A Travellerspoint blog

What is the deal with…Ugg boots?

The 90's stand-up "what's the deal with..." Series

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“Fashionless hobo declares war on UGG fashion. Says is fUGGing disgrace. Then wears socks and shorts”

It might seem of late that I have nothing positive to say about living in London but that's not entirely true and i'll write a full page article on Minstrels the chocolate Smartie at a later date.
Meanwhile back at the negative ranch...

I have a fashion issue. "You, a fashion issue?" I hear you mock. Shut up and listen.
My issue is this ridiculous London trend of wearing UGG boots outside. Look, I said nothing when camel toe jeans came in, or jeggings were a thing but I’ve tried to ignore it, get passed this disdain, but it’s hard when I find it disrespectful and offensive to something I truly believe in, slippers and indoor comfort items.

For the most part London is trendy and I regularly feel like a homeless person with a penchant for colour but recently I saw a girl working in H&M, a somewhat reputable fashion store, who had worn black leggings and black UGG boots to work. Now I’m not a fashionista but not only should you not wear leggings as pants to work, you shouldn’t even wear them outside the house. And to team them with slippers!

You're fiiiiiired!

UGG boots are not shoe. They are slippers and slippers are to be worn either with pyjamas or teamed with a dressing gown ensemble. Inside. Preferably in front of the TV or on a couch while reading a book. Look I realise UGGs have become fashionable in the past few years for some such reason like Mischa Barton etc. being snapped kicking around L.A in them pretending to drink a frappé or they were one of Oprah’s ‘favourite things’ or some such nonsense but this my fair feathered friends, is where the issue lies. Even Kate Winslet and Cameron Diaz realised this in The Holiday, L.A and London are two very different places, for many reasons but namely, the weather.

See here in London it rains a lot. Like more in a day than my home town gets in a year. So as the rain falls and the pavements fill with puddles, the trend of wearing ₤100 gumboots actually makes some slight sense, still idiotic, but acceptable for those with dispensable cash but not UGG boots.
UGG boots are not water repellent. Londoners walk the streets in these slippers which by a days wear out in the elements are all disgracefully floppy and wet because they are indoor shoes. Basically, you can’t wear UGG boots in the rain because they are made out of sheep. Australian sheep at that, an animal very unfamiliar with the concept of being dragged through puddles.

It’s the horrendous sight of someone walking lopsided in a pair of damp slippers that sticks in my craw. They are slopping along, standing on the backs as they walk because there is no support in the heel. Their foot slips off the sole with every step. They are all soggy from walking the filthy streets in the rain and dirt sticks to the boot because, again it's sheep and not shoe leather. It's really quite repulsive.

This is how I imagine this issue began, back when UGG cracked the UK market and were on a flight home after securing a deal:

Graeme UGG: “Ah, shit, did you tell ‘em they were slippers?...”
Trevor UGG: “…Nah mate…they’ll figure it out...I mean, they are lined with fluffy wool. The outside is made of animal skin. The soles are a piece of foam. Trust me, they’ll work it out…”

Oops. It’s like all of Australia is sitting back and laughing. Oh man, this is super awkward we can’t tell them now. It's been too long.

So to sum it up. Stop wearing slippers as shoes. It’s just gross.
Shut it down London, just shut it down or we I'll see a ban on all Australian exports, and that’s includes Neighbours and Home and Away and any other mediocre programming we give away.

Don’t think I won’t do it.

Posted by The Tipsy Gipsy 18:03 Archived in United Kingdom Tagged london fashion ugg_boots Comments (2)

Instant New Best Friends

Making new friends is a big part of my love of travel. I don't actually mean travel friends, though I have met some amazing people over my travels who have become some of my best friends and my favourite people, the type of friend I mean is an Instant New Best Friend.

You meet an INBF on public transport, in hotel elevators, waiting for a bus, in a taxi, trying to sell you things or in a restaurant. Any kind of public place with a limited time for interaction. An instant new best friend is willing to make a quick friend out of boredom. An INBF gives you amazing unsolicited advice on your travels, you will hear stories of their own travels to your part of the world, and whether or not you know their friend Ken in Perth may come up. If you are lucky you might see photos of their children. Get overly personal details about their life, marriage, relationships all in a short space of time in a public location. These are the people that come in and out of your life as a traveller that make up the stitches to the fabric of a nomad. Your instant friendship is soon over when you arrive at your destination and then you and your new acquaintance go your separate ways.

As a solo traveller you get used to strangers coming to talk to you. Sometimes they are weirdoes but it’s usually safer to have a quick chat and move on rather than be rude. Plus I am often in need of a chat after too much alone time. A lot of the time people are up for a chat out of curiosity or boredom. I get a few, ‘what the devil is a young woman doing in these parts, on her own and with a bag that big’ type discussions. Usually I’m not a conversation initiator but even I sometimes try to make an INBF because I’m finished my book and I’m bored. Recently I chatted to an American couple from the Polish border to Dresden, they told me about all the ‘real neat’ places to visit around Ohio and I listened on. Our friendship ended abruptly when I realised we had made it to my station and I ran off the train with a wave.

Perhaps it’s the semi-journalist in me but I seem to be very good at getting people to talk by asking a lot of prying questions in a safe, trusting environment. I should probably be on 60 Minutes.

For instance after I met Tammy and Matt on a flight from Las Vegas to New Orleans last year I talked about them to my friend for the next week. As it turns out my friend and I couldn't sit together because we boarded our flight in ‘gap filler’ zone Z, so I squeezed in next to the window beside my INBF’s Tammy and Matt. We had become acquainted before take-off. She seemed a bit on edge, the reasoning behind which she offered early, it was their first trip without their kids and they were excited but really nervous to leave them at home.
It snowballed from there. We talked for three hours about life, love and the universe. Before long I had seen pictures of her kids, her dead dog (who was the smartest dog in the world). I learnt she enjoys jazzercise and had been doing it for years. It’s how she got her figure back after the kids. She ‘does hair’ and her dream was once to 'do hair’ on a cruise liner so she could see the world but life got in the way. She was married before and he was an asshole but Matt, there, is a good man and looks after her. Her children are good kids; one has a disability and we talked about the concerns of raising a child with a disability in this kind of social environment and the warrant of private education vs. public because as parents they were dealing with bullying. The INBF me is an expert on most subjects because my friend will never know enough about me to realise I actually don’t know a lot about raising children. Really she was lucky to have the kids at all having had cervical cancer and her cervix removed when she was in her 20s. Tammy and Matt looked like every other middle American couple in their early 40s. He was a big and tall guy with extra-large polo shirts. She was short with a curly blonde fringe. I thought I spotted them for days after but it was every other couple in America.

My flight flew by with my INBF and we chatted and laughed, covered some serious issues. As we left the plane we continued to chat until I found my friend at baggage claim. I said my farewell to my new friends much to my friend’s amusement no doubt as she saw me board the plane alone and leave it with a middle-aged couple on first name basis.

I wished them well, they were lovely people and part of me wished I had of got her email so I could check in on her and the kids, see if they had got the next belt in karate. I spent the next few days saying, “well Tammy was saying…” which then was followed by “who?” and a “You know Tammy, from the plane?”

My time in America provided me with some amazing characters for my nomad fabric. I listened to a lady from the south tell me how Australia is a backward country and doesn’t have equal gender rights. And how the world aluminium is pronounced alooominum because she was around when they invented it and its bloody aloominum not aluminium. She also told me the way to make good frosting for cupcakes is to add liquor.

A man at a bus stop told me about how he once met an Australian and they kindly flew him out to see Australia because he had never been. He looked vaguely homeless and for some reason I didn’t quite believe that this had happened but I let him tell me his stories of Sydney’s grandeur until the airport bus arrived in which he kindly pointed out that that was in fact the airport bus and that was the one I wanted.

You can always rely on kindness of strangers.

So I leave you with this video from my travels to Vietnam last year when an old lady selling things on the beach took a shining to me and sat beside me most of the afternoon then pushed me in the hammock for a bit. It came to the point where I knew everything she had to sell in her basket despite her English being minimal and my Vietnamese being average at best (non existent). I thought that she deserved to be in retirement and not flogging crap on the beach, and as I only need a certain amount of Tiger Balm products, perhaps I could help shift some for her.

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Posted by The Tipsy Gipsy 15:12 Archived in Vietnam Tagged friendship tiger_balm Comments (1)

The Pilgrimage

Collecting Heaven Points

I don’t conform to any religion. I’m not even a Christmas Christian or a Hanukkah Jew. Not even a statistical Protestant on a census form. I’m a nothing. So the idea of a spiritual pilgrimage didn’t really float my boat, the idea of going to the top of a hill to see a church and hopefully get nice view over a city was, I thought. How wrong I was.

There was nothing relaxing or peaceful about this pilgrimage, there was no great view to be had and it wasn’t up a little hill, it was atop Everest, or at least it felt that way.

The scene of this holy hike was Bologna, Italy. I was finally back in Italy, it had been almost two years since we had last seen each other. Italy is my spirit country, it makes me happy to be within its borders. There is good food, good coffee and an appreciation, nay encouragement even, of laziness. Workers mosey into work late then take a siesta for three hours after lunch then perhaps a casual strike at their leisure because driving a bus is a pain in the ass.

After an early flight from London we arrived in Bologna, the food capital of Italy, home of all things delicious. We had a quick look around, stuffed in a family-sized pizza, downed a delicious coffee and then headed towards the city’s star attraction, the Sanctuary of the Madonna of San Luca. The basilica sits atop a hill overlooking Bologna and is famous for housing an important icon of Madonna and Child.

A 3.7km covered arched walkway takes you on a pilgrimage which originally began in the Cathedral of San Pietro in the town centre to the basilica at the top. Each year since 1433 the icon was taken from one to the other for Ascension and there are 666 arches (sounds like the devils number to me) which were built in 1674-1793 to protect the icon on its march.

It was a must do. That’s all we knew of it. It was a steady incline of ramps and steps and orangey-ochre arches. Arches. Steps. More arches. More steps. More walking. More exhaustion. Up I trudged. Wow, we must be nearly there.
No fool. We are not.

It went on for quite some time, a never ending passageway, up ahead just a blurry version of what was directly ahead. Up I walked. My god where is this place. It didn’t look that far. Is it too late to go back? If this is like another hour should we just stop now and go back and get a pizza and we’ll laugh about it later? Anyone? No one? Ok we are doing this. I brought up the rear and kept climbing, thinking how this A) better we worth it B) better get me in to heaven and C) would realistically would probably only be worth it if the Madonna and Child in question was actually Madonna and her weird look-alike daughter, or Madonna and her Malawi-born son David would also be fine. And if she was waiting with a microphone for us to do a duet of Borderline.

Walk. Walk. Stop to puff/admire chipped paint wall enthusiastically. Oh. Look. A. a. eh. A painting. Chipped. Off. That’s. eh eh cool. Ah Oo. Eee. Oo. Oh. A chip in the plaster. Ooo. Eh. Ahh.Good. Yep. Oooo.

A lady comes down past me with a wheelie shopping basket and kerplunks it down and few steps then lifts it for a few more and I wonder if she know just how many hellish steps there are to go and that she ought abandon that trolley now and stop being a show off.

Then a nun went passed and I got mad that she seemed to do it so easily and she was about 70. Given she probably does it more often than I and probably shares her family-sized pizzas and maybe skips the gelato.

Move it Sister Mary Clarence, can’t you see a girls try to pilgrimage.

P.s Do you know Whoopi Goldberg? Is she in your choir?

Also is there some kind of trattoria at the top? It’s is a good business idea, just sayin’. I mean I could murder a la Coca-Cola e la pizza slice.

I was nearly there. I had been through 650 of the arches and a gazillion of the steps. I can see sky ahead and not just more dastardly steps. At last! Walk toward the light. The liiiight. Seek your salvation. One last staircase lay ahead, I was walking towards a silhouetted cross looming above. I considered giving up but it was a mere 20 steps away. Air, freedom, hopefully a seat and a drinking fountain.
I burst out into the air with a gasp. It’s 2 degrees but I am generating about 100 with my coat, hat, gloves and scarf all dangling from me because I didn’t have time to take them off nor the will to carry them up. I’ll just unbutton it won’t be much further I thought after arch 20 of 666.

I arrive and begin stripping off my layers despite being able to see my own breath. I enter the famous church and literally pull up a pew and wait for my heart beat to assume a normal rhythm. It was vast, shiny and overly gaudy with marble, gold leaf and other such garish churchy goodness.

With every step my foot splats echo. I have a good look at a confession booth with someone in it, just like the movies. Have a quick look around for Madonna, the singer. Not there. Pretend not to be disappointed. The acoustics would have been rad too.
Pretend to be impressed. Wow that’s a nice and necessary use of gold.

Back outside into the cool winter air. My body temperature is almost back to normal and I realise yes, it is 2 degrees. The sun is starting to set reflecting rather magnificently on the bright orange of the otherwise somewhat unremarkable church. It’s getting dark. It literally took all day.
All a winter’s afternoon which granted isn’t long.

We go to head back down the way we came and realise that the final gate, just before the last ascension to air and the outside world (salvation) is locked. People are coming up to a locked gate. I panic on their behalf and try to open it. It’s locked. The church must be closing. These poor sons of bitches have got this far and the gate is closed.

I think how we must have made it by a mere 10 minutes and how I would have screamed bloody murder and cursed the hell out of life, the universe, and everyone in it, including most of those religious figures in that church if that had of happened to me. Imagine if I had of exerted all that energy for that long, to arrive at a locked gate. Heads would have rolled. I probably would have kicked that gate, and perhaps a priest’s confessional door down.

I pulled the gate to no avail and started frantically thinking how else they can get in, I mean they deserve to see the damn church they did the pilgrimage, that’s surely the rules. Then I realised, it’s not me, I made it and more importantly, I am on the way down and back to level ground with a promise of a delicious Italian dinner.
C’est le Vie, everybody knows Italian’s close on time if not early. It’s Italy.

I recovered with a mushroom risotto and red wine then promptly fell asleep from exhaustion at the next possible opportunity. I had been up since 5am, been sightseeing and done a massive amount of walking in a massive amount of heavy clothing all in one day.

So that was my pilgrimage and I pilgrimed the heck out of it. I probably made more noise and fuss than the Catholics do but that’s to be expected when there’s not the promise of divine anything at the top. Saying that, I dare say after my pilgrimage my chances of heaven have just been raised by around 12%. I probably lost a few per cent by cussing all the way up and hating every minute of it.

And to think these crazy Catholics did it back in the day for laugh, and regularly and probably wore no shoes and carried a heavy bible the whole way.

So as long as religion requires these kinds of sacrifices I will continue to be a ‘n/a’ on all forms but in the true Australian way, happily take them all as public holidays.
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Posted by The Tipsy Gipsy 04:45 Archived in Italy Tagged bologna pilgrimage san_luca Comments (1)

Dear London

A "Love-ish" Story of Girl Meets City.

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This is not a love letter in the traditional sense. I am not going to compare thee to a summer’s day because you provide them so infrequently I cannot be sure what they are. Instead this is an exposé of the tired, sometimes strained relationship we share.

Where to begin? You, London and I have always had a melodramatic and tumultuous love affair. While there has undoubtedly been happy times filled with fun and laughter there has also been several tears and hate-filled words hurled around. I'm not proud of it but I know it's not unusual to see you cower in the corner as I threaten a healthy dose of domestic violence if you dare offend me again. But at the heart, at some level anyway, there is a lot of love between us.

And that is what our relationship survives on. This morsel of hope is what we cling to and is the basis for my letter today. Those glimmers of hope; those fun summer days in the park, the frivolity and fun of sightseeing, the sandwich meal deals.

It is a love affair that London and I have, but a 21st century one. Not so much Singing in the Rain but arguing with each other while waiting for a bus in the pouring rain, soaked and miserable but at the same time somewhat content because we just had delicious London Indian food. London was the first international city I visited. I was just a young carefree 20-year old with hair as big as my dreams. It was a lovely August summery day in 2005 with Big Ben towering above and an African man following me through Hyde Park.

It can be a wondrous, joyful city when it wants to be but it's not all puppy dogs and rainbows. There is a dark side to London, a side you don’t want to take home to meet the family. A side that annoys, if not enrages.

One minute London life is peachy keen, then it clouds over and the rage consumes me again.

Suddenly my friendly city of fun and love is grey. Grey. Permanently grey. It sets in and stays for the rest of your lifetime until you just couldn’t possibly take it anymore, you’re tightening your noose, “goodbye cruel w’…” …and then a bit of blue sky peeks through to remind you that there is a world out there.

The city for the most part is grey, grey roads, old grey buildings, new grey buildings – the newer ones are just fancier gradients of grey and glass which reflects the rest of the grey. The Thames is that murky brown that looks quite frankly, grey. The sky is grey and together it all just merges together into one giant smear of suicide inducing smokey, gunmental, Early grey.

Then there’s the rain. If you leave without a jacket or umbrella it will rain. Sometimes it starts and doesn’t stop until you are about to hammer that last nail into your water tight ark.

But that’s all to be expected. It the truth universally acknowledged that London’s weather is dare I say it, shit. Some locals claim otherwise but it’s for no other reason than that they have never learnt that it the sky is supposed to be blue.

Teacher: “What colour is the sea?”
Children: “Blue”

Teacher: “What colour is a bus?”
Children: “Red”

Teacher: “What colour is the sky?”
Children: “Like a stucco, whiteish, stone grey with hints of depressive smokey grey”

These are trivialities and it’s not something London controls but it doesn’t stop me blaming it for all my, and the world woes. On a personal level our relationship can be strained.

Sometimes London and I want to go a date. Maybe go out for some coffee? Which sadly only ends in me throwing the scalding milky coffee in London’s face and screaming, “you call this coffee!”.

It’s awkward when we are in public together because London is very fashionable. Its finger is on the pulse with fashion. Clothes are ripped from the catwalk, then teamed with a simple high-end corporate blazer and a slightly indie fedora hat for an edge. It’s always a topic of contention with London and I because I want to leave the house in some baggy pants, Converse and a Santa jumper and then pull on a beanie. London disapproves. It’s written all over its face.

The trouble is our relationship has been off and on now for the past 6 and a half years. We know each other’s flaws which can bring us undone. I know and can, I suppose, accept that London will never provide me with decent lollies, coffee or sunshine and it knows that I cannot use a key or unlock a Barclay’s bike the first time round.

It’s true sometimes I think why the hell am I here? this city does nothing but cost me money and make my skin and hair uncharacteristically dry. I had no intentions when I relocated to relocate to stinky old/lovely old London. But here I am. And for all its flaws and all our harsh words, fist fights and black eyes there are equal amount of time where I love this city.

It is a great city.

We just have our problems. But all relationships do. And we are working on in it. Someone suggested couples therapy so London’s seeing a shrink because to be fair, it it’s problem, not mine. I’m charming.

I have seen West End, there’s a lot of singing and dancing and being faaaaabulous going on, so maybe London’s gay?

We will have to wait and see how it plays out, and if these differences end up being irreconcilable, I'll move on to a younger, more charming city, one that plays the guitar. I have no doubt London and I will just stay friends, see each other every now and then when there's a band in town or I need a lift to the airport.

Whether we can survive together is any ones guess.

Posted by The Tipsy Gipsy 04:59 Archived in United Kingdom Tagged london love weather drama london_life hate Comments (0)

Happy New Year Assholes!

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For some reason we, members of the human race, feel like we should do something, anything to celebrate the New Year. Now, some people love this event, I don’t relate to these people and probably on multiple issues. The rest of us that find the whole event something more akin to obligatory than appealing.

Oddly enough I prefer to spend New Year’s with people I actually like and at a house so I can go to sleep promptly after my social duties are done. I brought 2011 in with my friend, some gin and a toficken burger and was in bed by 12:45pm. A perfect New Year’s.

Alas, I am in London and I couldn’t be bothered going anywhere because I truly dislike this ‘event’ but I can’t spend New Year’s in London at home on the couch watching TV? Could I? I know the answer is a perfectly respectable “yes, yes you can” but instead I fought against my own antisocial tendencies and all logic and thought I should at least go to the Eye and see the fireworks.

So it’s late Saturday night, I was walking along the Thames eating a packet of Fruit Pastilles about to ring in the New Year alone. (Don’t be jealous, you can never be this cool)

There are people everywhere ruining the scenery. Many are intoxicated, why remember the last part or the first parts of a year? As I walked along, hoping my Fruit Pastilles would never end and making a mental note that in 2012 I would eat them more, I saw one drunken idiot fill a homeless man’s cup with vodka from the bottle she was casually carrying and I thought, this might be an interesting night...

This cannot be too bad. Can it? I had been down here before to bring in 2006 and survived.

So what I worked out as I got deeper into the thick of it all is that anyone with any sense of dignity and decorum has other plans on New Year’s and only London’s scum is out on the streets to see fireworks. And a few misguided families who won’t ever do it again.

So as I push passed the crowds of people standing and being big fat drunk sidewalk blockers I got down to the Eye a bit too early. Great I am going to have to stand here for an hour.

It was naturally raining on me if for no other reason than to increase my outrage and fuel my hate.

I was bored. I was standing with a family because they seemed the sanest around. The police manned the barricades in front of me. Idiotic youth gangs walked up and down yahooing and being a nuisance to society.

The police dragged a fool over the fence and away on average every 4 minutes. People were being gross and carrying on. I was embarrassed and horrified that there were families around while grown adults were being dragged away by police and boozing in the street. As I looked at them ti made me realise I wouldn’t make a good cop because I would have hit every one of those assholes over the head with my baton by now and enrolled them a social etiquette class.

I waited. Waited. Waited in the hotbed of moral depravity that was the banks of the Thames.

Finally the moron from BBC Radio One London that kept saying “put your hands in the air London, only 1 hour and 45 minutes to go” announced it was nearly here.

2011 as a year was ok, ups and downs and I believe it finished in a style that brought it down to 2010 level.

This ladies and gentleman is how I spent my last 15 minutes of 2011:

I was nearly there soon I would be home. There is a barrier blocking the road from a bigger fence creating a cage for policeman if you will. A cop playpen between us, the public and the area surrounding the Eye and explosives. I stand a few steps from the barrier next to a family. Close enough to pretend I’m with them but not close enough to make them uncomfortable as there was space around us.

A man pushes passed, of all the places in the street and bends over in the gutter literally in front of me and begins heaving.

Oh hell to the no, I was thinking. What are you 14? Take yourself home you moron.

Thankfully he leaves and we breathe a sigh of relief but 30 seconds later he came running back and vomits in the gutter at my feet, in front of me, and this poor family. He has obviously decided it was still a prime spot for a chuck.

He was a grown adult.

Great, that’s filthy, won’t be standing there. We all shuffle slightly. The vomit just sits there staring at us.

It wasn’t long now. A group of somewhat respectable looking but tipsy adults standing nearby decide to crack open a bottle of champagne, the cork goes flying as does the champagne, showering me and my family. Like a hose for an extended time period. They laugh and apologise.

I give them a glare that says “Haha that’s great, super amusing, thanks asshole”.

Still waiting. Who can I pay to end this year early so I can go to bed?

Next, three girls appear probably aged about 16-17 and a bit drunk. I overhear them saying that one needs to pee and the other two were saying just pee here. Like we are drunk no one will notice. I interrupted and said it my most polite and helpful voice, “there are toilets just there under the bridge, about 50metres away, you can see the sign”

There were not convinced that was a good idea. She had about 8 minutes before midnight. It was definitely doable.

I stopped short of saying “Please don’t piss in the street you filthy bitch, what would your mother think”
Too late. In the last 5 minutes of 2011 a girl is squatting next to me with her two friends trying to cover her while she pisses on the road, in public, while the security guard nearby just watches on like a creep.

Filthy bitch.

I am shocked and appalled.

At least this family was sharing my utter disgrace at humanity. I wanted to pull aside the 10-year old daughter and tell her to make a conscious decision never to be the kind of girl that intentionally pisses in a gutter.

With mere minutes to go before I can go home, a young guy slips between me and the family to the 30 cm of space in front of me which we were leaving clear to avoid the obvious human bodily functions.

We gave him a dirty look and enclosed ranks slightly. His somewhat more polite friend waits a minute then has the audacity to ask me if he can *just* get through to his friend. The barrier is 30 cm from me. This tool is standing in front of me facing me because there isn’t really room to stand there. I look at him like he is a piece of human garbage. It’s tense for a moment because there is no way in hell these two were going to come in at 11:57 and stand in front of us, after all we had endured.
And before I could say “look mate, no chance” mum there just launches at them. Something along the lines of “there is no way in hell you are going to stand there you rude little pricks, we have been waiting here for 3 hours (exaggeration but not relevant, go mummy) and we want to take photos and you are going to stand right in front of her (me)”.

She was furious. She was practically shaking. All the London scum was starting to wear this little family from Bournemouth down. Surprisingly, though I think if nothing else this night taught me that I shouldn't ever be surprised, this obnoxious little shit just launches back at her, a grown woman in front of her husband and children with crap about it being a public place.

The sheer audacity of this douchebag, I just wanted her to slap his face.

This was turning out to be quite a night. I have never seen so many douchebags in one place.

Eventually he leaves and I have a little chat to the family who I think at that point were concerned I was there on my own and for their own safety. I pointed out that the whole time this little punk was standing in front of me he was standing in a pile of chicken soup looking vomit and I was watching it squelch into his sneakers so our victory.

Finally the countdown began, thank god, end this year already.

In all the commotion some more morons had found their way right behind me and man about my own age started screaming and yelling, and counting down and screaming in my ear like Elvis had just reappeared with Oprah and they was giving us all a car.

I was done, at that point I just turned around with a look of disgust and said,

“It’s really that exciting is it?” - motioning to a number projected onto a building that wasn’t even at a good number, it was literally at 46.

And he apologised but kept yelling, directing his screech slight away from my ear.

The fireworks began. They were awesome. I suddenly forgot how much I hated the world and enjoyed the fireworks lighting up the night sky.

They ended, I said Happy New Year to my family and pushed my way passed the morons and powerwalked along the Thames and away from the horror of public events in public places.

Next year I’m staying in and having a Cary Grant marathon.

I felt an overwhelming sense of relief as I put distance between myself and the Eye, I even smiled as a group of intoxicated Indonesian youth were counting down the new year 20 minutes late, enam, lima, empat, tiga, dua, satuuuuuuuuu!

So that was it. New Year’s Eve my annual reminder that I hate a lot of people and it’s amazing I have any friends at all.

Oh and London, you are a city of assholes.

Happy New Year no one. I hate you all.

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Posted by The Tipsy Gipsy 09:57 Archived in United Kingdom Tagged london london_eye fireworks nye new_years_eve 2012 scum Comments (1)

Rudolph the Farting Reindeer

Did you ever hear? The story of a little deer Who lived in constant fear? Of uncontrollable explosions escaping from his rear?

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As they landed gently on the roof of 75 Snicklefritz Lane, Santa released the reins and stepped out of the sleigh.

“I’m getting too old for this,” he said while he held his back with one hand before beginning to do stretches and lunges.

He wandered around to the back of the sleigh and started mumbling names and fossicking though a pile of presents for the one he was looking for.

“Mrs Clause said these were in order but I’ll be darned to know what her system is”, he grumbled as he pulled out a beautiful red and green present with a big red bow.

“Take five gang”, he said as he walked over to the chimney, climbed to its edge and jumped inside. He temporarily caught his belly on the edge, gave a wiggle, dislodged and disappeared into the house.

The reindeer took the opportunity to loosen ranks and Prancer started talking to Dancer about the latest episode of the Bold and the Beautiful. It was one of the downsides of Christmas; they had been so busy over the past few weeks it was hard to keep up with their soaps.

Santa popped back out of the chimney and landed with a perfect gymnast landing beside the sleigh. He gobbled up the last bit of a sausage in bread which had evidently been left for him, and washed it down with the rest of his beer “ah, the food is the best part”, he said with a sigh of satisfaction as he turfed the empty can over his shoulder and into the neighbour’s yard.

He took some carrots out of his pocket and threw them in front of the reindeers. Blitzen pushed forward and almost swallowed one whole.
While the other eight reindeer crunched on carrots Rudolph hanged back.

“What’s the matter Rudolph, are you not hungry?” Santa asked as he walked closer, “Are you tired? We only have 128 more countries to go, we are almost done”, he said cheerfully. Rudolph smiled and nodded his head.

Santa climbed back into his sleigh, pulled out his list and scanned it for names. He mumbled as he read the list carefully, before rolling it up and putting beside him.

He leaned forward and typed 106 Strawberry Lane into the computer GPS in front of him. The computer collected the data and created a map to his next destination.

“We can hear it beeping Santa”, groaned Comet, evidently quite irritated

“What?” said Santa, as he coughed to disguise the noise.

“We are reindeer we know the way, it’s darn right humiliating,” said Comet

Santa smiled. “I was checking for shortcuts, did you know that if he took the freeway we would save 7 minutes?” he said matter-of-factly.
Comet shook his head.
“Yeah and an extra $20 in tolls”, Comet grumbled. You see it had always been Comet’s job to chart the yearly Christmas course. He had been working for Santa a long time and knew all the best ways to fly and how to get there the quickest. He didn’t need any navigation system telling him what to do.

Santa checked his iPhone to see if Mrs. Clause had text. She hadn’t, but his mate Steve had submitted a scrabble word in their Words with Friends duel.

While the reindeer stood in position, ready for take-off Santa was pressing buttons, eventually the phone let off a triumphant beep.

“Yesss”, Santa whispered “66 points for taxi, put that in your back pocket Steve”.

With a nod from the fat man in red and a tug on the reins off they flew across the night skies. There was nothing much to do while they flew, Rudolph lead the way and had to watch out for anything in their path. He was a bit younger than the others and took his job very seriously, though there was nothing much to watch out for save a few stray birds. Dancer and Prancer gossiped about everyone they knew and what was happening at North Pole in the lead up to Christmas. The Yule Tide stress usually created the juiciest drama. Donna had recently had a birthday and received a new iPod and was listening to the Best of Madonna on repeat which was fine, only she had a terrible habit of singing over the music. Blitzen was located right in front of the sleigh and had shared a few of Santa’s beers. He and Santa had known each other the longest and by the end of the night would usually be singing Christmas carols in their sultry, deep baritones.

At the next house Rudolph once again stepped back as the others all ate the carrots and lapped up the bowl of water. Santa pulled the young deer aside

“What’s the matter Rudi?”

“Nothing sir, I’m just not that hungry. My mum cooked a roast before I left so I’m pret-ty stuffed”, he said as he rubbed his tummy.

“That was a long time ago, I can’t have you getting worn out we have a lot to do. Now I want you to have a little nosh”. Santa had recently taken to Yiddish slang.

According to his oft shared philosophical views, it was his way of bridging the cultural gap in making Christmas universal. It was his hope that he could visit the houses of little Jews and little Arabs and give them presents. Everybody no matter their faith could unite to celebrate “X-mas”, as it would be officially known in the postmodern, technological world of the future. Santa does have a tendency to go on tangents.

“Donna, if I see you eat one more thing I will call your fat supporter at Weight Watchers and tell them everything, don’t think I won’t”, Santa bellowed across the roof top without even turning or breaking his gaze with Rudolph. Donna guiltily dropped the old Toblerone she had found in the bottom of the sleigh and burst in to tears.
“It’s just that sometimes I feel so alone”, she wailed before collapsing in a heap on the roof top and sobbing.

“Oops”, Santa said, “women”.
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He had managed to grab a carrot and handed it to Rudolph. He stood there while the deer sniffed at it. “I am not going to leave until you eat it”, Santa said matter-of-factly.

Embarrassed, Rudolph stepped awkwardly from side to side. “Ok, it’s just that carrots, carrots give me...” he hesitated out of embarrassment, “they give me... gas”.

“What?” said Santa a little taken aback.

“Gas, they make me gassy”.

Santa continued to look at Rudolph dumbfounded, like he was just, not quite, understanding.

“The fluffs”, Rudolph rephrased. Sensing Santa was not quite on the same page he continued, “The farts. The pop offs. Break wind. You know, play the butt trumpet. Carrots cause me to let fluffy off the chain and as I am the first in a line of 8 others and then your good self, Sir. I thought it would be polite if I declined the supper”.

“Nonsense”, Santa bellowed, “You’ll be fine, it’s a breezy night it will carry the smell away”

Rudolph reluctantly ate a carrot; he had forgotten how much he loved the crunchy orange root and quickly gobbled up the entire piece.
Santa patted him roughly on the head and returned to his sleigh, “We’re late, at this rate we will not be home before breakfast, and I’ve been promised blueberry pancakes so let’s haul ass”.

With a crack of the reins they flew high up into the skies and well above the rooftops. The few house lights sparkled from below. It was a pretty view and peaceful in the night skies especially when every now and then Santa would stop humming, talking or singing and doze off.

As Donna had not read the instructions to her iPod when her playlist ended so too did the high pitched squeaks of Like A Prayer. With no idea how to restart it the night sky was quiet. All of a sudden a rumble erupted across the skies shaking Santa from his quick powernap. He grumbled and fumbled and looked around to get his bearings. He checked his GPS and the weather hadn’t forecast for any thunder until they hit China.
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The sound came again. Rudolph coughed at the same time.

“Rudi,” Santa shouted from the back of the pack, “Can you see anything up ahead? Storm clouds? “

“No, it’s pretty clear”, Rudolph shouted back, his voice getting carried in the wind

“If I get rained on you lot will be stuffed and mounted on my wall. This red suit is not colourfast, and I do not want to end up with pink furry trims, not so long after Mardi Gras”, Santa grunted as he pulled a plastic emergency poncho out of his glove box and put it on.
The rain never came but the rumbles across the sky continued. With each new burst the sleigh would jolt forward like it had been given a boost.
Another giant burst and this time a terrible smell wafted over the sleigh, causing the reindeer to panic slightly.

“What is that?” Rudolph could hear Comet shouting from behind him.

“Rudolph can you see anything ahead?” shouted Dancer.

With a surge of confidence Rudolph turned his head slightly “ah there’s a cheese factory up ahead”.

“Well that explains that”, he heard Prancer tell Dancer, “gruyere”.

The sky was lit up particularly bright, Rudloph’s nose was red but his whole face was glowing red which was illuminating the path.
Unfortunately the cheese factory smell lingered causing a bit of confusion as to why so many towns across the western outskirts of Moscow had cheese factories and why the hell were they making cheese in the middle of the night?

“I’m starving”, yelled Comet.

Glad for a subject change Rudolph nodded in agreement.

“The next place better not have milk, who the hell told these children reindeer drink milk, I mean hello, some of us are Lactose intolerant”, Comet continued to rant. “Is a nice glass of soy too much to ask….”

Once again the sky rumbled. Donna who was second in line started choking on the air and coughing. The sleigh jolted forward like a rocket and Blitzen spilt the eggnog he and Santa were having from a Thermos.

“Jesus Rudi, watch where you are going I almost spilt”.

“Sorry Santa must be turbulence”.

Embarrassed he looked back at Donna who had regained her composure.

“The air sure is stale tonight”, she shouted to him as she patted dry the spit that had erupted from her mouth during the coughing fit.

The sky ahead lit up even brighter again and Rudolph didn’t dare look back but focussed on the task ahead. He led the sleigh forward into the night, Blitzen and Santa had begun a duet of Santa Baby, Santa trying to emulate a Marilyn quality to his voice. By then it was Blitzen’s 4th eggnog and he was quietly sozzled. Donna had given the iPod the flick and was now just singing Vogue and doing the hand actions. Stranger still she had managed to find a gold cone bra mid-flight. Dancer and Prancer were back to bitching this time about the new Polar Bear in town, apparently walking the streets of the North Pole like she was all that and a bag of potato chips. They were pretty sure her white fur was nothing more than cheap hair plugs.
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Another Christmas was nearly over. With the added turbo boosts they had managed to scrape 23 minutes off their time, a new Christmas record Santa attributed to his great navigation skills. Santa then threatened to replace all the reindeers with computers for next Christmas because as he put it, GPS navigation one – Comet the know-it-all reindeer – zero.

It was a raging success for Santa and his reindeer, especially his farting, red nosed one, who thanks to the sheer stupidity of his peers and the ability to blame Russian cheese factories, had managed to keep his secret another year, and contribute to a Christmas record which made him shout out with glee and go down in historrrrrry.
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Posted by The Tipsy Gipsy 03:39 Tagged christmas reindeer rudolph Comments (2)

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