Spring is so close you guys! It isn’t warm enough for a sit in park or a rooftop bar, but there’s always an exhibition or two to check out in London.
On this weekend’s programme was the Fashion and Textile Museum’s T-Shirt: Cult – Culture – Subversion exhibition. If you are in doubt of going ask yourself if during your teens you’ve owned at least five band T-shirts or shirts with a funny quotes to express yourself. If the answer is yes, then you should go.
This exhibition isn’t huge, but makes good use of the space and interesting story telling. After a quick history lesson (where I learned that the famous Hard Rock Cafe T-shirt was first released in London in mid 70s and that the famous I Heart NY followed a few years later) you’ll learn more about how the T-shirt has played an important part in all subcultures.
The exhibit also includes Vivienne Westwood’s take on the T-shirt as well as how the T made it’s way to haute couture … including the “We Should All Be Feminists” T-shirt from the 2016 Dior show.
While you won’t see Seth Cohen’s ‘Now Start A Band’ T-shirt, or the offerings from Napoleon Dynamite, Rocky or the Big Leboswki, there is the Unknown Pleasures, the infamous USC and a more tie dye than you shake a stick at.
The exhibition runs until 6 May 2018 and tickets are £9.80. If you find yourself in the area, why not go for a coffee and banana bread at Fuckoffee, check out Maltby Street Market or – once Spring gets here – head to Leathermarket Gardens.
Last week I bizarrely bumped into #TeamNL at Schiphol Airport, those brave orange jacketed souls heading to South Korea for the Winter Olympics. It filled me with Dutch pride, and as the events kick off in Pyeongchang here’s some Dutch words we should all hear more of.
To wish something for someone because you think they deserve it. Probably my favourite Dutch word and it makes me sad that I can’t say it as often as I’d like. I ‘gun’ Team NL 50 gold medals.
IJsberen – literally ‘polar bearing’
It’s the Dutch word for walking back and forth in a room when one is nervous or in deep thought. Just like me when I’m trying to come up with a suitable pun for the next post.
Voorpret – literally ‘pre fun’ or ‘anticipatory pleasure’
This is the excitement and pleasure you get before an event or trip, or whatever floats your boat.
Uitzieken – literally ‘sickening it out’
The recovery process of getting rest to get the illness out of you. Preferably not creating a giant mess.
Often translated a cosy, but it’s so much more. It’s the feeling of satisfaction, happiness and comfort when with people close to you. It’s like getting a cuddle from a giant teddybear who serves you hot chocolate.
Someone who gets cold quickly and is always suffering from the cold. A modern day White Walker.
Uitwaaien – literally ‘wind blowing out’
When you go for a walk to let the wind blow away your problems. Not recommended in hurricane season.
Beleg – literally ‘spreads’
We Dutchies love our sandwich toppings so much we have a special word dedicated to them! Beleg covers everything you want to shove on your humble piece of bread – not limited to only spreads but also chocolate sprinkles and sliced meat – anything goes!
Natafelen – literally ‘after table-ing’
Once dinner is over, but you continue your conversations around the table until the late hours. Sadly this word might die out with all the hip restaurant pressuring you to leave to free up a table.
It’s no Glow Eindhoven or Vivid Sydney, but Lumiere London is a pretty good reason to brave a cold, damp January evening. For four days, international artists get free reign to light up London with over 50 installations.
What they don’t mention in the press release is:
2 rude Dutch people
3 crying mums
10 kids on scooters
12 places trying to seduce you with hot chocolate
20 sites where you’re not sure if it’s part of the festival or just accidental Lumiere.
Despite this, there’s more than a few bright lights to dazzle you. Mine were:
Child Hood @ Trafalager Square – all my Hertz go to this one
Harmonic Portal @ 197 Piccadilly – loved these watts and wats
The Wave @ the South Bank – lightened up my mood
Entre les rangs @ King’s Cross – was truly delightful to walk around
OSC-L & Sixty Minute Spectrum @ South Bank – leave you in the dark
You might want to dim your expectations when you come across these ones:
Slow travel and digital detox! These buzzwords are going to be everywhere in 2018 so before you get bored of them here’s my Expectations vs Reality on travelling digiless.
When I planned my trip the plan was to do a little hike here, see a museum/castle there but mainly enjoy a few days off.. As Innsbruck looked compact, going digiless seemed perfect.
Expectation: I don’t use guidebooks too much, I prefer to research online and put together my own itinerary. But part of the magic was supposed to be to go around with a map and an old fashioned guidebook.
Reality: I was hit by this one quite early as it turns out there isn’t an Innsbruck guide. The best on offer was a regional guide so that idea went out the window. I ended up using a map and booklets from the tourist office and a charming folder my Airbnb host had prepared.
Expectation: Get a paper map and follow it travel nirvana.
Reality: The airport bus took 15 minutes to the centre, with the Airbnb a few minutes from there, meaning my first travel test felt a bit of a cheat.
Still it CAN go wrong and one CAN walk past the ski lift entrance. In my defence, my digiless experiment in asking a kind local for directions was a terrible mistake. Getting lost was actually ok as I got to talk practice my German and talk to people but it did almost cost me my relationship.
Hiking trails are beautiful, relaxing and some of my favourite places. BUT the sign posts are open to interpretation, which may have resulted in going down the wrong side of a mountain.
Expectation: Getting my Warhol on and snapping some magical Polaroids while on the go.
Reality: Well that magic was lost soon when it proved too cloudy atop the mountain and you actually can’t get the gorgeous landscape in frame. Thank God I was with a sane person who did bring a DIGITAL camera.
Expectation: Just go with the flow and see where you end up foodwise, why not ask a random person what their favourite place is or go where the locals seem to hang out.
Reality: I soon learned that you often need to book a table, I always forget that outside London this is essential, especially on Friday night. But I also learned that the most touristy spot in town that I would usually avoid actually had the best kaesespaetzle that has ever melted on my tongue.
Expectation: Who needs planning and getting travel tickets booked ahead of time? Why not spontaneously head down to the station and see what the lovely ticket office staff have to offer?
Reality: So many reasons why not! But guys … you can’t blame me for wanting to do Before Midnight and get on a train to anywhere but without booking it online weeks ahead I could barely afford 3 stops. Wait for me Ethan!
Expectation: Have a old fashioned notebook with scribbles of my adventures (and of course the perfect spot for accompanying Polaroids)
Reality: This is actually a great one … until I remembered I am missing the creative gene. And now I’m left with a notebook that’s 3/4 empty filed with handwriting that turns indecipherable after 3 sentences.
Conclusion: It isn’t that hard, it’s just a switch that needs turning off.
I’m not on Instagram or Twitter too much, so going digiless isn’t a giant step but I love the idea of doing it as much as possible, even if it doesn’t always work out as expected. However, I will say, there’s something about walking around London using memory, logic and landmarks to find my way. It’s somehow less draining (on my brain and phone battery) than following whatever Google maps has to say, so give it a try!
ABBA are back! But sadly only in museum form, at the Southbank Centre – only moments away from ‘Waterloo’ Station!
So why not kickstart your 2018 with an immersive exhibition about the band, complete with narration by Jarvis Cocker? An hour filled with the background stories that shaped the group with a close look at some of ABBA’s original costumes, music instruments and album artworks.
Tickets are randomly priced between £15 and £25 – and lucky for me mine was £25. Without spoiling too much, is the exhibition worth your hard earned ‘Money Money Money’?
Yes, ABBA-solutely worth it if you
can’t resist guided quirky and interactivish exhibitions
always have wanted to sing Dancing Queen at the infamous Polar studio (or a replica in this case)
aren’t planning to visit the ABBA Museum in Stockholm
don’t mind have ABBA’s greatest hits stuck in your head for the rest of the day
No, don’t ‘take chance’ on it if
you like to take your time to check every detail and not be rushed
you expect more background info than what you can find with a simple internet search
you don’t like small and possibly cramped spaces
the 1970’s make you scream ‘S.O.S.’
So was it worth the £25? As you know, value for money is the ‘Name of the Game’ for Tea so ‘When all is Said and Done’ it would have been great if it was £20 as it’s actually ridiculous when you consider the tour only takes an hour. Then again it is 2018 and ‘Knowing Me, Knowing You’ we paid a fiver for a bowl of cornflakes and tenner for a hip burger.
Are you in the mood for a dance?
Abba: Super Troupers is at the Southbank Centre, London SE1, until 29 April 2018