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Maybe it’s me looking at New Zealand with rose tinted glasses but I can’t remember having a really shit weekend there. I remember sad weekends, exhausting weekends and those oh so amazing boring staying in pajamas weekends, but no truly shit ones.

This weekend was just rubbish. I had so much that I needed to get done and didn’t event manage to tick a single one off the list. I needed sleep so badly but failed miserably, which meant that even though I did fun stuff I was crabby and dazed the whole time. And of course being London I had a public transport fuck up that turned an hour later into me throwing a hangry tantrum and crying on the street. Classy.

I’ve been trying to figure out why this is a London phenomenon? Why can’t I remember any of these shit weekends in New Zealand? In London it’s not that we live for the weekend, cool stuff happens every night of the week. I think it’s the general busyness, the exhausting nature of London, which puts pressure on the weekend. By the time Friday night rolls around you not only want to catch up on life admin, but also see friends, do something cultural and get yourself together for the week to come. Oh and if you are a blogger LOL BLOG POSTS.

London is damn exhausting. No matter how much you try to explain this from someone back home they just can’t understand it until they have come over. In London everything takes effort, even more so in winter. You can’t just pop to the supermarket and do a weekly shop, it has to be planned over a few nights so you don’t have to carry all your heavy stuff home at once. And if you want to go to a big supermarket (rather than a tiny local one) that might mean two types of public transport and a twenty minute walk in the rain. It’s just part of life, but it takes so much more energy than just hopping in a car whenever you want.

My hangry crying on the street tantrum? Yeah you wouldn’t get that in NZ. On Sunday I wanted to try and salvage my shit weekend so decided to treat myself to brunch at a café about 20 minutes’ walk from my house. Now, because I wanted to be kind to myself I decided to get the tube there rather than walk, it would only cut about 5 minutes off my journey but would take FAR less effort. That was all fine and dandy until I got on the tube, the doors closed and at that point heard “This train will not be stopping at Whitechapel today because of Cross Rail works”; fuck you Cross Rail. So I ended up in Shoreditch, tried four cafes (all full), found another (ignored for five minutes so I left) before finally walking back to the original café near Whitechapel only to be told the chef had left half an hour ago.

To summarise for the non-London set: that is me allowing myself to be lazy because I was in a bad mood which actually resulted in me walking for over an hour, not getting any food and crying in the street because I was in such a bad mood. This shit just does not happen in NZ. A) The cafes are not that busy and; B) if you are driving its far less bodily effort to try out the different options.

I think that might be it really. Imagine that effort across an entire week. Every commute sandwiched under the armpit of a stranger. Standing for an hour pretending to surf on the District Line while trying to not breathe in the coughs and sneezes of the stranger on the other side. And that’s just the commute. Every day in London is exhausting, and I think that is why I put so much pressure on my weekend. It was like the shining sun peeking through the clouds. I was going to get shit done, catch up on sleep, see my friends and somewhere in there enjoy myself too. Lol, London says no.

I love this city but when you are tired (and hungry) it is so hard to remember that. As I was trying to stop crying on the street corner I looked to my left and saw a man pissing on a door in broad daylight. Thanks London, way to redeem yourself there.

I know 100% that this is just a temporary crap storm. Its one weekend out of so many happy, productive, coffee fuelled gorgeous ones. One weekend to remind me to not take the goodness for granted, one weekend to remind me that sleep is all important, to not be lazy, to book at restaurants and to never trust the tube at weekends.

If you are new to London and experiencing the shit weekend phenomenon for the first time, just look back on it with Monday morning hindsight and think ‘well that was a dumb chain of events’. Don’t let one (or many) shit weekends make you hate the city, or make you feel like you are failing. Just fucking do better next time.

 

The unexpected phenomenon of a shit weekend

Tower Bridge at Night

Last year I was out and about every weekend, as well as least two or three nights during the week. I was visiting restaurants, discovering art exhibitions and sitting in the gods at the theatre. Then around came 2014 and I just stopped. I don’t know why I’ve stopped planning and adventuring, but I arrive at each weekend with nothing to do. I drink coffee, go for walks and of course blog, but I’m not out exploring the amazing city that I live in.

The words I live by

My reason for lack of art is because there are no exhibitions that excite me at the moment. Last year it was like every museum was catering specifically for me, we had Bowie, Lichtenstein and Schwitters as well as secret poster art and National Trust beauties. But this year? I’m yet to read about an exhibition that I am amped for. Fingers crossed there is something later in the year that they just haven’t announced yet, but right now? Nothing I would leave the couch for.

Peter and Alice

Now there are some theatre shows that I would love to see. But ever since the roof collapsed at the Apollo Theatre I’ve been less than eager to book tickets. I know that seems silly, it was only one fluke accident after all, but I can so easily see it happening again. Every central London theatre I’ve been to (sitting in the gods after all) has seemed like it wouldn’t last in a strong wind. I remember in one theatre a man sneezing on the other end of the row and the entire section shook. I always comforted myself with the knowledge that I was in one of the most overbearing Health and Safety societies out there, that was until the Apollo. Turns out they don’t have it as under control as I thought. The answer is probably to go further afield to the new theatres built in zone 2-4, but sadly that turns into at least an hour’s travel each way…a bit too much for a school night when the tickets are affordable.

My other go to option is something creative, but I feel like I’ve plateaued on my old hobbies (painting and jewellery making) and without some significant effort (read: money and/or time) they aint going anywhere. I would love to try some new things, but it looks like I would have to mortgage my non-existent house to do a pottery or design course in London…not ideal.

Lacking art, theatre and craft I have a few options:
a) Plot world domination
b) Refresh twitter every four and a half seconds
c) Become an alcoholic

Currently I have selected option b, but I think my iPad is starting to wear out from all the scrolling.

The Depressed Cake Shop

So how am I going to kick myself out of this accidental hibernation? It seems like after two years I have become complacent about this magnificent city, after all I know I’m going to be here long term so laziness takes precedent over the urgent need to SEE ALL THE THINGS. But at the same time I am dissatisfied with my hibernation, I want to get out and do things. So I want the best of all worlds?

My first attempt at kicking myself into action is a small trip to Belgium (watch this space!), but if you have any ideas, or know of any upcoming fun things, please comment or tweet me!

Love runawaykiwi