LDN

Well, dear blog, another weekend, another jet-setting trip, this is the whirlwind lifestyle I’ve become accustomed to. Anyone who tells you I spend 80% of my waking hours sweating from the stress of watching Homeland is lying.

My adventure this time was my big cousin’s wedding in London. I decided to take the Eurostar which should theoretically save time but since you need to check in and hang about for ages, actually doesn’t. My bumbling slapstick alter-ego made an appearance here when I attempted to go through the x-ray machines. I left my bags and a big umbrella I’d bought my mum on the belt then strolled through, picked up my bags and walked on until I was called back for having left my umbrella in the machine. Keeping my cool, I walked on again and then had a group of 5 customs guys shout to tell me I was walking into a dead end and had to turn the other way to get the train. I think the real people who should be embarrassed are the 5 customs guys with nothing better to do than hang around and direct people. How embarrassing for them. Yeah. Here’s a nice graphic of my journey. If this was a high budget blog with advertising revenue, I’d have a wee moving train rolling along the line, choo-chooing away. But it’s not. Deal with it.

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My bumbling antics continued when I arrived at St Pancras and left said umbrella on the train. Since once you’re off the train, you cannot turn back, ever, since you are definitely a terrorist and drug smuggler, I had to ask about 45 people how to get my umbrella back and was eventually able to, despite having to wait for a French TV crew to stop filming. Got to the hotel with absolutely no problems and simply followed my natural sense of direction. Haha, oh me! Such a kidder! After a stressful walk (not helped by being told 3 different addresses for it) I flagged a taxi which was driven by a fat Michael Caine. Upon giving him my Scottish fiver, he said “have you not got anything English, love?”. Had a rummage in my purse and said no, only to be told “well, I can’t take this”. Launched into my “Scottish money is still legal tender, it’s pounds sterling, look, the queen….accept it!!” hysterics, only to be cut off with “oh, I thought this was euros, it’s just the accent”. The accent? My Glaswegian accent? Who knows, Michael Caine’s 80 now, it’s only natural he’s lost it a bit.

5 not-euros:

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Finally got to the hotel and met my mammy and Rhu. My dad had gone ahead to the pub, so we headed along too. Met the husband & wife to be, my uncle and later, my lovely cousin, Claire. A great amount of beer was consumed and the conversation quickly took a bizarre turn with a (I do not exaggerate) 1 hour conversation with my dad advocating the punching-in-the-face of Jools Holland, at one point insisting that he “should be hunted down like a stork that’s stolen the margarine”. There was a consensus at this point that stomachs should be lined so we headed off in search of a Vietnamese restaurant. I put all my faith in Google Maps. Google Maps doesn’t take you to places that aren’t there. Ever. Except this weekend. A 25 minute walk later we had a mammy with bleeding feet and that kind of stressful situation where everyone decides it’s everyone else’s fault for not already being in a restaurant. I, however, have realised (cue the string section) how valuable my time with ma famille is since I don’t see them very often so I kept calm and we found a wee Italian that looked dodgy as fuck and wasn’t helped by the “come in, bella! bella, we do nice food, free wine for you” of the waiter outside. OK, the free wine bit helped, but the pushy sales pitch did not. However, the food was amazing and the waiters actually turned out to be decent chat and not at all sleazy. Free wine AND free amaretto. Yes.

The next day was Wedding Day but since it didn’t start til 5 we had the day to wander about Camden. I got up early….is it possible to have jet-lag between France and England? Went to Waitrose for breakfasty things and felt fancy-as-fuck. It might’ve been my Pretty Woman moment. 5 years of Asda and LOOK AT ME NOW, WORLD….I shop in Waitrose. To be fair I bought a packet of reduced muffins and satsumas and left before they could accuse me of shoplifting. After a wander round Camden we headed back to Bloomsbury for a good Greek meal. Shields and I are headed to Greece in July so this was our warm up. We used to go to Greece every summer but my Greek skills have now been reduced from basic-tourist to being able to say “poly”. Helpful.

Got ready for the wedding and headed along to the venue. Since we were early, we went for drinks in a bar called House of Wolf and might’ve kidded on to be in Game of Thrones. The venue was great, the couple were in the middle and everyone was sat round them in rounded pews. The music was excellent, all cover songs of classics. Andreas, my cousin, was sat in the middle waiting on his bride-to-be. The music started and the doors opened and ….nothing. A couple of minutes later, a bridesmaid popped her head round the door and said Lydia (the bride) wasn’t ready. Andreas sat down again as everyone laughed nervously. He didn’t, however, end up gilted at the altar. They had readings by John Lennon. Not the man himself, he’s been off the radar for a while, but someone read his words. The reception was in a pub nearby that had been hired for the night and which served the best pork pies anyone had ever had. Not to take away from the couple’s big day, but seriously, these pies.

Long story short it was the best wedding I’ve ever been to and I think the highest compliment came from my mammy when she told me it was the best wedding she’d been to since her own. The night was danced away and at one point both the bride and groom were cutting about with a bottle of champagne in hand, swigging away. The speeches were absolutely brilliant, they were actually really touching. The joint best men have been friends since primary school so had a fair amount of dirt on Andreas, including several nicknames he’d chosen for himself. Andreas is half-French so part of his speech was French. He said “Thanks to all my French family for coming, I don’t speak French very well but if you could all laugh at the end of this then all my English friends will think I’m very funny and good at French”. They dutifully obliged. I also met the parents of one of my friends from my year in Pas-de-Calais…small world! I’d like to point out at this point that we were the last men standing at the wedding.

The next day we had to say our goodbyes. I am 23 years old, have spent 2 years living abroad and STILL cry every time. Managed to greet like a big poof and set my mammy off as well. I’m seeing them in 3 weeks. Big Jessie.

In other news, I only have 2 teaching weeks left. As incredible as it is, this year is coming to an end. Already. Plans in the coming weeks are a trip to Marseille with longtime bestie, Daniel and a trip home with my boo in a few weeks for my birthday.

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