The mango blaster

People
One of my favourite spots to sit and watch life go by is on the southbank of the Thames. Just on the left side of the Hungerford bridge, there are some cafe’s, a bookshop, it’s close to the National Film Theatre, and they have some excellent banks to sit on. The perfect spot for people watching. The perfect spot to see the sun go down, silhoueting the London skyline. The perfect spot to get rid of some stress after a hard day of work. The perfect spot to read. The perfect spot to eat an icecream, if I had one.
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My name is Rachel Corrie, Playhouse theatre – London

The Playhouse Theatre
I did give the half price booth of TKTS a go again yesterday. I was there on Saturday afternoon around 3pm, and the queue was impressively long. So long that I was in doubt if I wanted to queue at all. But I had my book with me, and the sun was doing it’s best to shine, so I did go for it. I timed it : it took me 20 minutes from the end of the queue to the little window of the ticket service desk. Unfortunately there wasn’t a man with a nice voice this time.

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r u crzy???

Yes, well with living and working in place here in London, it was about time to do something about my social life. Even though I have no problems doing things on my own, it will be good with some people to talk about Life, the Univ… sorry. But seriously, I placed an ad on the internet somewhere. And no – it was not a romantic ad. (Even though that would probably get me a lot of readers on this weblog, mmm, might be something to consider …) But in this ad I was just looking for fellow movie addicts and other culturenauts like me, to see film, theatre, spaceships, Cafe’s and elephants together here in London.

Just to give you an impression about the quality of responses, here is one of highlights:

Hiii how ru?
wher bouts r u in London?
wanna meet u p for a film and coffee???
email me back i’m from sw london ..
we cud go to ritzy cinema if u want..mwah

Gosh, I thought I was ready to meet English people, but I can see that my language skills are far from sufficient to communicate with them.

London Live as I know it

Or The Girl Takes Pictures.

The move to London has awakened so many things in my life/head/heart/well you got the idea, and one of them is the pleasure of taking pictures. It’s back, I take loads of pictures at the moment. And just to keep things a little bit seperated, and not to mess up this weblog too much, I have decided to create a seperate photoblog for them. And doing it like this I can upload somewhat larger versions of the pictures too.

An evening or two fiddling with WordPress and a modified version of a very clean and nearly naked template usable for a photoblog was more or less what I needed to get started. There are still some things I need to finetune, and want to implement, but I think it is good enough to open the doors for the public.

Expect loads of underground/tube pictures (I am a hopeless tube addict), expect Elephants (oh you knew that already), expect spaceships, and expect all the other things I come across while exploring this beautiful city. Not more than one picture a day though, and no text just pictures.

Well, visit the Photoblog if you like. And feel free to take one of the pan galactic gargle blasters on your way in. Just be careful with them.(*)

(*) The Guide has this to say about the Pan Galactic Gargle Blaster : The effect of a Pan Galactic Gargle Blaster is like having your brains smashed out by a slice of lemon wrapped round a large gold brick.
Don’t say we didn’t warn you …

Confetti (7.5/10)

Confetti (2006)Well you probably don’t want to hear more about elephants, so let’s talk about another favourite subject of mine : English actors. And don’t worry, it is not about him this time.

Confetti is the new British mockumentary that follows three couples as they battle it out to win the title of `Most Original Wedding of the Year’. Weddings still seem to be a good subject for a film. And maybe it could be a fun subject, but in Confetti it just isn’t. The three couples being a win obsessed pair of tennis players, a pair of nudists (and ofcourse they want to be married being naked, they are actually naked in the film, which is too much) and the last couple wants to have their marriage set as a musical. Well you can make a long list of cliches to use in a film like this, and they are all there. But I admit that the film has some funny and hilarious moments too.

There is one real highlight though, and his name is Martin Freeman. He was cute as Tim in the Office, he was cuter as Arthur Dent in Hitchhikers Guide, and he is cutest in Confetti. Cute and very funny.

So, if you like Martin Freeman, you might want to see it. If you don’t, well if you want to be entertained I guess it is an allright film. (7.5/10)

The Sultans Elephant 2


The Sultans Elephant in front of The National Gallery

So what did I do all weekend you wonder ? Well I walked behind a huge Elephant. I didn’t plan to, but I simply had to. After friday’s impressive appearance I wanted more. So on Saturday, it swept me off my feet again, first of all by appearing even more beautiful and secondly by stopping all traffic on Trafalgar Square (which is a very busy point in London) and march on until it stood right in front of the National Gallery. Incredible. Fantastic. Magical.
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No post today

Because of high summer temperatures in London, lunchbreak spent on the roof terrace of our office in stead of behind my screen, and because I am now stuffed after we just held a major barbeque lunch outside in the sun – no (decent) post today.

May the weather be as nice over at your place.

And tonight (and the rest of the weekend), I am going to hunt a major Elephant (more at BBC London) wandering through the streets of London.

(It’s a fairy-tale event for children and adults alike, set on the streets of London over the course of the coming weekend (4 – 7 May) and featuring a vast, 42-ton mechanical elephant, a time-travelling Sultan and his retinue – and a few surprises as well.)

This is going to be cool.
Life in London is good.

England and football

England Football teamYou can’t help noticing that there is a World Cup tournament on the way. Every shop in London is selling England shirts, towels, flipflops, bedlinnen, flags, mugs at the moment. It is going to be great fun to be here, experiencing it all. I wonder if they are more crazy than the Dutch when it comes to football. I actually think they are.

There is a lot of pressure on the team though. Sven (the Swedish Chef) is leaving after this. And Rooney (Shrek) broke his foot, last Saturday, very unfortunately, and quite a loss for the team. It has been exactly 40 years since the English won a Worldcup (or a cup at all actually).
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Movie roundup

And you thought I hadn’t been in the cinema lately ?

American Dreamz
Did this guy really make About a boy too ? (Well done film, one of the few films where Hugh Grant actually shows he can act). American Dreamz is the worst collection of cliches and cheap jokes. Absolutely rubbish.

Lucky Number Slevin
I just don’t like Josh Hartnett that much. Apart from that, this is a pretty violent movie, but it turned out to be better than I feared after the first 10 minutes. And Bruce Willis is becoming a kind of a cult actor.

Inside Man
Denzel Washington, Jody Foster, Chiwetel Ejiofor, Clive Owen, all messing about the perfect bank robbery. Or is it ?
Not as bad as you think actually, Spike Lee directs.

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The Thames Barrier

Thames Barrier, London
Thames Barrier, London and London skies …

Some things just intrigue me. One of these things was the Thames Barrier, I guess because I like water and everything that has to do with it. And because the design of the barrier somehow reminds me of the Opera House in Sydney, which is a beautiful building. And hey, I am from Holland, we have a history with water barriers.

So today, another beautiful day with the perfect clouds for pictures, I went.
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Blue Man Group – London

Blue Man Group

I took a picture of this bus on one of my first days in London, after my move, in the beginning of March. Already there I noticed the face of this Blue Man on the bus. And these blue faces popup on several places in London, in the underground, in cafe’s, in cinemas. Just the fact that their faces are so incredibly blue was enough reason for me to put them on my (long) “must-see” list. And today somehow ended up being the day where I saw them : The Blue Man Group, in The New London Theatre in Covent Garden.
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Voicilicious

After the NI interview I had to get to work. Yes, life is tough in London.

I went back to Tooting Bec tubestation, and placed myself in front of the small window of the Information/Assistance desk. My eyes met the friendly eyes of the Assistance man. I asked him how I could get to Croydon the fastest way, back to Victoria and a fast train from there, or could I maybe take a train from Balham, the closest National Railway station ?
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Morningtrain

Stationsign
“Is this today’s newspaper?” he asks, picking up my Metro from the seat beside me.
A young boy, 14-15 years, baseballcap, trainers, asks me politely.
“Is it yours?” he asks.
“Yes, but you’re welcome to read it.” Kids reading the newspaper, good thing, stimulate it.
“Oh, I’m sorry about that.” He gave me back the paper.
“No go on, no problem!” I smiled at him.
He took it, and started reading.

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