Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Friday 12 October – Trains and champagnes

Current location: Somewhere in south-west England
11.11am, On the train to Penzance. Tomorrow my big sister Claire is GETTING MARRIED! Exciting times! At 10am, Andy, my lovely niece Ella, Jake (my gorgeous five-week old nephew) and my sister Kate got on the train for a six-hour journey south. I had come prepared with my computer to keep Ella entertained (Kate had packed the Peppa Pig DVDs!) but we had both underestimated the fun Andy and Ella would have. Reading, 'swimming' (along the carriage floor!), not-quite-napping, chatting, running – they had a ball!

Before too long we had arrived in Penzance, and went straight to The Vault (a nice bar in Penzance that used to be a bank) for a swanky afternoon tea Pip had organised. Complete with champers, we ate lots of posh sandwiches and brownies, and sipped our posh tea. Claire had got pretty much everything organised for tomorrow and, except for a few last-minute bits, she was excited and raring to go!

After our lovely afternoon tea, we went to the church for a rehearsal. So exciting! The evening consisted of everyone doing various things for the next day/picking people up from stations while Claire and I practised her wedding hairdo (which I was doing!), painted our nails and watched Bridesmaids. Perfect pre-wedding activities.

Tuesday 9 October – Dinner at Clare's

Current location: Camberwell
11.11pm, Still not on my way home. I'd been for dinner at my friends' house, Kes and Clare. Something good about these two is that they met through me and are now housemates! We've been saying for a while that we should all hang out, considering I've never actually been in the same room as the two of them, and tonight I went round for dinner. Now, if they had been to ours for dinner, I either would have got Andy to rustle something up or they would have been treated to something like spaghetti. Easy stuff. Not these two. I was treated to cocktails to start, then a full three-course gastronomic delight, including roasted tomato bruschetta, duck with blackcurrant jus, roast parsnip, celeriac mousse and cabbage, then a home-made banoffee pie. Plus loads of red wine and lots of laughing about weird things yu can find on the internet. Ace night, that went on so long I ended up staying over.

Sunday 7 October - In the clouds!

Current location: Greenwich
11.11pm, In the pub after having had tapas. Sunday night tapas has become a bit of a ritual for Andy and I as we try out some local places. It definitely gets rid of the Sunday night feeling! Last week we went to an amaaaaazing place called Tapa Tisserie (get it?!) that I really couldn't recommend enough. Cocktails were delicious, the food was well-priced and the pork cheeks were one of the best things I have ever tasted. If you're ever anywhere near Brockley or Honor Oak, please go there!

This week we tried Taperia in Greenwich. The food was good, but nowhere near that of Tapa Tisserie. I probably wouldn't go back but it was a nice evening. Then we headed to the pub for a bit of football watching and then cycled on home. We'd been out on our bikes all day, exploring some of London's South East. After months of saying we'd like to go, we finally managed to ride to North Greenwich to go on the Emirates Cable Car that goes across the Thames to Victoria Docks. So much fun and cool to see London from such a different perspective.

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Saturday 6 October - Off to Brockley Market

Current location: Lewisham
11.11am, Getting our bikes out ready for a Saturday morning ride to Brockley Market. It's really near where we live (near Lewisham station) and, despite having lived here for 18 months now, we have never quite made it to the market. Today though, the sun was shining and we didn't have other plans, so off we went. It's pretty much all food; lots of fresh organic veg, cheese stalls, cooked food and lots of little cake stalls etc too. Most of it is local produce and all of it is pretty well priced and delicious! Between us we had a chicken breast fried in buttermilk and covered in hot Korean nuts (Andy described it as a posh KFC), a brie and mushroom pie, apple juice, pear juice, Lancashire bomb chilli cheese, and bought home some sweet potato hummous. YUM. Such a fun place, I think we'll be going a lot more often. 

Friday 5 October - More Friday fun with the finest

Current location: South Bank, London
11.11pm, Drinking wine on the South Bank. I was with Will, Sarah, Sara and Emma (we were just missing Cat and Emily). Friday nights with my favourite women are so hard to beat... these girls are a big part of the reason why I wanted to move back to London and I love that we get to see a fair bit of each other. Love you!
(Didn't love the hangover the next day).

Thursday 4 October - Cousins from afar

Current location: On another train
11.11pm, Making our way home from Camden. This seems to be the week of going out for dinner with Aussies; tonight we went to The Cuban in Camden to meet Andy's cousins Marie and Louise. They've been over for a couple of weeks but are heading back to Melbourne tomorrow. They are hilarious and lots of fun and we wish they could stay over for longer...but I'm sure we'll see them again before too long. Bon voyage and thanks for all the cocktails, laughing and stories.

Tuesday 2 October - Aussie meet-up

Current location: Heading south, London
11.11pm, On the train on the way back from Farringdon. We had been for an amaaaazing dinner at Workshop (highly recommended) with Siobhan, Bec and some other friends, as Siobhan's sister Emily is visiting from Oz. So nice to meet her and to be around ace people.

Monday, October 1, 2012

Saturday 29 September - Cake o'clock

Current location: Lewisham
11.11pm, Still in a cake coma. Today two friends (Emma and Clare) came over and we decided to do some baking. A dark chocolate and orange cake, to be exact. I'm not the best baker but with those two lovely ladies by my side, what could go wrong? Despite nearly sending ourselves into a diabetic coma just from 'trying' the ganache as we were baking, our cakes came out pretty amazing! So good I had to have two slices, just to be certain. A new recipe to add to my cookbook, and a fun way to spend the day (plus another win for our netball team this morning, woohoo!).

Tuesday 25 September - End of an era!

Current location: Soho, London
11.11am, Organising a goodbye lunch with Nicky. This week marks a sad week for me, as it is when three of my best friends, Ruth, Nicky and Jack, all move back to Cornwall. They have wonderful jobs waiting for them there and I am very excited that they get a cosy winter in a Cornish cottage, but I also feel very sad for Andy and myself that we don't get to spend the winter with them up here.

They have made London so indescribably special – from living together in the Angel house, numerous dancing parties, beige dinners, lazy Sundays, hours of TV, cocktail Fridays, fresh air walks, cheese picnics, playalong Take Me Out, hours of night-time puns, Grey's and Boogtique photoshoots, to laughing, crying, drinking, cleaning, jumping, writing, stripping, napping, reading, snacking, smiling, teasing, singing, entertaining and loving, they are the best. Love you three x

Saturday 21 September - Claire's hen do at Brisfest!

Current location: Bristol
11.11am, At Claire's house. People were starting to arrive and the champers was being opened. It's Claire's hen do! A couple of hours later and we were on our way to Brisfest, a fun festival in Bristol, and 15 of Claire's besties were there to celebrate. The theme was 'tights and tiaras' and the sparkly tiaras and array of comedy/pretty tights was ace.

The day was so much fun...amazingly, the sun shone the entire day and we danced, drank (though not nearly enough for a hen do, thanks to the queues!), played games, took photos (though not me because I forgot), told stories, laughed, ate amazing festival food and generally had a fabulous time. Claire has very lovely friends and I can't wait to see them all again at the wedding. Happy hen, my beautiful sister!

Saturday 14 September - The new netball season!

Current location: Mottingham, London
11.11am, About three-quarters of the way through a netball match. Not just any match, though, this was the first match for Blackheath Wanderers 2 of the season. We were playing against Crystal Palace (known for being quite hard to beat). Luckily it was their second team (or maybe third or fourth, I can't remember). That gave us a bit of a chance, and we got off to a flying start.

By the end of the third quarter, despite this being our first game back after quite a lazy summer, we were winning by 11 goals. Our mistake then was that we got a bit comfortable, thinking 'It's pretty hard to make up 11 goals in a quarter'; turns out we were wrong. The opposition had an absolutely blinding 10 minutes, and, with seconds to go, were equal with us. At the last second (literally), a penalty pass or shot was awarded against Crystal Palace and Erica, our amazing Goal Shooter, popped the goal in to win us the game. A lucky, fun, exciting first game back!

(Picture from the end-of-season rally last year)