Wednesday, 31 March 2010

Drinks and Dinner

Had a fun and easy going visit to the pub with work colleagues after work, primarily to recognise that my Director is leaving (though only to join our global organisation, so he is not going far).

Then went to Belco on Kingsway to have dinner with the girls who I went to South America with, mainly to celebrate Caroline's engagement to Nathan, who also came on the S.A. trip.

So all in all, a lovely evening out. But now I find myself at home wrestling with my conscience, as we really need to get ourselves and the cat ready for our Easter weekend away in Dartmoor, rather than sit around with Fish watching The Big Bang Theory ...

Tuesday, 30 March 2010

It Rains Indoors Now Too!

Awoke this morning at 4am to find a steady drip, drip, drip coming from our hallway ceiling. Not good. Bleary eyed and feeling like sharing the misery of being up at such an ungodly time, instruct Charlie to call Patrick, our upstairs neighbour, in case something has been left on or broken.

He very kindly and pleasantly helps us with a top level scope, to no avail. Empty rubbish bin is placed under our drip to await the morning, try hard to fall back to sleep with the incessant drip, drip, drippety drip cutting through the quiet.

Charlie kindly stayed at home to be in for the plumber, apparently something to do with a radiator in Patrick's flat. Never mind, no major damage done.

Still feeling the Zen at work, am dealing with even everybody else's stress with good vibes and a solution oriented attitude. Moved onto my Spring/Summer lunch diet of ryvita/oatcakes/rice cakes with Light Philadelphia, and have added an extra yummy componant of a yoghurt to satisfy my sweet tooth. Along with the piles of fruit I need to keep consuming and renewing, I am definitely in a healthy place. Pardoned myself a morning run today, given the night's disruptions, but will try again tomorrow. Though with rain and much coldness forecast, we will see.

Another evening in tonight, lasagne is in the oven and Fish will be home shortly (he went into work after all later in the afternoon). It is a joy to have some good time at home, though will be very busy from now until well into next week.

Will hopefully be catching up with Andy Hall on Monday, an old school friend of mine who lives in Thailand. Not sure what time we will be back from Dartmoor, but I am sure we can sort something out. If he can take on the Thai government, I am sure he can manage the miniscule challenge of figuring out how to meet up with Emmy.

Also, a big HAPPY BIRTHDAY shout to my big brother Matty :)

Monday, 29 March 2010

Back to Work

Still feeling full of beans after a good first day back at work. Got up just before 7am this morning and went for a run, was great! Invigorating and refreshing, it was good for my general attitude to have some time to myself before bustling off to work.

As my evening plans have changed somewhat this week, am catching up on more post-holiday jobs this evening.

Made Spaghetti Carbonara and juiced some carrots for me and Fish for dinner.

King of Games photos now below ...

Sunday, 28 March 2010

Queen of Games ...

... the new title for the games competition, after Erika Toth won the prestigious trophy yesterday. It was even smoother than ever, with around 20 of us complying with the detailed schedule and points system. Great to see everybody after coming back from holiday.
Lots on, especially with Dartmoor next weekend.
Spent today relaxing, though started off by running 5km with Alex. Could not be persuaded to bump it up to 6km, gently gently. Then wandered round Brixton, later rearranging the lounge for Spring, so we get more light through the window.
Lovely to see Kirsten, Norris and Makeila, who all dropped in to drop things off, exchange keys etc.
Bed soon, will see what occurred last week in the world of work soon.

Friday, 26 March 2010

Home Proper Home

A completely smooth journey from Colombo 5 to SW9. Even our 35 minute transfer at Doha, Qatar was a doddle, as our flight was 15 minutes early so we didn't even need any special treatment.

Watched a plethora of films on the way back, finished An Education (brilliant, will be showing it to my teenage daughter, if I ever have one), was more impressed than I expected by Up In The Air. Disappointed that Cloudy With a Chance of Meatballs was not available, despite the brochure listing. Fantastic Mr Fox was bizarre, and not bad, considering I was prepared not to like it at all. Full of post holiday bliss watching Lost In Translation, and then the light fluff of The Little Mermaid.

Lots of films about women having challenges with their identity, especially relative to the men in their lives. Feel empowered by my job and by Charlie-Fish, a good strong front foot to get back to the UK on.

Did the usual tedious back-from-holiday tasks, washing is on, post is assessed. Charlie is now sorting out the final bits and pieces for King of Games tomorrow, which I believe has a good turnout. Will be lovely to see everybody having been away for a week.

Trying to pretend it is approaching 8pm, rather than approaching 2am (which is where our minds and stomachs are, never mind what the clock says). Will have a light supper and then to bed, ready for a day of shenannigans tomorrow.

Thursday, 25 March 2010

Back from the Beach

Back at Laura's after a few blissful days at Unawatuna.

It is just incredible how the mind expands and thrives if you give it a chance to rest and recuperate. We played endless Scrabble, read, swam and rested. The food here, especially the fish, is so fresh and tasty. We had prawns on many occasions, the largest I have had in a long time, succulent and meaty.

The waves washed up to the shore with incredible strength, I suppose the bay is barely protected by the Indian Ocean. Many dogs again, but also this time a couple of cute kittens, 'Holiday Poppy' who would just pootle around us and rest under our chairs, and 'Mischief' who would nibble at your feet if they were at floor level.

The beach there is extremely pretty, will upload some photos when we get back.

Now, our minds go back to plans ... King of Games, getting back home, getting our lives organised so we can keep being efficient and productive whilst hopefully having fun at the same time.

Sunday, 21 March 2010

Kandy is Dandy, but Liquor is Quicker

An exhausting day.

Neither Fish nor I could sleep last night. Jetlag catching up with us, not enough beers perhaps. But we woke dutifully for our 7am train at 5:30am, showered like zombies, and fortunately our taxi was waiting outside.

Arrived at the train station with enough time to grab some quick breakfast, and finally found the right seat in the right carriage. I have to admit I slept a little on the way, and so was a little zoned when we arrived.

This was part of the problem. We were both completely zoned as we walked around in the blazing heat with people trying to get us taxis, tri-shaw rides, food, hotels, etc. So we went to the Temple of the Tooth, which was interesting and pleasant, though we felt a bit like we were intruding on the faithful.

We finally found a peaceful place to have lunch, and made a decision not to bother battling with Kandy any longer, and we went to Pinnewala to see the elephants. Much more relaxed, though still hot, this seemed to do the trick. Made our way back to Colombo standing up most of the way but in an air conditioned bus. Fish beat me at Scrabble, but only by a few points.

Met up with Laura and Gary in the Cricket Club for a few drinks and dinner, then tiredness finally hit and we headed back to the house. A couple of email annoyances awaited us there, but we must wipe them from our minds.

Going to the beach at Unawatuna tomorrow, so likely no more news till Thurs or Fri. Mucho relaxation ahoy ...

Saturday, 20 March 2010

Colombo ... no, not the man with the raincoat

Arrived pretty tired at Laura's new Colombo mansion last night. Seems you can get the most incredible palaces at very affordable rates here.

Flights over were very good. Good food and great films all interspersed with naps. I couldn't resist watching the second Twilight film, even more angsty than the first! Made me feel 13 again.

Went out for Italian food (of course?!) and beers last night, was so good just to chat as if we were in the pub back home. Good to meet Gary too, who is very nice and full of interesting info about Sri Lanka.

So, today we will see the highlights of Colombo, and hopefully watch sunset with cocktails at the Galle Face Hotel.

Then off to Kandy tomorrow for some more hardcore sightseeing ...

Wednesday, 17 March 2010

Dash dash dash!

Trying to get all the jobs done before leaving after work tomorrow for Sri Lanka.

Poppy is with Kirsten in her new swanky flat, have checked in and printed boarding passes. Rubbish and recycling have been taken out, lounge and kitchen are fairly tidy. Charlie is sorting the final admin tasks for King of Games. I have a few emails and electronic jobs to sort, and then we should both be done ...

... oh yeah, and we have to PACK!

Will try and post while we are away from Laura's computer, Internet permitting.

Tuesday, 16 March 2010

Busy Busy, on the brink of Zen

Have been running round a bit this evening trying to get everything ready for our holiday. Yet more great progress arranging Erika's Hen with Gilly, getting even more excited.

Am wrestling with my old P&G pension at the moment too. Turns out my pension has changed hands a few times since they last had my address and proper name. Now I need to post them lots of paper to get to the bottom of what I have.

Have discovered how cool Foyles bookshop on Charing Cross Road is. They have a sweet little cafe with free wireless, and a shop that feels as mystical and mazelike as an old dusty library but with shiny new books and fun stuff (medical student skeleton model anybody?)

Will be dashing Poppy to Kirsten's tomorrow evening amongst many other jobs, but only 2 more sleeps till we fly!

Monday, 15 March 2010


Plans all sorted for Poppy when we go on holiday, she is going to stay at Aunty Kirsten's.

Am submerged in that pre-holiday flurry time where you are trying to get as much done as possible in and out of work so that there is not a last minute rush. Ok, so the last minute rush is unavoidable, but one tries one's best.

Booked transport and accommodation for Miranda's wedding. Pleased that is sorted, good to tick another thing off the list. Looking forward to a weekend down in the South West, especially as we are also popping to see Chris and Gay, Charlie's aunt and uncle, in Dorset.

Trying to figure out which improving books I should take to Sri Lanka. Last time, when I read Laura's nutrition book, I came back and jogged all summer whilst simultaneously eating well. How can I replicate this again this year ...?!?!

Already dreaming of fresh coconuts on the beach with Fish.

Sunday, 14 March 2010

Rings and Things

So, the end of a fun weekend with Fish.

Picked up the new wedding ring today, it is so much more comfortable above all. And of course very beautiful, what a lucky girl!

Shredded many years of old bank statements and other similarly pointless yet important looking documents today. Am in the mood to throw lots of stuff out ... I think after a holiday, and possibly a viewing of 'American Beauty' (which always puts me in the mood for a sort out) I can get through much of the decluttering I really need to do.

Looking forward to Sri Lanka on Thurs, have a list of treats to take to Laura. Beaches and warmth (and possibly monsoon rain) await!

Saturday, 13 March 2010

Il Posto Reliance

Our second visit to Il Posto, the great Italian restaurant near Victoria, in 48 hours. Had a lovely meal with Erika and Dan, before they and Charlie headed off to an evening of ghost stories in Hammersmith.

Am spending the evening catching up on all the jobs I should have done today ...

... instead I had a lovely lie-in, played Scrabble, watched 'In The Loop' and did some peripheral tidying. All much more enjoyable :)

A Brilliant Film Trailer

Friday, 12 March 2010

Happy Birthday Charlie Fish!!

Had a lovely day off, going for lunch with Theresa, walking round Victoria towards Westminster. Then went to see Alice in Wonderland in 3D (not bad, very pretty) followed by beers, food and Scrabble with plenty of 'The Big Bang Theory' thrown in for good measure.

So, we are both 30, and very much looking forward to our celebratory weekend with everybody in Dartmoor.
Lots of Marketing study to do this weekend, but looking forward to having not too many plans. Charlie Fish has lots to write ... maybe I will even go for a run!
Oh, and we saw this cool bike in Brixton ...

Thursday, 11 March 2010

Happy at Les Miserables

Had a lovely evening with Natalie, Kirsten and Norris, as Nat kindly gave us all tickets for our respective 30th birthdays. Les Miserables is a great show, rallying with some iconic songs and characters. Still not quite clear how Andrew sees himself as Jean Val Jean ...

Stayed up with Fishy playing Mario and Scrabble to see in his 30th!

Wednesday, 10 March 2010

Long Weekend Awaits

Really looking forward to a day off with Charlie on Friday as he turns thirty. A lot of the Brixton posse are away for the weekend, and as we are going to Dartmoor to properly celebrate our respective 4th decades starting, we are going to have a cosy evening together in the cinema and out at dinner.

Mothers Day on Sunday, so have been card making in earnest.

Watching 'Wonders of the Solar System' before bed. I have always thought there is a bit of a physicist in me, what with an ongoing fascination with astronomy, and a penchant for XKCD and 'The Big Bang Theory'. I think that is one of the many reasons Fish and I get along as we are both so polarised, having both a deeply logical and also a creative, emotional side to ourselves. Multi-faceted, if you will.

Monday, 8 March 2010

The Trouncer becomes the Trouncee!

Charlie Fish 341

Emmy 409 ... hooray!

The Scrabble board has turned.

Sunday, 7 March 2010

No Quiz, All Zen

Just returned from The Rest is Noise where Norris, Andrew, Alex, Alison (and Alison's housemate Lorenzo) and I all met for a few drinks and no quiz, as it was cancelled.

A very relaxing day, that consisted of lying in, making brunch, playing Scrabble (still no success, just don't ask), having a long bath, tidying a bit and then pub. Not half bad.

Everybody seems busy and well ... including myself.

Wrestled with our VCR to see if I could record Stardust, a film version of one of Neil Gaiman's books. After some painful button pushing it actually seems to have worked. And as I am on 'reading week' for my marketing course tomorrow evening, I might even watch it tomorrow!

It is also Les Mis week this week, Natalie kindly got myself, Norris and Kirsten tickets for our respective 30th birthdays, and Becky is joing us too. What a great bunch of girls, though really too generous from Natalie. As it will be my first viewing I am actually really excited, especially to hear it directly rather than Andrew's 'I am Jean Val Jean' impressions.

Added some photos of the hen weekend below ...

Saturday, 6 March 2010

Burlesque, Booze and a Bop!

Jess and Miranda

A fabulous day with Miranda and the girls. Started off at Vinopolis where we had only a short amount of time to get through our many vouchers ... which Jess and I dutifully managed with gin cocktails, champagne, wine and madeira. Joy! Then went back to west London for a lesson in Burlesque dancing.

I now know how to professionally wiggle my bottom! And how to use a feather boa properly.

And as the mild hangover started to ooze over me, we had a brief break in proceedings for us to disperse and get ready for the evening's shananigans.

Jess and I headed back to Brixton to soothe our brains with tea and mindless Saturday evening tv, including a ridiculous and funny water based assault course programme on BBC 1. Valuable use of License Fee? Jury's still out.

Then we got our bright red lipstick and flashiest clothes on for the burlesque evening out. Starting off at a Mexican restaurant in Battersea, where the sombreros set off our corsets perfectly, we then moved on to the Fez Club in Putney.

For the first time in my life I thought, with no hint of sarcasm, is this really what kids are listening to? There were a few good songs, and the club was busy but quite pleasant. Since I last went clubbing they have banned smoking indoors and they also seem to have put the lights on in this particular venue. And we headed home on the 1:30am nightbus to Brixton, where we randomly ran into Tim and Kat, Laura's friends who are now married.

An exhausting but fun day!

Oh yes, and it started off with me being beaten at Scrabble again by Charlie. I am not playing badly, I am getting seven's and being smart, but he is just having more practise at the moment. This means war!

Friday, 5 March 2010

Cluck cluck!

Miranda's Hen Weekend began tonight with cocktails in Notting Hill. Lots of lawyers, all seem like lovely girls, as well as a familiar face or two. Jess is staying with Fish and I over the weekend, so great to have some good chatting time with her. Planning a yummy brunch in the morning, sausages, bacon, mushrooms and eggs all ready in the fridge!

Also managed to go for a quick pint after work with Dan and Ben, good to download and rest in the good company of colleagues after a tiring week.

Tomorrow will be fun and exhausting I am sure, so best to get to sleep!

Oh, and of course Happy Birthday Dad!

Thursday, 4 March 2010

A Spoonful of Sugar ...

Felt quite down today, thoughtful and ponderous. Made up for it this evening by baking cheesecake and doing lots of chores whilst watching 'Mary Poppins' for inspiration. It is such a classic, great for having on in the background whilst being productive.

And the cheesecake was delicious!

Now watching 'Punch Drunk Love', which is a bizarre film ...

Wednesday, 3 March 2010

Horses and Cat

Another busy day, catching up with project planning and booking more Fairtrade Fortnight revellery.

Learnt about productivity effectiveness in my course this evening. Was reminded that we are already a third of the way through the term. Need to get my skates on, having a meeting with a colleague of mine on Monday so we can discuss the potential avenues for my assignments.

Poppy was very meowy when I got back from my class. She has settled down now, but it is not that she wants strokes or to be picked up. All she seems to want is to sit quietly near myself and/or Charlie ... it makes me want to take her to work! Imagine, small kitty with Fairtrade cotton collar on wandering round the office like she owns the place ...

... oops, spoke too soon ... now she is charging round the flat!

Oh, now she has come to me for a stroke. The joys of cat ownership, never a dull moment.

Oh ... and I played Fish in a Scrabble rematch yesterday after the trouncing mentioned below ... and got trounced again. Sigh!

Saw two police horses in City, what happens if they gallop off after miscreants? Doesn't seem very practical. Beautiful, but not efficient.

Tuesday, 2 March 2010

The Evening Trounce

357 for Fish.

336 for Emmy.

Trounced by Fish at Scrabble ... curses!

The Daily Grind

Mischeivously finished off the tub of Ben & Jerry's Chocolate Fudge Brownie after making a delicious chicken noodle soup from the remains and stock of the Sunday roast. Enjoying the irreverent cattyness of The Daily Show. My word, I would love it if we had a 'Daily Show' for UK politics.

But who would present it? Simon Amstell? Jonathan Ross? Needs to be someone with charisma, cutting sarcasm and a big brain. Perhaps there is no such person yet in the UK media. Come on BBC, make it happen ... no actually, Channel 4!

Was grumpy today at work. A lesson for me not to let my conviction drive me round the bend.

All in all, looking forward to a week on a beach in Sri Lanka with Fish.

Monday, 1 March 2010

Gleeful Monday

Bit tired after my course, work and knowing that I need to get in early tomorrow. Good to hear from my fellow CIM students that most people passed, and that one of them is going to be having a baby in summer! As if revision weren't enough.

Have started experimenting with mushroom lasagne again for supper, mighth be my new quick and easy go-to-dish.

Am also combining this comfort food with Glee on E4. It is preppie/musical-tastic!