Thursday, 25 February 2010

Day 25: An EPIC day out (pt3/3)

Homeward bound and bouncing like a super happy zebra thing, I go and do some food shopping in the zebra. I had this one guy who wouldn't stop standing right behind me.

I may not be able to see you but having really leery breathing behind you whilst you're trying to shop is REALLY F***ING CREEPY!!!

Anyway, I stand in the cue and no one's really paying any attention, till they walk to a till and look to their right, and look again, and look again :-) but it's not that of disgust, or dismay. Just more of a, "did I see right?!" kinda look.

I got to a till and the guy was really cheery, and I notice he's packing my bags in a special bag. They're one of those reusable bags that you pay a little for with the idea of coming back and using it again and again. I'm totally all for them but wasn't actively looking for one. And I got a nice bag for free. I tell you what, they can hold a good amount without breaking! Unlike other, "lifetime" bags from other places.

Food packed, monies paid, I walk back home and this car drives by, and stops up ahead. As there's a school I'm thinking they're probably waiting for someone. Then I hear a familiar voice:

"So am I ever going to see your face?"

It's that dude in the same red Micra who said I was being unfair at the BEGINNING of the month!! Fair play the likelihood of someone in black zentai and zebra zentai on the same stretch of road being different is slim. But yeah that was, odd.

"Dunno, buddy." I say.

He laughs, "You have a good evening" he says.

"And you".

I get home and chuck food stuffs into their respective places to realise I'm meant to be life modeling in 20 minutes! EEK!!

The artist is cool about it. Phew. But still I hustle to get there...I didn't notice how the weather had turned to an ABYSMAL state indeed!! And I refused to take my zebra hood off and carry on with my "practical" black hood. As such, I found myself in a bit of a puddle-ridden predicament:

I've been sitting for this artist for a while so whilst the zentai was a good talking point, it didn't stay on as there were already 2 previous poses being added to.

Finally, FINALLY, homeward bound!

With the remnants of a cold, today was totally awesome! And it wouldn't have been so without Andy and ZentaiSpot and the fantastic amount of energy and fun they brought to just being a bit random, and brightening up a lot of people's day!


Day 25: An EPIC day out (pt2/3)

(ZentaiSpot's version of South Bank today is: Here)

So we walk into the Tate Modern onto the second level that overlooks the turbine hall. We walked but a few paces to be greeted with a "jacket filler" of a security jobsworth.

"Eeehhhhhh, What are you doing with your faces covered" he asks.

"we're wearing outfits" I say

"Eeeeehhhhhh, you cannot cover your faces" he says.

"So if I show my face to a CCTV camera or whoever, then put it back on would that be ok?" I ask.

"Eeeeh, No you cannot do that." he replies

By this time Andy steps in. He's worse than me so far as taking no BS from people who are talking utter BS anyway.

"Is your manager here?" he asks, not blinking an eyelid

"UUuuueehhhhh, yes" he responds, confused.

"Well I'd like a word with them please" Andy says calmly.

So this guy gets on the radio and we're all standing around waiting for the security manager to show up.

A lady comes up looking like she just finished sucking out the innards of a very sour lime indeed.

"No, you cannot have this on...why would you want to hide your face?" she says

"I'm not hiding anything, however I just want to know what issue you guys actually have" I say.

"You cannot hide your face" she says

"So what about muslim women who want to visit, who wear full face veils".., you guys need to brace yourself for this response....I had my hood up but my jaw dropped at this when I heard her response:

"Muslim people do not come here, they hide their faces"

I SH** you not!!! I'm glad Andy was there to call her up on that because there was a torrent of rage setting itself up in my mouth that I was taking a moment pushing back down.

"I can't believe that" Andy says, "You mean to tell me that you're openly willing to say that you turn away people with full face veils?? You realise that's discrimination"

"I'm sorry miss but I don't believe you. Have you got your policy in writing?" I pluck up.

She carries on wittering for a few minutes longer, and Andy asks the question again, "Have you got your policy in writing?" very sternly now.

She says no but then tells us to go talk to information if we want to read up on the policy. I had my hood down by this time. I needed some more air to my head I was shocked about what she said earlier! Spot made a stage-right exit to go find a tree :-) whilst Andy and myself moved to the information desk to see this "policy". I put my hood back up to see if the security people were going to try and get the hump.

So we spoke to a lady at information who was lovely, she really didn't know what the policy was so she called the duty manager to come and have a word. Andy and I were still flabbergasted at what the security manager said. Spot came back, smile on face and put his hood back on too. Whilst we waited some more people asked to have pictures with us and there were more smiles around :-)

The duty manager lady comes down and she's AWESOME. Firstly she apologises for the way the security mishandled the situation. She doesn't know what the security manager said to us...She then states that this is in fact a unique situation and she wanted to look at us, check us out before coming to a decision.

We then revealed to her what was said in regards to dealing with women wearing full face veils, and her face did in fact turn a slight shade of red. If that were to go out to the masses, that would be a sh**storm in a teacup me thinks!

She asked us what we were doing, Andy took the lead in explaining that he's a photographer and I'm doing a blog an Spot is a fellow zentai person and we just want to get some pictures.

She took it all on board and then stated what she'd like us not to do. Performances and making people uncomfortable, not photographing other people and the usual following of rules so far as no photography in the galleries. To ensure we didn't make people uncomfortable, she gave us a curfew of 3.30pm which meant we had an hour and a half to take pictures in the public access areas.

I have to take my hat off here to that lady. She didn't have to say yes at all. She could have quite easily have said no, given the excuses and let us get on our way. I would have been happy with that too, but the woman had a little bit of common sense! It seems to be lacking now a days. I mean Spot with his tail and dog ears covered in..well spots; and me wearing a white top hat, in zebra print and really loud clicky shoes. We're hardly going to get up to no good. We just want to stir it up a little and put smiles on peoples faces so far as breaking the norm is concerned!

Anyway, we moved around the allowed areas in the Tate modern without any bother. It's like the high "vis" yellow visors all but disappeared! After the lady told folks over the radios that we were ok to walk around in public places.

We had pictures taken on the escalators, the stairs (sprawled zentai bodies, much), and these walls that had writing on them. Namely Existentialism and Fetish were points of interest. Whilst posing next to the "Existentialism" word, we got a massive crowd around us. I was airing concern as technically what we were doing constituted a performance. And I was right, the lady showed up and said we had to stop. Although - again - she was really understanding and liked the idea I mentioned about having pictures taken quickly, then running like hell to somewhere else so a crowd didn't form.

We apologised, and she carried on. As did we, but more aware of trying not to pull crowds. Not sounding pig-headed here, but do you know how hard that is?!

Still it was fantastic in there. And the hour and a half drifted by like water. We settled up on level 7 for a drink and a chat about stuff then had to face the inevitable walk back to the station...

Unfortunately spot was going westbound and Andy and I east. So we had to say our goodbyes in the station. They're never fun, especially when the energy is still bouncing all over the shop!

Warmer weather!! More of you folks need to come out and do stuff!!

Day 25: An EPIC day out (pt1/3)

Oh is a day not like many other it's today.

(ZentaiSpot's version of South Bank today is: Here)

8ÂșC today, so you know there is going to be at least 2 base layers plus the double layering of zentai on top. 4 layers of lycra without even flinching. I was far too excited to even start considering any arising issues that were unlikely to happen.

I packed a waterproof jacket just in case and my top hat in a bag so it wouldn't get dirty on the way. Keys and the like and trotted off down to the tube station.

Walking around in a pure zentai hood was wonderful! Even with the irritation of my eyelashes curling the wrong way or getting caught in the lycra, being totally anonymous without being mistaken for wearing some modified version of a Burqa was great.

Funnily enough, people weren't taking notice as much. They'd look but it was more of a, "oh my!" expression as opposed to "oh my GOD!!! RUUUNNN!!!". I mean there were still some of those, but they were far and few in comparison.

I walked into the tube system and to the platform and stood in my usual place when I heard the sweetest, most infecting laugh emanate from the right of me. I turned my head ever so slowly to see a toddler in her push chair with her hands out looking at me with the BIGGEST grin on her face.

I was stunned!

Usually it's the other way round, but it was amazing! I tilted my head ever so slightly and there it was again! She burst out in this little high pitched giggle that infected her sibling and mother and me after a while. Any movement I made, she'd giggle incessantly until I was completely still.

Even if the rest of the day were to turn sour right now, I wouldn't have cared. To know that I made a little toddler's day by just being different was good enough for me :-D

Still, the tube rocked up, and the mother was going to go further down the carriage but her daughter (the one not in the push chair) asked her to come in through the door I was in. I let them go in first to make sure they got on ok. The mum said thank you. And I perched myself on the other opposing door side as that's where I needed to get out. So the moving and giggling continued till I had to get off. The rest of this carriage didn't know what to make of us right at the top. The mum was smiling, the daughter too, and the toddler in the push chair...and I was making small silly gestures.

There were a few smiles, me thinks :-)

My stop to switch lines comes up and I wave bye. The toddler is still cracking up. I don't want to get off! But all good things come to an end...sometimes.

The rest of the tube ride went without a hitch and I got up at St. Paul's. Now, reading signs through a white and black hood isn't easy! But if you've got no issues about how you're portrayed to "the others" then putting your face right up to a sign board isn't going to be out of the norm. Saying that, I did opt to use a zoomed in Google maps on my phone instead.

Off I trotted to the rendezvous point between St. Paul's and the Millenium bridge.

I sent out a text message to both Andy and Spot about my exact location just to make sure no one was missed.

Sure enough Andy was on the bridge already so walked back up. In the mean time I was standing around and a lot of people were staring, taking photos, waving and the like. Again, not having the "ninja" hood on and being clad head-to-toe in zebra print seems to make people at ease with me.

So Andy finds me first, and we say hi and have a natter whilst he's changing his lens over. A few minutes later I hear him say, "oh look, there's a dalmatian"

Spot is walking down the stairs in his zentai too :-) Being over 10 meters away makes it hard to totally differentiate what's going on, but him in all white and spots made it easy. And I waved ecstatically at him. He waved back and approached where we were.

Little moving crowds would amass by us taking pictures and staring as we said our hello's and I introduced Spot to Andy.

First place Andy spied whilst on the bridge, was in fact UNDER the bridge. The tension cables (massive!) were just asking for climbing. Spot probably heard Andy call me Ms. Kitten a few times (yes, there's a panther *somewhere*) as he directed a few poses here and there.

Even if we were under a bridge, there are stairs either side to get down to river level (and other buildings on the north bank). As a result, as hidden as we were, we STILL attracted a LOT of attention! Andy let folks take pictures whenever whilst getting what he was thinking of too.

I don't know how Spot felt about having a photographer ask him to "pose" but he did really well if he's never done something like that before. Also, I don't know how many base layers he was wearing but he was shaking a wee bit! Even wearing 4 layers the wind under that bridge could be felt after a while!

Onwards! After clamoring over tension cables we walked over the bridge now to the other side of the "bow" in the bridge. Where you had the top of St. Paul's in view and the bridge disappearing into the horizon. Andy had me doing my random "headstand" thing I do (the zebra image of my banner up top is the bottom half of one he took in a studio type setting previously) and Spot was told to sit besides me.

I found that kinda random, and so did a whole horde of school children. It's like they came from NO WHERE! But they came up and asked us loads of questions, "Can you see? They can talk! You're a girl!! What are you? What are you doing? etc." Both Spot and I tried answering as many questions as we could till the teachers moved them along.

Apparently a boy went up to Andy further down the bridge and informed him, "that dog's not very good...he didn't do anything!" to which Andy replied, "I know!!" and the kid nodded in an affirmatively approving manner. Bless.

Once we got a few images (Spot was also given my top hat to play with too) and a few tourists/passer-by folk got some pictures with us, we were going to make our way into the Tate Modern. Not before we were stopped by these two guys...

"Excuse me, what do you think of that girl over there" One guy asked as he pointed to this (I presume) girl with a wig made of long wispy white hair, a terribly loud purple dress and an under garment that looked like it was made of fish net covering her arms and hands.

"Well what she's wearing is a hell of a lot more normal than what we're wearing" I responded without even thinking. There was a general giggle from the other guy, Spot and Andy.

"Do you think she looks lonely?" the same guy asks.

"Nah, she's an attention seeker" I say. Spot and Andy agree.

"Really? What makes you say that" he asks.

We go into this mini convo about what would define loneliness as opposed to someone screaming out for help. Basically if someone is lonely, they wouldn't advertise this through their clothing, nor would they be marching around like their life depended on it.

Satiated with our collective response we carried on and Andy put some money in a homeless fella's lap. Now, here's some twisted irony for you. Not less than 10 feet away is this film student who's probably got the bank of mum & dad & the government funding them, trying to portray loneliness. There's a homeless guy, who probably sits there day in, day out trying to get a few bits of money to keep loneliness at bay for just another day.

...(read on to pt2)


Hells yeah! 4 really strong Neurofen (Ibuprofen) and like 10 herbal capsules of Cat's Claw and lots LOTS of sleep. And I'm back to normal! Flu? What flu! Pah!

*winces slightly*

So that open invitation is still out to anyone who's game. I'll be running (walking) riot around St. Paul's down millenium bridge and a few places around south bank like Tate Modern, Royal Festival Hall and probably hang around the London Eye for a bit too.

I'm furiously cutting some additional pattern things before heading on out. A jacket and my tophat in a bag just in case the weather turns bad (but apparently we're good till 4pm, then chances of rain rise fro m 30% to 80%...light showers, in the South Eastern region of the country etc.)

Loads of pics! Loads of fun!! But first! Food!!