Something New Every Day Challenge: Day #5

Today’s ‘something new’ was something which I’m sure a lot of people find very easy, but it’s something I find very hard:


I like plans and organisation, and I’m really bad at being spontaneous, as all of my friends will testify. When I wake up in the morning, I like to have a fair idea of how my day will go and what time it will end. I like to know if I’m dressed appropriately for the activities that might crop up, and have planned my meals and the contents of my handbag accordingly. I know that might all sound very boring, but I just don’t gel withย spontaneity.

Now, to some, what I did today might not seem all that spontaneous, but believe me it was…

At lunch time today I suddenly decided it would be nice to meet my mum after work and treat her to a coffee. It’s my first full pay day of my new job, and I wanted to mark the occasion. My mum was working inย Londonย today, so it seemed like a good chance for a catch up. A few short emails later and it was arranged.

When it came to leaving work on time to go and meet her, naturally, sudden issues came up and I was delayed. Then I had to wait ages for a Circle Line train to come at Liverpool Street Station, but in the end I got to Embankment and we went to Starbucks for a chai latte and a bit of cake.

It was really nice. ๐Ÿ™‚

Eating cake with silver edible stars on it was also something new!

Brainwashed in London

Although I had the chance to check out Mr Brainwash‘s London show on Wednesday night, the official opening wasn’t until today. I heard on Saturday that the exhibition was opening at 2pm today, and that the first 250 people would receive signed prints. When I went on Wednesday, people didn’t start queuing until about an hour before, so this morning I got up and spent a lazy morning, thinking I would aim to get down to New Oxford Street at about 1pm. However… I was browsing Facebook while having my breakfast, when I noticed a picture on Mr Brainwash’s Facebook page showing that people were already lining up! It was only 9.40am…

I hesitated, but then figured I didn’t want to miss my chance and decided to get moving. I got to New Oxford Street at about 11.30 – two and a half hours before the doors were due to open.

Mr Brainwash

The Old Sorting Office, New Oxford Street

As I was leaving my house there was an almighty clap of thunder and it started to pour down. By the time I got to New Oxford Street it was raining really heavily and the weather was quite grim. I couldn’t believe people would really be waiting outside the Old Sorting Office in that weather, but they were, and they went right round the building! I followed the queue round and finally found the end, where I waited patiently, read, and chatted with the girls in front of me.

Just before 2pm Mr Brainwash came round to check out the queue:

Mr Brainwash

Mr Brainwash

He then Tweeted that there were at least 1,000 people in the queue!

I had no idea if I was in the first 250 or not, but people kept counting and saying 182, 210, 266… It seemed like the number of people in front of us was going up, and I really hoped the waiting was going to pay off.

Finally, at about 3.20pm, I got in… and I was number 237! Each person got given a Mr Brainwash spray can, which they could later exchange for a print (once Mr Brainwash had finished signing them all!).

Mr Brainwash

Mr Brainwash

I absolutely LOVE my print, and it was well worth waiting about four hours for! People are already selling them on ebay, but mine’s not going anywhere.

There were more pieces on display today than there were on Wednesday night, and the lighting was a bit better so I took a couple of hundred photos in the end. I don’t care what anyone says – I love Mr Brainwash’s work! Here are my top ten pieces, in no particular order:

Mr Brainwash

David Bowie

Mr Brainwash

David Bowie

Mr Brainwash

Starbucks spray can

Mr Brainwash

Salvador Dali meets McDonald’s

Mr Brainwash

Follow your dreams…

Mr Brainwash

Mr Brainwash’s Banksy

Mr Brainwash

Art for Dummies – a take on Banksy’s famous ‘man throwing flowers’

Mr Brainwash

Life-size London taxi souvenier

Mr Brainwash

This is a clever twist on a classic painting by Edward Hopper (thanks ypldn for reminding me of the artist’s name!)

Mr Brainwash


Mr Brainwash was around the whole time, signing posters and postcards (and pretty much anything you put in front of him), but I just couldn’t bear to queue any more.

Mr Brainwash

Mr Brainwash

I hadn’t eaten, and they’d taken my water off me at the door (they also asked if I had any pens in my bag when I was searched at the door, but luckily they didn’t spot the ones I had stashed at the bottom – hey, I’m a writer!), so after a good look around I decided to call it a day. I think I’ll go back for another round when it’s a bit quieter though, as the exhibition is on until the end of August.ย You can see my photos from today here, and photos from Wednesday night here.

For more information about Mr Brainwash and his London exhibition, please visit:ย

Sugar limits…

I may have finally had enough sugar.

It was hot yesterday, and I decided to treat myself to a cool, vanilla, creamy drink from a high street cafe chain (not the one with a mermaid logo, but another popular one here in England). I often go there, and I often order the same drink, made with skimmed milk.

I didn’t taste the drink until I had left the store. The first sip wasn’t bad, but on the second sip I got a mouthful of sugary grit. My teeth soon became filled with the sugary stuff and I began to wonder what was up with my drink. I gave it a good stir, but to no avail. It definitely had more than its fair share of sugar/syrup/something.

I had been greedy and ordered a “medium” where I usually order a “small”, and it took me the whole 25 minute walk home to attempt to drink the plastic cup of liquified sugar. I ended up dumping the last inch or so in a bin before I reached my house.

I felt sick.

For the rest of the day yesterday I couldn’t face anything sweet. Even dinner (a spicy jambalaya) was a little hard to stomach. This morning I tried a yogurt and some fruit, and my taste buds said “ok, but that’s enough sugar now, thanks“.

So perhaps my sweet-tooth has finally been satisfied. This is certainly good news for my dieting and money-saving attempts, so perhaps I should stop by the cafe and say “thanks“. I won’t be buying a drink though.

It's the little things…

It’s the little things in life that make me smile. I walked in to Starbucks this morning, my home away from home, and discovered that xmas drink flavors are back!

I chose to sample the brand new Caramel Eclair Latte (which is delicious!), but I was also happy to see that my old favorites, the Dark Cherry Mocha and Gingerbread Latte are back.

There’s something so familiar about seeing the red cups in Starbucks at xmas time. Sipping coffee while listening to xmas classics. I know some would say it’s too early but, as far as I’m concerned, it’s never too early for xmas in Starbucks!

Let it snow, let it snow, let it snow…