The Big Spectacularifical London Trip
I don’t know whether to write about my trip to London because, although fun, it was a very difficult three days – physically and mentally.
I have been going through a dark mood for a while, unable to feel like I’m truly myself because of my declining health, and the Tuesday we travelled I was having one of my down moods. This was the first time I think I’ve ever been on a train out of the city. We had booked seats so I got to sit next to an empty one, which was convenient in order to avoid the sun (as trains don’t have curtains)! I listened to the new Goldfrapp album, which was entertaining, if a little short. It wasn’t really that long before we had arrived in London, and overwhelmed with luggage we decided to take a taxi to our hotel. This too had been reserved, but contrary to what the hotel had told my mum on the phone I would not be staying in a room on the same floor as my parents. Whilst I didn’t mind, as it was a bijou hotel in Paddington, hardly something I could get lost in, my mum found complaint with the fact they had not delivered us what they had said they would. This went on for a good ten minutes, reducing my already small good mood to near-zero. I felt undermined and childlike.
We didn’t have very long before we were out of the hotel, and on our way to the Apollo Theatre to see Wicked. Despite the Ideal Home Show being the reason I requested a holiday to London, it ultimately turned out to be the thing I least enjoyed. This had been my first attendance to an original production, and one of the few shows I’ve ever seen. The last time I was at the theatre was at the West Yorkshire Playhouse in my hometown, to see Alice in Wonderland.
I’ll briefly inform you about Wicked: It is about the schooldays of the witches from The Wizard of Oz, specifically how the Good witch became good and how the Wicked witch turned so. The story is about how the two became unlikely friends. This was as much as I knew about it, and I was overwhelmed to see a unique display of colour and sound unfold before me! The more I got into it, the harder reality hit when I came out of it. Each time hitting harder and harder until finally, just as Defying Gravity began and Act One drew to a close, I began to cry, admitting to my mother how unhappy I really was. I think had it not been for the mint chocolate chip ice cream I ate during the interval my feelings would probably have never come out!
I don’t know if you realise what it’s like to know you’ll never again have a moment where you’re as happy and content as I was then, so much so that you wished things could just stay as they were, even if it meant dropping dead right there and then, just so you never had to be brought back down. That’s how I felt.
Having gone a tiny way to getting these feelings across to my mother, I enjoyed the second act much more than the first, with no annoying jolts back to reality. Despite ending the night with intoxicating fast food, my first night in London was the best night.
Despite determination to enjoy the rest of my holiday, my mother had obviously not taken into account my feelings as much as I had thought. As Wednesday morning, dressed and ready to spend the day out in the city, I was suddenly told to pack my bags, as we were moving rooms. This upset caused a rift that morning, and having been given my voice back after last nights outburst, I was not willing to hold my feelings back. After a very hectic time on the underground, we arrived in Piccadilly, and seeing the sights did wonders to our moods.
Our first stop was Hamleys. Quite frankly I could have spent more than half the day in there, and should have bought more than just sweets, but later we stumbled into Soho and I spotted a VANS store, which is where I purchased a long-sleeved t-shirt and a jacket. Then we stopped in Soho for pizza, the first proper meal I’d had in about two days. Afterwards, having talked some more over dinner, we continued to wander the city, passing the entrance to China Town and eventually stopping for a rest in Leicester Square.
My mum had wanted to stop here to sit outside the premiere of Nanny McPhee and The Big Bang at the Odeon West End. However, freezing my arse off to look at the backs of people’s heads whilst occasionally glimpsing minor celebrities was not on my agenda, and so as a compromise, my mum took me to the HMV in Trocadero, where I bought the Original Broadway recording of Wicked on CD, as well as a few other albums.
Unable to maintain my energy as my parents dragged me to Covent Gardens, I had planned to enjoy my fourth White Mocha from Starbucks and not make any more of a fuss. But for some reason this one tasted very different to how I’m used to, and it wasn’t long after, when we were finally back at the hotel and in our new rooms, that I felt ill from it. My guess is they made it with Soy Milk, but I don’t know if it’s possible to be Soy Intolerant. As for the new hotel room, whilst indeed a fraction bigger, the bed was unfortunately placed underneath the window, and being a floor lower than the previous night, the noise pollution meant I got less than four hours’ sleep.
And so we come to the last day, and what was supposed to be the main event, turned out to be a pain in the leg. I’m not saying it wasn’t nice to look at, but the highlight was the twenty minutes I got to crash down on a beanbag playing Mario Kart on a Nintendo DS XL! Before getting the train back to Leeds that evening, we all shared a pizza at Pizza Express near Kings Cross, but having not had a lot of sleep, I was not in the mood to talk. The journey home was fine. I didn’t get two seats to myself like last time, and we were sat next to a family, but I just kept my hood up, headphones on, and eyes closed for most of the journey.
What to make of it all… I couldn’t live there. I suppose it may get easier, and certainly if you’re born there it’s just a way of life. But honestly it’s made look at Leeds in a whole new light. Borders or no Borders, I think I’m going to be getting out the house a bit more from now on!