Update with More London, a Poetry Reading with The King’s Poets, a Burlesque Show at the Brickhouse, and Rainham houses

Last week was sort of insane.  We got back from Tunisia around two in the morning Monday, and then Monday I had an appt. in the early afternoon to talk to someone about a possible counseling program.  (To become certified to do it, not to get some, even though I probably need it.  😉   Sounded very interesting, and would do it if I had 625.00 pounds/year for over four years to drop on it.)

Tuesday eve. I went to The King’s Poets meeting, chatted with some very smart people about some poems, Wednesday…ugh, can’t remember Wednesday but I’m sure I did something, Thursday got a spontaneous last-minute appt. to meet with a recruiter in London about teaching jobs, and Friday got a spontaneous offer to do some admin stuff at C.’s very cool Soho office.  Saturday we looked at two houses in nearby Rainham, attempted to go to the carpet place and get Murphy’s second round of shots (those things didn’t happen), and dashed off to the King’s Poets reading in London.

Bloomsbury Waterstones

I freaked out about what to read, that everything was old, too dark, or just too American (“snap–can’t read the one about Soul Train–no one will know what that is here!”), but it was hot in the bookstore and I think by the time I went (second to last), everyone’s mind was just on getting some air.  I probably could have read a poem about watching The Brady Bunch while eating McDonald’s wearing my Nike tennis shoes and it all would have been good.

The cool thing about the Thurs. chat was that it was in the More complex near the London Bridge.  That little section of the city is futuristic and crazy.  Loved it.  Turns out the mayor works in an egg:

Where the Mayor Works

I did not take this.

Anyway, I met with a woman in one of the nearby buildings of the complex, which is called More London.  Really loved it over there (note intersection of Tower of London) and the egg.

Which building would you want to clean at night?  I’ll take the egg, thank you very much.  Every time I look at that section of London, all I can do is think about how many ghosts must be in there.

Friday, working at C.’s office was good in that I was out of the house and finally catching a glimpse of London work life.  I know it’s a hard-working office, and I was impressed at how focused everyone was, even at four on a Friday afternoon.  Folks were wearing jeans, as is the tradition there on Fridays, but people weren’t too chatty.

After work we stopped in for a snack at Yalla Yalla, Beirut Street Food, a few blocks away from C.’s work.  Incredible food for cheap (London cheap, anyway).  Very tasty.  Then we met up with one of his coworkers and his gf and had a rare night out (thanks, Keynoir–only like 15 pounds!) at Brickhouse in Brick Lane for a burlesque show.  Plus, who knew it would be Prince burlesque, no less??

I was still wearing my “officey” attire, and definitely felt the need for a little trashy glam, but after a few mojitos I didn’t care.   “Prince,” a solid lookalike (Syrian?   Indian?  We weren’t sure…)  sang “Raspberry Beret” while a businessman changed from his suit to drag, all from his briefcase.  Very good.  Purple Rain, both the album and the movie, were sort of my coming of age soundtracks, but I did feel a bit odd knowing all the lyrics as the two Brits and a German that I was with had never seen the movie and weren’t too familiar with the album.

And then a woman wearing an Empire State Building outfit shot fireworks out of her pasties, which I think she’s getting ready to do in the second shot:

We sat upstairs in this loungey space and hung over the rails to view the show.  At 11:30 (far too early for me) we had to go though, missing the last act, since our last train left Victoria just after midnight.  *Bummer!*

Saturday the house viewing was a bit of a crash into the reality of Rainham homes.  While the first house had excellent renovations (the owner was a designer), it was just so small.  Smaller than our current place, which to me feels very small.  And you’re talking to a girl who’s had some pretty modest digs, including three tiny, roachy studio apartments in Chicago and one very dangerous roach hole in Richmond, VA.

So both houses wouldn’t allow for our bed (double or Queen, not sure) in the main bedroom.  Those who had the second house had the bed crammed in there, and I don’t even think one could have walked around it in any direction, so I don’t really know how they got out of bed and got out of that room.  (A little gymnastics to start the day?)

Where the bleep do people get dressed?   Clothes were crammed into the second “bedroom,” which was a closet that couldn’t have even fit a twin bed.  Since the clothes took up all the space, there wasn’t room to also get dressed.  I guess one could take the clothes to the bathroom, but I’m sure with two people getting ready in the morning, bathroom time is of a premium.

Both kitchens also had almost zero counter or pantry space, and no place for a dryer, which is considered by many to be a luxury in England.  I’m all for saving energy like the next guy, but our place is usually quite chilly in the winter, and clothes have sat on our racks for about a week without getting dry.

So, not so exciting.  Not to mention the fact that we couldn’t fit our kitchen table in the tiny “dining room” space, so we’d have to ditch that.  Probably the bookshelf as well, and certainly the wardrobes, which would mean we wouldn’t have anything to eat on, dry clothes in, or put clothes in for who knows how long.

I didn’t really have time to think about the house thing though until Sunday, since we were flying to the reading, which was fun and I felt honored to have been included in the company of such skilled poets.

Back in Medway, which feels like my real life, and anything in London feels like a fantasy tangent, tonight we opted not to call the cops on the domestic argument outside (at neighbor’s?  hard to tell).   I’ve lost track of how many times we’ve called.   Territorial tiffs, domestic ones, or just plain drunken brawlers pounding back from Priestfield Stadium–add that to the neighbor’s litany of complaints and one has a nice beginning orchestra.  Then, add the Polish rap from two houses down, a little London rap from the adjoining neighbors on the other side, and how about a dog barking for a few hours, a fox, plus a bunch of kids screaming on bicycles?  Excellent, ah, you’ve got the Gillingham soundtrack.

This soundtrack put me in a horrible mood when I woke up Sunday, despite thinking I’d in a very good mood with the past week’s fun activities and the sunny, warm weather. But the noise was doing me in.  Unable to get a moment’s peace I’ve stayed quite bummed for the last two days, especially after my little hope bubble of moving to Rainham has burst.  I can’t see getting excited about spending all that cash to move when it might only be slightly better, in the less calls to the cops kind of way.   Quieter, yes, but less annoying?   No.  I think we’d have to call a summit to decide if we had room for a new pair of socks between us, or a bag of economy-size potato chips.  (Yes, crisps if I must be local.)   What to do, in-between bouts of attempting to unpack from the holiday, doing my “made insanely complicated by being unable to e-file” expat taxes and making gluten-free lasagna?

It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia.  That’s right bitches.  Dee is my new hero.  Whenever I feel provincial as hell (daily), too loud, or too brash, I think of Dee and what she would say about living in Medway.  Any ideas…?

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