Thursday, January 31, 2013

Saturday 26 January – Australia Day in London

Current location: Charing Cross
11.11pm, In Gordon's Wine Bar. It's a particular favourite of ours and tonight we were join by Emma, Rochy and Jdog. We were celebrating Australia Day in the best way we could think of: drinking wine and eating cheese.
Today I went on a march with Rianne to try and save parts of Lewisham Hospital being closed down. It was an incredible march with over 20,000 people turning up. It was awesome to see people's home-made placards explaining why Lewisham Hospital was important to them, especially those made by children who were born in the maternity ward, which is one of the threatened units of the hospital. Ri and I even made it on to the evening news for an entire six seconds.

Wednesday 23 January – Australia v England

Current location: Soho
11.11am, At work, talking about netball. In the evening, nine of my netball friends and I had tickets to see England v Australia netball at Wembley Arena. England has only beaten Australia four times, and one of those times was on Sunday, which was the first of three matches in the current International Netball Series. England has never had a series win against Australia, so the pressure was on. If they could win tonight, they would win the series for the first time ever.

I'd never seen a professional netball match live before (they're amazing to watch on TV but they're not on very often and it doesn't compare to watching the match live). The arena was sold out, with over 7,000 people cheering; I;d estimate about 5,000 were cheering for England.

The match was pretty close the whole way... twice, Australia had a five-goal lead but, both time, England managed to catch up and overtake. By the final quarter, England were looking so strong, and managed to win by two goals! We were going wild, it was so exciting!! Even though Australia were incredible, I'm so proud to be English today, and to be a netballer (even if they did manage to make it look like an entirely different sport with their amazing skills). One of my favourite moments had to be when the Corbin sisters (Sasha and Kadeen, who play together on the England team) celebrated their win with a double backflip. Amazing women!

Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Monday 21 January – The Crack Foxes are back!

Current location: Lewisham
11.11pm, In the Fox and Firkin, doing the pub quiz. Rianne (my awesome friend from netball) has joined the team  The Crack Foxes – now, and she bought two of her very clever friends with her. Thanks to them (and no thanks to me, the quiz curse), we came 6th (out of about 20)... A big improvement on our usual almost-last.

Sunday 20 January – Ella, Emily and more snow

Current location: Balham
11.11am, At Kate, Jim, Ella and Jake's house. I came over this morning to play for a little bit. Ella and I made necklaces; Jake and I cuddled. He is getting massive (for a baby)! Today is Emily's birthday but she's poorly, so I walked to hers in Brixton, armed with soup and cake. I never realised how close my sister lives to Brixton; the walk in the snow was so beautiful! Thank goodness for the double socks, though – it was freeeeezing.

It was lovely to see Emily and Catdog (who was also visiting Emily), as well as her friend Jake. We had the perfect Sunday afternoon of soup, cake, cheese and a vat of tea. Get well Soon Emily, and happy birthday!

Saturday 19 January – So long Syd and Charlie!

Current location: Nunhead
11.11pm, In the Old Nun's Head. It's an ace pub in Nunhead, surprisingly, and we were in these parts to say goodbye to our fab friends, Charlie Jay and Sydney. They've become good friends of ours quite quickly but now they are off to pastures new – on Monday they fly to Brisbane for a year in Oz! Loads of love and luck to them, and good work on the ace leaving party!

Saturday 19 January - Snow time like today!

Current location: Ladywell, London
11.11am, Playing in the snow. Brrrr it was a cold, snowy one today so Andy and I headed to the park to sledge and play and embrace the winter. Go Hilly Fields!

Thursday, January 24, 2013

Thursday 17 January – Incisive Media Awards!


Current location: Limehouse
11.11pm, Dancing! Or maybe doing karaoke?!
Tonight was the Incisive Media Awards night, and it was gooood. The theme was 80s (hopefully you can tell!) and we went all out with the blue eyeshadow and fluoro colours.Getting ready in the office was pretty hilarious...Emily, Nicky, Clare and I crimping out hair, sticking on our eyelashes...much more fun than usual work!

We all trekked down to Limehouse for a quick drink in the pub before heading to the Troxy for the awards. As I've been on 'dry January' (with one or two exceptions), I was pretty happy to have a glass of wine and just hang out with my lovely work friends.

Soon it was time for the awards, and there were quite a few categories in which we were shortlisted (including Support Person of the Year for me, and Newcomer of the Year for Clare!). We won the Marketing Initiative of the Year for the redesign of Computeractive, which was really exciting after all the hard work that had gone into it.

Once they awards were presented and the dinner was eaten, we hit the dancefloor, hard. There was also karaoke, which most of us stubbornly refused to do...until the wine kept flowing. Hopefully those videos capturing us wailing on the stage will never be seen by anyone else.

SUCH a fun night, but all too soon it was midnight and I made the wise choice to go home. Thank goodness I did; even though we had the Friday off, I don't think I could have coped with feeling any worse! Definitely worth it though. I had the best time and really really appreciate how wonderful my friends at work are, and how much I like working at Incisive. Well done to all the winners!

(Pictures by Emily Weller, Clare Vooght, Petros Treklis and Incisive photographer)

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Sunday 13 January - Different time zones...pah!

Current location: Lewisham
11.11am, Eating brunch. Katy and I were feeling very pleased with ourselves as, by the time we say down to a fred egg roll, coffee and smoothie, we had already been for a beautiful morning run around Greenwich park, done some food shopping and cleaned the house. After all that activity (and a late cancellation from a friend), I was free for a Skype date with my amazing Aussie bestie, Lauren. Yesterday I managed to speak for an hour with Susann, my Berliner wife, and it made me realise how much I love technology for keeping my friendships going across the seas. As I sat down to chat with Lauren this afternoon, it felt so much like we were just hanging out for the afternoon, cups of tea in hand, just as we would be if we lived closer than 9,000 miles away. Three hours later, we hung up, having caught up on the goss and laughed a lot – and it felt like we just lived next door to each other. Thanks Skype, you rock!

Monday, January 14, 2013

Saturday 12 January - Netball, nap, night in

Current location: Lewisham
11.11pm, Watching The Hunger Games. Emily came round this evening and, as we're both doing Dry January, we ditched the usual plan of a bottle of wine, and instead made a lovely dinner, baked cookies and watched a film. I was pretty tired in the day after getting up for netball this morning (we won 28-14, great start to the second half of the season!) so had a pretty good nap today too.

Thursday 10 January - Road trip!

Current location: Soho
11.11am, Being excited!! Today, my friend Rianne and I booked flights to go to USA! We're going to visit my American wife Becky, who turns 30 in March. We'll arrive in time for Becky's birthday in Phoenix, then the three of us (or four, if Andy comes) are going on a road trip to San Diego for a couple of nights (which coincides with Spring Break!), then to Las Vegas for a couple of nights, then to the Grand Canyon, and the back to Phoenix for me to fly home. I AM SO EXCITED!

Wednesday 9 January - Landscape photography

Current location: Lewisham
11.11pm, Googling photographers. Tonight Emily and I went to the Landscape Photographer of the Year exhibition at the National Theatre, and some of the pictures were incredible. I say 'some' because, on the whole, I found most of the pictures to be a little too polished and perfect. I preferred the 'Urban' and the 'Your view' sections of the exhibition, and found the 'Classic' part a bit...boring? The pictures were undoubtedly beautiful but didn't seem to show much that I hadn't already seen before. However, some of the photos were magnificent; above are a few of my favourites (from top: Bill Terrance, Stephen Chung, Giles McGarry, Jamie Russell, Jean Brooks, Kayode Okeyode).

Tuesday 8 January - Love London

Current location: Trafalgar Square
11.11am, Walking to work. I had a doctor's appointment this morning so was late getting to work. As I walked through Trafalgar Square, I saw lots of spacemen! I have no idea who they were or why they were there. Got to love London.

Monday 7 January - New year, new quiz

Current location: Lewisham
11.11pm, Pub quizzing at the Fox and Firkin. Andy and I were with Rianne and her sister Josie and, despite our best efforts, we still came sixth from the bottom (out of about 20 teams). Not bad though, considering our aim was to not come last. And managed to keep up with Dry January, even though drinks are SO CHEAP at the F&F.

(Picture taken from Twitter)

Sunday 6 January - They're back! (For a night)

Current location: Lewisham
11.11pm, Pulling party poppers. Our friends Kara and Phil, who moved from Liverpool to Australia a couple of years ago, came home for Christmas. Tomorrow they fly back to Sydney so they came to stay at ours the night before our flight. It didn't feel like two years since I'd seen them; so much has happened in that time and so much has changed, yet it felt like we'd only seen them yesterday. Amazing to see them, catch up and relive old memories.

Saturday 5 January - Goodbye and Gday

Current location: Hampstead
11.11pm, At my friends' leaving party. Robyn and Josh are moving to Australia in a few days and I am going to miss them a lot! Robs is our chief organiser at book club, as well as being provider of fun, wine, chocolate, advice, chats and laughter. We're going to miss her so much, but can't wait to hear about her Aussie adventures and Skype her next time we're at book club (us with wine, her in pyjamas with tea. Thanks time difference!).

Monday 1 January 2013 - Happy, cheesy new year

Current location: Lewisham
11.11pm, In a cheese coma. We decided to spend the first night of the year having a house meal, so gorged ourselves with cheese fondue. Wine-tastic (which doesn't break my Dry January rules, btw).

Monday 31 December - New year comes flooding in

Current location: Chiswick
11.11pm, At Emma's house party. Andy and I came back from Cornwall late on the 29th, to avoid all the flooding that hit the south west, and so ended up making it to Emma and Brodie's party. The theme was 'Best of 2012' and there were some pretty amazing costumes, including badgers, gold postboxes, lots of Bradley Wigginses, the Queen, Mayans, Olympic torches, Olympic medals, Psy and many more. I went as a flood (but forgot to take a picture, and proved to be the inspiration for a game called 'Flood in your face' (involving getting water in your face if you got a question wrong).

Such a good crew to see in 2013 with...can't wait to see what this year brings!

(Pictures by Bonnie Adcock, Brodie Lea and Andy Lawrence).

Saturday, January 12, 2013

Friday 28 December - Zac turns four!

Current location: Cornwall
11.11am, In the car on the way to Newquay. Today is my nephew Zac's fourth birthday and he chose to celebrate by going to the aquarium. I've only ever been to one aquarium in my life, and I didn't realise that I absolutely love them!! The creatures were amazing and I loved hearing all the stories about them, such as the turtle, who was rescued from Portugal and is blind, or the ugly/cute fish in the picture with Andy, who had to be moved from his old tanked because he was bullied by his tank-mate! My favourite had to be the stingray though – look at that guy! So good. We had loads of fun exploring with the children, and then went home for a party tea.