West End Live 2014

In which: potato salads are eaten, a mayonnaise disaster is narrowly averted, someone gets sunburn, people are grumpy, and trains are caught.

Finally, something musical! I feel proud of that pun. It was a good pun. I liked it more than I think I should.

Anyway. This weekend, for those who didn’t know, was West End Live in Trafalgar Square. Basically, a load of musicals did little taster performances so that you could decide whether or not you felt like forking out fifty quid to go and see the whole show. Well, most of them did. Charlie and the Chocolate Factory went all maverick and did a video. They even did a ‘sing-along’ thing, although nobody actually sang along. Very disappointing.

But let me start at the beginning. It started, as these things so often do, with cereal. Oddly salty cereal, actually, so I might avoid cookie crisp in the future. I don’t really like my breakfast cereal to taste of salt, and I don’t really understand why you would. Because we are Sensible People we decided to make a picnic, so once the debacle at breakfast was over it was time to prepare. And by prepare I mean throw everything together in teeny-tiny fajitas and hope that the lack of mayonnaise in one of them didn’t make the whole thing an inedible disaster. (It didn’t) I just about remembered to bring water (not enough, as it turns out. We all got dehydration headaches), and spray on the old sun-cream. I even remembered to reapply it later on, so I think I win super-duper brownie points. The only thing is, having now staved off the first sunburn of the year until June I feel like it’s going to be a truly awful uber-sunburn and I might even end up crying. We’ll cross that bridge when we come to it.

Because we had anticipated that the event would be popular we thought we’d get there an hour early. Beat the queue, we thought. How wrong we were. By the time we meandered out of Charing Cross station the queue was already halfway down the square. Of course, what we hadn’t realised was that at the north end of the square was a snaking around queue, and the square itself was already filling up. Pretty damn popular, basically. If I lived in London this would be a lot flipping easier. Especially because we wouldn’t have to do so much faffing with the trains afterwards, we could just get the underground and go home. C’est la vie.

Tl;dr: West End Live is popular (get it??? GET IT????)

As it turned out, most of the good shows were on before 1:30; we saw Wicked, Once, Matilda, Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, Les Miserables, Phantom of the Opera, Billy Elliott… well, saw may be a misnomer. Heard, more like. Everyone in front of us stood up to see and I really couldn’t be arsed with that kind of exercise. Especially exercise interspersed with the presenters urging us to drink water, wear sun-cream, and take selfies with the hashtag “west end live”. I’d rather not, actually.

The picnic made the whole thing more fun, and made us feel just a wee bit smug. Although the smell of eggs may have pissed off everyone around us, I think it was definitely worthwhile. Managed to down about a litre of water just sitting in the sun, not moving an inch. And that still wasn’t enough water. Good thing I saved some though, because I needed it on the train home after the mad dash through Marylebone station and along the platform. Bloody Marylebone. Bloody train.

And of course, the day wouldn’t be complete without a trip to see Wicked. (again) And I literally couldn’t say how amazing it was. Seriously amazing. Willemijn Verkaik is just my favourite Elphaba in the entire universe (sorry Idina, you’ve been replaced. Not that you care, I suppose). AND SHE DID LET IT GO OMG. Not in the English version of Frozen, obviously, calm the flip down I know Idina Menzel did that one. And what’s a trip to the theatre without leaving during the bows? I know, socially unacceptable, but we had a train to catch dammit and I wanted to get home to have pizza.

On the flip side, booking the tickets at Trafalgar Square meant we netted ourselves a few goodies – sweets, a few pamphlets, a couple of card holders, and three promotional CDs for some musicals. I’ve put them on my wall.

Aren't they lovely

Aren’t they lovely



A Crunchy Situation

I have a minor confession to make. Do you remember when I was raving about the magic of e-cloths? And then when I was raving about the magic of my sponge that washes up without washing up liquid? Well, I’ve found the next big thing in showers. *drumroll*

That’s right. Water.

Er, I suppose I should probably explain before you all think I’ve gone completely around the bend. You… might actually still think I’ve gone around the bend, but hey ho such is life.

A few of the people whose blogs I read avidly mentioned something called no ‘poo hair washing. It’s what it sounds like – washing your hair sans shampoo. Now, a few of these people suggest washing it with bicarb of soda and cider vinegar as a rinse to curb the interim greasiness, but one of these people suggested simply going cold turkey on the shampoo front. Also, I’ve read that that particular method has an unfortunate occasional result of hair breaking and falling out. I’m not mega-keen on that, to be perfectly honest.

And then the same person who said “why not lose the shampoo completely” said they had also ditched the soap, and turned out to smell vaguely of almonds. I don’t really know if I’d want to smell of almonds, but it’s certainly a fun idea. Maybe I’d smell of cocoa.

Anyway, I’m not going completely soap-free. I have so much stock-piled soap that I’m going to have to keep using it. But I might just consider going … half soap. Soapless most days. For Science! of course; what’s life without a little thrilling scientific experimentation? Obviously if I start stinking the place up I’ll just soap myself up rapidly, but I reckon the continued use of deodorant will prevent that. (hope so. Really really hope so)

I mean, I tried it today and apparently my hair still smelt of shampoo, so who the flip even knows.

Wish me luck!

A sudsy situation

Being a human being who doesn’t appreciate smelling of human, I frequently employ the use of soaps to smell like fruits and sometimes even vegetables. Being a human being who doesn’t like taking up unjustifiable amounts of space in my bag with half empty bottles and wasting soap by accidentally consuming it while smelling it (????), I use bars of soap. This arrangement suits me well.

However, there is a slight snag. Soap, occcasionally, reaches the end of its natural lifespan in a way which is impossible to use further: slivers of soap. What to do with a soap sliver, I asked myself, sorrowfully tipping a sliver of soap into the bin. And then I had a thought. Google! Google will tell me. So to google I went. Many people over the years have had many ideas. Put them in a pair of tights and use as soap on a string. A clever idea, but one which requires the ownership of tights. Another idea was to put them in a sponge and use it as magical self-producing soap-sponge. I am impressed by this idea, but I do not use a sponge in the shower.

And then I found gold. Metaphorically speaking. Melt it in a pan, put it in the fridge, then leave alone for a month to solidify.

I would show you pictures, but there aren’t any. Instead, here is a picture of a duck.

When I had poured it into a container, I put it in the freezer to facilitate the solidifying process. When I removed it from the freezer, it just sort of turned to a jelly-like substance. At this point, I tried to be too clever. I took some of it, mixed it with porridge, and said to myself “I have just created an exfoliating shower gel thing”. I mean, it sort of worked. But I think you’re meant to grind the porridge up or something first because …. eh.

The rest, I put on my shelf and resolved to ignore. I haven’t had a great deal of success with that yet. I’ve been taking it down daily and poking it. But I think it’s getting solider?

Anyway, it looks like this

isn't it lovely lookingPart of its problem is that it went really weirdly foamy in the freezer, so the bubbles kind of collapsed and now it looks weird. but hey, I’m hopeful that it will behave as soap ought to, when its time comes.

In the meantime, I’ve got a million bars of soap to get through.