Friday, May 14, 2010

Greetings from London (again!)

Greetings from Londontown!

It has been a whirlwind from the start of the week, but things are starting to slow down a little bit. I think this is the calm before the next storm.

Kelly and his family were here from Monday till Wednesday, so it was really good catching up with him and the rest of them as well. His dad's memorial was a little bit sad for me, but it was great to see what an inspiring person he was... from the calibre of people in the room, to the things they all had to say about him. He lived a truly remarkable life.

Can you believe I didn't take pictures of Kelly and myself? I guess we were so busy talking that everything else was forgotten. It was good to connect with each other again. Even though we've been together for 5 years, and even with the likes of Skype video... a long distance relationship is tough.

Now, I'm onto the second leg of this trip: editing our commercial.

But first - I must tell you about this hotel we're staying at. Can I please just preface that this is the only place our company has a corporate rate with, and all other hotels in Soho worked out to be DOUBLE the price of this place? So we are staying here relatively "cheaply" ("Cheap" is relative. Especially when you're in London).

This is one of those designer WANK places. Designed by Phillip Stark or some such... there are Papparazzi hanging out in the streets outside for the celebs that come through these doors, and for the past 2 days there have been lots of models hanging out in the lobby, filling up casting forms. I think they're either holding a casting session in one of the board rooms, or a wardrobe fitting for an upcoming shoot. Or something.

Last night, someone from my team ended up having drinks with the band, The Killers, in the hotel bar coz they were the last ones left in the bar together (we spotted the band checking in yesterday. Oops, should I have said that? Here come more paps!) And the night before, I got into the elevator with a little old lady who excitedly turned to me and said "Did you see Boy George? He just walked into the bar!"

Er... No, I hadn't seen him. Because I was too distracted by the ridiculous elevator. It still cracks me up. It is PITCH BLACK inside, except for 3D hologram images of the universe on the walls. Seriously, you could pop magic mushrooms and ride the elevators up and down all day. Actually, you don't even need any hallucinogenics coz being in the lift itself is a trip. It's a bit hard to photograph coz there's no frame of reference when everything in there's so dark. I still get spooked walking into the lift and suddenly realizing there's someone else standing in the corner. I feel like I'm about to get mugged in the hotel elevator! HAHAHA!

And the room itself is more of a laugh... all these modern, contemporary designers and their clean lines. It drives me insane! The bathroom walls are all glass - so there lots of different kinds of curtains and shades for privacy. What ends up happening is the bloody curtains get EVERYWHERE - sucked into the shower, caught in the draft of the doors. It's just so impractical.

Look at what's hanging on the ceiling directly above my bed?

(I am paranoid it's going to drop down on me in the middle of the night). It's a pastoral landscape, so I imagine it's supposed to calm me down before bedtime? It's got the opposite effect!

The piece de resistance must be this contraption that's stuck to the wall.

Yes, ladies and gents... they're designer barbells. Can't you see the graphics showing you which muscles you can work out with these barbells? The weights are HEAVY. Oh, and of course they're also signed "Stark. xo" One of my colleagues says she has stayed in a room here before where there has been a TREADMILL in the room.

I mean... Seriously?

There's an entire gym downstairs in the building. Why bother with these random exercise equipment in the rooms? It almost makes you feel guilty for wanting to order room service!

The one thing I'm enjoying are the portraits of dogs they've got hanging all over the lobby. Yeah. The dog portraits are human-like, and it's a great piss-take on the portrait genre. Like this one.

(That silly dude kept looking over and smiling coz he thought I was photographing him!)

I think we should do a gigantic painting of Hank and hang it up too. I suppose even though this place is HIGHLY PRETENTIOUS, it is fun being in an environment like this. Coz we are just making fun of all the people here who are taking themselves very seriously (like the Doormen, who keep asking us "Are you staying here?" as they open the doors for us... coz we look like the riff-raff!)

This place is a close enough walk to AYL, so yesterday I went to check it out. I LOVE IT! Hamish's adjustments are gorgeous, and the place has a similar vibe to the old YogaMoves in Bondi Junction. It was lovely being in a group environment again, and just that familiar sound of Ujjayi breathing and the air heavy with humidity made me realize how much I missed having a teacher and a shala to go to.

I'm surprised by how small the space is (it's slightly smaller than Eileen's old space above the health store), and there's literally 2 inches between mats. The edges of my mat on both sides were kissing the wall too... so getting used to being cramped into a small practice space was another thing to get my head around. I had shitty dropbacks - bonked my head on the first go, then on the second go I couldn't even stand back up again and ended up whacking the girl next to me as I was trying to stand up. I have no idea what happened!

It was all good though, I was BUZZING as I walked down the street, and ended up walking back when I realized I hadn't paid for my class! Hamish chuckled too coz he hadn't even thought to collect payment. Can't wait to get back there again. :)


  1. Good to see you back in London. I thought the mirror looked like someone starting Surya A!

    See you Sunday hopefully.

  2. LOL, this post really cracked me up - both the pretentiousness of it all and your commentary! Those dumbbells look best where they are (i.e., untouched and ornamental).

  3. Oh weren't you warned about the miniatureness of AYL? And I'm going to say that picture above the bed? I think it's so you "lie back & think of England" ;)

  4. Hahaha! Awesome report. Can't wait to meet you Sunday!!!

  5. Hey Globie! You're right! It does kinda sorta look like Surya A - except different muscles are highlighted in red. :)

    Danielle - I'm still trying to figure out how one should hold them comfortably. They look ergonomically designed but don't really feel like it when picked up. Not like I'm working out in the room, of course!

    Mel - that is TOO FUNNY!! I wonder if there's a room with "margaret thatcher naked on a cold day") HAHAHA.

    Susan - yeah! I think I'll make it to YP on Sunday. It's a late start to work for us so I think I should be OK. Starts at 8am, right? :)

  6. You HAVE to get a photo of you 'working out' with those weights.

    Yes, YP at 8:00.. however, as it turns out I'll be teaching! Cary just asked me to cover. I will just be holding the fort, kind of... totally understand if you go to Hamish's instead, a certified teacher. You should try Phillipa too since she's so close to Soho (but not on a Sunday). Anyway.. wherever you go to practice, you're coming to lunch in Spitalfields after? I hope??

    I love how that guy is looking over for the photo, hahaha...

  7. Of course I'll still come, that's even more exciting! What time is lunch coz I'll have to get to work at some point late morning/ early afternoon. Yes, on Sunday. I'll find out later today or tomorrow what the plan is on the work front. Mel has my number and we've been in touch. :) xxx

  8. and oh yeah, that guy? He looked over the first time, looked back, then looked over again but this time with that stupid smile on his face. And he kept smiling at the camera. When I walked past later and was looking at the DOG PICTURE behind him, he kept looking over and smiling at me, probably thinking I was checking him out. HAHAHA! What an idiot!

  9. Maggie Thatcher naked, OMG that is a scary thought! Lots more space at YP.Susan is a great teacher. See you tomorrow.

    BTW The tube is only going to Liverpool St tomorrow, from there you need to get No8 or 388 bus to YP

  10. Cool I am in London now too although there is nothing fancy in my room. Hopefully see you tomorrow.

  11. hi Skippetty
    ah, yes, Phillipe Stark. i'm familiar with his hotels and used to give tours of the Delano when people visited me in Miami Beach. he has a weird sense of humor, as with his benches that pinch you in wrong places, or stools you don't understand.

    i feel the same way about the glass everywhere in a bathroom. someone thought that was chick in a hotel remodel in a province over here. i was traveling with a friend for many days and spent one night in a hotel with such a bathroom. i had trouble going to the bathroom. i think i ended angering my friend, since i woke up super early to get my business out of the way. then to give him privacy i went to the lobby and stayed there until breakfast. all the glass surfaces did not help for the dispersion of odors, either.


  12. Hey, everyone except me is going for breakfast after practice (I have to teach elsewhere), then I am meeting you all for lunch at 1:30. Of course it's kind of understandable if you can't hang around for four hours after practice, see how it goes :)

  13. Arturo - your story is really funny. I'm thankful now it's only me in the room coz you're right it would be weird to have anyone else sharing such an unprivate room!

    Hey V - are you there everyday? Kevin told me you usually hang out in the right corner of the room so I was trying to spot you but... everyone looks like you. Haha.


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