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It’s only a ‘small leak’…

May 21, 2010
Bath Taped

Package tape around the edge of our bath

When you are faced with the question “How do you stop a leaking shower that is dripping through to the flat below?” some might say “call a plumber.” Not our landlords. In fact, pretty much any problem is met with the same “we’ll monitor it and see if it gets worse” attitude; like the time the toilet was leaking as we used it. Less than a month ago we had a visit from the tenant who lives in the flat below us. The ceiling of her kitchen was dripping so Nicky and I frantically searched our flat for leaks and found nothing. We let our landlord know immediately so that they could look into it but they believed “it wouldn’t be coming from our flat.” In the weeks to follow we were visited by our neighbours a couple times, and even got blasted for using water. Yet again we called our landlords to sort it out and they finally got in a plumber who diagnosed, but wasn’t paid to fix, the complete degradation of the silicon seal around the bath. In the interim we had to be resourceful; we couldn’t just stop using the shower, so armed with a roll of packing tape I covered the corners of the bath. Our landlords, who don’t like spending money, called in The Handyman (the landlord’s boyfriend)  last night to finally complete the job. To be honest though, I still like living here, the area is really nice and our room is huge, I just wish our landlords understood ‘maintenance and upkeep.’

London TowerBut, of course there is more to life in London than leaks and miserable weather. Well, I say miserable, this week is a heat wave; grey with highs of 20! And it just happens to be the only week that I am stuck inside with the flu. Back when I was feeling fine, Nicky and I checked out the Tower of London. We gave it 3 hours and still didn’t see it all. The tower is something like 900 years old and is located on the north-bank of the Thames, right next to the Tower Bridge. It has been used as a prison, fortress, and palace. We took a walking tour with a Yeoman Warder (Beefeater) who had plenty of information to share and told some great stories. The guards actually live within the outer tower walls. The job is more than a responsibility, it’s their life. We also saw the crown jewels, the golden plates, cups, cutlery, golden everything really. – those Monarchs aren’t skint! The tower is well worth the visit; make sure you take a tour with a guard to get the extra information.

Pho at Cha Cha Moon

Nicky enjoying her Pho

Since settling in we’ve trekked out into town almost every day, checked out our local high-street (and local pubs) and sampled many great dishes including some of the best Taiwan Beef Noodles from Cha Cha Moon. There is a little bit of a back story to this one. Back in Adelaide, one of my best friends, Chinny, took me to a Vietnamese Restaurant in Ferryden park where we ate huge bowls of beef noodle soup. This was a weekly tradition for him as it soon became ours too. Since moving to London Nicky and I began pining for the ol’ ‘Phở‘ and we stumbled across said restaurant. It’s a must-taste for those interested in Asian food and let’s be honest, there’s only so much British cuisine one can endure.

Nicky and I having our feet nibbled on.

Nicky and I having our feet nibbled on by fish

And whilst on the topic of  food I should mention the time that Nicky and I paid to have little fish feast upon our feet at the Camden Markets – where else? In the natural springs of Turkey and Japan you can go and immerse your feet in the water where these little Gurra Rufa, or Doctor Fish, come up and nibble with their toothless mouths at the dead skin on your feet. It is considered a therapeutic treatment. These fish have been harvested for use in stalls like this one so that people can experience it within a controlled and filtered environment. Nicky and I gave it a go and quite enjoyed it. It was like a light brushing or tickling of the feet as the little fish moved over your skin. Our feet felt so good after just 15 minutes.

Ricky Gervais on stage

Ricky Gervais - Live

Another highlight has been the Ricky Gervais live stand up show ‘Science’ at the Wembley Arena. It was a last minute purchase for Nicky, Martin (Moods) and myself and it was absolutely hilarious, I laughed so much for the 1.5 hour set that my jaw was hurting. Our seats were fantastic; right near the front!  The elaborate stage resembled a dungeon laboratory that he rarely interacted with, however. His humour is certainly not for the prude, which is (I guess) why we absolutely loved it! Leaving the show afterwards turned out to be a busy task; an arena full of people all travelling home on the same tube line. The crowd was so massive that we decided to wait a short while before boarding the train home. So we sat and ate burgers on the steps out the front of the arena, watching people drench themselves by running through a large fountain that decorated the arena square. We were comfortable staying dry.

The 3 of us (Nicky, Moods and I) have also since been to Berlin for a short trip. However, since I left it so long between blogs I’m going to keep the trip to Berlin for another update because this one is already getting too big. Stay tuned!

I have only been to one training session with Parkour Generations since arriving in this country and immediately I was reminded of how intense it was and how unfit I have become! Prior to that session it had been months since I last did anything close to the magnitude of that training. I had substituted all of my strength and fitness with a large amount of beer and pub meals.  So needless to say, after one session I was wrecked. The plan was to go on a weekly basis but the Berlin trip the following week put a break on that. I might need to go for a couple of runs around the block just to work away the lethargy of alcohol and bratwurst that I have accumulated. This is Binge Britain, as I have been told on many occasions, a culture where your local pub is your lounge room. Your attendance is not just accepted but expected!

  1. The Count permalink

    I’m not sure if it’s a coincidence or not, but your blog has been sponsored today by Ken Hall Plumbers. Why trust anyone else?

    Also, them monarchs may not be skint with all that gold, but England certainly may be. 😛

    Looking forward to hearing about Friction Festival and Berlin in general. Oh, and the unexpected (and without consent?) drunken threesome with Handsome the other night.

  2. Nicky permalink

    Where’s the Berlin post? Huh? HUH? Not good enough. Get it done!

    I love you.

    I love this post. Especially the part about our stupid landlords. It’s funny ’cause they’re stupid. Like when she started harassing us about the heating being on and turned it off. They’re stupid. Hahaha.

    I want beef noodles. I should have had them yesterday. The Wanton Noodles were good, but I like the Beef Noodles. Can we go there today? Please? Noodle is a funny word. I like “poodle” the most. It is funny that it rhymes with “noodle,” though. Poodle noodle poodle noodle poodle noodle poodle noodle.

    So… I have a Ninja Turtles t-shirt. How about that?

  3. I want to hear about Berlin now…

    What do you know I was arsed reading it but mostly because I am procrastinating over an assignment.

    Ninja Turtle Shirts Rule !

    Looks like you are having fun and enjoying the time, So have you resorted to a retail job yet ?

  4. Hooray!

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