Tuesday 19 April 2011

Adventures with a Hippy in the Big Smoke

Roll up!  Roll up!  Step inside the Nickelodeon, sit back and follow the hilarious escapades of Bette and Alexa as they encounter time machines, hippies, sunshine, garlic roasters, talking mushrooms, bargains, pubs and far too much sugar, all in one weekend in London!

8.30am - While Alexa sleeps, Bette undertakes the first leg of her looooong journey by walking to the station in the early morning sunshine.
9.30am - Sausage sandwich for brekkie, then on the train!
12.42pm - Bette disembarks from train at King's Cross and is reunited with Alexa.
1.30pm - Picnic in the park.  After years of mocking Alexa, Bette is shocked to encounter an actual barefoot hippy brazenly meandering in the park with no shoes.  Alexa gets cold, so the two retreat to Alexa's house and watch Charade (very good film - Bette on Toast seal of approval!)

7.30pm - A night out at a 1950s party in aid of Japan is planned, and it's time to get dressed!  By amusing coincidence, both girls had picked the same dress to wear.  Despite Bette's protestations that it would be TOTALLY HILARIOUS to turn up in the same frock (It would!  We would look like some sort of nightclub singing sister act!), Alexa is secretly relieved when the zip on her dress refuses to do up and she is forced to find an alternative outfit.

Face-wise, I was trying to go for a youngish Elizabeth Taylor sort of look.  (Yes, I know, in your dreams, Bette!)

Anyway, much fun and frolics were had, breaking out the jive moves, watching a real live Elvis perform, winning handmade ...things... in the raffle, drinking and eating cake.  Brilliant fun.

9.30am - Bette and Alexa get up and flollop around trying to decide on a plan of action.
1.00pm - Sunday lunch sitting outside a pub in Camden.  Alexa eats all of her vegetarian crap and declares herself so full she can't move.  Bette has eaten most of her chicken and left all the vegetables, and could have fitted in pudding, given half a chance.
2 - 4pm - Shopping.  Alexa only buys clothes if they're ethically-farmed and carbon-neutral and Bette is a massive cheapskate, so they raid every charity shop in Camden.  Bette buys two frocks and two books.  Alexa buys a belt and some shoes.
4.00pm - Alexa is having a lovely time.  Bette is tired and bored and whiny, so they go home.
5 - 7pm - Another Audrey Hepburn DVD. 

Bette is of the opinion that Freddy is a better catch for Eliza than Higgins, on the grounds that he's pretty and he sings.  Alexa disagrees quite violently.

8.00pm - Bette is very excited because they are going to...

The Comedy Store!  To see...

The Comedy Store Players!

(Website here since I am shite at explaining.  It's been an ambition of mine for a couple of years to see the Players, and I wasn't disappointed.  Bloody hilarious, my favourite bit was the long and musical fairytale of Prince Liam and the Talking Mushroom, or maybe the three-headed interview about rugby-playing hyenas, or no, it was definitely the Gilbert and Sullivan bit!  Highly recommended, if you have any way of being in London on a Wednesday or Sunday night, which is obviously a bit of a bugger for me, living far, far away in the distant North and working Monday-Fridays.  I have got the Comedy Store bug now, and intend to make it my quest to come down every school holiday!  I *did* even research what time the last train leaves King's Cross on a Sunday night - reasoning that if I left London at 11pm I could be home and in bed before 3am, and could get in a whole three and a half hours of sleep before my alarm - no problem! Sadly the 11pm Sunday train only goes directly to Edinburgh and probably wouldn't stop to let me off at Newcastle, even if I fluttered my lashes most prettily at the driver.)
I also got to meet up with one of my imaginary-friends-off-the-internet, which was nice too!

10.00pm - Bette manages to get over her "OMG I was in the same room as Josie Lawrence and Paul Merton" excitement, and moves on to the next stop of the adventure...

...the Haagen Dazs cafe of Leicester Square!  Whoever came up with this idea was a genius, I tell you.  Bette consumed a scoop of praline and a scoop of dulce de leche with waffles and butterscotch sauce, and Alexa had a medley of different flavours with dark chocolate sauce!

A huge plate of ice cream at 11pm might SEEM like a brilliant idea, but it really isn't.  Bette and Alexa waddled home clutching their bellies and sobbing, and then went to bed.

9.00am - Alexa goes to work, unwisely leaving Bette in charge of her laptop.  Several stolen photographs later, Bette leaves Brixton, hops on a bus and goes to the National Portrait Gallery.

Anna Neagle, painted by McClelland Barclay, 1940.  Move over, Rita Hayworth, I've found my new Best Film Hair Ever.

Next, Bette spent a few hours reading in the park and wandering around the theatre district going "Oooo!", and then got on a train for the bloody long journey back home.

Hello, lovely bridges, I didn't half miss you.

Fabulous weekend.  I hope the rest of my Easter holiday is this good!


  1. This is prety good but I still haven't forgiven you for STEALING MY PHOTOS!!!!

  2. I love your birdie jacket! That is genius!
    I'm glad you have a lovely time away =D

  3. Freddie was definitely a better choice than Higgins. This continues to irritate me on an almost daily basis. I find it bizarre that MFL is often described as the last of the old romance musicals, because there is NO ROMANCE! Just some nice singing and slippers being flung around. I saw one once with a nice directorial touch at the end where they might plausibly have been friends again, that was ok. Although Freddie is a bit of a drip. But I like that in a man!x

  4. Exactly! Freddy has no personality and therefore would do as he was told. Nobody could live with Henry Higgins! I think it should end with Eliza borrowing money from Pickering and opening a posh florist shop (thus being a hardworking, yet rich, member of the middle classes rather than fluttering around being well-behaved and bored to tears in high society) and probably ending up being happier with neither of them!


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