Tag: santiago

2014: The Year in Review

Happy New Year, readers. 2014 was a challenging year in so many ways, probably the defining moment was experiencing violent crime in April, which had health repercussions that lasted the entire rest of the year, but it had its high points as well, with an epic amount of travel: as well as enjoying London, there were trips to Stockholm, Shanghai, Hong Kong, Santiago de Chile, Corfu, Yorkshire, Nice, Paris and Brussels. Let’s take a look at the highlights.

January

The start of the year found me obsessed with health and fitness. I was in the gym nearly every day, breaking personal records for distance swimming and doing weight training. I weighed myself excitedly and danced a lot because the exercise was pumping me full of endorphins. I wasn’t seriously dating anyone but I had a couple of dates with Disraeli and The Young Scientist and they rather gratifyingly fell in love with me, because I was using a contrived but successful technique called The Method that I learned off the Head Honcho, who I was still crushing on like a little girl.

Tune of the month:

Super Cat ft. Heavy D and Frankie Paul: Big and Ready

Look pon me now, a me big and me broad, and me park me BMW inside a big garage.

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February

Mid February found me slim, rippling with muscle and ready to take up boxing. This was an unusually good and somewhat unprecedented peak of strength and fitness, even though I didn’t recognise it as such at the time because I wasn’t doing any running. I started using the punch bag in the gym, looking around for someone to teach me and reading the websites of special boxing gyms, as well as using the online dating site to search for boxers, as an alternative to dating the French.

On the 18th of February I was overjoyed when I finally achieved my goal weight of 133lbs. It took more than two years to get there. On a cloud of triumph and victory, I started wearing bikinis at the pool.

Travel: a weekend in Stockholm, with historic architecture and delicious hot chocolate.

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Tune of the month.

Dr Alimantado: I Am The Greatest Says Muhammed Ali

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March

Travel. Shanghai.

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A Dream I Dreamed by Kusama Yayoi.

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Hong Kong.

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Tune of the Month. You need to get up and dance for this one. Jah! Rastafari!

DJ Kool: Raggae Dance

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April

Santiago de Chile.

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May

Corfu.

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Tune of the month. Super Cat on a spiritual tip, I love him, he is gorgeously sincere in a way that makes me want to take my clothes off.

Super Cat: Jah Run Things.

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June

Yorkshire. A mysterious and magical place.

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Back at home, we went to the Parliament Hill Farmers’ Market in London.

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It was a month in which I continued to be hung up on the Honcho, for no good reason, with crisis after crisis until we couldn’t stand each other any longer. At least there were some great dance tunes to carry us through. This turned out to be the last time I spoke to him in 2014.

Boris Dlugosch ft Roisin Murphy: Never Enough (Sir Piers & Ed Funk Club Mix)

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July

In July, nothing happened. I started taking prescription drugs and was stoned for a month.

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August

I cheered myself up by getting Botox and was amazed and overjoyed with the results. Did a better job of improving my mood than the happy pills. Started to date Charlie. The music continued to be full of soul.

The Ikettes: I’m Blue

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September

Went to the South of France and decided to stop taking drugs.

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October

TLYW’s fourth birthday. Launch of the Brownie Points themed season, which is turning out to be a quite a long-running one, that expands the range of possible TLYW Achievements. I didn’t do a lot of dancing in October but I managed to read some improving Literature and made a decent size payment on my mortgage.

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November

Paris.

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Brussels.

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I broke up with Charlie, bought a new oven and started cooking. At the end of the month, met Leroy and instantly fell in Crush with him.

Rufus & Chaka Khan: Sweet Thing

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December

I performed Home Improvements by having my windows replaced, had something of a themed season around donating to fight homelessness, and celebrated Christmas for an entire month.

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Tune of the month: hardcore disco to see the year out. Get up now and free your inner drag queen by parading around the room. 10/10 for Fabulous. Happy New Year.

Do you wanna funk? Won’t you tell me now? If you wanna funk, let me show you how.

Sylvester: Do You Wanna Funk?

Santiago de Chile, part 11 (last one)

Crikey, sorry to have kept you waiting so long, everyone.

I didn’t make my huge work deadline exactly on time but it was within 24 hours. Can’t tell  you how relieved I am about that.

Nurse Moody is still here, for now. In the meantime, let me show you the last of the Chile photos. Just in the nick of time as I’m off on my travels again and indeed I think that is what is going to trigger Matron’s departure.

More nice sculpture.

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Central Station

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A beautiful merry-go-round at Central Station. I couldn’t stop looking.

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merry paintings

Look at that little boy having his photo taken. Isn’t that adorable.

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Small businesses outside the station obviously include hand-made knitwear.

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Local newspapers and periodicals. Capitalism trembles!

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And that’s all the Chilean news.

 

Santiago de Chile, part 10: Museo de Arte Contemporaneo de Santiago

At last. I finally made it. There is possibly nothing that I love more than a great big sculpture, particularly on a sunny weekday afternoon after a good lunch. Here’s a handy link to the museum.

That horse is about as solid and chunky as I was after all the red meat and beer.

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Here’s what’s inside.

First up, a series of works by Patrick Steeger, entitled Uso Y Abuso.

This lovely piece is about the size of a pool table.

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This is part of the same series. This is a very interesting concept. Those boxes you see on the floor there are full of wooden blocks of varying size, and the museum visitor is invited to make their own sculpture using the pieces.

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Guess who made this one.

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This thing is amazing. It is made of light wood and it is large enough for a person to step inside and walk from one end to the other, and that’s exactly what you are invited to do. When you get in, it wobbles and rolls around like a ship on the sea.

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Also by Steeger: Fuera de Margen (Out of Range). Moulding, bricolage, 2011.

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Next, an exhibition of mixed-media works by Francesca Leone. This is all recent stuff, 2013, and is being exhibited until 4th of May.

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Housing In Amplitude, a project by Olaf Holzapfel & Sebastian Preece. The project concerns rustic housing in the Aysen region in the extreme south of Chile and is a form of archaeology, it’s about preserving the material culture of the area.

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With that, our walking tour of Santiago is complete. If you would like to follow this most excellent walking tour, all the instructions and a map are here, and let me say thanks very much to Kat Gilbert for designing and writing it. It really made my day and I found it not only interesting but clear and easy to follow, which is saying something, as I am not known for my sense of direction.

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Santiago de Chile, part 9: In which I finally get some lunch.

After thoroughly absorbing all the beautiful sights of the 1970s yarn shops I continued in a southerly direction, stopping as necessary to take photos of the delightful historic fountains and churches and so on.

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Old men sit in the shade of the trees and play chess, and who can blame them. I wish I were there now. London is freezing cold and raining as usual.

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The National Museum of Santiago.

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Look at that church. I am no special friend of Jesus but you can’t argue with the architecture.

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A clothes shop. I know. All clothes shops should look like this.

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Just when you think it’s all about history, you rock up at Bellas Artes metro station and encounter these:

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Look at those colours. The whole city is like this. The sunlight and the colours are something to behold.

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The most excellent walking tour that I was following advised me that I could stop at this point if desired. However, the previous day I had tried and failed to find the museum of contemporary art, so I pressed on. When I eventually found it I had been walking around for about four hours, I was exhausted and ravenously hungry, so once I realised I was in the right general area, instead of charging directly into the museum which had become the final point of my personal quest, I headed for the nearest cafe and had a huge burger and more beer than was strictly necessary. That kind of behaviour is why I’m five pounds heavier than I used to be.

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And with that, fed and rested, I ambled away, slightly drunkenly, in the direction of the museum of contemporary art, my personal holy grail.

 

Santiago de Chile, part 8: The Market

Around the corner, I immediately found myself at the fruit market. Note that lady’s lovely crocheted gilet, I bet she made that herself.

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After that, I went into this building, where there was plenty to see.

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Baby knitwear. Too cute for words.

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Dolls.

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Are those llamas or alpacas?

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Restaurant. I was very hungry at this point but I didn’t eat here because although it looks pretty it was actually quite noisy and smelled of fish. Not that that’s a bad thing. I’m just saying.

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I left the building via the other exit at the back and that is where I discovered not one, not two, but three yarn shops right next door to each other. I will show you.

One. This is definitely not for tourists. This is where the Real Housewives of Santiago come shopping for all their yarn-related needs. Beautiful. It was like stepping back in time to the 1970s.

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Two. Note the authentic Catholic nun doing some window-shopping. I wonder what she wanted to make.

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Three.

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You might be thinking that these stores look rather unprepossessing from the outside and that there was little reason for me to be standing there with my mouth open and my heart pounding, but that is because you don’t know yarn shopping like I do. Inside these three shops was an array of yarn that made London’s best department stores look pitiful. Take note, John Lewis. Take note, Liberty. You are not even trying.

I spent a really long time in these shops, taking photos, I was the only non-Chilean person in there and everybody else was acting like the amount of yarn on display was no big deal.

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Hurr. Pimp my knitting.

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£1.30 for 100g. You can’t argue with that, can you. I wanted to bring home the entire contents of all three shops but I would have had to charter my own plane.

I think that’s all for this morning, readers, as time is getting on. In upcoming episodes of TLYW Goes To Santiago we’ll see some more beautiful, historic buildings, some big, outdoor sculptures and the one thing I’d strenuously tried to get to the day before: the Museum of Contemporary Art.

Santiago de Chile, part 7: Wedding fashions.

As you can tell, we are now moving towards the part of Santiago where people do their shopping and I was rather intrigued by a probably quite mundane wedding dress shop because I wanted to look at the fashions and the prices, so here you are. If you are thinking of getting married in Santiago, here’s what you could wear, and where to get it.

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Strappy and frilly. 180,000 Chilean pesos, equal to £192 British pounds, 233 Euros or $322 American dollars.

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Sparkly. 240,000 Chilean pesos, equal to £256 British pounds, 311 Euros, or $430 American dollars.

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Appliqué. 135,000 Chilean pesos, equal to £144 British pounds, 175 Euros, or $242 American dollars. I don’t know why I was so fascinated by these dresses, they struck me as different from European styles but it is hard to pinpoint exactly why without being rude. I actually think this one is rather outré. Probably looks nicer on.

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Short. 125,000 Chilean pesos, equal to £133 British pounds, 162 Euros, or $224 American dollars.

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If you are concerned that your wedding is going to be excessively discreet and boring, your guests could perhaps wear this. At 158,000 CLP, it costs more than some of the wedding dresses.

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Or how about this orange number with matching turban. 120,000 CLP.

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After you get married you’ll probably have a baby, and that’s why you’re going to need this.

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Or this.

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And probably all of these.

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And now let’s tear ourselves away from the wedding shop and go the market.

Santiago de Chile, part 6: Stock Exchange to San Pablo

Having absorbed the impressive historical sight of La Moneda, it is then not far to the rather lovely Stock Exchange building which you see on the left there.

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You probably need some coffee at this point to keep your strength up, so pick one up and stroll north in the direction of San Pablo street. There are a great many interesting and quirky things to see along the way.

A professional tarot card reader outside the Museo Chileno de Art PreColombino.

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A slightly unprofessional-looking pharmacy. I am not sure how much I trust Dr Ahorro.

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A leather clothing store where the mannequins have scary wolf heads.

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A wonderful mural outside a cafe.

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