19 November 2007

I don't wanna be here in your London Dungeon...I don't wanna be here in your British Hell...


So no sooner did we kiss goodbye to the freakiness of the sun going down at 9pm during summer, now on the cusp of winter it gets dark at 4.30. What is this, Iceland? All the Limeys are warning me about the London winter and suggesting that I get myself a wooly coat. "What, like a mammoth?" I asked, innocently. To date I have not received a response, but I may have contributed slightly to global warming with all the patronising sighs I am inducing. No sense of humour these English types...

So I went to a wine tasting last Thursday night which was organised by our landlords. They put on these social events every month or so where they encourage all their tennants to get together and mingle, which is pretty cool. Particularly if, like me, you find it hard to get out and meet new people. We went deep into the bowels of a huge supermarket in Canary Wharf and tasted some pretty lovely and pretty ordinary wines and got to chin wag and have a bit of a laugh with about 20 other people. It was £20 for 8 glasses, but you could get a refill if you asked nicely and they gave out the half full bottles at the end. Some of us took them to a nearby pub and continued on, but as I'd come from the other side of London and hadn't had anything to eat all day, it caught up with me pretty quickly and I had to go home in a bit of a sorry state.

Spent the weekend in Dublin which was fun. It was rainy and miserable but I got taken to my first ever burlesque show - The Tassel Club - which was awesome! Lots of cool 40's and 50's costumes, and all the spangles, laughs, and tits-out fun you'd expect from a bunch of amateur girlies trying to getting their kit off provocatively without falling over. All in all a real hoot and great value for a £30 flight. And there was an awesome nerdy english dude playing the ukulele who totally ownzrd George Formby's kitchy arse.

Returning to Dublin has helped me put a few things in perspective, which makes the subject line for this week's email even more appropriate. I've realised that, for me, the measure of how good a city is to live in is the people. London's a great town and all, there's plenty to do and plenty to see here, but people here are just
so cold and humourless and distanced. Combine that with the weather and it makes for a really gloomy oppressive town. Dublin, and even Canberra, by comparison aren't nearly as interesting or cosmopolitan,
but the people are awesome which makes both those cities more enjoyable places to live. I'm rethinking my long-term plan a bit and I've realised that one of my new goals is probably going to be to work in the US. The trip to Chicago really dispelled a lot of myths about America and American people so I think that after I've done maybe a year in London I might try a year over there and see how it goes. Microsoft have got a huge usability lab at their complex in Washington and I'd love to get involved in interface design and usability testing of games.

Also, things aren't going so well in the group house. 4 of us get along fine and help out with the cleaning and the cooking and all that communal palaver. But 2 of the girls have decided to treat the place like they were back at home with Mumsy and Dadsy. Dirty dishes get piled in the sink, food is left out on the benches, the bins are
filled to over-flowing and rubbish gets dropped on the floor next to them, hordes of friends are invited back to party at all hours and then sleep over. There's been polite words exchanged but so far they've gone unheeded so I'm thinking it will soon get nasty. Good thinking on my behalf to only get a 3 month lease cos if it gets
really nasty I can just move on. The landlord agency has heaps of places just like this one in nearby areas so it'll be relatively simple to find a new one without having to bother with bond and references and stuff. See, I TOLD you living with 5 girls would be a nightmare! There's not been even a hint of shorty nighties or pillow fights.

Anyhoo, hope you're all well and enjoying the warm weather. It's miserable over here, rainy and cold and grey. Check out some new photos of the Greenwich area and don't stop thinking about tomorrow...it's soon be here.

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