Sunday, 26 January 2014

Enter funny title here

I feel the blog's taken a bit of a boring turn since I got back from SG. I guess in one way that's to be expected because Singapore was new and exciting and London isn't.  I'll try and do some more exciting things to make it more interesting to read though. I was checking out this guy's site the other day and felt inspired, now I fancy a microadventure - not sure how I feel about camping in the open though. What if a fox pees on you or something?  Either way check out his site - if only for the beautiful photography.

This week's been pretty lame.  Thursday I was struck down with a disease (being melodramatic as always) and was bedridden for 3 days (this bit's true).  Gutted as I missed out on a work night out on Friday which are always fun.  I also now can't taste anything which is really rubbish as I do love my food. I was so ill I only ate half a kebab on Friday night - that's unheard of!

Saturday I went to see 12 Years a Slave.  Horrific horrific film. So uncomfortable to watch.  Beautifully shot and acting was incredible, but urgh it was just horrible. Humans are truly despicable - we crave power so much we'll do anything to get it. It's horrible.

Sunday was a miserable day weather wise but Barbra and I had planned to walk to Portobello Road market (given that I've lived in London 4 years and never stepped foot there).  We compromised because of the weather and got a bus to Victoria and walked from there instead of from our house.  I think we must have walked about 5 miles including strolling round the market and going the long way home.  It's nice round there - as we walked through Hyde Park I also realised I've only ever been there for Winter Wonderland and RHCP concert years ago.  There's some lovely Italian Fountains at the top of Hyde Park/Kensington Gardens which I didn't know existed so I want to come back when the weather's a bit sunnier.

After getting wet and cold and slightly miserable we got a bus home.  I went to Amy's and we played 'Settlers of Catan', which was a bit mind boggling at first but I think I got the hang of it.  Amy won when she realised a strategy on her last move (that's how bad we are at strategic games....we don't realise there's strategies involved until the end, usually when it's too late!)

Oh I learnt three new things this week, all cooking related:

1) you can poach an egg in a microwave. Little bit of kettle fresh water in a cup, crack the egg into it then zap it in the microwave. It's a bit hit and miss, it exploded when I was demonstrating to my housemate but that only happened to me once. I can't get the timing right though, I keep doing it too hard or too runny.

2) I then learned how to properly poach an egg (ie in boiling spinning water in a pan)

3) our oven has a timer. 4 years in this house and I never knew our oven had a bloody timer!!! How many meals could I have saved if I knew this little nugget of information, sigh.

No photos and I don't like leaving my posts photoless so have a photo of a baby pig in a jumper and socks.

Sunday, 19 January 2014

All work and no play makes me really grumpy

This week's been a bit crazy at work - I had 4 tenders to do this week (one of them I had to do in a day because the person I was doing it for got the due date wrong - he owes me lots of favours now).  To put it into perspective, you usually get about 2 weeks to do these tenders, so this week has been very busy indeed. It wasn't helped by stupid trains being delayed every day, and I was an hour late the one day I needed to be in early to send a document off to a client.

It meant that by Friday I was totally frazzled and ended up not going out for a friend's birthday which I felt bad about, but I was truly shattered and crashed out in front of the telly then went to bed at 10pm, rock and roll!!!!  On the plus side, I went to the gym on Thursday after a particularly stressful day, and the gym was AMAZING.  I did more than usual and was totally focused on it and was on such a high after. Perfect stress buster!  I did however, over work my arms and they have been killing me all weekend.

Saturday, I took my friends home to meet my mum. It sounds really weird (and it was a bit) but last year because of Amy's wedding we ended up going to both Amy and Cesca's home towns so thought it was only fair I show the delights of mine!!! We trundled down to Kent in Cesca's micra and did the perfect introduction to the town - a historical cache trail set by my step dad.  It took you round some of the nicer parts of town.  This took a few hours (with lunch) and we went to the park to check out the flooding - I have never seen so much water in the park before.  Surprised no one was out boating on it as it was definitely deep enough!

sunset over the lake (park!)

We headed back to mum's house where her and Tim had done an amazing spread - Victoria sponge cake, cup cakes and scones with jam and cream.  Don't think she's made this much effort on my birthday even so was a very pleasant surprise, thanks mum!!!

On Sunday after an amazing 11 hour sleep I headed into London town to take the girls on a geocaching adventure.  Two of them had never done it before so it was nice introducing new people to it and I think they liked it!  After a quick detour to TK Maxx as I hadn't dressed appropriately and was freezing my bitss off, we did the Swan to Canary cache series which starts at Swan Pier opposite London Bridge, and heads three miles down to Canary Wharf.

manic happy face

It was really good because I've never walked down that bit of the river before and it's a nice route down through Tower Bridge and St Katherine's docks, down through the Shadwell basin and ending up ten minutes walk away from Canary Wharf station.  We also got to see the sun set across the Thames, and a huge navy ship go past so we waved at the sailors as they went past.  I got a bit instagram happy - see below

London Bridge and Shard

Tower of London

Tower Bridge

Tower Bridge

The Dickens Inn, St Katharine's Docks

Tobacco Docks


It was a really nice chilled weekend after a crazy week at work and just what the doctor ordered!

Sunday, 12 January 2014

Cambridge, Kites and debates

My dinner went well last week.  I didn't poison anyone which was a start.  Dinner topics ranged from the man with two penis's (penii?), to past Big Brother series, to the incestuous town they found recently in Australia.  I learnt a lot.

it certainly ain't pretty but it was yummy

This week has been really busy with work - I am basically doing three jobs due to staff shortages (4 if you count still supporting Singapore).  Not complaining though, busy is good!

Thursday I went speed dating with two friends.  It was really disappointing this time - no one weird, everyone fairly normal!! So no funny stories.  I met one guy who is a celebrity blogger and another who is a producer on Big Brother. That's the most interesting thing.  It was in Islington though and I never go out there so that made a nice change. Went to Byron for the first time too - wasn't that great, the burger reminded me of a cake or something because it just looked so perfect and shiny.  Reading that back that's a strange comparison to make really.

What was looking to be a quiet weekend has turned out to be a busy one.  Friday night I went to Brixton to see Sepha who was back from her travels for a random week.  It was great to see her and she looked very well - so brown!!!! Had lots of stories to tell too as well as a scar on her arm where  a monkey bit her.  Was a really nice evening catching up with everyone, and I stayed out a bit later than I intended, getting home at 1.30.  I also ate a McDonalds dinner and KFC midnight snack...which combined with the 3 krispy kremes I ate on Thursday has made me feel really piggy and fat.  Urgh.

I have been sleeping really badly this week and having really weird dreams about planes crashing, boats exploding, flying boats shooting cannonballs at the ground to kill everyone, and Marc having a baby and no one knew who the mum was (all separate dreams).  Weird.  So I was looking forward to a lie in, but annoyingly I woke up at 6.15 on Saturday morning and couldn't get back to sleep. Typical.  So went for a run but on no breakfast so it was really rubbish.

Later on I met Cesca and David (Ches, that's another mention for you, woo) and we flew my kite in Brockwell Park.  It was SO MUCH FUN and I can't wait for the summer to hurry up so we can fly it in nice weather - both me and the kite got covered in mud.

it's hard to photograph a kite on your phone

We then headed out to Brixton again for John's birthday.  The boys were running late so me, Barbra and Cesca sat in the pub having a catch up before being joined by 2 random American guys.  We then engaged in a comparison of the USA/UK competition with topics ranging from accents and words to best foods.  It was fun.  I think one of them was my soul mate but turns out he was married. Such is life. Also Barbra finds Australian accents sexy. What a weirdo. The guys then joined us and topics of conversation got weirder.  After a while me and B headed home as we were falling asleep at the table and everyone else went to Dogstar. (2 alcohol free nights in Brixton in a row - so proud of myself!)

This morning I got up early to see some of my favourite people in Cambridge - Leanne, Jen and Sam.   I fell asleep on the train but managed to wake up in time to get off on the right stop.  We went to The Eagle where apparently Watson and Crick discovered DNA over a pint.  Because it was so frigging freezing outside we spent a good few hours here and had several debates including feminism, books vs kindles and whether I should buy the glasses I was trialling or not.  The concensus was a yes but I am a tight arse and don't want to spend £95 on them.  Here's Sam wearing the glasses, he looks really cool:

I look distinctly less cool....

We then went to the Fitzwilliam Museum which was pretty cool, though I was more interested in the architecture of the building that the exhibits.  It's filled with lots of stuff including statues of people, some coins from the Iceni tribe (Boudicea, my favourite), some paintings from a variety of sources (including some amazing ones by John Caxton), and a separate room filled with rude Japanese drawings with amusing captions.  It was a good day.

Sunday, 5 January 2014

Hello 2014, welcome to Booze Hell

I welcomed 2014 lying on the floor of the living room complaining I had been poisoned and was about to be sick.  Rob had to carry me upstairs to the toilet where I was sick for apparently 2 hours, carried to bed by Lisha (being a nurse she was the only one who wasn't grossed out by my state), slept for a few hours then continuously vomited for a further 8 hours.

I didn't get out of bed till 3pm the next day.  Hooray! Needless to say my new years resolution is to not drink myself silly, and I'm trying to abstain from drinking in January completely.

Asides the fact I was hideously ill (self inflicted - werthers vodka tasted a bit too delicious as did apple juice and firecracker whisky), our new years party was good fun.

arm wrestle challenge

disco room!

Unfortunately Ditch was really ill and couldn't make it, meaning Becky also didn't come as she felt bad leaving him alone. such a good girlfriend!! However we still had a good turn out, enough to play the pass the parcel game!  Some people weren't as up for the forfeits as others but we still had fun, I had to do the cracker challenge which was REALLY hard and I lost, Marc had to wear some sexy zebra print pants all night, and I can't remember who had to do the others.

Rich then did a quiz with some good questions but my team lost resulting in more shots, then we did beer pong resulting in more shots....everyone went to the hill to go watch the fireworks but I was too far gone by this point and stayed at home with Rob John and Amy, we did a bit of karaoke then I started feeling sick and the rest is history.

The best part about it though was coming downstairs at 3pm the following day the house was spotless - so I guess there's a silver cloud to every lining!

I woke up to a text from Amy saying 'have you looked at your phone yet', where low and behold I found some disturbing mangina photos.  I'd love to share them here but I don't think I would be forgiven.

The week at work has been fairly quiet as have my evenings - I have been recovering from my 'chundathon'.

Saturday I met with Bex to go to Putney Heath to fly my kite.  Unfortunately it was raining and cold and we ended up not flying it, but we did do some geocaching - this is the first time in about 7 years since I knew it existed that I have done it on my own and it turns out it's not as hard as I thought it would be to do all the GPS stuff.    We did a normal and a multi cache (where you are given a location, and a clue, and you have to write down the answer from the clue, then head to another few locations and get answers from the next clues, then you have to work out the final cache location using the answers to the clues) but by the time we got to the final one it was quite dark and we couldn't find the cache, boo!)  We then watched a movie called 'Behind the Candlebra' which was so so weird and featured Michael Douglas and Matt Damon being very gay with each other. It was a good film, based on a true story about Liberace.

muddy putney heath


Today I am cooking the first of many dinners owed to my friends, I have chosen to do baked aubergine with lamb - I had it in a restaurant a few months ago and it was YUM and it seems fairly healthy.  No doubt I will get very stressed out, make a mess and vow to never cook again, but I do owe LOADS of dinners so I just have to man up and do it....