Monday, September 05, 2005

A Butcher's Hook at London Town...

It seems not even in my new home town can I get away from a funny language – armed with my Cockney Rhyming Slang Dictionary it’s time to take a Butcher’s Hook (look) at London. Why? Because my good friends from Auckland, Scott and his Trouble and Strife (wife) Sarah, were in town. They are to blame for the Cockney Dictionary and I am to blame for being their rookie tour guide. I hoped to balance all the typical tourist attractions with London: Randall Style.

It began on Tuesday night with a rendezvous at Paddington Station at approximately 11:56pm. That meant we had approximately four minutes to catch the last Hail and Rain (train) to Highbury & Islington. Thus beginning a baptism of fire into the ways of London. Running from platform to platform with 60kgs in tow I then took Sarah and Scott on a midnight walk through Highbury Fields in the Noah’s Ark (dark). On the tube I had regaled them with stories about the stabbings, robberies and murders that have occurred in Highbury Fields. It was all harmless fun to add to the London experience… harmless had they not been awake for the past 25 hours and now suffering from a severe case of paranoia. They needn’t worry as they arrived safely at my Mickey Mouse (house).

Wednesday morning dawned and it was time for a far less psychotic Ball of Chalk (walk) to my favourite part of town, Angel, for some breakfast. We then headed into town for the madness of Oxford Street (Top Shop for Sarah and Nike Town for Scott). That was the touristy part of London; the London: Randall Style part involved Judy and Punch (lunch) and a few beers in the park. Not probably what they spent 24 hours on the plane for but seeing as they were suffering jetlag and the park was in the shadow of Buckingham Palace I figure it was a good decision.

Feeling completely fatigued and run down from late nights, early starts and the good many kilometres covered I took Thursday off and left Sarah and Scott to discover London on their own. But on Friday it was back to business as we hit the tourist traps; starting with a look inside Westminster Palace. Our tour guide was a highly knowledgeable lady who had all the hallmarks of being a former school teacher: From the badly colour-coordinated attire, to the snapping of her fingers when it was time to move on; and the way she leaned in, squinted and enunciated every syllable loudly and clearly when she felt she was imparting on us something rather quite fascinating. To be honest it was all actually quite fascinating; especially for the fact we were allowed access to all the important rooms of Westminster Palace: From the House of Commons to the House of Lords - where we got within touching distance of the Queen’s golden Rag and Bone (throne). I probably learnt more in those 75 minutes about the make-up of British Parliament than I did in my two years of History at high school. That has something to do with my 6th Form History Teacher thinking the best way to understand English governmental processes was by copying down, letter for letter, what she wrote on the blackboard into my 1BF. That gave me all the skills to be a transcriber but hardly equipped me with the knowledge to tell the difference between Anne Boleyn and Winston Churchill.

The plan was then to get on the London Eye but Scott objected because he’s afraid of heights. How he managed to cope with being suspended 20,000 feet in midair on the flight over is anyone’s guess. Instead we took a boat ride down the Thames, got off and did a whirlwind tour around Covent Garden and Leicester Square – just enough so Sarah and Scott can claim they’ve been there done that. Then we had a Far and Near (beer) at a Near and Far (bar) on Carnaby Street. That was all the touristy things ticked off for the day so the night was finished with a touch of London: Randall Style - a £1 pizza from my local kebab shop.

Saturday morning we awoke extra early – not to open my birthday presents but to go watch the All Blacks. The plan was to take Sarah and Scott to a dingy pub near Hayley’s house where we would sit on the beer-soaked, ash-stained carpet with a bunch of Kiwis. Luckily for my guests Hayley chose a different location. The Crown is probably the most up-market pub and hotel in all North West London. In fact, it was the chosen destination of an Irishwoman who recently won the European Lottery and had come to the capital to collect her £140 million... this pub was more bling than the Queen's throne. Eventually, we did get a true taste of the dingy London I had hoped for with a greasy-spoon breakfast at, world-famous-in-Cricklewood, Meral’s Café.

We headed back into the centre of London so I could show Scott ‘round the record stores (although I think he was more interested in the nearby Soho red light district). Meanwhile, our China Plate (mate) Josh hooked Sarah up with an appointment at Daniel Galvin – London's trendiest hair salon. Sarah’s stylist claims to style the Barnet Fair (hair) of the Osborne Family and Sting… although if my memory serves me correct the only style Sting sports is a No. 1 all over. Finally, it was time for more pizza – at Firezza where you order your pizza by the metre – before gearing up for a birthday shindig.

A crew of eight of us went to a Rub-a-Dub-Dub (club) in Farringdon called Turnmills. There was a pretty amazing line-up of DJs including Timmy Regisford from New York and DJ Spen & Teddy Douglas from Baltimore. They played some fantastic Stewed Prunes (tunes) which would’ve been more than enough for me to claim it as one of the better nights I’ve experienced. But on top of that they brought along two of the most legendary Rolls Royces (voices) in the game… I’m talking big, black, breath-takingly good gospel singers - the kind of individuals you’re more akin to seeing being pulled from a roof top in New Orleans. Thankfully Ron Carroll is from Chicago and Jocelyn Brown (who I've since learned did vocals for a chap by the name of DJ Bobo back in 1996) is from Washington DC; that meant we were treated to an awe-inspiring display that makes you wish pop singers from Avril Lavigne to Robbie Williams were present for a lesson in how to deliver a pitch-perfect, powerful live vocal performance.

It was gonna be hard to top that so on Sunday Sarah, Scott and I decided to have a little Bo Peep (sleep) in the park, then a traditional roast Duchess of York (pork) dinner and another whirlwind tour – this time of Piccadilly Circus.
Before I say alligator (later) I’ll leave you with this one last sentence to decipher:
The next time you part with your Sausage and Mash
for some Struggle and Strainers be warned as you go to the Rub-a-Dub-Dub and Ball of Chalk up and down the
Apple and
and spend plenty of Lemon and Lime on the
that they’ll likely Chalk Farm your Plate of Meat
and These and Those so Sorry and Sad you’ll no doubt
at the top of your Rolls Royce.


At 8:07 pm, Blogger Bee said...

Hi ya
Well I got some of your message but not enough to brag about.
So I'm guessing your birthday was awesome but is one you intend reliving year to year?
Next blog may tell us about the fantastic job you scored haha sounds like the adventures are coming thick and fast to squeeze in a job. As already mentioned I didn't think you were doing the typical OE but was I fooled or what.
Have fun and I am enjoying hearing from you more regularly than when you lived up the road in Auckland.

At 9:16 pm, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Ok, lets see how much I can translate .... it wont look pretty!

The next time you part with your Sausage and Mash (CASH)
for some Struggle and Strainers (ENTERTAINERS????) be warned as you go to the Rub-a-Dub-Dub (CLUB) and Ball of Chalk (WALK)up and down the Apple and
Pears (STAIRS) and spend plenty of Lemon and Lime (TIME) on the Rory
O’Moore (FLOOR????) that they’ll likely Chalk Farm your Plate of Meat
and These and Those so Sorry and Sad you’ll no doubt Lord
Mayor at the top of your Rolls Royce (VOICE).

Well I'm sure others will have worked out some more, but that's all I'm brave enough to share without appearing too much of a fool.

I'm glad you've had a great time catching up with your friends and that your birthday was made a little more special and entertaining by good compnay.

It was lovely to talk with you and hear your voice, but all the same, these stories that you share are fabulous.

Take care

At 7:45 am, Anonymous Phantom48 said...

Hmmm, 'Chalk Farm' = harm? and I know 'Plate of Meat' is feet. 'These & Those' maybe toes, 'So Sorry & Sad' = bad? 'Lord Mayor' = cheer.
So how did we do between us? It's certainly given us something to do - lol (as if neither of us is busy - NOT!!!)
Glad you are having a great time and especially that you've got some good memories of your birthday.
Love - Mum

At 11:00 am, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Come to Leeds. The city is fantastic, the people are really friendly and the clubbing is excellent (if you like either proper funky house or bassline that is).

nz_astrogirl (always trying to convince other kiwis to try out the friendly north)

At 8:56 am, Anonymous KADE said...

well finally after weeks off trying to go to this link i found it!!!i think ive missed some of the earlier days but what i have read is fantastic,im so glad your having an awesome adventure and cant wait to hear more and maybe writing ones myself,in may,wen im ova.
i miss you
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At 9:55 pm, Blogger Bee said...

Hi me again.

Using the translations offered, this is what I have converted the rhyme to. In context the only change from what was offered would be Lord Mayor I think it may be swear.

The next time you part with your (cash)for some (entertainers)be warned as you go to the (club)and (walk) up and down the (stairs) and spend plenty of (time)on the (floor)that they’ll likely (harm)your (feet)and (toes) so (bad)you’ll no doubt (swear)at the top of your (voice).


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