armyofsnails: (wife)
I'm standing in the middle of my living room, alone, popping party poppers and experiencing mixed feelings.

I'm surrounded by packed boxes and various other things I apparently own (Brompton bike, 1970s globe shaped drinks cabinet, skull-shaped walking stick... ??). Party of one to celebrate the end of an era.

I'm out of Crouch end next Saturday, moving in with a partner (one of them, A) only for the second time in my life. I'm a homeowner for the first time. I'm leaving behind this red-and-white witch's house, which I shared with my dearest friend of 15 years, Mr B aka Ginger Menace, my one and only flatmate.

Party poppers smell quite nice. The boxes and my Brompton bike are now covered in confetti.
armyofsnails: (fear me)
My entry to High Line for London Green Infrastructure competition.

A week's worth of drawing work preceded by (not particularly intense) couple of weeks of research, during which I discovered that the river I was going to write about - called Moselle, not to be confused with the one in Germany - flows directly under my street in Haringey (like many streets in London, mine follows the course of an underground river pretty much exactly).

Pfew! Not done anything like that since university days... Photoshop-tastic and some hand drawing, too. Click for piccy )
armyofsnails: (fear me)
My boyfriend described me last night as "happy-go-lucky". It was meant as a compliment but it made me wonder... Am I really? Guess in some ways, yes. Is that a good thing at the tender age of thirty-two (and a mere fortnight shy of the higher number)?

Guess if I wasn't I would possibly be in a different place in my life right now. Or not? But why should I care? I'm doing all right. Now, that's a happy-go-lucky kind of statement if I ever saw one.

Useless fact of the day: most of the driving scenes in the film Happy-Go-Lucky by Mike Leigh were shot on my street in north London - they go straight past my front door several times. I've moved from the street with Chtulhu and the Goat with a Thousand Young to the street where a highly strung driving instructor shouts at an insanely cheery 30-year-old woman. Who said life in N8 was boring?
armyofsnails: (Default)
Mr B is kicking around during his summer holidays and has enrolled on yet another charitable venture. It's called Food from the Sky. It's a food garden on the roof of the Crouch End Budgens supermarket. According to Mr B, it's run by a bunch of delightful hippies.

They sell herbs and tomatoes and things in the downstairs supermarket, which I've been buying every now and then. A bit pricey but quite wonderful, and the money is fed back into the project and various associated education programmes.

Think I'll come along when I have a spare Saturday (at this rate, probably in October... but that's another story).

When I was in my fourth architecture year at university, my studio was working on a regeneration project (entirely fictional of course, us being students) of a small town in Greater London. This was done through replanning of the town centre and introducing a mixture of civic, commercial and arty buildings and public spaces. My building was a public library. One of my fellow students' buildings was a Sainsbury's supermarket with a glazed garden roof that the shoppers could see from below - a bit like Food from the Sky but much glossier and show-offish. When my studio opened a public exhibition and a website to show our work, we got hate mail from local residents who thought that the Evil Sainsbury's was taking over their beloved town for real. Heh. Then a year or so later it actually happened. Heh x 2.
armyofsnails: (Default)
I loathe working at home, and cooking takes too much time, so I've lost count of how many pub lunches I've had over the past few months. This is SERIOUSLY FUCKING expensive, but frankly I don't care at this point.

I love the quiet chatter, the clinking of glasses and cutlery and the sound of people eating. So often I would just sit and work in food type places without even ordering anything. Maybe a coffee or a glass of wine.

I've had a few encounters with weirdos but all fairly harmless. All the local barmen recognise me and some remember my name. Today I've made friends with the chap who works at Figo's Cafe. Turns out, he is an interior designer. Looking for a job. Bad times for that kind of thing unfortunately, recession and all.

Ever walked into a restaurant and demanded "a table for one"? Me neither, until about six months ago. Now it's no longer such a big deal.

So today I sat at Banners at Bob Dylan's table (which has a brass plaque pinned to the wall proudly declaring, "BOB DYLAN SAT AT THIS TABLE IN 1993") and had their food which I swear to god must have crack mixed into it because I even have dreams about it sometimes (ackee and saltfish with fried plantains, curried goat wrapped in flatbread...). While waiting for my meal, I was doing a cash flow diagram in preparation for the exams. I know, so EXCITING.

The urban legend goes that Bob Dylan wanted to visit Dave Stewart from Eurythmics who lived in one of the multiple "Crouch something" streets (Crouch End Broadway, Crouch Hill, Crouch End Hill etc.) but couldn't remember which one it was and mistakenly ended up in the wrong street. The man who lived in the house with the same number in that particular street was a plumber also called Dave, who was out at the time. Unaware of his mistake, Bob Dylan asked the wife of the plumber whether he could wait for Dave in the living room. When the plumber came home, he asked his wife, "Are there any messages for me?" and she responded, "No, but Bob Dylan is waiting for you on the sofa."

And on that note I'm off to bed. Exams on Friday. I hope someone will be there on Friday night to scrape me off the pavement.
armyofsnails: (Default)
Every evening after work I cycle along Parkland Walk and stop to collect some wild blackberries that grow in vast numbers on either side of the path. More often than not the sour little things go straight into my pie hole, but when I'm patient enough I bring them home. And then they end up in this place... )
armyofsnails: (man replacer)
I happily partake in all the seven deadly sins, but vanity is one of my favourite.

Crouch End in summer is a wondrous place. Not just because the town is so postcard-pretty. There is also an abundance of beautiful female flesh of all ages. Yes, I objectify women, what of it? When they have long flowing hair, high heels, dresses that hardly conceal anything, and smell like vanilla, I challenge anyone not to.

And then there's me, no long hair, no dresses, no vanilla. However, to acknowledge the sweltering heat I decided to bare a bit of flesh too, so yesterday I wore a tank top and a very, er, short pair of shorts. Stripy knee-high socks as usual (I now have a dozen of all sorts of fun colours, including rainbowy ones).

So I am walking down the road to Villiers carrying my laptop as per usual. The traffic is a little congested (the Hornsey Carnival has just finished). A car driver slows down and waves at me with a huge shit eating grin on his face. Well, isn't that nice, I think to myself and keep walking. Then three guys on motorcycles drift past with their vizors up. The first one slows down, turns his head and eyes me up and down. The second one slows down, turns his head and eyes me up and down. The third one... well, you get the picture. By the time they have all payed me a tribute the traffic on my side of the road has all but come to a standstill.

Haha. All within a space of less than ten minutes. No wolf whistles though, I guess I should be grateful.
armyofsnails: (fear me)
This morning the door to Mr B's room came off its hinges.

As he was struggling to shove the door back into its place I stood there laughing like an idiot, but

It's official: this house is at war with us. I'm expecting the hallway floor to rip apart and reveal the abyss below, with the dryad man ascending out of it as the Alternative Universe's Overlord, armed with a toilet seat, his skin made entirely of earth and twigs.

On an entirely unrelated note, have a link my friend [ profile] ca_yuga has sent me.

(In case you ever wanted to beat someone's head with moss...)
armyofsnails: (Default)
The dryad man has been to replace the cistern today. As a result, the toilet seat is broken and the downpipe from the new cistern comes off every time you flush it, chucking a fountain of water in your face. Additionally, there is an inexplicable wet spot in the hallway, at least 1.5 metres away from the toilet door, and two out of three spare toilet rolls have disappeared. A note scribbled on the back of an envelope reads:


New loo working. I broke the toilet seat will order a new one & let you know when its ready to be fixed




Oh, and Mr B forgot to hide my obscene fridge magnets before the landlord's visit, so now I'm officially untouchable.
armyofsnails: (PVC)
It was smashing. 25 litres of booze, four types of flavoured vodka, two broken glasses, two instances of drunken bizarreness, one giant doctor of anthropology, one Egyptian, 101 Dalmatians and comedy S&M. The best housewarming I've ever had.

A handful of photos... The rest are on FB )
armyofsnails: (mosshood)
Today while Mr B and I were both at work the landlord visited the house to look at the EXISTENTIAL TOILET CISTERN again.

Previously I've encountered the landlord's long haired, MOJO reading, geriatric 1960s hippy plumber, head to toe in denim and with wrists covered in friendship bracelets. This time however the landlord was supposed to do the works himself.

So, having come back from work tonight, I wander into the loo to discover that the floor and my associated reading material (mainly old copies of the Architect's Journal, if you must know) are covered in twigs and dead tree leaves. Upon further inspection, there is a trail of little twigs and fragments of dry autumn leaves leading from the front door to the bog.

The cistern is working though which is the important thing.

So apparently my landlord is a dryad. That's quite all right. Nothing in Crouch End surprises me these days.
armyofsnails: (fear me)

Entry policy: a and/or b, as below.


Location: the glorious land of N8 a.k.a. Crouch End (north London).

Further info: FB / click here / e-mail, text or phone me.
armyofsnails: (man replacer)
The move went fine with only a couple of minor hiccups. The ugliest desk in the world didn't fit in the front door, and there were some strange midnight adventures with the Edwardian toilet cistern, partially resolved by a geriatric hippy plumber. Also, I bloodied my hand with a combination of a wine glass and dried twigs and scared a child in the street by licking the blood. The week ended with me and [ profile] romanthefirst drunkenly screaming in my room at 2am while listening to Gogol Bordello and waking up my housemate in the process.
armyofsnails: (Default)
Be thankful your pet has never had an accident on a Sunday. Sadly, no such luck for me. )


May. 8th, 2008 01:12 pm
armyofsnails: (Default)
I'm still alive, albeit without the Internet, and a Londoner.

We have an old fox, two crows, a magpie, a squirrel, and a big black cat living in our back yard. In the mornings, Milo and the cat stare at each other through the glass of the living room window and make the weirdest noises I've ever heard. It doesn't even sound like wailing... or anything that could come out of a cat's throat. It's more like singing. Maybe they are serenading each other? They look scarily similar to one another; I reckon the other cat is Milo's anti-cat and if they ever touch they will explode in a burst of energy destroying the Universe with it.

The fox has half of his fur missing, lives on the garage roof and hardly ever moves throughout the day. The magpie sometimes sits by him and he wouldn't even bat an eyelid. I guess Mr Fox gets plenty of food scavenging and has no need to hunt. Milo however goes nuts when he sees the birds, but he's not allowed outside yet.

It's really quiet, despite the fact that we're just around the corner from the town high street. All I hear is church bells and birds quarreling in the bushes.

A few days after we've moved here Boris Johnson has won Mayor... Steve has already started calling him "OUR BLOND ALIEN OVERLORD" and wondering "whether Boris has broken London yet", and I've had messages from friends regretting that we now have to live in Boris's manor... What fun times.

Brought to you from work - I've been so swamped by workload I couldn't even get round to a quick LJ update until now... More to come.


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