As of late, life for me has been frustratingly uninteresting. I can imagine that living in a picture-perfect countryside village in rural Hampshire would be tremendous if you're positively middle-aged, with ten horses and a few million in the bank, but not so great if you're a fun-loving nineteen year old who has lots of 'cool' friends doing their equally 'cool' degrees in faraway cities. Upon the discovery that moaning on my blog about it will not help, (although it will get the local gossips talking about me - hoorah! *Facepalms*) I decided to book a weekend off to have some time to get in the festive spirit away from home.
It went something like this...
Attempts to cultivate the perfect soft-boiled egg and soldiers.
Realises egg has cracked during the boiling process and consequently gives up on the idea of breakfast. Decides that breakfast is stupid anyway, unless you have it in bed and someone else has made it for you.
Showers in the cold bathroom in the right wing of the house. Regrets not turning the heating on beforehand. However, more-so regrets more the lack of towel in said bathroom after ice-shower experience is over. Runs around in search of towel whilst dodging potential early-risers for several minutes. All is traumatic in the world of Stancer, this morning.
Gets sidetracked whilst downloading Christmas music for the coach journey. Ends up watching Kim Kardashian in an interview on Youtube regarding her hideously vulgar Paper Magazine cover. I have recently started enjoying all things Kardashian which is most bizarre. I imagine it's something to do with a deep-rooted coveting of their access to prestigious fashion designers and their acute wealth. How joyful that would all be.
Hugo texts informing me that he's missed his coach from Taunton.
Still staring, bewildered, at cracked Iphone screen in despair. What a %$^?@! idiot.
Dad drops me at the coach station. Coach promptly arrives. National Express coaches have leather seats and heaps of leg room which trumps bog-class on a poncy train any day of the week. Whilst thinking about trains and how shite they generally are, Hugo texts saying that he's on one. Oh good. I shan't be alone the entire day then.
Realises self is wearing no makeup. Looks around aghast at fellow coach-trippers. Nope, nobody noticed. Thank heavens - could have caused an existential crisis. Applies small quantity of makeup discreetly. I have a cold. Not much point in any of it anyway.
Arrives at Victoria Coach Station in desperate need of a wee. Hurriedly bumbles to Caffe Nero, where, naturally, their toilet out of order. Orders double espresso and sits outside in the freezing cold with a rollie. Cross-legged.
Hugo arrives in London, yet has gone to the wrong sodding Nero to meet me. How many Caffe Neros are there in the area? Two. Well that explains it then.
Hallelujah! He has finally arrived! On the tube to Hyde Park corner and into Winter Wonderland...
Pug and I trawl through the endless Christmas market for trinkets and food. The sun is well and truly out, yet the air is still frosty. Everywhere smells like mulled wine and smoke. We agree to come here every year from now on.
"This would all be so much better if all of these idiots disappeared." - Hugo Hall on the subject of crowds consisting of airy fairy parents who have no control over their sprogs. In this moment, I am reminded of why we are together.
We grab a hot chocolate so that we can warm up a bit, and decide to sit by the side of The Serpentine Lake with a cigarette, nervously watching young children feed the swans. I've never really trusted swans. I always expect them to become aggressive. I don't have the best track record with any sort of animal, though. (I.e. Mimi Willmott and I being stampeded by a herd of nutty cows during our Chindit Camp in the Third Form.) It all looked pretty beautiful in the sunshine, nevertheless.
I spot a couple of terrifying rides, which I stupidly point out to Hugo, who instantaneously wants us to go on all of them. Refusing to endure the peril of being thrown upside-down/left, right and centre multiple times at the risk of chundering all over my favourite black fur coat, I settle for the tamer, more easygoing ones, as can be seen below. (I am lame, and so I was reminded frequently all afternoon by my boyfriend.)
(But first, let me take a selfie.)
We spent ages queueing to get onto a really colourful roller-coaster which looked fairly tame when standing beneath it on the ground. Apparently not. It didn't feel overly safe as it was rickety the entire way. The photograph at the end of this ride- which we didn't buy as it was truly awful - was hilarious. We both looked terrified. (Hugo also had multiple chuckle-inducing chins.)
Pug's penchant for driving like a total maniac came to life on the bumper cars. Forget that the majority of the other riders were little children with their older siblings or parents, it was like being in an F1 car with Lewis Hamilton on crack. I felt as though every one of my ribs had broken.
We grabbed a hotdog for lunch which resulted in a face-full of ketchup after being bashed about by the endless sea of passers-by and Hugo tried (and hated) candy floss.
By this time, we'd walked all the way from Hyde Park to Heddon Street, where we'd booked our session at Icebar for later in the afternoon. We wanted to kill time, but refused to walk anywhere else having already had our fill of walking around a very busy London. I spotted Piccolino's. It looked expensive and was bustling with well-dressed people. So in we went, obviously. Anyone who knows me well, knows that I love nothing more than an overpriced cocktail and a swanky bar. The waiter clearly did, as he directed us downstairs to the bar immediately upon our arrival. Good chap.
Half-smiles awkwardly for the absolutely ecstatic bartender, who offered to take a picture of us, thinking we were on a date. An unusual phenomenon. One and a half years too late for all that malarkey, my friend.
Different bar, same story and just enough time for a large Scotch before our booking.
That moment when you stand up and realise you're actually shitfaced happened.
Waiting outside Icebar to be let in. It's already nippy outside. The thought of entering a room that is minus five degrees cold made us shiver.
We were given thermals and hefty skiing gloves. Following this, we were escorted into the refrigerated room with an intimate group of strangers. I've always loved a gimmick. This was no let-down. There were these huge ice sculptures and carved-out ice seats everywhere. It was all shimmery and bluey-green under the artificial lights. Hugo and I had a little dance moment to ourselves along to the music, whilst onlookers appeared confused at our un-British enthusiasm.
Complementary cocktail? Out of a glass made from ice? Yes please! (Not that complementary when entrance cost a staggering £16 each.)
Got onto the coach back to mine with Hugo, both falling asleep resulting in being shaken vigorously by a foreign man, fortunately, at our exact stop at 9pm.
Slept all day.
What else is there to do on a Sunday?