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Showing posts from 2010

King's X

Today started at 6 am. That's early for me. I usually only contemplate the snooze button at 6.45. Anyway, no point reminiscing, about waking up or the hours spent trying to decipher the East Coast Trains website last night - yesterday a giant icicle caused one of the overhead lines to fall down, so my trip up to Yorkshire today was a bit touch and go... I'm here now (at King's X) and have successfully - so far - lugged 1 x suit case (size: same as those used to travel overseas. weight: don't know, couldn't lift onto scales.) 1 x large bag (size: big. weight: lots.) 1 x Waitrose bag with Christmas Cake (size: normal. weight: not much, just awkward really.) As usual I panicked a bit about getting here on time - although given the current adverse weather conditions, I think I probably took the 'elf & safety option. What I didn't reckon on having to do was entertain myself for 2 hours... The central heating isn't really very apparent where I'm sittin

MasterChef Live / The Wine Show

I went to the MasterChef Live / The Wine Show at Olympia on Friday and came across these awesome finds... Wine Tourism UK Did you even know there were wine farms in the UK? Well there are - a lot actually. This fab guide will get you there and give you loads of other useful info! Sipsmith London Dry Gin Fabulous gin, and it's made locally in Hammersmith! Royal Berkshire Pork Happy, free-range bacon and sausages. This is some of the most delicious bacon - and they make sausages! And the best part is that the pigs have had a great life: treat it with respect, eat it with respect! Curry Tree Making proper curries accessible and easy. Seriously good and seriously popular visit to see all the different products available. I spent about 15 minutes at least at this stand chatting away, tasting different curries, spices etc and apart from being delicious, they don't contain any junk! Pixley Berri

The Situation & The Solution

Today I dealt with The Situation. I bought The Solution. The Situation reared it's head the other day, scuttling from behind one sofa to the next. At one point it was on top of one of the sofas. I'm told that it also makes use of the kitchen and basement. Unlike Mrs Baxter (dog / speaker of Spanish / eater of whole wheels of cheese) I didn't think I'd be able to teach The Situation not to eat from my plate if, for example, I were to leave it on the floor. It had to go. Hence The Solution. I've been distracted from buying it by boots, dresses and other accessories over the past few days, but en-route to the gym this morning I spotted a hardware-store. And it's with a bit of regret that this afternoon (with the courage of G&T&elderflower-and-pomegranate-cordial x 2) I scooped out a minuscule amount of peanut butter and placed it strategically on The Solution. I'll say no more. Lucky

Health, safety & the riot act

I have to say I'm a little jealous of the students who went out to protest today. I never protested for anything while at varsity (uni) - apartheid was over and really it was mainly the grown-ups who ended up reading us the riot act. But today students descended on London to protest against potential fee increases. I have to admit that it was a little annoying - I had to divert my route (I'll leave out the slightly-lost-anyway part cause that would just ruin the story). Roads were closed, scruffy people with placards walked to and fro and the police were out in force. They swarmed to the scene wearing their high-vis-vests, visors at the ready. The students turned the music up and rolled another smoke. The action. I guess I was just happy to smile and walk on. However, let me know if there were ever to be a snip-someones-ponytail-off moment (another something I didn't take part in when younger.) Lucky

Tea at the Tate

This afternoon I went to look at the Gauguin exhibition at the Tate Modern . I got almost half-way through before Museum Fatigue took over (this genuinely exists!) But I wasn't worried, because earlier this very same day I'd become a member of the Tates - convenient. I can now return whenever my heart desires to peruse the paintings. I can also take my tea in the members lounge (when the restaurant on the floor above is too full or, maybe, too noisy?) This is an average picture of the view. It misses out most of the buildings, doesn't include the river and, if I'm honest, had to be severely cropped because I couldn't have been bothered to actually stand up and take the photo, so got to include the woman sitting at the table next to the window! But it does give you an idea - ish. St. Pauls features quite prominently in this image, as it should. Actually at night / 4ish when it gets dark, and all the lights come on, the view from up here is quite magical. My scone &a

Sunday paper pearlers

It's a rare occasion when something this cool is actually printed... but if The Mail On Sunday says it's true - who am I to deny it... Gaash! The liger - pretty much Napoleon's favourite animal. As well as being bred for it's skills in magic, the Liger also has excellent claws: 'size of a velociraptor's - about 2in long and 1in thick' Then, just to make sure everyone spent the rest of Sunday in a good mood, they came up with this: I'm particularly fond of the Likes: Corgis, Gin & Dubonnet, Crowns, Being on stamps. Lucky

True love on the dance floor?

On Friday night I discovered what it was like to party in Ayr. I’ll start from the beginning... We had a nice dinner – on the veranda, relaxed and with a couple of glasses of wine. This was followed by music and the ubiquitous tossing of outfits around the room – girls having fun. By 11:30 we ventured down the stairs and click-clacked in our heels towards the car – en-route surprising the remaining dinner party members with our choice of attire. Were we really going out in Ayr? Dressed like that? Yes, and we won’t need jerseys, we’ll be inside where it’s warm! (And we’ll just conveniently forget the freezing dash back to the car at the end of the evening!) Waving good-bye we ventured forth into the night. To say some of the characters were less than salubrious would have been an understatement... the over-inebriated woman in the tight black dress with on-show pink bra could have been a walking advert for the AA – if she could walk. On arrival at the club we he

Town vs Country

It's that first smell, the first lung-full - it may be halfway through the breathe that you notice it - but when you do, or more to the point when I do, the fresh perfumed air has me breathing deeper and expanding my lungs... lost in the airy moment, craving more of the somehow sweet air. I had one of these moments this evening. Walking along the drive I caught myself in the moment, revelling in the dappled leafy light, reflecting on the day and savouring each breath for as long as possible. Now some people may say that I should be used to that by now - being in the country and all. But perhaps this would be a good time to note that the country comes with it's own set of aromas. While I only have to contend with the diesel fumes for as long as I'm stuck behind a tractor, cows have replaced common-town-pollution for me. I'm sure Wikipedia will furnish you with all the specifics - I can give you the day-to-day: They wake you up in the morning - a friendly good moo-ning

Scottish Game Fair

Two days ago I went to the Scottish Game Fair not knowing what to expect. Something in the country, a couple of kilts, handful of haggis and the odd dram of whiskey (read Pimms). I'd been advised to dress country too - something I'm working on, because currently don't own any tweed... But I'd taken my boots and jacket - just in case of rain - and thoroughly enjoyed the sunny day! There were a few highlights to the day... one was the sheep racing. The 'host' of this event was indeed Australian and VERY funny. With live commentary and rather naughty competitors it was a sight to behold. There were 6 sheep taking part, all different breeds. This was explained to us while the sheep were still in the van. It was also explained that some of them were first time competitors and that all of them would need some inspiration (in the form of sheep nuts) to compete. Enter host / commentator. Gallantly shaking his bowl of sheep-nuts at the flock, who were eagerly nudging ea

Soothing Sundays

A late lie-in, selection of papers, eggs Benedict & spoonfuls of fabulous marmalade. To me all these things mean it’s Sunday. A day were running on time isn’t what’s important, but taking the time to languish over everything is. And that’s what I’ve done this morning. I may have woken up early (what’s new) but I lay in bed, dozed, read my book and when I was ready for the world – rather than the other way around – I flopped out of bed. Without rushing or thinking too hard I rummaged around for an outfit, brushed my teeth and made myself presentable to the world. Letting my feet do the thinking I bumbled down the stairs and into the kitchen: time for feeding. Having previously sneakily placed the remainder of the Hollandaise sauce in the back of the fridge, out of general sight, I had a plan for breakfast this morning. From Monday to Saturday I eat a healthy, regulated breakfast. But on Sundays I crack the egg, splash out on the buttered toast and have one too many cups

Fly me to...

Today I did something VERY cool, and something I can totally recommend... The call came in yesterday that a helicopter wanted to land on the Estate today and it was agreed that in return for a ‘parking space’ someone would be taken for a short trip. I didn’t expect it to be me – I may have hoped – but definitely didn’t expect it. The day had begun with a minor drama but a certain phone call definitely lifted the spirits (pardon the pun) leaving me with a smug grin that was difficult to hide – not that I wanted to – and a nervous excitement in my tummy that told me to hold off from lunch (just in case). I was going to fly in a helicopter. Me and the helicopter Due to land at 13:00, from 12:30 I’d been clock-watching and by the time the rotors were thwarting through the sky at five-to I was standing ready and very excited. After circling a few times (and while this was going on I have to admit a small worry that it would land in another field) it headed somewhat ominously – as they

Princess and the pea

In a land far far away (+- 5 1/2 hours on the train) where no planes fly (due to the volcano) and only the sound of creaking doors keep you awake (at least I hope not) lies Caprington Castle... and that's where I am right now! Actually, to be more exact, if it were light and I was looking out the window, I'd be looking out this window: But because it's dark and, well, bed-time, I'm sitting on my rather soft, slightly higher than normal single bed. And I've got two things to worry about: 1. that I'll fall out of the single (for short people almost a bunk) bed and 2. that I'll wake up with a bruise! Plans for tomorrow: explore the Narnia-like cupboard with shiny, enticing doors at the end of my room... Lucky

Tasty decor

Why is it mandatory for your local / anywhere Chinese to have decor that's dated. Actually to say it's dated implies that it comes from an era. What I'm talking about is a collection of 'remotely from the homeland' plants whose flowers may look slightly like the top of a temple. Plastic, gold coloured shiny cats that bob and wave. Laminated brick walls, or the ever classy, never subtle orange paint. Don't get me wrong, everyone is allowed their taste, and usually I quite enjoy the flavours from my selected boxes / plate. But there is no relaxed dining here. And it seems to be a world-wide (at least in Cape Town & London) trait. I guess it's always a good giggle! But seriously, is there a decorator who has a monopoly? Lucky

Zim's great Monopoly spirit

Isn't it great when a country prints money especially so you can play a board game that you previously lost all the pieces for - so thoughtful! Lucky

Why hiring an interpreter is a good idea, unless you want something this awesome!

The other day I was hanging out in the north of London, dining on a recovery roti when this came into my life... 100 g of phallic fun Lucky

A little afternoon delight

Sometimes something really small gives you a thrill. Makes you want to grin ridiculously while elevating you to the clouds you feel you're walking on. It can last for a moment or ten - and always takes you to that happy place. Yesterday I had that moment. Stepping into Trafalgar Square the first few snow flakes began to fall. Light enough to enjoy a swirling twirl in the air before landing on my coat and melting. The excitement of the anticipated, the enjoyment of the present. Filling you up with child-like delight... except this time with a beer. Lucky

St. James

Fabulous: if you don't mind being the only on at the beach in a costume and adorned with your front teeth. St. James is no Llundudno - kids run past, decorating you with the sand from their feet and babies cry ALOT. The two old women sitting under their umbrella, debate whether their sweets are sour or not. But the tidal pool is great and the beach not too big, so you can soak while keeping a close eye on your bags. Aesthetically it's quite quaint. Floating in the tidal pool, crashing waves and shrieking children in the background - multicoloured huts face the sea, weathered by the sand and wind and stickied by many ice-creamed fingers. The women sit cackling on the wall of the pool, rocking back and forth with the waves. Sometimes their bodies succumb to the push and pull of the ocean, other times just their tummies. The latest see-through purple and green plastic hat imports fashioned. Stumbling, far from eloquently, and not because of the sand, dressed in blue, a lady makes

Sambuca & Sunsets

If I talk about Sambuca, the first thing that comes to mind is a little visit to Borruso’s (then I’m distracted briefly by the awesome Borruso’s Special pizza – a moment...) Shots in wine glasses, swirling, lighting and the hilariality (new word) of the new shape your breast / tummy / bum becomes, varying on your choice of Samboobca / Samtumca / Sambumca. Truth be told I’ve never done one myself, but on others they look great. This last weekend also involved Sambuca. Specifically Friday night, 5 or 6 girls, a lot of juicy conversation, nominations and beer pong with life-jackets. There was even a drive-by; perhaps I should explain: we were in Betty’s Bay and felt the need to head out and check out the local night-life at King Arthur’s genuine replica – built using almost the same bricks, and definitely the same style – Camelot. The Sambuca was a gift, given with the understanding that the bottle would be finished over the weekend. We smashed it on the Friday – it was awe

October – February: it happens!

Once in a blue moon – kind of like how sometimes February has more days some years and less in others – the yearly calendar skips a couple of months. The year can start off totally normally – you won’t suspect a thing – and then BOOM! September is just having a little seasonal change, October rolls around (the shops like you to start thinking about Xmas) and then all of a sudden it’s February, you’re in another country working fervently on your tan cause at the end of the week you’re heading back to the UK! True story. Lucky