i have adventures (sometimes)

Saturday, 31 December 2011

The Mattress of Existential Despair

After spending a delightful Christmas with family, I set off for London, where the cars are FAST and the people are RUDE and the lights are BRIGHT and the supermarkets are ENORMOUS and the shops stay open AFTER DARK.

It's so shiny!
EVERYTHING is shiny!
Ok, so maybe I’ve been in York too long. You’d never guess I was a Jo’burger until four months ago.

But anyway, Emily lives here, so I guess that’s pretty cool.

gif make

We exchanged our conventional greeting of incoherent high pitched in-jokes and complaining about the journey, and then ventured out to buy an air mattress, which is one of those things that seems like a good idea, but invariably isn’t. Because the mattress we bought turned out to be the Mattress of Existential Despair. (I hope you read that in a dramatic voice. If you didn’t, go back and read it again.)

This looks... straightforward.

We went for the one with the built-in foot pump, because it seemed sensible (it wasn’t). There followed two hours of utterly futile pumping, interspersed with desperate Googling, as we tried to inflate the mattress. At last we found a blog post by a fellow mattress victim with more explicit instructions, but when even that failed to fix things, we were driven to contemplate the futility of existence and the ultimate pointlessness of human endeavour.

Let’s just go and make tea and stare into the abyss.

I’m now going to skim right over the bit where we discovered that there was a massive hole in the other end of the mattress which wasn’t mentioned in the instructions, and which rather explained why we couldn’t make the mattress inflate, because that was a little embarrassing. Here is an obvious distraction.

Paul's silly walk.

On Thursday morning we put on our adventure faces and our adventure shoes, and set off to try and get standby tickets for Matilda. The box office opened at 10. We arrived at 10:02, by which stage we were far too late, because the people in front of us had been camping outside for three hours. We forgave them for beating us there on the grounds that they’d earned it, and went off to be really classy at the National Gallery instead.

But there’s only so long you can spend giggling at nativity paintings before the fun wears thin, so we spent the rest of the day at the Science Museum, where there was art we could actually discuss (because our English degrees taught us nothing if not how to bandy about words like “pastiche”, “liminality” and “postmodern” with straight faces) and, better still, lots of buttons to press, when we could push aside enough kids to reach them.

What a fascinating commentary on our societal dependence on technology and the viewer's role in constructing texts.
Also, shiny!

Having had our dream of cheap theatre tickets dashed by the early risers, we decided to be totally extravagant and go to the cinema to see Sherlock Holmes instead, because we do love silly, campy bromance movie versions of popular classics. We also added to our vast store of exciting stories to tell the thrilling tale of how we arrived ten minutes late for the movie (but there were twenty minutes of trailers, so it was ok). We plan to make this story more interesting by prefixing it with “This one time, we were so drunk that…”, but it may still need work.

We had great intentions of getting up early and trying for Matilda tickets again this morning, but the late night owned us, and we spent the morning reading instead. The weather was unspeakably miserable anyway, so we didn't miss much. When we eventually emerged, we toured the free exhibitions at the British Library and treated ourselves to vegan cupcakes from Vx, then went to hide out at UCL to eat them and dry off, since a real picnic clearly wasn't going to pan out.

This is a mince pie cupcake. It's a cupcake, but ALSO A MINCE PIE.

The weather showed no signs of improving, so we retreated to Emily’s place for hot chocolate and more reading.

Where by "more reading" I mean fangirling over Sherlock.

We may be easily distracted, but at least we're easily distracted by things that are awesome.


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