know anyone insane enough to do that with me.

So, I'll sew.

Chin-chin darlings.

The Costa del Contrary, complete with sun and authentic building site.

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