Friday, 15 August 2008

this is the life.



hi hi friendly readers. i am not sure if there are many of you but i will blog on as it brings me joy.

I spent a wonderful week in Edinburgh with Liz. As is our way, we fell into a pleasing routine were we would get up, breakfast and coffee at Black Medicine together (Kath used to work there!), then she would go to work, I would take her crew pass, go see shows for free. Dinner during her break then more shows for me then I would collect her round midnight and we´d go out for a drink. It was all most enjoyable.

I saw some great shows, have a newfound passion for Tim Minchin (genius!), respect for Reginald D Hunter (anyone who can do a stand up routine about Josef Fritzl and keep the audience´s love deserves it) and a strong dislike for stupid old Parky wannabe, Nicholas Parsons. I also saw a great musical called The Kiddy Fiddler on the Roof, wonderful childrens theatre (Potted Potter, all seven booksz in seventy minutes), caught up with Cath at Circus Oz, ran into Alice in the street, and met Camille The Dark Angel (well technically we chatted to her sister but she was standing RIGHT THERE.) Oh and I saw Jennifer Saunders. That was exciting.

Sleeping on Liz´s floor nearly broke my back but it was worth it to see her flip out at her messy housemates and start hiding clean dishes for us to use in the morning. Her abusive notes pasted on doors and ovens also entertained. Especially when the angry note was written to a guy whose birthday it was. No excuse!

I sadly farewelled my companion and boarded a flight to Barcelona on Monday. Where it is boiling hot. Liz had told me I would love Barcelona but I wasn´t sold right away. I am not one for truly appreciating 35 degree weather. It made trudging around the spectacular Sagrida Familia a bit exhausting. However when I hit the beach on Tuesday afternoon I was pretty stoked. Also quite pleasing is the European penchant for not wearing a top on the beach. Not for the perv factor but because I could just change into my swimmers right there. I have a new rule when it comes to vanity or modesty: ├Łou will never see these people again, who cares if they think you are fat. It is a good rule.

On Tuesday night I made friends with a Canadian traveller. We realised that we both:
a) were nearly 25 (cue quarter life crisis)
b) had recently quit our jobs
c) were blowing massive savings
d) had recently participated in pleasing holiday flings

With these commonalities we set out to find a tapas bar, found a restaurant instead, gorged on Spanish delicacies and proceeded to catch the wrong night bus, finding ourselves in the Barcelona burbs at 3am. We got a taxi back to the hostel and apart from some murmurs from disgruntled sisters from uruguay that we woke up when we got in, all was well.

Yesterday was bliss. We went to some Gaudi buildings and Parc Guell and marvelled at the view over the city, and Gaudi´s fairytale like crazy style. We headed for the beach and lay in the sun, got a 5 euro massage and took photos of ourselves. And swimming in the sea with someone who hadn´t been in salt water before this trip was HIGHLY amusing and joyous. Finally we dragged ourselves from the sand, bought an excess of fruit and veges from the market for about 10 euros each and headed back to the hostel.

This arvo I´m off to Granada to couch surf with some guy called Tom. Not too thrilled about the 14 hour bus ride, but good times ahead I hope.

I am happy.
I am well.

Love Maeve

Wednesday, 6 August 2008

yes, yes, it's the gay tour of europe


hi. so my captions on the last three albums of photos were factual rather than witty so i am writing a blog as penance. with sub-headings. this won't be amusing either in all likelihood due to exhuastion after a late one at the pub with liz. sorry.

Stockholm

I was in Stockholm for a week. It is a beautiful city. Actually it reminded me of Sydney a lot as it's on an archipelago so lots water. Lots water = architecture which employs glass and balconies a lot, plenty of parks and green, bridges, ferries and the ability to really do summer (an ability which many European countries, e.g. London, lack).

So when I was moseying by the water, admiring the rooftops (great lines) and the people* I was very happy.

* It is true. Swedish people are better looking. I didn't want to believe the stereotype but they are, in general, taller, higher cheekboned, tanneder, better dressed and generally more likely to look like a supermodel than the rest of the world. It's just a fact. Factual information. Don't say I don't inform ya.

I took in some sites:
- Parliament House (Sweden also has an interesting political system like Norway)
- Fjaderholma (Feather Islands): Note that while Stockholm may look like Sydney, options for swimming leave a little to be desired. I waded with pain into the rocky, slimy water at the edge of the islands, floated for a bit, then went back to my towel and read. The point of going to 'bathe' in Sweden is clearly to look good in a bikini and work on your terracotta tan (while young Swedes may be super hot, older Swedes tend to have that beautiful brand of handbag leather skin and a whitish patch under their chin that the sun has burnt quite so effectively.)
- The Architecture Museum and the Dance Museum (see below for my love of obscure museums)
- Gamla Stan, the old town. Very pretty.

I stayed at a bad youth hostel without a proper kitchen, leading to some amusing cooking debacles but mostly it was all ok. I also did gay stuff, which brings me to...

Europride 08

This was a reasonably generic Pride event with events, seminars, concerts and a parade. That said, it was fun, a good opportunity to make friends and I saw some great stuff (excuse bullet points, I am too tired for narrative structure):
- A seminar on making it as a queer artist by trans RnB singer, Joshua Clipp.
- The book launch for Femmes of Power: Exploding Queer Feminities. I met Del La Grace Volcano (networked actually) and asked a question. Go me. I now wish I had gotten a bunch of signed copies but my luggage is SERIOUSLY overweight so I did not.
- some excellent drag kings
- VERY amusing ABBA cover band and eurovision night
- a bunch of burlesque (inferior to gurlesque)
- Sadly I missed the seminar on how to give good head as it was full. Sorry to any future sexual partners.

I made some friends at the couchsurfing picnic which improved my week as I had people to mosey through Pride Park with and sit in gutters eating pizza. I also heard stories from fellow travellers about pride in Croatia and Israel and felt very lucky to live in Australia.

I also went to a dance party called Queer All Stars. Sobre. and Alone. And I loved it. The freedom to dance RIDICULOUSLY was awesome. Not to mention the wandering through the crowd watching the frivolity like a creepy voyeur. I did meet up with some people by the end of the night though and after random beers in their backyard I wandered home as the sun rose over pretty pretty Stockholm and I thought, life is good.

Obscure Museums

I do not like rushing from museum to museum in order to 'do' a foreign city. I like to pick one or two and really spend a few hours in them. And I do not like 'Nationa Museums.' I like odd museums devoted to one thing. I have been to:

- Vigelund Sculpture Museum (Oslo, Norway)
- Viking Museum (Borg, Norway)
- Leprosy Museum (Bergen, Norway)
- Art Deco Museum (Alesund, Norway)
- Architecture Museum (Stockholm, Sweden)
- Dance Museum (Stockholm, Sweden)
- and today, the Surgery Museum (Edinburgh, Scotland)

I shall be a trivia expert, I shall, I shall!

I am waiting in heady anticipation for the obscure museum of obscure museums...in Iceland...they have...according to my guidebook...

A Museum of the Phallus! (with hundreds of specimens from whale to guinea pig, stuffed and preserved for my viewing pleasure. oh. my. god. it. is. too. funny. Apparently they do not have a human specimen, but they have some donors lined up.)

Anyway, I shall leave you on that note as I head off to meet Liz for dinner. Am in Edinburgh now, if my vaguely racist status updates hadn't informed you. I am loving the festival, and will wirte about it soon. Also enjoying doing a restaurant tour of the town with Liz as her only break from work is during dinner time (how convenient...) After weeks of ryvita crackers with peanut butter and tomato, apples and water, this is sweet sweet luxury. Liz's floor, where I am sleeping, is NOT sweet sweet luxury. Rather it is like a sadistic lover, bringing me pain but making me happy as it's free and comes complete with great Liz companionship. Life's good.

Over and out.
Maeve

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The Blurb

For maevegobash: yeah, I just like thinking/writing/talking about myself. That's what blogs are for, right? For vegepalooza: I have been vegetarian for 25 years now - so that's always for me. My mothers cooked a storm up in the kitchen and I am carrying the torch filling my friends bellies at every opportunity. I love food and want to share my recipes, tips and tricks here to encourage creative vegetarian eating. There will also be a lot of vegan recipes for my friends with more willpower than me (sorry kids, I just love the cheese). Anyway enjoy, feel free to criticise and most of all Happy Eating!