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Peacock Bar @ Clapham Junction

They were playing Whitney Houston when we first went in the Peacock Bar last night and that’s not good. That’s really not good at all. I’m a placid person but there’s something about the high-pitched warbling, wailing screeches of Whitney Houston and – even worse – Maria Carey that makes me want to start throwing furniture. It sends me over the edge – I have NO tolerance.

Trying to get to the bar for a compensatory drink didn’t help much. From the info and pictures on their website, I expected the Peacock to be quite big. However, it’s a fairly small pub that – at 8:30pm – was already jam-packed full of hen and birthday parties.

On the plus side, entry’s free, it’s open til 2am, it’s a friendly crowd and fun atmosphere, the busy bar staff are great once you get served, and the entertainment is excellent. The burlesque act on at 10pm was very entertaining: Kiki Kaboom mimed along to numbers like I just want to make love to you and performed a ‘Chav act’ with cheeky charisma and humour.

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Later on, we sang along with the rat-pack singer and danced with our feather boers (it was straight onto the stage for Showbiz Soopoo of course!)

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Overall, I had a top night out in great company. I’ll go back but I won’t rush.

More:
~ Sue’s visit to London in pictures
~ Kiki Kaboom’s Chav act and .

 

Back from home!

So I’m back, after a great week at home with my folks – relaxing in the sun, drinking, eating, catching up with friends, being insulted by family members. Top stuff. Unfortunately no lottery winners in the family either, so I’m back at work today (boo-hiss).

I’m also +1 bike! Whilst I didn’t manage to ride to work today (a broken spoke, probably caused by the weight of lardy me+full panniers+rucksack, which hopefully will have been repaired by now by the Cycle Surgery in Selfridges), hopefully tomorrow will be my first day. So long, travelcard!

On the way home today I’ll dive into Evans at Victoria and pick up a helmet (and possibly a shirt, if it’s cheap in the sale), then I should be done. I grabbed a Cateye Mity8 computer on the way home from King’s Cross and my ever-generous father donated water bottles, gloves, padded bike shorts from parrot and panniers. Oh yeah – and the bike. Thanks, Dad!

I will also be making one further purchase. After researching what the best turbo trainer would be for my needs, a new Tacx turbo trainer is also on it’s way, so that I can keep riding whatever the weather. Just to let the orgy of new toys be never-ending, I also ordered all the bits for a new PC. Well, I’m upgrading my folks to a new(er) machine before their broadband is installed, so…

Yeah, I know. Crap excuse. Whatever.

Fernandez tours

The best part of the day is between 6 and 9am before it gets too hot to do anything, least of all be moving around. I decided to get up early, take advantage of the hotel’s complimentary breakfast and go in search of a North Goa day excursion from Calangute.

I put my most supporting bra on in preparation. Suffice to say I’ve had less bumpy fairground rides than rides by road transport here. I felt travelsick today and couldn’t comprehend why there were several mothers on this tour subjecting their young offspring to 8 hours of torment. Needless to say, the babies expressed their discomfort by crying and screaming, which, coupled with the distorted, very loud wailing (music?) being played over the minibus speaker system made for an unwanted cacophony of… well, unnecessary torment.

The first stop was Mayem Lake – a filthy stretch of water in the middle of nowhere and about as unscenic a spot as it gets. We whiled away half an hour here sipping drinks at a solitary drinks-shack. Despite sitting at the back of the cafU, everybody turned rubber necks to gawp at me applying sun cream (perhaps I was the tourist attraction, not Mayem Lake?) Inquisitive is not the word.

Another tour group arrived and a woman (from somewhere near Assam) briefly pulled up a chair next to me. Her son wanted a photo. They were granted a photo of me reading my book. Another gawper poked a camera in my face and set off his flash without a word.

Next stop was a non-descript temple (Bicholim Taluka?) – very disappointing after the beautiful temples and churches seen on Sunday. Apparently we by-passed Mapusa, the capital of Bardez famed for its Friday Bazaar, and headed way north to Vagatore beach, a rocky cliff edge where swimming is prohibited (drink shack stop). Ditto Anjuna beach, next stop. The consistent pattern emerging by now made me suspect that we were really on a tour of north Goa’s grimmest, foulest toilets, cunningly marketed by Fernandes Tours & Travels (a private company this time) as the North Goa Tour.

I only realised the extent of my boredom on unthinkingly bleating a response to a passing goat. I then resorted to playing peek-a-boo with one of the snotty wailers on the bus…

Lunch stop at a shack called Sagar Restaurant (in middle of nowhere so no choice, rather stranded). Some bloke rinsed his mouth out at a basin with tap water and I caught a full face of his back spray. Ni-ice. Today’s belching crowd were in stark contrast to the punters from Sunday…

Fort Aguada was possibly the only stop on the tour which truly warranted a visit. That said, the coast line vista from here was uninspiring.

Today’s tour guide informed me I’d come at a bad time as the season wasn’t underway yet (Good. It’s overly commercialised already) and earnestly suggested visiting Palolem in the south, dedicated to British package holiday makers all year round. Tempted by the description of [yet another] pretty beach, I toyed with the idea of heading down there tomorrow just for the sake of doing something, but quickly remembered that my purpose for holidaying in India was to experience India! Keep focused.

The highlight of the tour was being released 2 hours early at 3pm: the next stop was Calangute, from where I could walk home. Stopped off at Baskin Robbins (some American ice cream chain anyway) then bought a redwood carved oliphant (not for Sam Wise but wise Keith).

Serendipity: stumbled across a book shop with a brilliant selection of novels (bought a Bill Bryson) and was a most happy woman once more. Idled my way up the lane home. The tiny school children were playing out in the ‘yard’ at the infants school, dressed in their blue and white uniforms – took photos. This was way more interesting than a tour filled with non-events in an attempt to convince punters that they’re doing and seeing something…

Stopped by Anne’s Beauty Parlour. Not only did a leg wax cost 100 Rs but it was the best wax I’ve ever had – very relaxing and content once more.

In the evening I ventured back down the lane to Rincol Royale. The specials board of fish dishes outside has appealed to me since my first passing so I ventured in despite being the solitary customer. Had a king prawn sizzler – the Goan answer to fajitas but in a larger dish, without the wraps. Absolutely delicious! Did my bit to increase the trade via Top Binary Options Brokers. Tried the goan dish bebinca for dessert – equally delicious – made from eggs, flour, rum, etc and the Goan port wine (very sweet, more like sherry).

Got talking to a British girl who’d been living at the Rincol for 10 weeks whilst doing charity work during her university holidays. Three hours later and we exchanged names. Sanity.