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This morning I slept in. The first time I slept in past 8:00 since I’ve been here. And even though it’s 10:00 now, I still feel shattered.

I was determined to ensure an on-coming cold wouldn’t slow me down for the weekend. So, Friday night I piled on the Vit C, garlic, and echinicea in an attempt to burn the nasty germs out of my body. With only moderate success with my cold remedies, I needed piles of Kleenex to keep the sniffles at bay.

My cupboard was bare, so I grabbed lunch at a little restaurant near Waterloo Station. I only ordered a egg-salad sandwich, tuna salad, and orange juice, but the salad must have had 2 cans of tuna in it, and I couldn’t finish it. I felt sick eating as much as I did – protein overdose.

At 2:00 I met Ariel outside the Old Vic Theatre, and we collected our tickets for Richard II. The play was outsanding! We had Under-25 seats that put as in the 2nd row, near the centre – pretty good for 10 pound tickets! Ariel was a bit worried that I wouldn’t be able to follow the story because I had never read Richard II and the play was a modern adaptation. But the text still followed the original play, even though the characters carried guns, drove cars, and were chased around by paparazzi. Kevin Spacey was amazing of course. And the guy playing Bolingbrook was great too. We got Ben and Jerry’s ice cream at intermission, which was good but threw my poor stomach into a loop. After the play, we waited outside the cast door to catch a glimpse of the actors. Ariel had a first edition of Richard II she had picked up at a pound shop, and she managed to get Kevin Spacey, the guy who played Bolingbrook, and the Queen to sign it.

After the play we went down to a Spanish restaurant near Old Street called the Cantaloupe. Ariel had scouted it out the day before and it came highly recommended. The food was tasty, but the portions were small. We had quesidillas and empanadas, and I had a glass of red wine. After dinner, but before desert, we pulled out a backgammon board and played a game with the loser getting to pay for dinner. Ariel played by some really screwy rules, so I had to convince her that she was mixing Sorry! with backgammon rules. We played by the real rules and for most of the game she was kicking my butt with her lucky roles. Then as she started to bear pieces off, I managed to kill a few of her pieces, and came back to even up the game. It was a race to the finish but I beat her in the end. Then I offered to pay for dinner anyway.

We found a little cafe near Angel and had drinks and played a game of Set. Ariel managed to kick my butt in Set (shocking! I know, but she’s played before). So we need a tie-breaker at some point (I think we decided on cribbage). After the cafe, we caught a train down to Hackney to go to a cast-party that Ariel had been invited to. I think Hackney is the only neighborhood in London dodgier than Brixton. When we got of the train at Hackney Wick we were in an industrial neighborhood, with junk yards, and the streets were deserted, except for a few other people that were also heading to the party. The party was in an old warehouse that had been “converted” into flats. Where “converted” means kitchens were installed and walls put up roughly. It was a cool party. They had two rooms. One was a chill out room with soft music playing and platters of food. The other room had a dj spinning live music and dancing and a live band later on (although it was pretty quite when we left).

…More Later…off to Camden Market. The girls are rushing me out the door.

Sorry for the cliff hanger, I went to Camden Market this morning with Kimayne and Gemma (roommates) and they were anxious to leave. More on that later.

The party was fun, but the smoking killed me. I still had an upset stomach from the ice cream, and a runny nose from the cold, and enhaling all that second-hand smoke was driving me crazy. Why must everyone here smoke?! The air was so hazy in there. I think I’ve developed a smoker’s cough just from last night. I wasn’t feeling great at the party, so I only had one glass of wine. We did find a bowl of grapes and I entertained people catching grapes in my mouth as people threw them in the air.

We left the party at 12:30. Things were just getting started, but we were anxious to find our way home from Hackney. The trains had stopped running at 11:30 and the underground closed at 12:30, so we were left trying to navigate the night busses. It was the first time I had stayed out later than the tubes run. It took us 45 minutes to walk to a bus stop where we could catch a night bus back to central London. It was so frustrating walking in the cold trying to find the right bus stop as busses zoomed by. When we found the right bus stop it was closed and redirected us to another stop 15 minutes away. Once we finally got on the bus, it took less than 30 min to get to Charring Cross where I grabbed a bus to Brixton and Ariel up to Archway. In the end I stumbled into bed at 2:30.

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