Monday, 28 December 2009

Early New Year's Deliberations

So, yet again, my new year's resolutions need to include learning the ability to stop guzzling wine like it is orange squash. Had a very fun evening at Andrew's last night, as he and Erika cooked for me, Charlie, Laura, Alex, Mum and Dad. The yummy fajitas were followed by a particularly amusing (aren't they always?) game of the hat game. My abilities were somewhat impeded by my intoxication.

So, after a fitfull night's sleep as my liver attempted to remove the poison from my bloodstream, Alex popped round for a run at 11 which literally jogged me into recovery. We kept it short, after all it has been a few months since I last ran. And the Wii Fit's verdict was not too bad after a few months of busyness, eating and not excercising - 10st 7lb.

So, it has been a lazy day, having a bath and watching films. Laura has gone out to surround herself with London's inimitable wonders. Charlie is doing his essay. I believe Mum and Dad are out again attacking the shops, and expect Andrew and Erika will be having a relaxing day together.

Tomorrow is Claridges and Karaoke. A good opportunity for me to practise my '2 glasses is plenty' technique.

Saturday, 26 December 2009

Boxing Clever

Another cosy, yummy, fun day with the family. Got up fairly late to have a brief breakfast before going for a long walk around Brixton. Through Brockwell Park where children were playing with new toys, some cool kids with robust remote controlled cars, and some whingy kids with pointless plastic rubbish.

Then we wandered round to the Brixton windmill, my first viewing of what is an incredible echo of Victorian Britain in our back yard. It is so hidden, not even visible from the Windmill pub which bears its name. No wonder Alison loves it so much.

Then, after 2 hours of strolling, we wandered back to 206 to have a lovely mushroom risotto before going our separate ways. Andrew to Heathrow to pick up Erika T from her Christmas visit to Hungary, Robin and Marion to Redhill before going back to France.

Mum and Dad stayed back with me to indulgently watch 'Trading Places', as film that is both naughty and witty, also almost 30 years old now, whilst still perplexing me with the stock exchange futures market.

And now we have a bit of peace and quiet again ... I say again, because I presume we were peaceful at some point this year. It only really occured to me today that we have a full week off next week ... such joy! The possibilities are endless, Spa London? The V&A? Shopping on the Kings Road? Drinks in Bar de Musee? Little Fish has to write his essay, which I will help with, so it is even quite helpful if I am out of the house keeping out of his way.

And Laura comes to stay tomorrow, which will be great fun. A bit of time to catch up over a whole year ... a house still full of booze and food ... a 'to do' list that is both flexible and interesting ... be still my beating notebook!

Friday, 25 December 2009

Tidings of comfort and joy!

Have had a splendid Christmas Day, surrounded by family in our little flat in Brixton. The mulled wine, desert wine, red, white and beer flowed freely as we noshed upon the ducks, Alouitious and James, and played Monopoly (Dad and I declared ourselves joint winners to avoid further hours of torment and delaying of the Christmas tea).

Poppy and Max were delightful, presents were sweet, useful and compelling all at once. Walking is being saved till Boxing Day.

And, ladies and gentlemen, the Queen!

Merry Christmas!

Thursday, 24 December 2009

Merry Christmas Day!

How jolly!!

Met up with Mum, Dad, Robin, Marion, Charlie, Andrew and Rachel H from work in the pub for a snifter of mulled wine, swiftly followed by some gay and gleeful carol singing at St Martin's in the Field. We all puffed out our chests before launching into the 'Glooooooria'! A lovely church and an interesting service. Then we strolled on down to Pizza Express for a low maintinence dinner before heading home.

So, the presents and food are bought and waiting. The cooking planner is finally done. Chestnuts on a pre-roast setting. Now some well deserved hours of sleep before the full joy of Christmas sets in!

Merry Crimble :)

Monday, 21 December 2009

Oh the weather outside is frightful ...!

Ok, so it can't be too bad a day at work if you can play Bobby Darin's 'Let it snow' while the good white stuff is making the sky fluffy outside.

Katherine and Rich's wedding yesterday was very sweet and elegant, though what with few tube trains and a 1 and a half hour delay on the mainline track we almost didn't get there. But we did, and she looked absolutely beautiful in the surroundings of Fonmon Castle in south Wales, with a happy hubby at her side. Mr and Mrs Mackin are spending a quiet honeymoon and Christmas with their dog Poppy in a cottage in Cornwall, sounds delightful!
At least the late train meant that we should get a refund ... every cloud! But we were a bit sleepy getting back at 1am, Christmas seems to mean consecutive late nights at the moment.

Saturday, 19 December 2009

Out and About in London Town

For those who know Charlie and I well, we are not recognised as being people who go out clubbing to bars in town of a weekend evening. So, tonight was a refreshing change as we went out to Islington to brave the cool night air. We first popped in to Veronica's, a collegues at FTF, who was hosting a mulled wine and merriment session at her house just off Essex Road.

We then pootled back to Upper Street to join Hannah Bunting, a B'ham Uni friend of Charlie's who we last saw in Tokyo (where she lives) when we were on our honeymoon.

So, a couple of drinks, much jolly chatting, pondering and reminiscing. And an early morning awaits us tomorrow as we are going to Katherine and Rich's wedding in South Wales, in what looks like a most beautiful and stately castle. Fabulous!


Much busyness

What a busy Christmassy week, finishing Christmas cards, working, partying ... all so tiring, staying up till 1:30am most nights. Saw 'Avatar' on Weds, a great film, though not as ideal as all that.

Work party this evening, a triumph of dancing and good food.

Hail to tomorrow morning's lie-in!

Sunday, 13 December 2009

No 'Authority'

So, Joe won the X-Factor, and takes a step into the heady and oh so temporary world of British celebrity. Fair dues, he was the best singer, but after a few weeks of steady corruption, the angelic smile may well turn into a naughty grin.

It is a magic formula to democratise the music industry live on tv every week. After all, that is what has made the Internet so popular. And, in a creative world with full democracy, there is no authority ... no authors ... how to find what is truly good amidst all the dross.

But on to more important things, spending a weekend in Spalding with my parents, Charlie, Matthew, Andrew and Erika T. Was as relaxing and pleasant as Christmas should be, with a full turkey dinner we were completely spoiled.

Lots to prepare this week in anticipation of Christmas. Cards to write, food to plan, and we are also going to see Avatar at the IMAX on Wednesday, after Charlie joins me for a bit of an informal work drinks and dinner ... should be lots of fun, as long as the relentless flow of work finally begins to stem a bit before Christmas starts in full.

Thursday, 10 December 2009

More Tiny Animals!

Who would have thought the Guardian would have so many column inches spare for such tiny animals?!?!

Looking forward to a Smithy Christmas this weekend. Only 10 working days left till proper Christmas, lots to do but having lots of fun planning food, making cookies etc.

Still enjoying having what seems like extra time, now I have finished my Marketing course for this term. Having done lots of jobs today I am indulging in the last of the season episode of Scrubs ... and maybe I will have a bath ... ahhhhhhh!

Monday, 7 December 2009

Have a Break, Have a Fortnight's Holiday ... I wish :)

So, today the news broke about Kit Kat in the UK converting to Fairtrade, and I am pleased that the resulting publicity has been braodly positive, tempered by realism.
It has been a lot of hard work, and we cannot underestimate or take for granted the renewed engagement we have with this global behemoth of a company. But having seen how much support cocoa farming in Cote d'Ivoire needs, and having been inspired to consider the higher questions of social justice and the people involved by Dr John Sentamu, you realise how much the partnerships involved in Fairtrade are needed. Not only to redistribute a fairer distribution of money to those at the bottom of the supply chain, but also to develop partnerships across the supply chain, leading to further transparency and trust ... not simple, and not quick, but the candle is lit.
To quote the Archbishop, when all the teeth chew together, you can eat meat. Don't be a single tooth!

Wednesday, 2 December 2009

More brevity ... or should that be less brevity?

Off to Bonn for a couple of days tomorrow, then hopefully over to Birmingham to see newly engaged Miranda (and hopefully Jess and Ruth too!).

Busy busy busy!