Thursday, June 30, 2016

Wicked on West End: "Because I Viewed You, I Have Been Changed..."

My 3 day long hiatus has been due to an idiotic move on my part. I left my keys in a cycle port when I was biking around London, and had to stay at a friend's house until I could copy a spare set. That, and I was too lazy to do it from my little iPhone screen. So here I am now, playing catch up, with a bajillion things to write about. I'll give you the itinerary highlights, to save us both some time.

Monday 27th

  • British Museum
  • Kings' Cross
  • Camden Markets
  • Regent/Camden Canals 

To be perfectly honest, I found the British Museum a bit lack lustre. It's huge, and it's grand and all - it has the appearance and the makings of an impressive tourist attraction, but didn't deliver to me. I didn't have much interest in the exhibits at all.
Slice of home in the British Museum

I'm a noob and I actually thought you had to buy a ticket to get access to platform 9 3/4 at Kings' Cross. However, turn a wee corner and there it is, complete with a gigantic queue of children and adults alike, adorned with Hogwarts robes and wands. Nerd territory. I love Harry Potter, but I'm not a die hard like these people. There was no way I was lining up for hours for some overpriced photos of me pushing a trolley through a wall.

Camden Markets - a must see/do! You can walk around for hours and not see everything. So much yum food and interesting crafts, gifts, clothes etc to purchase. Just show an inch of interest...scratch that - just make eye contact with them and they pounce on you with "special offers" and "for the pretty lady" to bag a sale.

The canals are so beautifully scenic. Makes me want to live in a house boat seeing them all lined up like that. I will surely go back there, if only for the peace and the pleasantries of it all.

Tuesday 28th

  • National Gallery
  • Trafalgar Square
  • Natural History Museum
  • Ed's Diner
  • Soho bars/clubs

The National Gallery was brilliant. I feel like I have been using that word in unhealthy quantities recently. Anyway, the paintings were exquisite and I had fun trying to blend in as a cultured and artistically aware youth.

What's that? This isn't considered appropriate gallery etiquette?

The National Gallery was adjacent to Trafalgar Square, and honestly when I saw it, only two thoughts were running through my mind: "This is the London skatepark in Tony Hawk Pro Skater 4 but in real life", and "Oh my god the red Monopoly card set!" You would be surprised how many times I come across a street and just think, ohhhh so this is what that card in Monopoly was named after.
So many tourists, ugh.
I met Yoda


Me being hot

The Natural History Museum was also fantastic - I was particularly interested in the evolution and earth's beginning exhibitions. I could go back there, if I'm honest. I barely touched on 1/4 of the museum. And they have free wifi, so I could really get on board. I even had a sneaky video call with Mara when I was there, until they kicked me out at closing time.

Ed's Diner in Soho was legitimately the best American diner food I've ever had. That isn't such a weighted compliment considering I don't consume much diner food at all, but still. I had a quinoa chickpea burger with chips and onion rings - delightful. My mouth is watering just recalling the memory. If I get a chance I will most certainly go back, as by joining their loyalty programme I have received a free burger with any drink purchase to claim by the end of July. Okay I digress...

Couldn't resist 20p for a little 60s jukebox jammin'

I went to She Bar (lesbian bar/club part of the Ku bars) apparently far too early, and was tipped about the Ruby Night happening later that evening at the usually men's gay bar. Downstairs in the basement of Ku bar every Tuesday it's strictly gay/bi women only (exceptions for accompanying male friends). It took me a while to warm up, but by the end of it I had met five new Londoners who sat somewhere on the LGBTQ+ spectrum - I would have loved to stay past my pitiful 11.30pm, but I was still staying at my friend's house at this point and the last train back to her house left at 12am. It was a long journey home too, delayed further because some unfortunate man got hit by the very train I was riding on. I got home about 1.30am, only to wake up at 5.30am due to not to pull the blinds properly and being greeted by the premature summer morning sunlight. I'll definitely give the Soho bars another go, now that I'm back in my central London accommodation and I have no curfew. I just need to save my poor wallet by being extra frugal the next few days.

Wednesday 29th

  • Camden Markets (again - too much to see)
  • Wicked on West End
I need not describe Camden Markets any further but I will describe the (very not-vegan) nitro ice cream cookie/brownie sandwich with burnt butter caramel and grilled white chocolate I devoured at Chin Chin. Sorry cows, but you were already milked. 
Oh god yes, get in me
I am failing tremendously at this diet, markedly due to my inner struggle about whether veganism is all it's cracked up to be.  It is such a trend amongst teenage girls at the moment, but personally, I'm skeptical. In terms of health, ethical/animal cruelty factors, and environmental impact - I am teetering on the edge of settling for a low-dairy, low-egg vegetarian diet. Better to commit to that than fail, and give up on strict veganism, is my current mindset. 

WICKED was WICKED. Need I elaborate? The cast was superb, and I want to be Elphaba. Seriously I think she is one of my dream roles, alongside Maria in The Sound of Music. I'm embarrassed to mention I almost walked out of the theatre at the intermission, because I thought it was over. Lucky the man by the door told me otherwise!

The plot itself is so magical as a prequel to The Wizard of Oz, as it all ties in so well and really gives depth and sophistication to a seemingly simple children's story. We learn that Elphaba is so much more than a Wicked witch, and under the circumstances it was no surprise that she evolved into the person she did. She was an animal rights activist, a loving sister to handicapped Nessa-Rose, a non-conformist; she was bullied and shamed for something she had no control over (her skin colour) and arguably, I think The Wonderful Wizard of Oz himself is the true villain of the story. It was he who fed lies to the people of Oz to lull them into a false sense of security. Jeez I could write an in depth thesis analysing the morals of this masterpiece. Anyway, I'll sum up with mentioning how the musical numbers were everything I'd ever hoped for. My favourites were The Wizard and I, What is this Feeling, Defying Gravity and I'm Not That Girl. I also appreciated the British vowels, as opposed to the harsh American vowels I'm used to from Broadway recordings - very refreshing!

Good seats! Worth every pound.

Dear Wicked, 

Because I viewed you I've been changed for the better. 
Because I viewed you I have been changed for good.

Lots of love,

Abby xx

I need to finish up here, I don't want to waste today. Thanks for staying up to date with me all! I have literally no idea who reads this, so feel free to comment. Apparently I have some Nepalese fans, according to Google Analytics.


  1. Loving the journey Abs - Big Aroha and keep on touristing!

  2. Impressed by the Maori Dad! Thanks, will do.