Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Sunday 24 July - The only way is Essex

Current location: Ongar
11.11am, Walking in the fields of Essex. It was my first time visiting Essex and I really hadn't realised how beautiful it was before. As we took the dogs for a walk (and Andy's nephews for a bike ride), I felt totally in love with the English countryside.

When we arrived at Andy's sister's house last night, there was a whole host of family to meet, lots of wine to drink and so much delicious food and fun conversation to have. The Kerwin/Lawrence family are a blinking good clan, made even more evident by nephew Will's 11th birthday party today. Complete with a bouncy castle, trampoline and even a swimming pool, Will's BBQ was the stuff of dreams. It was so hot and sunny and, relaxing in the garden with a burger, a spritzer and little puppies running around (well, one little puppy, three medium-sized dogs and two big dogs), I discovered I love Essex.

Saturday 23 July - Birthdays in the park

Current location: Lewisham
11.11pm, Having a lie-in before going to Finsbury Park. It's Catdog's birthday next week so we celebrated in the park today with Bucks Fizz and a lot of cakes. It's funny to think that this time last year the girls had all come to Berlin to visit and we went out and celebrated Cat's birthday with gin and dancing until the sun came up. It's nice that, though the location has changed, the friends haven't. x

Thursday, July 21, 2011

Wednesday 20 July - Relight my fire (lantern)

Current location: Lewisham
11.11pm, Going to bed, having just said goodnight and goodbye to Luka. As mentioned before, my lovely housemate is leaving tomorrow to move back to Coventry, so tonight was our last night together. We went to the cinema to watch Bridesmaids (hilarious), and we thought we had the cinema to ourselves. We duly chose the best seats (after trying out a few options), put our feet up and awaited our very own cinema experience. But just before the film (hilarious) started, lots of people came into OUR cinema. How rude. The film was hilarious though... Did I mention that?

After the cinema, we headed home and hung out, feeling a bit sad and then lighting a sky lantern. As we all crouched in the doorway in the rain to light it, it felt a bit like Luka had died, so I suggested singing a hymn but no one went for it. It was very beautiful though as it took off high into the sky, after disentangling itself from some wires. Clever lantern. Then we all ran out into the back garden in our socks and watched it until it had completely disappeared from view. A lovely night, and lovely people.

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Monday 18 July - Eating like kings

Current location: Covent garden
11.11pm. Oh my. At 11.11pm, we were eating. At 10.10pm, we were eating. At 9.09pm, we were eating. But what were we eating, you might wonder?

Two types of crab
An entire lobster
Four types of steak (rib-eye, d-rump t-bone, fillet)
Creamed spinach
Mash potato with gravy
Buttered greens
Macaroni cheese (fancier than it sounds)
Kimchi burger
Smoked burger
Beef dripping chips
Triple-cooked chips
Sweet potato
Bone marrow
Slow-cooked ribs

I'm going to repeat the first four: Oysters, crab, lobster and steak. Yep. I'd never even tried lobster before (unfortunately for my bank balance, it's now one of my new favourite things).

Nicky, Ruth, Jack, Andy and I went to Hawksmoor, aka Heaven in Covent Garden. Nicky works there and we all wanted to see the fancy place she works at that celebs go to (even Mick Hucknall). We got all dressed up and had a beautiful night. Oh my goodness; we were so treated (we definitely didn't order all the food we got) and it was, quite honestly, one of the best nights of my life. I'm pretty sure I will never, ever eat such good food again. Dining like kings! Kind of makes the cake from earlier pale into insignificance somewhat...

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Monday 18 July - And then there was cake

Current location: Soho
11.11am, Being frantic. One of the magazines goes to press tomorrow and time seems to be going at twice the normal speed. It was a bit of a manic one today but, with deadlines fast approaching, Tom the lovely deputy editor of Computeractive (as opposed to Tom the lovely winner of The Apprentice) went and bought lots of cakes to keep our spirits high and our work ethic strong. It worked... Nothing like a sugar rush to keep you on course!

Sunday 17 July - Lovely people

Current location: Lewisham
11.11pm, Feeling full and happy. Well, partly happy. The good bit was that Tom had won The Apprentice (he was my favourite) and that we'd eaten one of the world's best dinners. The not-so-happy bit was that the dinner was in aid of my lovely housemate Luka, who is moving out this week, boo.

I feel so sad as she has become a good friend in a short amount of time, but with the ever-increasing world of Facebook, phones and high-speed trains, I hope I won't have too much opportunity to miss her.

Our dinner was pretty spectacular though – think lots of halloumi (above), fajitas with lashings of guacamole, some pretty special mousse, all topped off with cake and sweets. We devoured it and then vegged out in front of the TV, where the kind people who decide when to show programmes had scheduled the final of The Apprentice for a Sunday night, how wonderful.

Amazingly, our favourite candidate, Tom, who might possibly be the world's nicest man, won the show, proving that being kind and sweet does win out in the end. A good day for nice people all over the world.

Monday, July 18, 2011

Saturday 16 July - Pining for Alpines

Current location: Dalston, East London
11.11pm, Listening to an amazing band, Alpines. The band is made of super-musician (and friend) Bob Matthews, and his super girlfriend, Catherine. They were playing at The Nest in Dalston, and a group of us went to watch, dance and drink tequlia. Saturday-night awesomeness. Check out the incredible video for the latest single, Cocoon, below.

Thursday 14 July - Hippity hop

Current location: The South Bank, London
11.11pm, Leaving a R.A.P Party. Which stands for Rhythm and Poetry, don' t you know? As a birthday celebration for lovely Sara Maden, a group of us met on the 'Urban Beach', then went to the event on London's South Bank, which saw lots of spoken word, poetry and hip hop. We laughed, we had a little weep, we whooped and hollered and we got in touch with our inner hip hop selves. Fo' shizzle.

Friday, July 15, 2011

Tuesday 12 July - Water XXMI

Current location: Lewisham
11.11pm, Eating sushi. Late. Andy and I went out to a photography exhibition, and it was quite excellent! And we got home late. The show was Water XXMI, a series of photographs of water by a very talented man called John Rose. He has a pretty amazing use of colour, and I liked the slightly more abstract pieces more than the very clear, accurate pictures of the sea or sand. The exhibition finishes tomorrow so, if you're in London, be sure to head down to Gallery 27, Cork Street in Mayfair and check it out.

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Thursday 7 July - A proper Cornish weekend

Current location: Penzance, Cornwall
11.11pm, At Mum's book launch for her 8th book, He's After Me. We've all come down for the launch and tonight we celebrated in a bar in Penzance, with wine, speeches, old friends, avid fans and false eyelashes.

Andy and I got the train down with Kate and my niece Ella (who was a beautiful delight all weekend), and the weekend that followed was just as amazing. Andy's parents were visiting Cornwall, so they met Mum and Dad, as well as all my sisters, aunties, uncles and nephews. Some of the highlights of the weekend were:

Cliff walking around Gurnard's Head in the sunshine
Taking my niece and nephews swimming
Eating pasties on the rocks in Mousehole while watching boat races
Dad singeing his eyebrows by pouring petrol on the BBQ to "make it go faster"
Having fresh local sardines for dinner with mine and Andy's parents
Dancing to rubbish music at The Ritz (which used to be a bingo hall) with good friends
Eating my first proper ice cream in about 15 years with Lily by the harbour
Seeing foxes and rabbits in the Englsih countryside
Chatting and laughing with my sisters and parents (Andy's dad: "Is the family always so chatty?!")
Introducing David and Val to the most important people in my life
Going to a charity auction and being outbid by my sister (she was a much worthier winner though)
Eating three pasties in one weekend

It really was the most perfect Cornish weekend and I was sad to leave... Just how it should be really!

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Saturday 2 July - St Paul's Carnival

Current location: St Paul's, Bristol
11.11am, At my sister Claire's house in Bristol. Andy and I went to visit for the weekend, which coincided with St Paul's Carnival, a big African Caribbean festival with lots of colour, sound, food and dreadlocks. It was so crazy busy, but so exciting and we fully embraced the Jamaican side of things – with rum, Jamaica cake, ginger beer, dancing and delish Caribbean street food.

Earlier in the day, we'd been to Matt's studio... Matt is Claire's boyfriend, and is also an amazing artist – I especially love his birds stuff (middle picture) and he does some pretty awesome badger pictures too. He let me and Andy go wild with spray paint, resulting in the bottom picture (the swirls and the cat). Not quite as good.

The weekend was so much fun, and on Sunday, we headed to The Farm in Bristol. It's a city farm with lots of animals including little pigs, chicks and some very lovely goats. There's also a pub there, where we sat outside and ate roast dinners to prepare us for our coach journey back to London. Such a fab weekend of showing Bristol off to Andy and spending some quality, funny, time with Claire and Matt again.

Monday, July 4, 2011

Thursday 30 June - Arcade Fire – free!

Current location: Hyde Park
11.11pm, Leaving Hyde Park to go home. We'd decided to embrace the beautiful weather we've had recently, and have a post-work picnic. What was best about our Hyde Park picnic (other than Cava and sausage rolls) was that Mumford & Sons and Arcade Fire were playing an open-air concert. We didn't get tickets to go in, but (due to the nature of it being open-air) could hear their entire sets really well. And, because lots of people had the same idea as us, the atmosphere was fab! Another good reason to love London.

On a side note, I have decided to carry on with this blog, having done it every day for a year now. But I will not be updating it every day; instead only when something noteworthy happens (such as listening to one of my favourite bands in the sunshine, for example!). I hope there aren't too many big gaps, as that might be a bit of a sign that I'm not doing enough exciting things!