Thursday, March 29, 2012

Ally Pally in Spring

It's spring in London, much to my dismay. I hate the sun. I really do. I think it has something to do with an intense built-in sensitivity (and aversion) to light, heat, and happy people. The other day I emerged from my lair only to be greeted by the sun, raging at me with its burning visage, wishing misery upon me. I had to run back inside and get my sunglasses and it's only March. This is unacceptable for so many reasons. Not only was I told that London weather would be nice, but I demand a more gradual decline from winter into summer. Springing the nice weather on me in this way is just rude (pun intended, ha ha).

That said, when it's sunny and "pleasant" outside, I always have this horrible need to go out and Do Things. I feel like a shameful excuse for humanity if I spend these sunny days hunched over in my dark room, eating biscuits in bed and muttering to myself. So, even though I hate being outside in this weather, I was compelled to text Shaun and ask if she wanted to get a burger somewhere and eat it outside. It seemed like the thing to do. We agreed on Alexandra Palace, which has a bar and restaurant with outdoor seating and a beautiful view of the city. We saw Florence + the Machine there a few weeks ago, and I felt relieved to be up above the constant and claustrophobic presence of buildings on all sides. Foreseeing photographic opportunities, I brought my nice camera with me.

Alexandra Palace is up on a hill above Wood Green, the area where Shaun lives in North London. There seems to be a park, and some nice paths for walking. There were a lot of families and couples sitting around in the grass, or drinking out in the sun. It's a really pleasant place to be, especially after the never-ending city noises and rushing-about of people in London.

Pints outside! Outside pints. I'm often the one buying drinks for Shaun and myself, since she's always the one booking tickets for cool events and therefore I constantly owe her money. Just the other week she discovered that Andrew Scott and Billy Boyd were doing a Stories Before Bedtime reading at the Criterion (we go to a lot of these, it turns out), and booked two tickets before I had a chance to reply to her email. She does this a lot. Another time she decided I should see Rich Fulcher's stand-up in Soho, and before I was able to reply to her email about it, seemingly in a mad flurry of excitement, she went ahead and bought two tickets. This is great for me, since I don't have to make decisions for myself, but it does mean I'm usually the one buying the pints. I don't mind. The only problem is that I can't carry two pints back to our table without spilling on myself and the floor on the way. I just can't. I always spill. Pint-carrying is a skill, and sadly, I'm not cool enough to possess it.

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