Sunday, September 19, 2010

Day 53

Ok so it’s day 53, about 6:30pm and I’m sitting on my bed (shared with Steph. Bah) in the hotel room, trying to drown out the sound of the locals celebrating a victory of either Cork in the Gaelic football or Manchester in the regular football. Not sure, they both play in red... I’m guessing Cork, this being the republic and all. Either way it’s driving me up the wall. (EDIT: ok so just went out on the street to go get stuff from the car and after taking a closer look to find “corcaigh” written on the back of people shirts I can now say with certainty they’re celebrating Cork’s win. Also, our hotel is the headquarters for the Cork fan club or some shit so the ruckus is actually coming from directly below us, not the street as I thought. Balls.)

The mood update has somehow managed to give me the shits so you can just... guess my mood or something maybe. I kinda wish blogger had those mood and picture thingys that myspace has. Ah myspace... you were so awesome once. (What happened to you Chine, you used to be cool? Hey China still cool! You pay later! Later!) Anyway that would be so much better than typing it within the blog, like it could be up the top somewhere. With an appropriately themed smiley face and such. Yup.

So something I need to mention. I’m so so sorry that my music has been the same for ages and you’re no doubt all sick to death of DJ Earworm but I can’t remember my music host and it’s tough to find ones that work so blah blah I’ll change it soon. Because i’m digging a lot of music up here, particularly when I was in Paris actually so I’d like to give you all a taste of what I’m listening to here! Anyway just wanted you to know I’ll get to that. Oh and my photo HAS dissapeared, because i deleted it to put up one that isn't you know over a year old and showing me with a dark brown VB bob that i clearly no longer have, but I couldn't find one that I like so I gave up. I'll pick one some day...

This week was a pretty momentous one, because, believe it or not, we had our first properly rainy day in the UK! Monday, aka day 47, we went up to the “Haaaaiiiiiighghghghghglends” (Highlands) and it was raining basically all day. I must say though, the rain up here is mostly light drizzling. Haven’t really seen it piss down here yet. So, seaking refuge from the rain, we shopped. And what did we finally find, after searching around London, Nottingham, York and Edinburgh under the recommendation of various sources? Primark. Oh yes. Primark. It’s kind of like target... but more awesome. I bought a ball hat (yes J. Screw you! It’s awesthoooome) and two (yes TWO) “snoods” which is the bazaar name Primark likes to give loop scarves. I’ve been hunting for one for aaaaages and I found these excellent ones at American Apparel... for £35 ($70). No thanks. So when I found ones that were not only warm, in a lovely pale grey or beigey/pink colour, not disgusting, a good length but only £4 I was ecstatic! I couldn’t choose a colour, so I bought both. We’ve been inseparable ever since.

With this week, came the purchase of an ipod car stereo cable, and the making of our roadtrip playlist full of awesomeness and joy! It’s 342 songs of excellence. Sexcellence. It provided the perfect soundtrack for a scenic drive past Nessie, and our trip to the seaside to get on the 2 hour stormy ferry ride (grr) to Belfast, Northern Ireland. So we were only in Belfast for a night but it is worth talking about because we did a black cab tour, which takes in a few of the key sites surrounding the history of the Troubles in Belfast. For those who don’t know what I mean please google it because it’s not exactly something that can be explained in a wee blog. That and i know i’ll get comments of “oh it’s not about religion blah blah blah,” so yeah. But it was pretty eye opening, especially the murals by Shankill Rd, in the Protestant part of the city. The brown clan (and Moo) made their mark on the wall separating the two sides, just like many before us. Didn’t write anything inspiring, it’s a bit difficult with so many already in front of you. One that particularly stood out to me was “Killing in the name of?- RATM” and i can’t think of a much better way to say it.

Belfast was our only stop in Northern Ireland before we left Britain behind and headed south to the Republic. Strangely, Gerald the GPS (who we picked up in Nottingham) has a lot of troubles picking up satellite signals here. I guess he’s just being a suppressive English bastard or something. Galway is a place where “a quick drink” can turn into skipping dinner in favour of a 6 hour Bulmers fest VERY quickly. We certainly met some interesting characters that way, including local crazy Derek (dropped the joint he was trying to roll in disgust at the mention of Stephen Hawkins, that “cretin,” after pulling a can of spaghetti out of his bag when we mentioned being peckish, AFTER saying “don’t mind me, i won’t bother you, just pretend I’m not here” Bah). I love bartenders in Ireland. You tell them there’s a crazy guy filling up his glass with a can of cider in his pocket and spilling drugs everywhere and breaking glasses and they just go “oh aye? Illicit drugs. Hmm.” And walk off. And when you spill your drink, clearly intoxicated, they pour you a fresh one for free! Different to back home indeed...

So a few things I’ve learnt over here, just to sum up a wee bit.

• It’s impossible to get schnitzel chips and gravy anywhere I've been so far in Europe.
• Likewise, they don’t seem to know what lemon lime and bitters is over here. Yet THEY HAVE BITTERS AT THEIR BARS.
• There’s no such thing as a line on the continent. It’s every man for himself, particularly with lifts.
• Athens really is, the biggest hole above ground.
• Having red hair AND a tan, makes you stand out a bit in the UK. I may as well walk around without pants on.
• Drivers in the UK and Ireland are really polite.
• People who’ve never been to Sydney, may sometimes speak to you like you’re from a wee village. Take the man from the car rental place in Nottingham for example, who seemed to think he needed to warn my mother that there are half a million cars in Nottinghamshire. Half a million... OOOOOOHHHHH! Honestly, he was like “oh there’ll be a few more cars than your used to.” We’re from Sydney. Our population is about the same as the whole of Scotland. We have a couple of cars on the road.
• Coffee is good in Italy, France and Greece, and shit in the UK and Ireland. It’s so bad I’ve been drinking hot chocolates here! I actually had an incredible one the other day that was sooooo chocolately and topped with like 3,939,492,878,492 mini marshmallows (the best way to improve something. Make in mini!) on top. It tasted like my childhood... rainy days, rushing home to watch Saddleclub with a hot chocolate in hand, about 8 teaspoons of nesquick in each one... ah nostalgia.
• The indicator is on the LEFT on the steering wheel- now if only mum would remember.

And just one more thing i need to mention that I feel deserves more than a dotpoint. Now, as the name of my blog would suggest, it is (normally) a blog that focuses on fashion, to a degree at least. So i do need to talk about it from time to time, despite the temporary subject matter shift to “travel blog for three months!” European (continental) fashion verse UK fashion (London in particular). Now, Paris and Italy are famous for fashion. The women there pride themselves on looking impeccable at all times. Something I noticed was, none of it really appealed to me because I’m mostly influenced by the affordable, high street, trendy style you see executed best by some of my favourite fashion bloggers. Style doesn’t seem to vary much by age on the continent, whereas in London i noticed it to be very much like home- the young crowd are the true fashion indicators. They may not own a single designer item, or dress with classic style, but they’re up to date, on trend and far more creative than the men and women a bit further east. Shopping in London feels like shopping in Sydney, six months in the future. Basically, London feels like home, minus the schnitzel and mushroom gravy.

Fact of the week: The term "graveyard shift" can be traced to two origins (both, funnily enough, involve graveyards). Back in the olden days, before post-mortems really existed, people used to watch over graveyards at night, just incase someone hadn't actually died before they were buried. as well as this, grave robbing was rife due to the shortage of bodies available for medical studies. Because of this, a fresh body in good condition, could fetch a few bob. There were cages that coffins could be buried within to prevent theft, but for those who couldnt afford it, a friend or family member would have to volunteer to sit by their grave, all night every night, for a full two weeks (the amount of time it takes for a body to decay enough to no longer me usable). Morbid, but fascinating i feel ahaha.

Anyway, i’ve bored you enough. Time to redirect my attention to Xtra Factor, which seems to be on at all times here.
Until next time
-m xx


  1. I actually knew about the Graveyard shift thing. It's surprising that UK coffee would suck. Irish too? And what the heck are schnitzel chips?

  2. zomg schnitzel AND chips you fool. I left the comma out, out of laziness or something I guess.

    Although schnitzel chips sound like an interesting concept. I might have to look into this possible culinary masterpiece when i get home to my kitchen utensils, I guess.

  3. ...Actually, I'm not familiar with the term schnitzel at all. Uncle Google tells me it's similar to what we eat once in a blue moon around here, chicken-fried steak.