Sunday, 30 October 2011

Let's not talk about the mountains

It's after 2 AM, which it is because we have returned to standard time as it is officially the end of summer (hah, that was ages ago). But thus I have gained an hour which comes to ones advantage when watching a film in the middle of the night. I watched Camille, with Greta Garbo, so I believe I am justified.

I am back in London and all settled in my new flat in Kingston upon Thames. Next week is study week, so there will be no lectures. Five weeks of university have gone by rather quickly, and unlike last year, I am actually starting to get some work done. I tend to get consumed with one thing, though, so I forgot to do my vocal exercises this week as I was doing research for my annotated bibliography. I'm researching women and sexism in popular music, mainly focusing on Madonna and her constant need to pretend she is still 20 years old.

Only a few days after my return to England I went to the Union Theatre to see The Baker's Wife in what was a very small production with a limited run. It featured the lovely Lisa Stokke, Norway's biggest musical star, in the leading role as Genevieve, and she played it beautifully. After the show I met her (and her friends from Norway) in the theatre cafe, and I talked to her for a while. I told her how much her courage means to me, and how inspiring she is, both as a performer and as a person. We have more in common than I ever could have guessed, and I am grateful to have had the opportunity to meet her; three times, no less, as that is how many times I saw the show (however, I did bring Gabby to one of them and Stine to the last one). She knew my name and gave me a hug after the last performance, which made me feel incredibly special (as if I do not feel special enough on a daily basis, haha). She is a breath of fresh air - her smile is so big and so joyful you can't help but fall a little bit in love with her. She is so cool.

Oh, and guess what? I SAW IDINA MENZEL AT ROYAL ALBERT HALL AND I LOVED EVERY SECOND OF IT. I loved it even though I was sick with a fever. Screw that shit, I had payed £70 for that ticket and I was going! I don't even have to tell you that it was amazing, because you all know it was. Seriously, that woman sang For Good a cappella with no microphone, and it was the most magical part of that concert. And she played with the Royal Philharmonic, for goodness sake! (I could flail about this to the end of time, but I really shouldn't.)

I also saw a Q&A show with Kerry Ellis a few weeks weeks ago, with my friend Patrick (who is obviously gay). It was fantastic, and Ms Ellis (or shall we say Mrs?) was so adorable when we met her after the show. She probably thought we were bizarre creatures, but who wouldn't think that? By the way, Margaret Cho has one of my LGBT pride bracelets, and she called it fierce and said she would never take it off. And then she hugged me, which I think I found so surreal that I didn't even know what was happening. She is definitely a funny woman (hilarious, in fact), but her honesty is my favourite thing about her. She is one of my biggest inspirations in life, especially after meeting her.

I have MANY fun things coming up in November, it's going to be an exciting month! Next week Gabby and I are seeing Jessie J at the Hammersmith Apollo, and on the 13th I'm taking my friend Shane to see Scott Alan (who he is totally in love with, let's not pretend otherwise). I shall also be going to my first classical concert, which is Sumi Jo singing Mozart at Cadogan Hall. It's definitely about time, as I am an aspiring opera singer.

London is full of fun times, and many visits to Starbucks with Gabby (and sometimes Patrick). Gabby and I even went to a gallery exhibition a while back at the National Portrait Gallery, called Glamour of the Gods, which was amazing, especially with Gabby next to me telling me all kinds of interesting facts about these classic movie stars and the lives they led. Gabby is like a walking library, I am not even joking.

Though there are fun times ahead, this week is going to be mainly about getting some work done. I want to finish my bibliography and start working on the new songs my singing teacher gave me at the end of my last lesson. There is also much work to be done on the Italian aria I am currently learning. I'm going to keep myself busy. As busy as I can, anyway. I really shouldn't get ahead of myself, because sometimes it slaps back into my face. If I push myself more than I can handle, I'll end up like I did this Monday - in bed with no energy to do anything. While I AM actually getting better, I still have a long way to go before I can climb a mountain.

A Norwegian girl in London

Saturday, 28 May 2011

Bad kid, baby.

I may be in some trouble. I told the woman at the office that I would get back to her with the extension approval form as soon as possible. But then I sort of died, and never got around to it. Ooops. In my defense, I have been a walking zombie for the past few weeks, and no longer feel like myself. After I submitted my assignment on Monday (re: worst assignment ever), I was in bed for the following two days because I just couldn't get enough rest. Then yesterday morning I went to see my doctor again, and have now been given sleeping pills. We also discussed the option of pursuing the ME diagnosis, and I'm going in for blood tests on Tuesday. Let's see where this goes, shall we.

Tried to go to look for my teacher this afternoon, because I realised I really need to get that form signed like, yesterday. I hope I can catch her on Monday. In the meantime, I must get to work preparing for my performance recital. It's right around the corner now, only one and a half weeks away. I have asked two of my friends to help me rehearse, hopefully they can drill me a little bit and give me some structure. I need that.

Tomorrow I am going to Finsbury Park to see my second cousin Jennie, as she is my only British relative and thus acting as my guarantor on paper. Or rather, her husband is. The fact that I have a British relative at all is rather fortunate, very helpful when it comes to renting through an agency over here since most of them won't accept foreign guarantors. As I have mentioned previously, I am moving next month (I may actually be moving in three weeks, eeeep!) and I yet again need them to fill out guarantor forms. Also, she gave birth to a baby boy in March, and I'm so excited to finally get to see him.

And to end this blog entry with something completely random, I am currently listening obsessively to Lady GaGa's new album. LOVE. On that note, I am about to enter into dreamland, and hopefully STAY there for the next eight hours with the help of a pill. I really need it.

A Norwegian girl in London

Monday, 23 May 2011

I'm only one voice in a million, but you ain't taking that from me.

"WHOA!" - That was me as I looked at my reflection in the mirror this morning. I looked like I was suffering from some kind of terminal disease. In other words, I looked exactly like I felt: half dead. How did I get to this point? I remember being sixteen, the most active girl anyone had ever seen; happy, careless, free. Now I am just a shell of that girl.

I am so tired. I have zero point one percent energy. I actually consider getting through the day without taking a nap a power parade, that is how exhausted I am these days. Wanna know what I did right last week? A big fat whoop of NOTHING. This is why I had to practically beg my teacher to let me submit my assignment up until closing time at the office today, and why I literally had to run faster than I am actually able to run in order to get there on time, with a bunch of papers full of suck with my name on them. I will rejoice to the heavens  if I get a pass on this one.

Oh well (the phrase that describes my life), at least the Monday from Hell is over now. I have watched a few episodes of Cougar Town, eaten a 900ml box of ice cream (going on a diet tomorrow, I swear), and admired my copy of Bossypants which came in the mail TODAY. Ah, Tina Fey, how I love thee. 

But the torture is not over yet. I now have to start rehearsing my songs for the june recital like my life depends on it. I have to call my singing teacher and schedule another lesson (le sigh), and I have to get my shit together so I don't screw this up. If only I could get a good night's sleep soon, maybe my voice could start working properly again, not to mention my BRAIN. There are no words in the English vocabulary to describe how messed up I feel.

HOWEVER, the show must go on. The world keeps on turning; spins madly on, etc. To quote Natasha Bedingfield: "I'm only one voice in a million, but you ain't taking that from me." Life, I shall continue to speak up; continue to be that ONE voice. I will come back, stronger than ever, and I will say what's on my mind. And people will listen. I have come this far, and I ain't giving up yet. Take THAT cliche, world! I will defeat my inner vampire; the vampire of despair. DIE VAMPIRE, DIE! Thank you, Title of Show. I feel much better now.

A Norwegian girl in London

Friday, 20 May 2011

No money, no motivation, but an attempt to look on the bright side.

Living in London is all fun and excitement until you're all out of money. Then it just becomes sad. Here I am, in my room all alone on a Friday night, and not because I chose to, but rather because I have no other choice. I am poor.

Granted, I probably wouldn't have gone out anyway, because it feels like I've had the life sucked out of me. I am insanely tired, because I can't sleep and I have a million and one things on my mind (not really, but it sure feels that way). I have to submit an assignment on Monday that I haven't even started working on yet because I quite simply don't know how to, I'm dealing with an agency yet again because I'm moving to a different flat next month, and I have a performance recital to worry about in addition to all of this. I had what I thought was going to be my last singing lesson of the year today. It was an epic disaster, and my teacher wants me to come to her house to have another one before my assessment on June 7th. Everything went wrong today, and by that I mean absolutely everything. I couldn't focus, my voice wasn't working, I kept falling apart because my voice wasn't working which drove my teacher to the point of insanity (I'm pretty sure, although she didn't necessarily show it because that is not the kind of teacher she is), and I kept messing up the song by skipping over the piano parts going straight to the next part of the song. I have no idea why I was doing this, as I practically know this song backwards by now. I was a mess today, quite simply.

An old friend from school and her flatmate in Oslo are here right now, and asked me if I wanted to come out with them tonight. At least I'm saving money by not going, right? In my opinion it is more important to eat than go out when you're dead tired and not even allowed to drink.

But there ARE ways to have fun in London without spending money (at least during the daytime). You could go to Southbank and walk along the river, there's always something fun going on around there. Right now they've made a beach, and put out all these little houses that have been painted by various artists. They are really cool. And people are always selling stuff around there, like old books which you can get really cheap, and it's always fun to just look because you can find so many weird/interesting old gems. You can also go ride the elevator at the Southbank Centre. I know, that sounds completely ridiculous, but I swear it's the best thing of life. It SINGS to you - as you are going up the voices keep raising, and the opposite when you are going down, and the level you're on is given to you in song. It's completely brilliant, I can't stop laughing.

When in London, you can also go to one of the many museums and look at all the free exhibitions, of which there are plenty. So far I have only been to the Science Museum (I know, I really need to get out of my flat more often), so as soon as I have time I'm going to jump on a bus and go look at some art in an attempt to be a sophisticated and cultured Londoner (with no money). That's right: bus, not train. Trains are for rich people.

If you're looking for free entertainment, there is also a wonderful shop called TKMaxx. And by wonderful I mean appallingly funny. You can find the strangest and most hideous creations in there. I once found something that looked like a seaweed purse, an outfit that looked like it was made especially for mermaids (I have no other way of explaining the shape of that clothing item), and a strapless jumpsuit that was green and yellow (no, I am not kidding). I also found a dress that was pink with yellow ruffles (again, not kidding) which was made out of the most hideous fabric of all time. And the shoes are quite simply outstanding. You can find all sorts of Danish clogs, high heeled shoes that look like dangerous tools and all kinds of colourful creations, not to mention all the beautiful hats! Perhaps you've already guessed it, but TKMaxx is where all the fashion rejects end up. They are currently selling a pair of smashing Paris Hilton shoes (smell the irony).

Yes, London is full of entertainment, even for the poor. So if you have the time and the energy, you should absolutely take advantage of this and enjoy this city to the fullest. Just make sure you have money on your Oystercard!

A Norwegian girl in London

Hello world, here I am.

So this is my blog, where I shall be writing about my ordinary life and all the struggles that come with it. It won't be hugely entertaining, just little bits and pieces about my life as a Norwegian Londoner. Living in London sounds completely awesome, right? Right. I'm here to tell you all about it. So stick around.

A Norwegian girl in London