BTS – the stress!

So, my daughter has become fan of the Korean K-pop boyband BTS.  

She and a friend of hers have seen the concert movie, that came out a few months ago, two or three times in the cinema. She knows the songs (although she doesn’t sing along to the Korean parts, that’s a little tough), the stories they sing in their songs (taken from their life experiences), the boyband members’ names and their background stories. In her room she now has a little BTS shrine…

… and now the boyband is doing a world tour and they are coming to London. With cheap lodgings possible at my brother’s house my daughter is desperate to go with her friend. And who am I to stand in the way of fangirls? So, last week Friday we were ready for the sale to begin for the show on June 1st at Wembley Stadium. I was logged in on a laptop, my daughter was logged in, her friend was logged in at her home as well, as was her friend’s brother. Oh man, we tried for hours, but no dice, no tickets! Even my work colleague, who I was Skype chatting with, offered her help, but no luck. There is also a show in Paris, so we tried that as well, even though lodging would be way more expensive, but nope, couldn’t get anything there either. The girls were very disappointed.

Last Saturday morning a second Wembley concert was announced for June 2nd and the tickets went on sale this morning. My daughter couldn’t be home, so I logged in on two laptops…

20190308_092713_resized

… my colleague also logged in at home and the brother of  my daughter’s friend was logged in. Again, no luck! Got all sorts of errors on the website, my colleague got those same errors.

Finally we got this one, which was supposed to mean we had made it into a queue…

20190308_095408_resized

… but even then we got kicked out. My colleague at one point was able to secure two prime tickets (the most expensive, but what the heck) but when she wanted to proceed to check out was kicked off again. Happened to me as well a few minutes later with two other tickets. Aaaargh, the frustration! But then finally, after about 45 minutes my colleague got through and sure enough, was able to secure two tickets! Quite high up and to the side of the stage but good enough.

BTS-tickets

My daughter, who had just come in from an appointment and was going off to school again soon, was over the moon! After my colleague got in, I also got in (several times, actually, after refreshing) but the tickets I could purchase were even further back. So, these two tickets are it. And oh my goodness, the stress and heart palpitations this has cost me… Who knew a Korean boy band would be so popular?

I’m glad I’m working from home today, I couldn’t have survived this stress at the office. Speaking of stress at the office, another colleague was apparently in a heated argument with micro-manager yesterday. Looks like the next generation of micro management warriors is standing up. Anway, let’s not think of work. I need to de-stress after this whole ticket saga. Looks like I have another London trip to book. I’ll be going to London with the girls, just won’t join them for the concert. K-pop isn’t quite my thing and the girls want to fangirl on their own. 🙂

… and it was white, snow white.

There was snow in Amsterdam this morning very early (taken through the airplane window)…

… which meant wings had to be de-iced and our flight was delayed. We arrived in London and all was white here as well, like my brother’s garden…

It was all quite pretty! Alas, snow turned to rain and by the time we got into town and walked by Buckingham Palace, the snow was gone…

Nearby there was a remnant of ice on water, but that was pretty much it.

The white magic has disappeared here in London but at least the squirrels are cute!

It’s cold and wet, so time for a warm indoor break now with tea and chocolate…

… and a little time to figure out what to do this evening.

My fave protest signs in London

Estimates range from tens of thousands to 250.000 protesters in London, protesting Trump visiting the UK yesterday. Just leaving images of some of my fave humourous protest signs here, without any further comment.

Here’s the Trump Baby in action…

Baby Protest19

Look at how the handlers of the balloon call themselves!

Baby Protest37a

Animal-themed signs (click on images to enlarge)…

Body bits talk…

British curses…

British understatement…

Some people had to overcome themselves to protest…

Crowd size was addressed…

Some criticism got a little personal…

Some tried to stay polite, but found it difficult…

Polite Protest07

A Monty Python inspired sign…

Python Protest

US presidential voting highlighted…

zProtest12

There were protests with music references…

Protests with movie references…

Some suggestions for Mr Trump…

General dispair because of all the reasons to protest…

zProtest11

Yes, I think this really does say something about how ‘popular’ this US president is.

Sea Wall & my London mini-break

So, I was in London this past weekend. The reason for going was that a close US friend of mine was visiting London with her family. Although I chat with K, and my other US friend A, a few times a week (we have a chat group), I hadn’t actually seen K in the flesh in 7 years! As she was relatively close by, I couldn’t let the chance of meeting up with her pass me by.

I flew in to London on Friday afternoon. After 3 hours of delays (ugh!) I finally made it to my brother’s apartment in Hampstead, just enough time to drop bags and freshen up a little before heading to The Old Vic theatre to meet up with Hariclea there.

20180622_181835_resized.jpg

We went to see a short one-man, one-act play called Sea Wall, starring Andrew Scott (of Moriarty in Sherlock fame). Once we all entered the theatre, there he was pacing around on stage, looking around and waiting for everyone to be seated. I shot a quick picture, you don’t see much detail on it, but you get the idea of the set up…

20180622_185822

I don’t know how he did it, but without any announcement or anything, he just seemed to be looking around, the whole audience fell quiet and he started talking. Even from up where I sat, you could see the expressions on Andrew Scott’s face quite well. Shows you what an expressive actor he is! Andrew Scott plays Alex, who is telling us about visiting his father in France for a holiday. He speaks of his father and his wife and his daughter and just by him telling us all about them and the love he feels for them and telling us about the place they are at, you get this vivid image of what it must be like and of what life is like for him. He speaks with humour but there is an underlying restlessness and a foreshadowing you feel of something deeper and darker. The darkness becomes apparent at the end and yes, breaks your heart.

I really liked it, and thoughts and images have been popping up in my mind long after the half hour play ended. Pretty special stuff! I don’t know Andrew Scott very well, I only know him as Moriarty, but he has a long list of credits in the theatre. Hariclea was telling me how absolutely mesmerizing he had been in Hamlet last year and I can almost picture that! Andrew Scott is a great actor and I really need to see more of his work!
20180625_130218_resized

Hariclea had brought a theatre-loving friend of hers along as well and the three of us went on to have dinner in a nice little Italian restaurant close by afterwards. It was a lovely evening in great company!

Saturday was filled with great company as well, as I finally got to see K again and her husband and two teenage kids. We spent the day at the British Museum, then went on to Covent Garden and in the evening met up with my brother for dinner in the Soho district. My brother suggested we have dinner at a Vietnamese restaurant called Pho (apparently they’re a small chain) serving Vietnamese ‘street food’ and we were not disappointed; it was good!

Pho-Soho-97-small1

After dinner we dropped the teens off at the place K was staying at and we four adults went on for some drinks and a chat in a pub across the street (just in time to see Germany score their amazing 2-1 victory goal against Sweden in the 95th (!!) minute in the Football World Cup). I can’t tell you how great it was to meet up with K again and it was fun to see her meet my brother, whom she only knew through my stories but now got to meet in the flesh. I so wish I could see her, and my other dear friend A, far more frequently!

Sunday morning I slept in and then had a small late breakfast in the garden chatting with my brother in the sun before we went to pick up his daughter (my niece) from her mum’s place. We got back and the three of us had a lovely lunch before I had to hop on the bus to the airport again. Time really does fly by so fast when you’re having fun!

I just love being in London. I’ll be back again next year at the latest, as I promised my daughter she & I would go there for a mama-daughter weekend (I had a mama-son weekend there last year, it’s her turn next). I was thinking of going in May but with Brexit, who knows how easy it’ll be to enter the country as a EU citizen? Maybe we should plan it sometime before March 29th 2019 but then the weather will be more iffy and cold than in May. There was a huge Brexit demonstration in London last weekend

_102174231_parliamentsquare

…and while we didn’t go there, I did see people aftewards here and there wearing anti-Brexit badges. I so wonder how an EU national’s enjoyment of England will be affected after March 2019…

My heart is in Finsbury Park…

… and with the Muslims targeted in the horrible terrorist attack that happened there last night after Ramadan prayers at a mosque.

Finsbury prayers
Source

When will hatred (and islamophobia) end?