Wednesday, 9 March 2016

The day that Spiffy got a bit squiffy.

On Saturday 5th March, I met up with Sammi, Luna and James for the first time in what felt like ages. It snowed a little as I was getting ready, and was set to rain later on so I knew I had to shoe-horn some black into my outfit lest my legs get sprayed with dirty rain water.

I didn't have a clue what to do with my hair, which I've not chemically relaxed in 8 months and is in an awkward in-between stage of super curly roots and straight ends. I kinda feel like giving up already as it's only grown 3 inches in that time and it's so bloody thick it takes an hour to blow-dry. Still, I know it'll be worth it eventually, and I really don't miss pasting dangerous chemicals on my scalp every 8 weeks. In the end, I blow-dried my roots as straight as I could get them (not very, as you can see), put my hair in two bunches, plaited them, and tucked them under to make little buns, then added a candy hair clip for good measure. Time to go!


We met at the train station as usual, and started off the day trying to kill time until our 2:30pm afternoon tea booking at a hotel. We got some (incorrectly spelt) macarons from M&S and settled ourselves down at the pub. We timed this well as it began raining outside while we chatted about superheros and anime, prompted by the cosplayers we could see wandering up and down outside. It was the same day as Oxford's first ever comic con, so things were pretty hectic in the city centre.

After our little snack, we made the trek to the hotel. The decor was really nice, but the atmosphere was decidedly stuffy. It was very quiet and the person serving us was incredibly awkward to be around, as though she didn't know how to act around us. It was a relief whenever she left our table. But even then, I could see her hovering around a nearby bar and staring at us, which was uncomfortable to say the least. We found ourselves accidentally talking in very hushed voices because even though there was only one other table of diners at the opposite end of the room to us, we were made to feel like we were interrupting something. Very odd. I also wasn't impressed by the fact they served us the (bagged) tea in these grubby metal teapots that burnt us so many times because they were of course scalding hot. At least the food was good, I guess! I'm not usually into anything related to mayonnaise but I genuinely enjoyed my finger sandwiches. And of course, I like the calm, ritualistic nature of afternoon tea sessions.


We'd been there all of an hour when the staff rather pointedly kept asking where various members of our group were (using the toilet, obviously!?) and asking about four times if we had finished paying for the bill. It was really rude. Afternoon tea is supposed to be something you take your time with, so to be harassed into leaving after an hour was kind of ridiculous to me. Unsurprisingly, we didn't leave a tip, and I can't picture us going there again.

On the way back into the city centre we had to pass the university parks, so I suggested we stop there quickly for some photos before it got dark.

I made sure to get some print detail shots, as I love street snap style photography!


I'd lugged my Instax Wide along with me and was happy to get a couple pictures with it. We had just finished a quick bit of regular digital photo-taking and sinking into the mud when the clouds rolled in and it began to chuck it down with rain. We scurried off back towards the train station, as there was meant to be a bar close to it that served a selection of 250 cocktails. Well, we got to said bar... and it turned out to be a tiny, grotty dive pub with just a few burly middle-aged men playing pool and watching the huge TV blaring out a football match, smack bang in the middle of the only seating area available for our group. We stayed for a grand total of about 30 seconds before getting up and leaving. We were so confused by the whole thing because the bar's website looked super flash and fancy, giving the impression it would have sophisticated, modern decor, as opposed to looking like a worn down scumhole in need of serious renovation.

We decided the best thing to do was head to a reputable chain, so we went to the Slug and Lettuce, where we'd had a recent meetup with our comm, and knew to be a decent place. It's a really big building, with a huge number of seating choices and a long, fancy, mirrored bar. Basically, it looks how we'd expected the dive pub to look! We found ourselves a nice booth, and started ordering cocktails as there's a 2-for-1 offer on those. There was the occasional interruption from the next booth along who wanted to ask us questions and take pictures of our outfits, and kept telling us "well done!!!" because we looked so great. Haha. It was a hen party group, and they were taking lots of selfies and having a grand old time. The general atmosphere was really nice, and was complemented by a lot of early noughties/"blast from the past" hits like Maroon 5's "This Love". I sung along, of course.


We each tried some mojitos in varying flavours (I got apple and passionfruit), and they were OK, but I didn't really feel like I got my money's worth from what was mainly a glass of crushed ice and mint leaves (which kept getting unpleasantly stuck in my mouth). After sampling one another's drinks, we decided that James had definitely made the best decision by trying the Long Island Iced Tea, which was a lot sweeter and smoother than what the rest of us ended up with.

Sammi and I spent the rest of the time drinking strawberry daiquiris which, as well as going really well with my outfit, were incredibly strong and much less of an obstacle course to drink than the mojitos. Aaand that's when the conversation took some hilarious turns. I'm a bit of an over-sharer anyway but apparently it's even worse after five cocktails, which caused me to get legitimately drunk for the first time in my life. "It's fine," I remember saying before launching into one of my anecdotes, "we're all friends here." The music got turned up really loud past a certain time (I'm not entirely sure why. It's not like it's a nightclub, or that people are actually going to start dancing) so we all ended up with our heads huddled together in the middle of the table so we could hear about one another's life dramas and experiences.

I spent the train ride back in a great mood, which then continued for all of Sunday. This fun day out was just what I needed after what had been a trying couple of weeks, and as ever, I can't wait for our next adventure!

Have you had any nice days out recently? I'd love to hear about what you got up to!
Thanks for looking and reading, and I'll see you next time 

4 comments:

  1. Haha, sounds like you had a great time. I'm an oversharer too and I only think I've been drunk once or twice. We must be a similar kind of occasional drinker.

    For some reason I really loved your line about "not usually into anything related to mayonnaise but..." had a bit of a laugh at that one. Your writing style really tickles me.

    I haven't been going out often recently but hopefully when I go out in Japan I can find the time to write a blog post to share the experience with you as you do with myself and your readers. ;)

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    1. Haha, we seem to have a lot in common!
      I used to be a bit afraid of alcohol because I spent my teens and my time at university surrounded by people unhealthily obsessed with drinking. This was basically my worst nightmare as I have emetophobia. It's nice to now be able to relax about it more, and to do so with people who aren't going to take it too far. I've found that it's nice as something to complement your day out/evening rather than being the centre of it.

      Unintentional humour is the best! I didn't imagine anyone would find that funny as I certainly wasn't trying to be! Honestly, that is such a lovely compliment so thank you.

      You must be really excited! I hope you have a good time and will blog about your adventures :)

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  2. Ha ha! We had some fun times in the Slug that night! I feel like we all know each other a lot better now! XD It is a shame the hotel staff were so rude, as I was quite fond of their scones, despite the icing sugar going everywhere. I am going to have to try and see if I can find any other good places.

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    1. We took our friendship to the next level with those conversations, I feel XD

      I really loved the food but as an experience it was rubbish. I wonder if it would have been better had we been seated in a different room, or if that's just the kind of atmosphere we can expect from that hotel as a whole. Well, at least there's always the Tea Barge if we can't find anywhere else that's affordable in Oxford!

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