lemme tell you a story, ness talks about life

paddington bear’s favourite dinosaur is: unknown

London, 2022. Before the Queen departed this mortal coil, the pound jumped off a cliff, and they installed a revolving door in Number 10. Blissfully unaware of All That Would Be, I, my sister-in-law and my niece and nephew, caught an early coach to the Capital. Our mission? The Natural History Museum and Big Ben. Sorry! Elizabeth’s Tower.

We were fortunate in that arrived at the side of Buckingham Palace and saw the changing of the guards. Our sight was partially obscured by a postman’s van. Presumably he’d taken a wrong turn. I like to think of him fondly, slumped low in the driver’s seat:

‘Maggie! I’ve gone to the palace. Yes! You heard me right the Palace! I KNEW I should have used the bloomin’ SatNav’

The guards changed and marched around a bit and stood for much longer and out of all the things I’ve ever seen, it was one of them. You can’t say much more than that.

I asked a policeman if he wouldn’t mind assuring my nephew that this was Buckingham Palace. The good news? Yes! It was. Also (he pointed) ‘those are the kitchens.’ So. Now we all knew.

Onwards we trooped, towards the Natural History Museum. We had a map, we had a plan, we were prepared.

And it. was. glorious.

this has a WHALE of a story to tell. i make no apologies

We had a map. We marked off each area we visited and though we spent an eternity there and still didn’t visit every single place.

he’s a mammal that cares *extra*

This is a Giant Sloth and let me tell you that Sid the Sloth wishes he had this height. What a legend. What ribs. What glory.

The dinosaur area (LOOK I’M NOT A PROFESSIONAL MUSEUM PERSON. I DON’T KNOW THEIR NAMES. Oh wait. Exhibit? Exhibit.) was heaving with people and yet, it was magnificent and I got to see some dino skin and lemme tell you, their skincare routine? Not it. Not it at all.

Charlie, mah boi, with his bodacious beard

I quite liked all the mineraly-rock room. My niece thoughtfully pointed out one of the precious gems on display as a gift for her mother and what can I say? The girl has taste.

Unfortunately the gem was a) in a vault and b) not for sale. Pfft. Minor obstacles. Easily overcome!

In the low, low priced gift … place … I bought dinosaur jelly sweets for the folks at work. They were delicious and inspired a poll. (The sweets. Not my colleagues.) It’s always ‘Why are you here?’ and ‘What do you do for a living?’ and never ‘What’s your favourite dinosaur?’ A simply disgusting oversight. So that’s why we, in my little office, asked the question of nearly the entire company.

And they answered.

I won’t tell you who won out, but I will say that I’m disappointed that more people didn’t vote for the Pachycephalosaurus who are clearly the spirit dinosaur of a British-man-with-a-bulldog-tattoo emerging from a pub after a football match.

(Trust me on this one.)

behold! Elizabeth’s Tower!

It was a long day, but a day that was very much worth it. We got to meet up with more members of my family, which was delightful, and so in short – it was a wonderful day and I would 100% recommend going. (With your own family. Sorry. You can’t have mine.)

If no one has asked you lately, please allow me:

What’s your favourite dinosaur?

lemme tell you a story

cosplaying as jason todd // london comic con

Honestly, I like to think that everyone is a bit of a nerd these days. This year was the first time I properly expressed it though. You see, I went to ComicCon with a friend, dressed as Jason Todd. Oh yeah. I have a crowbar now. One that stuck out of my backpack all the way through London and no one stopped me.

Okay, so I guess I’ll have to fess up – aside from spending too much money on finding just the right jacket and experimenting with white hair paint – I really should have spent more time figuring out exactly what goes on at ComicCon. You probably shouldn’t, you know, just rock up.

(We did just that.)

However, I’m going to say it – I didn’t mind at all. Because: 1) it was about the atmosphere and 2), my friends, I got to see Batman.

BOOM!!

It was one of the worst moments of my life. Batman said ‘ah, the disappointment’ and I, with the zeal of a true fan and Jason Todd aficionado fumbled out a ‘no, YOU’RE the disappointment for not killing Joker’.

… don’t say anything. Please.

The earth, contrary to my dearest wish, did not open up and swallow me whole. The man who was cosplaying at Batman looked a little taken aback but was wonderful because he let me take a menacing photo with him.

(When I got back to work, one of my colleagues framed that photo. Life is glorious. Also: I’m pretending that this exchange never ever happened.)

I was trying to get up to have a photo taken but you know what? this looks like I have some kung fu skills. I have none. But I cling to the illusion this photo provides.

I also saw the literal best cosplay ever in the form of the Batman Who Laughs (who was also The Batman Who Couldn’t See as the cosplayer literally couldn’t see and had to be led around and honestly? THE DEDICATION.)

We wandered over to the tattooist stall where I contemplated ‘should I get one?’ in the same way one leisurely contemplates ‘well, SHOULD I become a dairy farmer on Mars?’ but then I saw the price and backed away. And then I met a Red Shirt being consumed with tribbles and this man? Iconic. The Moment.

I wish I knew your name, cosplayer! But you DID GOOD.

It was, I must admit, a little overwhelming – the con was heaving with people. There was a man selling mushroom merch and I commented that he must be a ‘fungi’ to which a passer by said: ‘I heard that – no.‘ (Alas, the burden of loving puns is a heavy one and unappreciated.)

We browsed the stalls and I was tempted by a comic but bravely said no. I stopped a Nightwing cosplayer and complimented him. He was queuing for lunch, and so was unprepared. (Compliments wait for no man!)

The creativity on display! It was all very incredible! However, the sheer volume of humanity eventually got the better of us. We escaped into London, wandering its streets, tasting its food, staring at the group of American tourists on bicycles on a Harry Potter tour. We were a wonderful trio – my friend, me, and my crowbar.

behold – buildings

Would I go again? Yes. Definitely.


I’m not certain what the etiquette is of posting photos of other cosplayers, but if I ever find their social media handles, I’ll link them up. If I don’t and I find out I’ve committed a Heinous Error, I’ll remove the photos and draw stickmen figures as illustrations instead.

ness rambles, ness talks about life

THINGS. ALL THE THINGS.

I haven’t posted for a while. BUT I HAVE MY REASONS. In the last few weeks of non-posting, I’ve:

  1. worked
  2. gone to London
  3. seen Wonder Woman

DISCHUFFED WITH WORK

I’m using the word ‘dischuffed’ from now on. Recently at work, a darling Joanna Lumley lookalike used it, and I’m in love. That is all. (And I’m not dischuffed with work; I just wanted to fit the word in somewhere.)

As September looms and an uncertain certain future shines, not on the horizon, but straight into my eyes. (IT BURNS!) I’ve been taking as many shifts as work can throw at me. Consequently, it’s hard to find time to do things. When you get home from a long shift, you don’t think:

MY GOSH LET ME HAVE MOOOOORE THINGS TO DO RIGHT THIS MOMENT!

You want to wind down. You want to relax. You don’t want to plunge into other things. AND THAT’S MY EXCUSE. And I’m sticking to it.

onthetrain

I GO TO LONDON. BECOME METROPOLITAN. TRY TO BREAK INTO M&S.

I travelled down to London via train. I’ve learned a lot about trains since my first solo trip on one – apparently, it’s not enough to get the right platform, you also have to wait for the right train. All trains arriving at platform 6A, for example will not go to the same place. This was quite the surprise.

In London, I …

  • worked out how to navigate the Underground (occasionally by accident)
  • found¬†Grosvenor Square (definitely by accident)
  • did not locate any Heyer heroes (a grave disappointment)
  • was mistaken as a businesswoman by a banker #dubiouslyproud

Also in London, I strode jauntily down Oxford St, a spring to my step. I was a queen in a beautiful flowy dress. I was in London. Red buses were going past. Life was good. I strode up to the steps to M&S (opposite Selfridges? Or was it …?!). I reached the doors. I attempted to open the doors. The doors did not open.

I forgot that there are such things as opening times and slunk off like a shamed hedgehog to the side doors which were suddenly open because I … had arrived at 8:59 and … and then it was 9:00am and … *heavy sigh*

But as a side note, the M&S staff are lovely and I wanted to hug them and squeeze their London out of their cheeks.

atthestation

THE WONDER OF THE WOMAN

One day, I was fed up with scrimping and saving. So, in rebellion against saving sprees, work, and denying myself books (FOUR WEEKS WITHOUT BUYING A BOOK. THIS CANNOT KEEP UP MUCH LONGER!!), I went to watch Wonder Woman. It’s got some epic moments. Some hilarious moments. Some touching moments. I enjoyed it.

BUT I HAVE AN OBJECTION.

The mustache.

It was terrible.

Honestly, I like facial hair. If I was a man, I’d have a glorious, glorious beard. However … the mustache? No. No. A thousand times, no.

Kill it with fire.

TO END

Today is my day off. This is a good thing, for sometimes a bone deep tiredness takes hold; the sort that almost makes you finish a tannoy at work with:

Goooood evening, ladies and gentlemen,

blah blah blah. blah blah blah, blah blah blah.

Thank you for shopping at such and such.

Amen.