Sunday, 29 November 2015


Less than a month until I go and I am feeling sick in the pit of my stomach nearly constantly.  I don't want to be repetitive in each post and talk about the whole going away thing but the closer it gets the more I freak out, and it's quite cathartic to write it all down and hopefully I will read it back in a year's time and think - well, if I got through that I can get through anything!  I guess this is normal, especially for me - my poor mum's had to put up with my nervousness all my life and it's a shame I haven't grown out of it just yet.  I have a feeling this next month is going to be super hard and emotional so I apologise in advance to all my friends and family if I am in weird moods!! This is the month of 'lasts'!!!!

Last week we went for our annual (and last! :-( ) meal with the old UBS mobilisation team.  We went to the Big Easy in Canary Wharf which I wouldn't recommend on the basis that the service wasn't that great, we had a two hour booking and were constantly reminded of it!! I've never had lobster before so we ordered a whole one as a starter - I had great fun playing with the claws, and quite enjoyed the meat too until I freaked out a bit and got the weird shakes which made David think I was really weird.  Does anyone else get that? When you realise what you're eating is a mammal and you freak out and shudder.  That does sound weird to be fair.  I started to eat the green slimey stuff thinking it was sauce but when I screwed up my face in distaste the others decided to inform me that it's part of the lobster insides....which made me shudder more haha.

eyes closed, doh

 On Friday I saw Martha for probably the last time in a long while.  She has a brilliant knack of bringing people together - she was in town so messaged everyone she knew who lived in London to see if they wanted to meet for dinner.  We all said yes and ended up at her friend Aaron's house, who very kindly hosted a bunch of near strangers and cooked the most delicious vegetable tagine in his beautiful Old Street flat.  We had a really good time with a bunch of like minded people - you know you're a grown up when you're at a dinner party hosted by someone you don't know and you discuss politics!

On Saturday I headed up to Suffolk to catch up with my Aunt Hilary and Uncle Steve, who I haven't seen in ages.  We had a lovely catch up and I got a tour of her beautiful house and garden and was fed very well!!! I then headed back to London where I hosted a dinner and games night - I am so bad at cooking!!!! I started off really well with baked camembert (one honey, one garlic - nom nom) with a selection of dipping foods, beautifully laid out on a wooden board, if I do say so myself.   So far, so good.  For the main I defaulted to my go to recipe of lemon and garlic chicken - expect I haven't made it in ages and forgot that the lemons have to be in thick chunks at the bottom of the dish so that they mix with the chicken juice to create a nice sauce....silly sausage here put slices on top of the chicken so they burned and tasted of nothing, so I essentially just served roasted chicken thigh topped with burnt garlic and lemon....which was most unsatisfying.  I also forgot to put the vegetables in to roast so had to quickly stir fry them. And it all started off so well!!!! For pudding I cheated and provided two big bars of chocolate which got eaten in less than 5 minutes....We played Balderdash and drank vodka and limes until past midnight - I went to bed in a happy daze before realising I had probably drunk too much.  Spinny room and a cat insisting on sleeping on your belly when you're flat on your back trying not to vomit doesn't make for a good night's sleep, but the cats always win, right?

Today I did a charity shop run, the first of many I expect, and went to the last day of the Koestler Trust exhibition at the Southbank Centre.  I have been every year for the past five years as I love it so much and have written about it previously here.  I don't think it was as good as last year's but still worth a look -  all of the artwork is created by prisoners in UK prisons and detention centres.  A lot of it carries social messages and is really interesting.   They nearly always have models made out of matchsticks and this year didn't disappoint - someone had made a huge artic lorry (haha, I nearly wrote arctic then realised artic is short for articulated, what a dummy).

you probably can't read the caption but this one's about how derelict buildings are left to rot and only a few can see their potential- the same with prisoners.  

I then headed home to drop off my car so mum can borrow it this week, and they fed me with homemade fish pie, yummy.  I am taking all my belongings home over periods of time so hopefully they don't realise just how much stuff I am storing at their house...hahaha.

This week I had a nice surprise in my work inbox.  I work with a guy called Stuart Kelly - he's very uncouth and can be very grumpy, - I was a bit scared of him when I first started working with him.  He loves good food and expensive watches.  Once you get to know him, he's got a heart of gold, is very funny, and is really nice. (Well, if he likes you)

He is also a talented wordsmith -  when he was doing the mundane task of sending me his monthly timesheets he'd often accompany it with a little ditty about what he'd been up to in the week, which always made me giggle.  Once he wrote one in French. This continued even though we don't work in the same team any longer, and he sent me a great one just before I went to Singapore (I have a hard copy of it somewhere).

As he's bored at home with a back injury he's written me one about New Zealand, which I thought I'd record here as it made me LOL once again.  He's so good!!

Now then! Now then! It seems it's time,
For Naino's itchy feet to travel,
(one must read the first line carefully, For fear of aping Jimmy Saville).

So reasons exist for this restless pang, Who knows? It could be inherent, I'd suggest that's a distinct possibility, With Vivien as a parent.

See some of us would not look so far,
Short haul would suffice for many,
But no, Naino must raise the bar,
She's in for pound and penny.

Across the world 180 degrees,
The best part of 12000 miles,
It seems a very long way to me,
For some nights out on the tiles.

Whilst there you must do many things,
Here's one challenge for your English to have mastered, The longest place name in the world:  Taumatawhakatangihangakoauauotamateapokaiwhenuakitanatahu<>,
Finding a rhyme for that's a bastard.

One island is named 'Stewart' there,
It's a homophone to boot,
It should be spelt 'Stuart' you see,
Keep an eye out on your route.

In keeping with the island theme,
One called Chatham may but worth a punt, Let's hope it's not like the one in Kent, Where everyone's a .....undesirable.

I am most jealous of your trip,
Some of my heroes may cross your path,
If Gandalf, Frodo or Aragorn appear,
Please secure me an autograph.

Some say New Zealanders are kinda cranky, One theory may float that boat, You may or may not know this, They were first to give women the vote.

Most of all it's really cool,
To see you spread your wings,
We always knew that junior admin bint,
Would go on to better things :-)

So! Enjoy the trip,
Have fun there's a whole world to see,
And so much more to experience,
Outside of CBRE.

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