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Indoor wall climbing for the first time!

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Strong Hold UK in Ashley Road, London.

I did something crazy today, I went out with a friend and we went wall-climbing at Strong Hold UK in Ashley Road, London. I purchased a voucher via Groupon to have a discounted induction and day pass for two adults. It only cost us nineteen pounds, this includes the footwear and chalk (which is additional four pounds if rented separately).

Me and my friend, Macy, arrived at Strong Hold UK 20 minutes before the beginning of our induction. We headed to the registration area, since we read the terms and conditions and pre-registered on line, the registration was a breeze. We were given our climbing shoes and were told to put our stuff in the lockers. We had some time to use the toilets and changing rooms.

I don’t remember the name of our mentor for the day but it sounded like Alesso. There were 3 other people with us during the induction. It started with the safety precautions, location of fire exits, degree of difficulty of the bouldering circuits and its corresponding colors. Next thing we did is the pre-climbing exercises / warm-up for 5 minutes. To be honest, I am completely out of shape. I was already tired after the 5 minute warm up. LOL. After the warm-ups at the gym, we started at the tutorial wall (I just made that up, but, it was a short wall that we were asked to climb so that the instructor can assess our body mechanics), we took turns in climbing the tutorial wall. We did that a couple of times. After that, we finally had our turn at the actual climbing/bouldering wall.

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I have to admit, I had fun today. I enjoyed wall-climbing more than what I expected. I was able to finish my climbs until I got exhausted. Macy and I just people watched for a bit and took some pictures, then, we left Strong Hold UK just after 2 hours or so. I didn’t expect that I will tire quickly. It is such a good exercise specially if you are not afraid of heights.

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Wall climbing/ bouldering requires a lot of mental focus and physical strength. You also have to be patient with yourself. The trick for you not to fall is to climb slowly. Map out your next step before you move your limbs. When your arms starts to hurt and you are still far from the landing mat, you will be tempted to jump. I had those thoughts earlier while climbing but I had to tell myself to be patient and to not jump because I might end up with a sprain or worst, fracture.

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I really liked bouldering, however, when I get to the top, it makes me a bit anxious going down. I had to remind myself over and over to go down slowly. So, this is not a good idea if you have fear of heights. Will I do bouldering again? Probably not. Don’t get me wrong, the staff and the facilities in Strong Hold UK are superb and highly recommended, its just that I don’t think this sport is for me. While writing this blog entry, my muscles are very sore, I already had a 500mg dose of Naproxen Sodium. LOL.

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We had a lovely bubble tea in Chinatown afterwards, we deserved it!

Anyway, it was a great experience. Macy and I had fun wall-climbing for a couple of hours. Also, the environment in Strong Hold UK is newbie friendly, everyone is welcome to climb as long as you follow the rules.

I hope you all had a great weekend!

Novel

PS. Shout out to Macy L. Thanks for hanging out with me today and for taking good shots for the blog!

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The Importance of Being Earnest: A West End Remake

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I just finished watching the play and since I have nothing to do, I decided to write a quick review about it. I bought the tickets a while back via TodayTix app because it was on sale and I was genuinely intrigued with the story. I am not familiar with this Oscar Wilde comedy and I figured it wouldn’t hurt to try this play. I’m glad I did.

I arrived early in Vaudeville Theatre to claim my ticket at the box office, I noticed that the crowd is the exact opposite of the last play I watched, A Monster Calls, in which teenagers flocked the Old Vic theatre. Majority of the audience are older people, which is understandable because the play is a classic comedy. I was seated at the stalls in row L7, there’s an adequate legroom and the view is perfect. However, from my seat, I couldn’t fully appreciate the beauty of the theatre. During the intermission, I walked near the stage and I saw the architectural design of Vaudeville which I find fascinating.

If you are familiar with the story of the Importance of Being Earnest, you will know that this is a mockery of the Victorian Era courtship and marriage. It has no hidden political nor social message. It’s pure comedy. At the end of the play all I can think about was how ridiculous it was. It was a laugh out loud theatre performance and I enjoyed it a lot. There were some jokes I didn’t understand because I’m not English, but other than that, it was an enjoyable show.

I recommend this play to fans of theatrical comedy. I still favor musicals and drama to comedy but I had fun watching The Importance of Being Earnest.

Have you seen this show? Any comments are welcome!

Thanks,

Novel

A Monster Calls Theatre Adaptation by Sally Cookson

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“I did not come to heal her, the monster said. I came to heal you.” – A Monster Calls, Patrick Ness

I am a fan of the novel by Patrick Ness as well as the movie adaptation that’s why when I found out that there will be a play based from the book, I knew I had to watch it. I’ve been putting it off for a while because I couldn’t find anyone I can watch the play with. However, two days ago, tickets went on sale! I just can’t pass up the opportunity, so, I bought a single ticket and watch it all by myself. I’m so glad I did.

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So, I went to The Old Vic, got my tickets at the box office and went inside the theatre. The first thing I noticed is the air conditioning. It was a hot day, and I’m incredibly grateful that the theatre is air conditioned. The interior of the theatre is beautiful too, taking photos are not allowed but I took a snap of the ceiling because it’s just too pretty. I was seated at the stalls row P18. I was so lucky because it was right in the middle with a decent leg room. It was perfect, until the young lady in front of me came. She is slightly taller than me with her hair tied high. Her hair obstructed my perfect view of the stage, good thing she stays still for long periods, so I had to tilt my head a certain way for long periods as well so that I can see the play. LOL. It wasn’t too bad. I enjoyed the show very much.

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Throughout the show, all I can think about is how versatile the actors were. They are the ones pulling the ropes, making sure that the ropes will look like a tree and keeping the actors safe and steady while hanging in the ceiling. The costumes and the stage props are minimalist, but it worked. It worked perfectly, it makes you focus more on the story and the emotions of the actors. If you haven’t read the book, A Monster Calls is about a thirteen year old boy Conor, his ill mom, and a monster that visits him at midnight. The concept was created by Siobhan Dowd who later died of cancer that’s why Ness wrote it instead. It’s a heart wrenching and sometimes funny depiction of how a child of thirteen views death and loss.

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I absolutely loved the theatre adaptation, its simple yet powerful. I was a sobbing mess towards the end of the show. A Monster Calls is a must-see play. The show is closing on the 25th of August, there’s still time to watch it!

Have a great day ahead!

Novel

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DREAMGIRLS: West End

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Hi everyone! We are still experiencing heatwave here in London, and boy, it is hot! I plan not to leave the house today and make some cold drinks at home. Yesterday, I had to go out because I didn’t want to miss the last day of the Kimchi and Chips: HALO installation at the Somerset House. I went there at around 2PM and I stayed for a few minutes, I can’t stand the heat! I would have opened my umbrella for the shade if it isn’t embarrassing! British people never use umbrellas on a sunny day, like we always do in the Philippines, haha. Come to think of it, they rarely use umbrellas if its drizzling, they only use them when its raining hard. I digress. This post is about the amazing show I watched last night.

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Kimchi and chips: Halo at the Somerset House, London

At 7PM I queued for my theatre ticket at the Savoy Theatre Box Office. There’s a lot of people but the service was quick and I was seated in no time. My seat was in the Dress Circle F8 which offers a clear view of the stage and a decent leg room. I find the theatre charming, it’s small but it wasn’t too cramped. My only issue was that it becomes warm inside the theatre during the show. They had to open the exit doors during the intermission to let the air in. Other than that, I think the Savoy Theatre is beautiful.

At 7:30, the show began. I have seen the movie version of Dreamgirls which I loved and I thought no one can top that. I was wrong. The play was brilliant! The lights, the props, and most of all the cast, were amazing. It’s my first West End theatre show, and I absolutely enjoyed it. After watching the Dreamgirls, I decided that I will watch more plays in the future.

Did I mention that I watched it for free? I got the ticket at work, I suppose it was in celebration of the 70th anniversary of the NHS. They only offered 70 free tickets and I managed to get one. I watched the show alone but I had so much fun. There was a nice French lady in the front row who chit-chatted with me during the intermission. We marveled at the beauty of the Savoy and the amazing pipes of Effie White when she sang “And I Am Telling You I’m Not Going.” I highly recommend this show, you should watch it when you find yourself in London.

Have a great day ahead!

Novel

Good and affordable action camera

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Hi everyone!!! June has been amazing so far. My cousin and I went to Harry Potter Studio tour in Watford on the 16th and I had so much fun. I’ll post some of the pictures and video later. This post is mostly about the new action camera I bought for this trip.

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I initially wanted to buy a GoPro but my budget wont allow me to get one. I searched the internet for an alternative, so, I ended up with the Apeman A80 camera. It’s surprisingly good for only 68 pounds! The packaging is nice, it comes with a box full of gears that you usually buy separately if you buy a GoPro. I had to buy a memory card and selfie stick but its still less than 100 pounds in total. It also comes with two rechargeable batteries. You can buy a charging dock for your batteries separately and its around 11-12 pounds. If you don’t want to buy one, that’s alright, you can charge the camera via USB. It usually takes 3 hours to fully charge the battery.

Here’s a link to the raw video sample: Raw.

I’m not a huge fan of the still photos due to the fish eye effect, however, its not too bad for a a camera this cheap. Here are some samples:

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I love this camera despite its flaws. I never worry if I accidentally drop it in the river Thames or lose it because it did not cost me lots of money. Also, it’s cute and tiny that it can fit in a small bag. It wont take a lot of space in your luggage if you are travelling. This camera comes highly recommended due to affordability. Quality wise, it doesn’t suck.

Thanks for dropping by!

Novel

Marvel’s The Defenders Review

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Netflix Marvel’s the Defenders

I took advantage of the Netflix free trial so that I can finally watch Marvel’s The Defenders. I watched it the other day and I had fun watching it. Honestly, I didn’t finish watching Marvel’s Luke Cage and the Iron Fist. It did not interest me unlike the Daredevil and Jessica Jones’ Netflix series. Anyway, The Defenders delivered more than I expected. The series only have 8 episodes which is unusual for a Marvel/Netflix series. We always get a 13-episode series from them, but for this series, I think its just enough.

The story line was well written. It was pretty clear why these heroes came together. They were all trying to fight the Hand and its more logical for them to work together than individually. They were reluctant to work as a team, with the exception of Danny Rand, but it worked out in the end. I still think that Danny Rand is that kid who is unsure of his purpose. He comes off as an immature and impulsive character in this show. My favorite in this series is Jessica Jones, she always have a way to make fun of the other heroes especially Matt/Daredevil.

Matt’s story line is definitely the most intriguing one. Its no secret that Elektra came back to life and became the Hand’s ultimate weapon. In most episodes, I always look forward the Elektra-Daredevil face-off. It’s both fun and quite painful to watch. It’s apparent that both of them are confused about the situation they were in.

I don’t want to spoil it for others who haven’t seen the show yet, but, the ending of The Defenders gives us a quick peek of Daredevil’s season three. I am so looking forward to watch the DD3 because I am curious how Matt survived and got out from the rubble. Marvel’s Daredevil season three and Jessica Jones are expected to be released next year. For Marvel’s Luke Cage fans, I think they are currently filming for the second season too, and the Iron Fist got the “go ahead” for season two. For all Marvel fans, you probably already know that The Punisher will be aired this year, so, that’s something we can all look forward to.

Overall, I will give this show a 4/5 star rating.

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