Mmm, chewy

Well my first batch of mince pies taught me to roll the pastry a lot thinner! I also need to go shopping for a proper baking tray for them rather than trying to get a cheapo aluminium (pronounced ‘alum-in-um’ over here of course) muffin trays to work. Nowhere near as nice as the ones from Myers of Keswick but they contain a lot more love, and of course grubby fingerprints.

I’ve also discovered that I now have enough airmiles from Virgin to fly to Hong Kong and back, or South America. Wow. I found that out while I was trying to book a flight back for Christmas. As I watched Orbitz and Expedia the flights got progressively more expensive. ‘Tis the season to be flying to the UK apparently. I was also faced with the quandry that if I follow through with my current plans of travelling come February I only have a few short months left in New York. This means I wanted to try and spend the minimum amount of time back in the UK and consequently I’m not staying there for New Years. Unless I change my mind of course… I normally do. Or do I?

Britlandia

Well, as you can guess from the fact I’m typing the plane landed safely… No sleep though, apart from the 20 minutes I caught during Hedwig and the Angry Inch (which I had just been starting to enjoy when I dozed off).

So I’ve been staying in a little hotel near to Oxford town center with most of my family – eight of us have descended to break the peace and celebrate my nan’s 84th birthday. We just had a wonderful (and extremely large) dinner at the Boot pub, just outside of Oxford. The walls have many different shoes from different celebrities such as Gary Linneker and the Bee Gees scattered around. Nice place.

Up, up and away

After a brief delay.. Currently I’m at JFK airport, enjoying the services of a get2net free console (which has many dodgy keys, of which ‘r’ is the wost). Just used my Silver Card with Virgin to check in, saving 20-30 minutes of waiting, only to find my flight is currently delayed over an hour. Of course, being Thanksgiving everything is closed. Damn glad I bought a book with me!

Also wish I’d checked the flight delays prior to rushing out early from Tim’s dinner. Good soup though and I have some pie to eat later. Mmm… Also got to play with a cute Sony Vario-Sonnar digital camera (5MP) courtesy of Jon. Smashing.

Junky

Back in the UK at my old house. Fly back later today on United – hopefully it will be as empty as on the way out so I’ll be able to get some sleep in, something I was sorely lacking until last night. I decided on Saturday to try and move my flight back to London earlier so I could see my family for longer. This turned out to be hideously easy, although the only flight available was 4.35am and was completely full – so no sleep for Matt and apologies to Stephen for constantly banging him as I tried to get slightly comfortable.

Having left Agia Napa we taxi’d over to Lemesos (aka, Lemesol) where we stayed at the Hawaii Grand hotel. This is another large hotel complex with every ammenity on tap, although the pool was smaller than London this time! I’ve now come to realize that I’m not really into ‘posh’ hotels – I’d rather be hanging out with a large group of friends or be somewhere interesting – like Mamacita’s in Culebra. Perhaps it’s just that I spend all my time in hotels anyway, so it just seemed like being at work!!

The last few days in Lemesos continued to be very lazy. We were fairly clubbed out and Lemesos clubs do not compare in quality to Agia Napa’s. Finally beat Stephen in our squash tournament and then in the snooker competition. So the overall score was well in my favour – it was just the ‘guess how many times Starlight is played’ contest that Stephen was best at.

Put your hands in the air

Two flights later (and many free shots at bars) I’m about to have my last night in Agia Napa, Cyprus. Flew in on a very empty flight from Newark to Heathrow, hung out in London for a night, then got up WAY too early to fly on to Larnaca, Cyprus. And now I’m in Agia Napa.

Agia Napa is a mad, clubbing, pubbing place. A strange mix of Brits, Europeans and Russians as far as I can tell. The bars stay open until 1.30, the weather’s gorgeous if a little sweaty, and clubs are free if you ask Keith, the barman at Club Titanic, nicely. Me and Stephen have made club Titantic our main home for the week, with the Castle Club the late night venue. Much cheap drinking, betting on how many times ‘Starlight’ is played (never as many as you think) watching the world go by.Kiris and Keith at club Titanic have been a laff, both having been here for 7/10 years respectively. Keith does a very impressive line in flipping out of the outside bar area into the street when he’s not busy chucking straws or ice cubes at passers by. A good laff – and excellent music.

The music has been much more important to me than the cheap an plentiful booze and people watching. I’ve been catching up on a lack of Glastonbury fuelled Brit-dance out here, plus the residuals of 3.5 years out in the dance drought that is New York. Old classics, new toonz. Lots of dancing, and I’ve even been drunk enough to have a couple of goes at ‘Dance, Dance Revolution’ (apparently, I’m a great dancer…) Now I’m aching and tired after 4 days of self-exhaustion and multiple time zones. We’re about to move on to Limasol which is calmer – let’s see how that goes. May even start taking some pictures.

Oh, and big thanks to everyone in London for a great Friday night catching up. I had a wonderful time in all three venues – Chiswick, Soho and Brixton. Seeing everyone again made me remember, yet again, what I really love about England – friends and family. Oh, and the great Trance Techno that is Sands of Sansara at the Fridge in Brizxton! See you all again soon, but it won’t be soon enough.

Now the bars beckon me back… I must do my patriotic duty as a Brit out no the piss in a foreign country and drink more than is wise and dance more flailingly than most by-standers like. Nice one.