Monday, August 27, 2012

Sunday 26 August - Relaxing in Brighton

Current location: Brighton
11.11am, Reading the paper and occasionally looking up at the sea. Andy and I decided to come down to Mum and Dad's little bolt-hole in Brighton for a night, so headed down on Saturday morning. We spent the day with some friends, seeing the sights, pottering around, spending money and drinking coffee martinis. Today we were content to relax, read, knit (just me) and enjoy a bit of sunshine, sea and peace.

(Picture of Brighton in 1890s take from

Friday 24 August - Getting our DIY on

Current location: Lewisham
11.11pm, Putting the finishing touches to the bathroom. Back in May we decided to wanted to make our bathroom look a bit nicer so we've been intermittently scraping/painting/cleaning various parts of it and it's pretty much done. It makes me excited to one day have my own home to do lots to but, for the moment, I'm happy to take pride in this one.

Saturday 18 August - A quick bit of home time

Current location: Penzance, Cornwall
11.11am, On a bike ride with my hilarious nephews, Vinny and Zac. I was coming back to Penzance for a grand total of about eight hours (not including sleeping time) so tried to pack as much in as I could. The main reason for my flying Cornwall visit was to go a surprise party for Helen, rowing extraordinaire. Her family had, unbeknown to her, organised a party for 1pm on Saturday so I spent the morning playing with my nephews, cycling, dressing up, and being excited. 

A few hours later I met my good friend Kate (whose hen do was a couple of weeks ago), and we headed up to Helen's parents' house. It was so lovely to see people I hadn't seen for a few years (as well as some I had seen recently!) and everyone was so pleased and excited for Helen. When she arrived, Helen was on amazing form, despite having come down from London that morning. We had lots of laughs, giggles and reminisces; that girl is amazing. So lovely to spend some time with the Glovers too – thanks Helen for giving us a great reason to celebrate together!

Sunday 12 August - Goodbye Olympics (sad face)

Current location: Greenwich Park, London
11.11pm, Watching the Closing Ceremony. I am so sad the Olympics are over, I have absolutely love love loved watching them, even more than I thought I would. We've spent a fair bit of time on Blackheath, where there is a big screen and the atmosphere up there has been amazing. We watched the 100m men's final there, sitting about three metres in front of a big group of Jamaican people so you can imagine the excitement when Usain Bolt won!

Andy and I decided to head to Greenwich Park today to watch the final few events and meet our friends Rochy and Jdog for beers in the sunshine. It was an amazing place, with fab food, cheers, ales, supporters and lots of smiling Team GB fans. I went home for a little afternoon nap (yes, like a nana) before cycling back to Greenwich to watch the Closing Ceremony. Everyone stood up to sing the national anthem, which was pretty fun, and there was a lot of cheering, laughing, singing along and general merriment. It really feels like the Olympics has brought London together; everyone seems in a happier mood, and I am so glad to be living in this city while London 2012 has been happening. Can't wait for the Paralympics now!

Thursday, August 23, 2012

Saturday 11 August - Lobster for dinner!

Current location: Bethnal Green, London
11.11pm, At Siobhan's house, eating all the seafood. It's her birthday so she decided to celebrate with a 'Crayfish party'. These are apparently big in Sweden (where she used to live) and involve eating crayfish/lobster, drinking schnapps and singing songs.

Anyone who knows Siobhan will know she doesn't do things by halves – whether it's a boat race down the canal or a drunken house party, it will always be the most fun. Today was no exception.
Siobhan and her housemates had been to Billingsgate fish market at 5am and there was SO much food. She set out an amazing table outside, and soon the smorgasbord of delight began to be carried out. Not just lobster but prawns, calamari, haddock, salads, meatballs, I wish I had taken more photos!

We ate and ate and drank and drank and sang and sang and generally enjoy ourselves, Sweden-style.
I was obviously too excited by food to take many photos of anything other than a lobster cooking so sorry about that!

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Friday 10 August - Ales aplenty

Current location: Clerkenwell, London
11.11pm, At Craft, a pub in Clerkenwell that specialises in ales. I met Andy and our friends Kes and Francesca (and their friend Gemma) for some free beers and art viewings at a gallery in Farringdon, soaking up the last of the sunshine before heading to the pub and standing outside with the other Friday night revellers. Lovely, easy Friday night.

(Picture © Fancyapint)

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Saturday 4 August - Kate's hen do!

Current location: Bristol
11.11pm, In Bristol somewhere, celebrating Kate Dann's hen do. She is my oldest friend (I've known her since we were four) and she has always stayed an important part of my life – so it was ace to be celebrating a very important part of her life!

I'd arrived in Bristol the night before, and we all went out for way too much food (but were very restrained on the wine). Staying in a gorgeous hotel in the city centre, it already promised to be a fab girlie weekend.

The next morning we were up bright and early for a swim and a big breakfast to prepare us for It's a Knockout. This involved pitting us against 15 other teams and having to do a variety of challenges, mostly in fancy dress and almost all forcing us to get drenched. Our competitive sides came out (as did our natural athletic ability), which results in loads of laughs, lots and lots of water and a joint second place position!

I would wholeheartedly recommend this for anyone thinking of a hen/stag/birthday idea – it was so fun, almost everyone could join in and got us all bonded pretty quickly! It ended with Kate getting thrown in the pool (with us all jumping in after her) then warming up with Pimms and food.

Heading back to the hotel, we barely had time for a rejuvenating nap before we were donning sailor attire (probably not exactly what real sailors wear) and heading to Kate's room to play games. These were interrupted only by some watching of the Olympics – and it was very nice of Jess Ennis, who is Kate's idol, to win a gold just for Kate.

The games got sillier, we got louder and out we went, to try out Bristol at night and do some of the dares that every hen do needs.

The night gets blurrier, and funnier, in my memory, but we all ended up eating chips at not-too-late an hour after Kate decided she couldn't possibly walk up a hill. So off back to the hotel we went, to chat, get in our pjs and make the most of our new/old friendships!

(Pictures © Lily Pickles and me)