London – Now open for picnics

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The thing about good weather in London is that everyone here immediately makes the most of it. Blue skies, warm enough to be outside with a jacket? Done, everyone is outside enjoying it. For Zee and I, that means picnics. We’re a two minute walk from the river with a few excellent parks nearby.

We’ve often taken dinner or lunch down with a blanket, some bubbles and a book or two, and enjoyed a break from our typical dinner routine. Oh London, I love you in the summer time.

Drinking Champagne on the street

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One of the bizarre things about London is often you can be just wandering about and you’ll happen upon some kind of celebration. In this case a few streets in central Soho had been closed for some good, old fashioned fun times. There were bands, and people and just general mischief happening.

Now, usually not my scene. It was really loud and I’m not 18 any more: drinking cheap beer on street corners has lost it’s appeal. However, as we were waiting for friends anyway, it seemed prudent to get involved, so we did. I just did with a bottle of champagne instead of a can of dirty Fosters.

There was a good vibe, and it was a great way to pass the time until our dinner plans. Oh London, thanks for the spontaneous party!

The List: #44 – Be brave and get a pixie cut

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Turns out that bravery isn’t really getting a pixie cut. I was scared, I loved having long hair and despite talking about getting a pixie for years and years, a small little something always held me back.

I was worried about being thought of as less feminine.

But, once the weddings were out of the way and the award ceremony was done I figured it was a good time. I was reading The Four Hour Work Week, the segment about risk vs fear, and realised that the fear (of being less feminine) as much greater than the risk (because hair grows back and if it was horrid I only had to wait it out. Any results would be temporary) and so booked in with appointment for the next day, and just… did it.

I love it. I feel like someone else, a more confident do-what-I-want type someone else.

The hardest part was showing Zee. He’d made a fuss about how much he *loved* my long hair. Truth: that made me want to cut my hair off even more – I adore Zee, but I hate the idea of being that girl who does what her guy wants. And I was worried that he would hate it, and therefore like me less? It was weird (completely unsubstantiated) fear. I didn’t send him any photos once it was done, and when he did see it, there was much disappointment on his part (he keeps saying he was half asleep… but even if he was, excitement and pleasure was the opposite of what came out of his mouth). Still, because I loved it so much, his disappointment was more of a twinge than an urgent drop-everything problem.

He’s gotten used to it now, I think. Everyone else loves it (I went to a girls evening the other night, and there was much squealing involved) and I get loads of compliments.

So, in terms of being brave? I’m not sure this is bravery. I think it’s easy to hype up fear, especially when it’s hard to define why exactly. It was big thing in my head, but truth? Not such a huge thing. It’s just a hair cut.

Still, #44 – done!

The List: #62 – Attend a red carpet event (and walk the red carpet)

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I was pretty lucky to go – my first (and likely last!) Red Carpet event. Duke had spent the last year watching a million different theatre shows, and was a judge at the prestigious Olivier Awards.

I got all dressed up. I wore a Ralph Lauren dress, and had a makeup artist come do my hair and make up. Duke and I were met by a driver with a sleek black mercedes and dropped off at the awards and oh you guys – the red carpet was RIDICULOUS.

I’m so, SO glad I’m not famous. The carpet was lined with fans and I have to say – they were vicious. I was walking down just ahead of Mark Strong and Jamie Campbell Bower and I have to say that prior to standing on that carpet I had no idea who they were.

Needless to say I did after. The fans screamed, literally. Non-stop for a long time. Constantly screaming out their names, and oh! The entitlement! If the person of their interest did not stop to say hello, sign something or pose for a selfie, the fans got really rude. Really, horrifically rude. I was shocked, and a bit baffled and mostly very very grateful that I hadn’t done anything worth of stardom. The fans were a pack of raving bears.

As if that wasn’t enough, at the end of the carpet, there was a wall of camera lenses. Easily a hundred or so photographers with fancy zoom lenses doing some more yelling. It was intimidating, and I stepped off the red carpet early so I wouldn’t have to go anywhere near them.

Still, apart from the fans and the photographers it was actually pretty lovely. I felt amazing, pretty special being up there. I got glimpses of a few famous people I did recognise (Gok Wan was one – he seemed pretty delightful) and generally just enjoyed the moment best I could.

It was wonderful once we were in – The Royal Opera House is pretty phenomenal. Laurent Pierre sponsored the pre-event mixer, so there was much bubbles and clinking. It was pretty great. The awards themselves was phenomenal.

Angela Lansbury was great, what a wonderful speech. She was so heartfelt, and I got so teary listening to her! I got teary with Lorna Watt too, her speech was so heartfelt and unexpected, it was lovely. Loved Judi Dench’s intro to Kevin Spacey! It was like you were being let in on a few fun little secrets. It was so fantastic. It was also pretty great to see the casts cheering from the upper balconies. I felt like this was their event of the year – that they’d all worked so hard these awards validated their efforts :)

Show wise, I really loved the bit by the Porgy and Bess cast. I went and saw Porgy and Bess twice when it was playing (mostly because it was in the outdoor theatre at Regents Park, and the first show was rained out) but it was fantastic to see them again.

They were even more fun at the after party. I don’t think everyone who was at the ceremony was invited to the after party, and it felt very exclusive. There were so many people there, and everywhere you looked, there was someone relatively famous in the London scene standing not very far away. Everyone was so lovely! Laura Carmichael (LOVED her dress) stood next to me a the bar, Claire Sweeney smiled at me, Pixie Lott was lovely, and listened attentively to everyone she spoke to, and Adam Garcia was TOO PRETTY (what a ridiculous pretty man!). It seemed that every second person that walked by was holding an award.

It was insane, I had such a good time. Here’s the thing though, I didn’t get any selfies, or try introduce myself to anyone. After the in-your-face fan experience of the red carpet, I realised that I wasn’t entitled to anyones time here. I didn’t have any goals that these people could help me with, and there wasn’t a reason to interrupt their night of celebration.

So, I didn’t. I enjoyed my night right alongside their nights and called it good. It was fantastic – we had such a great time. Super grateful to Duke for taking me.

Oh red carpets. Have any of you walked the red carpet before?

The Cotswolds

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Just after we got back from NZ, we went out to the Cotswolds to spend the weekend with Zee’s family. I have to say, I’ve never done a murder mystery party before, but once I understood the rules (everyone lies and you need to figure out what their clues are and use that to base your predictions off, not what people say) it was pretty easy to find out who the murderer was. I think I shocked everyone when I shared my predictions of who I thought the murderer was and why.

Murder mystery aside, the little place we went was gorgeous. Very english village with countryside that was never ending. Perfectly green fields, blue skies for days and a whole host of farm animals. Pretty delightful – very different to New Zealand but lovely just the same!