Category Archives: London

Some Enchanted Evening

I took my mum to see South Pacific at The Barbican last night and I have to say it was really rather fabulous. Sam Womack was surprisingly good (you always worry about a soap star on the stage which is probably a bit unfair), frankly anyone over 30 who appears on stage in a swimming costume surrounded by a largely 20-something cast gets a thumb up from me.

I’d forgotten that I did actually know most of the songs (my Grandma was something of a show tunes fanatic so I think they just went in by osmosis before I started school) as did most of the audience (although luckily no one was actually singing along, more like hum hum bounce bounce of the head). And the racism message was a complete surprise (for 1940s American piece of popular culture, it was quite brave, can’t imagine it was a big hit in the southern States when it was released).

All in all very enjoyable and I LOVE that I can get from Barbican to my house in less than half an hour.


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3BT – 31st July

Possibly more than three

1. Went to see Carlos Acosta at The Coliseum. Was somewhat nervous by the reviews and, although it could have done with “more dancing”, I really enjoyed it. Although agreed with the critic (sorry can’t find the link) who said it could/should have been staged at the Tate Modern.

2. Hated what I was wearing yesterday. You know when you just put something on and it grows progressively more grim as the day goes on? Well, I felt so lucky that I could just pop to Hennes, buy a £12 top and feel instantly more human. Also bought a pair of shoes which weren’t entirely on the agenda but are lovely and I have bought a pair of lovely shoes until last October which is actually QUITE A LONG TIME  (well for me).

3. British athletes being fab, especially the beautiful Jessica Ennis and the passionate Mo Farrar.

4. Eating delicious food hand delivered from my parents garden (even though it’s nearly 100 miles away). And transforming courgettes (which are normally watery and a bit bleurgh) thanks to a recipe from the lovely Ruth and Rose – page 155 of The River Cafe Blue Book.

5. Sondheim at the Proms. There are few words apart from Judi Dench rocks.

6. The power of Twitter and this week’s story about Clare Balding.

7. Newly clean curtains and windows (although they need to drop about an inch – the curtains not the windows).

8. A spurt of ridiculously early morning energy counterbalanced by an afternoon nap.

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Local convenience

When I had a car it was really easy to shop locally, I’d pop to the high street on a Saturday morning and go to the butchers, fishmongers, deli etc. But as I no longer have wheels, I do rely on Ocado for about 90% of my shopping with only occasional forays to the shops for whatever I can fit in my bag and lug on the bus. Which is why I really like this idea. They don’t actually cover my area yet but I’ve signed up so I know when they do.

Having said all this, at the weekend I had a complete revelation in the food shopping department. I have lived where I live for more than 10 years now but have never frequented the vegetable stall on the market. Have no idea why. However, this weekend I really didn’t need the minimum size pack of 2.7kg of potatoes – there are only two of us, it was only for one roast dinner – so I thought may be the vegetable stall would sell smaller amounts. Of course he did, I could have bought just one potato if I’d wanted. I also bought beans and onions and a couple of other bits for not very much money at all, all served up with great customer service. Now the only thing that’s baffling me is why it’s taken me 10 years.

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Filed under Life, London, Matters domestic

Cultural stuff

I’ve been rather out and about this week (coupled with one of the worst bouts of insomnia known to mankind, it did lead to a rather teary disintegration at one point but hey ho!). Highlights included a talk by Tracey Emin launching her book of drawings. Now I must confess I am not the biggest ‘modern art’ fan, I don’t get a lot of it (the couple of times I’ve visited The Tate Modern I’ve had to leave because I felt sick and dizzy, I tend to get on much better with Tate Britain), and don’t really know Tracey Emin’s work. However, I really really enjoyed the evening. She was so interesting and the way she speaks about things is really powerful. She said if she could only work in one medium, she would write and I certainly found her words more powerful than the art bit. So that was very enligtening.

The other highlight was going to see Rigoletto last night at The  ENO. I’ve seen this production before and loved it and second time around it had lost none of its charm. Unfortunately I was sat next to the fidgetiest woman in the world and was filled with horror as several people decided to hum and la along to La Donna e Mobile – argh! Despite this, it’s a marvellous production (made even better for me as we only paid £3 a ticket – hurrah!).

Not quite in the same cultural league but taking up rather a lot of my attention is True Blood. Only on series one in the UK and it took a few episodes to get going but now I seem to be caught up in a rollercoaster of sex, weirdness, sex, blood and oh did I mention the sex?! It’s fabulous Friday night fodder (although inevitably end up having to record it because it clashes with something else – Peep Show at the moment).

And finally…I read 1984 this week. It’s me on my ‘List of Books I Ought to Read’ for ages which always fills me with slight trepidation because Books I Ought to Read and Books I Want to Read do not necessarily marry up. However I LOVED it. Not entirely sure why I loved it so much, I obviously just hit it at the right time in the right mood. Found it totally scary and gripping. Wondered why on earth I haven’t read it before.

Apparently the next stop on this cultural adventure is Zombieland…well I’m nothing if not ecelctic!

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Of urban sprawl and 3BT on living in London

So I’m on my way back from book club and life in London strikes me as the loveliest thing:
1. It’s Monday night and I had a choice of two interesting things to do tonight. I chose book club because it was ‘my’ night. It was a fun evening.
2. Seeing two beautiful foxes walking home (me walking home, them having a little wander and late night canoodle). They had gorgeous brushes and looked so cute.
3. The mystery of number 3 and number 19. In my street there are two houses which are newly refurbished and yet no one has lived in them for well over a year. If I lived in a small crabby village I’d know exactly why Mr X had bought Y house yet didn’t live there. As it is, I have to make do with occasional lights going on, shadowy movements and random bin movements. It’s slightly exciting and lets your imagination go wild. Okay I know that’s odd.

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Porcine problems

In a professional capacity I have had it up to here (somewhere about 6 feet over my head) with swine flu. I am quite convinced that people are being unnecessarily panicky bonkers about it all (obviously this does not apply to people who are properly sick – a very tiny percentage, rather the vast majority who look accusingly if you happen to sneeze on the bus and believe the newspaper scare-mongering). Anyway, due to clients, I seem to spend almost all of my days at the moment thinking about it, talking about it and writing about it.

In an attempt to provide some lightness and diversion, I have been trying to get out and about more so on Saturday I saw my lovely friends who moved to Hong Kong in January and are back for a quick visit. Rather excitingly, I’m planning to go and see them in oriental climes in the New Year.

On Sunday I went to see Chun Yi at The Coliseum. I’d read some pretty dreadful reviews and it was all a bit ‘light as a feather’ but do you know sometimes, you need some light as a feather and small Chinese boys bouncing off their foreheads to make you smile.

And last night I tried my very first margarita ever. This was actually a bit of a shock to me too but I seem to remember deciding quite a long time ago that I didn’t like tequila so I’ve never had one. Turns out I was missing something quite tasty and delightful although I expect the rarified atmosphere of the Artesian bar helped (complete with lovely nibbly bits and a conversation with one of the most passionate cocktail makers in London). Obviously I may have to do some more market research before committing to margaritas properly in the future…

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ABC meme

I am aware that I have been stupidly silent which is even more daft because I’ve actually been up to a lot of STUFF (I suspect STUFF may have been taking up most of my time too). So thought I’d do a meme which I have pinched from musingsfromthesofa to get me back in the swing of this blogging malarkey.

A – An advantage you have – living in the best city in the world and being in a fortunate enough position to enjoy it.

B – Blue or brown eyes –  Green which I particularly like (although attendant freckles and paler than a pint of milk skin is not quite so much fun).

C – Chore you hate – ironing. The problem is I am obsessed with non-creased clothes, sheets, table linen (yes even tea towels – I am tragic) so I have to do it but I hate virtually everything about it.

D – Dad’s name – depends which one (not Dad, name because he has an ‘official’ name and a ‘real’ name, he keeps saying he’s going to change it by deed poll but I’m fairly convinced he’ll never get round to it). David, by the way.

E – Essential start of your day – tea. Cannot function without it.

F – Favourite colour – purple, although I have now realised that wearing it is usually a mistake.

G – Greatest thing you’ve ever done that made you feel really good – going to Tanzania to volunteer and jumping out of a plane whilst I was there.

H – Habit you have – sighing. Apparently it is a natural response for relieving tension but I understand from those around me that it is highly annoying!

I – Issue you hate that the world tries to make you pursue – I’m with Becky on this one. Celebrity. Can’t bloody stand it and so not interested in people who have not done anything to achieve their fame and so not understanding young people who just want to be famous when they grow up…what do you want to be famous for? Blank stare.

J – Job title – Head of Healthcare which makes me sound far more important than I actually am.

K – Kohls or Target – This is where this being a US meme leaves me flummoxed. I understand they are stores…? Possibly? In which case, John Lewis.

L – Living arrangements – little house in south west London. About to undergo some renovation – wish me luck with builders and other tradesfolk who frankly terrify me.

M – Music you like – from Jolene by Dolly to Jolene by the Sisters of Mercy and most genres in between. Current faves are Snow Patrol and Lily Allen. Although a couple of weeks ago I saw an awesome Moby gig. And a show tune will always get me going.

N – Nicknames – Bog – ask Lizzie, she invented it.

O – Overnight hospital stay – a few, all shorties thank goodness.

P – Pet Peeve – where do I start (I think I may just be an angry person?). Peeve indicates a little irritant though so probably crap spelling and grammar.

Q – Quote that you like most – “life is what happens when you’re busy making other plans” – John Lennon. I am completely aware that a ton of other people say this too. Hey ho, I’m a conformist.

R – Right or left handed – so right handed that my left hand often wonders on its purpose.

S – Siblings – one lovely little sister.

T – Time you wake up – unnecessarily early. I am a bad sleeper (yes, I know we all know that). I get up at 6.30 – usually about 10 minutes after I’ve just gone back to snooze.

U – Underwear – BIG pants, I go for smooth lines and I know they are probably horrible to look at (but there’s noone around to look at them), but they look good under things (or rather don’t look at all which is the whole point).

V – Vegetable you dislike – sprouts, doesn’t everyone?

W – What makes you run late – double, triple checking where the bobbins my keys are.

X – X-rays you’ve had – neck, back, ribs, fingers, wrist, ankles, feet, toes, lungs, bowels…plus ultrasounds on various parts…and cameras on the inside…I’m fairly well checked out in the internal pictures department.

Y – Yummy food you make – unfortunately I seem to find my of the food I make yummy (hence the current waistline issues). My roast chicken is pretty bloody good though.

Z – Zoo animal – since the whole Africa thing, I cannot even imagine an animal in a zoo. A real proper lion in a real proper landscape…I know not everyone can see it but it would be so wonderful if everyone could.

She's so beautiful

She's so beautiful

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