Wednesday, January 31, 2007

Elle Magazine

Yes, I know that I said that I'd kicked my magazine habit, but I actually had reason to buy elle magazine today. Following a link on the Marmaladya blog, I discovered that there was an article about and womens networks. I realise that this sounds somewhat narcissistic but it was very pleasing to see even the name of the magazine in print. And an interesting article as well.

Tuesday, January 30, 2007

Hilton Showers

Of course, one of the downsides to living in a rather small one-bedroomed flat in Primrose Hill is that we don't have a shower. Yes, we do wash, but in a less than full size cast-iron bath. In fact the entire bathroom is so small that one could, if one so desired, sit on the loo with ones feet in the bath and still be able to reach the 'sink'. And I say 'sink' because it is so small that it is actually impossible to fit a bottle of soap on it, let alone do anything so much as wash oneself. So, we make do with the bath. Out of which comes less than hot water and cools rather quickly in winter as the bath is so cold. Oh, the joys of being able to moan about it. I therefore get in and wash my hair before washing myself as quickly as possible. And then use an empty water bottle in an attempt to rinse my hair.

So this evening, after we had been out for an early supper at Carluccios, we accompanied M's father back to his hotel room at the Hilton where he 'lives' a couple of nights a week when he is working in London. Whilst he and M chatted and drank port, I availed myself of the bathroom and had an absolutely glorious shower. The water was hot and I managed to get my hair properly clean for the first time since I left my parents house a few weekends ago. And I feel so great. So clean and so warm. He also very kindly donated the toiletries to me, so that I have some travel sized portions to take with us to Marrakech. An excellent night all round.

We returned to our flat, which is not that much bigger than the suite we had just left. To TJ and M practising guitar and me to bed. Night night.

Free things

Have a look at this link. The way it works is thus:

Click on the link
Choose a gift
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Pass on the link to others
Receive gift when you've received enough referrals.

What is there to lose? No credit or debit card details are needed, just an address to post the gift to. Have a look.

Sunday, January 28, 2007

Weekend (2)

Not much to say at the moment really, other than I have a computer (briefly) at my disposal so feel compelled to write a quick post. Have one eye on Dawn of the Dead but given my usual disgust at any film with that much blood, I am disinclined to give it my full attention. At least a quick imdb search has satisfied my need to know from where we recognised Sarah Polley. I liked the last film I saw her in much better.

One rather better film I watched this week was Little Miss Sunshine which follows a family effort to allow their daughter, Olive, to participate in the Little Miss Sunshine Beauty Pageant. It manages to be both sweet and funny without being cliched or saccharine and features some superb acting especially from Abigail Breslin who plays Olive. She this week became the fourth youngest actress to be nominated for an Oscar for Best Supporting Actress.

Today has been a day of cleaning (mostly M) and tidying and (watching M) cooking and generally spending some time together as TJ was away for the weekend. It was thoroughly enjoyable and I am a little sad that it is now almost Monday already. At least the summer holiday plans are progressing nicely and we have also arranged a weeks yacht sailing with my parents. It will be excellent to be on the water again, as it is a long time since I have done anymore sailing than an afternoons meander on the Rock estuary.

TJ is watching me blog over my shoulder and has rather a lot to say regarding this evenings television schedule. I maintain that we ended up watching the Celebrity Big Brother Final having been reminded by the kind lady at Channel 4 that it was on. TJ maintains that I am hopelessly addicted to CBB and would have watched it regardless. The truth of which we'll never know, but someone was making noises over a desire to audition for the non-celebrity version and it wasn't me. Anyway, I digress. We had turned on the television to watch Shipwrecked in the hope that there might be someone so fit as Charlie Murray from last years Tiger Island. There are a couple of possibilities but I think it needs a few weeks to get going - if it manages to get beyond the racism debacle of last week.

And regarding CBB, it does make me wonder whether or not Shilpa would have won if it hadn't have been for the public outcry to Jade, Jo and Danielle's earlier behaviour towards her. Perhaps a more favouritable outcome for Channel 4 than necessarily for the people involved. In fact, it does make one wonder if the whole outcome wasn't contrived by Endemol... Was it not rather convenient that Jack and Danielle were evicted first, together, so that Davina could get her headteacher-ish 'interview' with them out of the way, once, before starting on the more convivial interviewing of the other celebrities. I guess that too is something we will never know either.

Right. Am off to bed. Once I can persuade M & TJ to stop taking photographs of wine bottles. Have a good week.

Weekend (1)

I know it's a little odd to be posting at 12.40am on a Sunday but I unexpectedly have the use of a computer, M & B are watching Fatal Attraction and E is sleeping on the chair beside me, so I thought I'd write a quick post.

One of the temps left work yesterday so went to an awful pub near work which seems to be a temp team favourite for some leaving drinks. Only to discover that said pub actually has an upstairs bar which is much nicer than downstairs and has an (almost full size) pool table. Played endless games of pool, the likes of which hasn't been seen since university, when we used to play almost every day. Had forgotten how much I love playing pool and was pleased that I could still play pretty well - or even 'quite well for girl'. What I wasn't so good at was the golf game where we played the front nine of Balmoral and I ended up nine over. And lost. Still, it was pleasant to spend an evening getting to know work colleagues a little better. Headed back to the house for supper with B, C, TJ and M. We had deep fried prawns with stir fry. Delicious. The mess still sat on the kitchen counter, not so much.

Spent this afternoon doing some more work for and then met E for afternoon tea at the flat. Watched Dancing on Ice whilst E searched for holidays on the internet and had a lovely gossip drinking tea and eating choc. B joined us a bit later on and then M when he finished work. Headed to the Lansdowne for a pint and then back to the flat so that the boys could watch the football. And here we still are and I think it must be time for bed. A lovely weekend so far and there is still Sunday to come.

Friday, January 26, 2007


Just another quick post as only have brief use of a computer. Been out in Angel with C, J and A and enjoyed a lovely girly chat over some wine. Was refreshing to discuss issues from a female perspective without trying to make ourselves heard over loud men. So it came as a bit of a shock to return to the flat to find it full of drunk boys all having shouted conversations with each other. I have retreated to the bedroom to check e mails and ponder why so many anonymous people think I'm (or want to be) some kind of Primrose Hill Princess.

I'm really looking forward to Marrakech and it will be an experience of a different culture. The very fact that their values and customs are so different to the liberal nature of life in England means that it will be an interesting experience. I'm particularly looking forward to the camel trekking as I have always wanted to see camels and visit the Sahara. I always find myself captivated by deserts and the people that live in them, when portrayed in books and film, and I am looking forward to meeting them and seeing how they live. I think it is a much simpler way of life, which will be a change from the business of London. I am aware that Marrakech will be busy and I expect to be hassled and for it to be hectic, but I think it will be different to that which defines London.

But for now, I must get some food and a cup of tea and head for bed, in order that I stand some chance of making it to my non-law, poorly paid job on time in the morning.

Wednesday, January 24, 2007

A few thoughts

Someone left an interesting comment on my blog this morning. They asked me why I can’t find anything else to write about except for myself. To which I responded that it was my blog, about my life, my thoughts and that this was quite clearly set out in the title box of the blog. And that if they didn’t like it, no-one was forcing them to read it.

I’ve been thinking about this throughout the day though and have come to a number of conclusions. On the one hand, it is my blog and one of my purposes for starting said blog was to record my life in journal form, for me, so that I can look back over my life, rather like one might with a diary, but in a more easily accessible way. And in its purest form a blog is a web-log of something. In this case, my life. But that isn’t the only reason that I started this blog. I wanted to have somewhere to ‘voice’ my thoughts and opinions; in a form which was in the public eye and could be the basis of interaction with other people and their opinions. I also wanted to get into the practice of writing on a daily basis and I’m not really sure if listing pubs that I drink in and places that I’ve been wholly satisfies this.

So, what things interest me at the moment? The racial arguments which Celebrity Big Brother dragged into the public eye and then Shipwrecked has cemented, both courtesy of Channel 4, interested me in a number of ways, but I refrained from writing about it because I thought so many other people had addressed the issue, many in a much better fashion that I might manage. For what it is worth, I think that ignorance and lack of cultural awareness are significant issues which the people of the UK need to address. Regardless of political stance, it is our duty to make people of all races and cultures feel welcome and at ease in the UK, whether visiting or living. Ignorance of the way that remarks are interpreted may be an excuse, but I don’t think it is valid one. And this worries me, because I think teens and twenty something girls (and boys) up and down the country will have made remarks similar to Jade, Danielle and Jo to people (of all cultures, races and backgrounds) they, for whatever reason, wish to belittle - without a second thought. Yet if anyone suggested that they were being racist, they would be mortified. In this fast moving fast paced commercially greedy society that we live, people are selfish and speak in the heat of the moment, without a second thought to how a remark may be interpreted. Though factual statements and thoughtless remarks are very different, I think it is important that people are allowed to have opinions and be allowed to voice them without being accused or vilified. And it is also important to remember the context in which something is said. (You see, someone else could definitely have written this better).

Another thing I have been thinking about recently is tied to the personal but applies widely and in many ways relates to the above comments. Last year, my youngest sister went travelling for 9 months. Before she went, I had given the idea of travelling passing thought at best. As a graduate with substantial law school loans to repay, it is something that I did not allow myself to dream of, more that I considered it in the abstract. I had been on holiday, toured around New Zealand after my degree and lived in California for 2 years as a child, so I thought I didn’t have an immediate desire to see the world. And what is wrong with England anyway? But as soon as my little sister was away and sending home e-mails, though, those thoughts began to change. When she began to describe situations that I couldn’t even picture and currencies I’d never heard of, I began to want to travel too. To see the world, experience different cultures and to meet people who had different priorities to me. The realisation dawned that I had never left the Western World. New Zealand, America, France, Spain, Denmark, Australia. All countries that were not my own, but all countries where I recognised the familiar. Alexandra returned safely and I continued giving travelling some thought. Then in January, my other sister Annie left on her own trip. She has chosen to travel the other way around the world and can be currently found in California (if one so wished). And so, when the offer of some flights emerged as a Christmas present idea I realised that I had been given a chance to do something different. I can’t afford to leave the country for a substantial period of time, just at the moment. Law school saw to that. But I can afford to use my leave to experience something new. So we decided to go to Morocco. It also helps that it can be relatively cheap to live there on a day-to-day basis, something which a holiday to Europe would not offer. So it hasn’t been chosen as a glamorous holiday destination, although the idea of shopping is rather pleasing, but as somewhere that we can experience a different culture. We will spend some time in Marrakech and then we are heading out into the Saharan desert near the Algerian border. Where I hope we will find some peace, maybe some inner peace and an experience which does not involve fast paced corporate life where people are too busy or too ignorant to be inclusive.

Tuesday, January 23, 2007


Busy busy trying to organise things for our impending trip to Marrakech to celebrate our 5th anniversary. At the moment I am waiting to hear back from a guide regarding trekking into the Sahara (the Erg Chebbi dunes near Merzouga) on camels. It's all very exciting and I can't wait to go. A trip like this, even for a relatively short period, takes more organisation that I had anticipated. Still, we're getting there slowly and having fun in the planning. Roll on the departure date...

Saturday, January 20, 2007

The weekend

I'm tired, hung over, watching crap telly and very pleased that it's Saturday not Sunday. Spent last night in Camden participating in a pub crawl in honour of a friend's 25th birthday. It was fun, rather militant in places and lovely to catch up with some friends that I haven't seen for ages. Ended up walking home in the rain at 5.30 this morning and sleeping until 3pm.

Will write some more when I get a chance; still using other computers whenever I can, rather than just having one to use whenever I please, so postings will be short and sweet for the time being. Am using all my free internet time to search for accommodation in Marrakech. If anyone has any suggestions, please let me know.

Tuesday, January 16, 2007


This week saw my second article published on Marmaladya. It is the first in the weekly series that I am writing about Primrose Hill and it was very pleasing to see it 'in print'.


Spent Saturday evening at my sister's leaving party in Berkshire before heading into town to have a few drinks with my other sister. Ran into a couple of people that I knew from school but hadn't seen for years. Is always nice to catch up with old acquaintances. Have also got back in touch with a number of old friends from university, which is also pleasing.

Back to London on Sunday afternoon and then off to Blakes for M's work party last night. Was a lovely evening and I thoroughly enjoyed the food. I started with scallops, had black cod with ginger and miso sauce with truffle mash and then something approaching tarte tartin for pudding. All washed down with a glorious selection of wines. Well, you wouldn't expect anything less for the party of a wine merchants. Finally left the hotel at about 2.30am and rolled into bed sometime around 3am. And then dragged myself back out in an effort to be at work on time.

So I am sat here, writing this whilst M and TJ are cooking chili. It already smells wonderful and I am so hungry. I thought after last night's food I wouldn't need to eat for ages, but no, I'm starving! I think I might have a bath while I wait....

Saturday, January 13, 2007

Travelling and Fortune Telling

And so the time has come for another member of my family to depart on a round the world trip. Annie and her boyfriend Alex leave next week for San Francisco. Lucky things. Still, I am consoled by two things; Alexandra made it round the world in one piece, so A&A should be ok and secondly, M and I have booked ourselves a trip to Morocco.

Speaking of sisters, this could only happen to Alexandra. She was invited to a work do on New Years Day at a local pub, an invitation which she accepted but promptly forgot about. She then managed to turn up at the correct pub at the correct time for entirely different reasons, yet managed to convince everyone concerned that she was there for the party. Only Al!

Spent last night in the Lansdowne with B, C, M and TJ. Was really nice to go to the pub for a few drinks instead of spending the evening in the house. Managed about 6 hours sleep and then went to a meeting where I ended up having my fortune read. I'm not entirely convinced about the whole thing, but it predicted I would earn more money and find more work, both of which are positive.I also have to look out for my blonde friend....??

Wednesday, January 10, 2007

Left of Centre

Took a policitical compass quiz today (via Rachel, as usual. I must start linking to some other people) and was very surprised to find myself on the left middle of the chart. I always thought I was more to the right. Perhaps my views on sex and marriage were the ones which tipped me in a liberal lefty angle. Who knows?

Once again, it's been busy. It was my first week back at work after a two week respite, so I was expecting the usual catching up but was unprepared for the chaos of things to be sorted out. I am just about back to an even keel but I am still far from bored. Or should that be far from idle?

Am missing watching 18 Doughty Street. Must get onto the insurers.

Monday, January 08, 2007


You may have noticed that I've had to update my profile slightly. That's right. The new year is a new year in many ways than one for me. On Friday, I turned 25. To most of you, that probably seems rather young. But not to me. 25 seems old. Somehow being in the 25 to 34 age bracket on the Vogue competition page is rather different to the 16-24. In the 16-24 bracket I could stay up all night, all weekend, spend money, travel and take up random new hobbies when ever I pleased. It somehow doesn't seem quite so appropriate. For this, I suppose, is the age bracket when I will, if I am going to at all, buy a house, get married, have babies and stick at a career path. I don't feel as if I have reached that age yet, which is perhaps why I am feeling the difference between 24 and 25 so much. I remember M's brother turning 25, when I was 21 and still at university. When I was worrying about dissertations and applications to law school, he had set up his own business, was about to buy a house, has been living and working in London for several years and had the (apparent) image and lifestyle to match. He seemed grown up and sorted out and knew what he wanted. He seemed old (not in a bad way either). And now here I am too. 25.

So I spent the actual day at my parents house in Berkshire, helping my sister run errands and sort out things before she goes off travelling in a weeks time. Because that's what you can do when you're 22. But I digress. We had coffee and bought beer for her leaving party and she dropped me at the station. Where I caught a train back to London and ran into an old friend who I had been trying to contact but had somehow lost his number. And then back to our lovely flat and to M. Who cooked me a wonderful supper of steak and mashed potato and red cabbage. And champagne and a present of a manuscript of a book pre-publication. It was a wonderful evening and so peaceful. We watched awful television (CBB and The Devil Wears Betty) and enjoyed being in each others company after a few days apart.

And then Saturday. A friend of ours has come to stay. He started his new job today and has the spare room until he has settled into his new life here in London. It is lovely to see him and an enjoyable change to our household. So we all dressed up and went out with some other friends, and B, because B was also 25 last week, and we have joint parties now that people really only will go out once the week after new year.

Cocktails in Trailer Happiness and then dancing in the Blag Club in Notting Hill. It was a great evening. And then home, with a few little incidents on the way, but nothing too serious. And then a lazy, hungover, sleepy Sunday before starting work again this morning.

Ps. Watch Rachel on 18 Doughty Street tonight at 9pm on a new programme about UK bloggers.

PPS. I have just noticed that it is another anniversary. Or rather, yesterday was. This blog is 6 months old!

Thursday, January 04, 2007


I like to make lists. Sometimes I even make them on this blog. Mostly, I make them in my diary, on the back of old bills that I really need to get round to paying, on white boards and in notebooks. Occasionally, I will work through one of the lists. Mostly, I write them and worry about the contents. Today though, I thought I'd write some lists of reflection.

The best things of 2006:

  • M asking me to move in with him and then finding our darling (and grotty - or as Mum put it, 'genteelly shabby') flat in Primrose Hill;
  • Starting my first proper non-temping job after university. And sticking at it for an entire year;
  • Spending my first ever Christmas with M;
  • Joining the Fulham Women's Institute;
  • Starting my blog;
  • Writing again and having an article published, thus leading to a 'job' as a MarmaReporter;
  • Curing myself of my weekly magazine fix and reducing my monthly magazine intake to my Vogue subscription (and the occasional issue of Tatler);
  • Being told by a designer friend that she liked my style and asking me to be her fitting model for part of her collection;
  • Realising that, financial issues aside, I'm actually happy.
The worst things of 2006:

  • Discovering that our flat was not as secure as I thought it might be;
  • Receiving at least 20 rejection letters/e mails and the subsequent thought that I probably had enough of them in total to publish a book, at least in volume;
  • Not doing enough to remedy my financial situation to a satisfactory level;
  • Not acquiring a Training Contract.
Still, at least the positive definitely outweighs the negative. And all of the worst things are things that are, to some extent at least, within my control. I may not be able to create myself a job, but I can make a better attempt in my search. Likewise, if I can be determined and strong willed in some areas, there is no real reason why I can't stop shopping and start saving.

And for 2007?

  • Find a Training Contract;
  • Write a weekly article for Marmaladya;
  • Sort out finances, filing, tidying and generally get life in order;
  • Blog daily (subject to computer) and increase readership (perhaps by writing something more exciting than lists);
  • Visit Marrakesh;
  • Pursue my hobbies to a greater extent and spend more time surfing & sailing;
  • Finish A's Christmas scarf;
  • Get up earlier;
  • Take more photographs and read more books;
  • Stop worrying so much;
  • Laugh more.

Wednesday, January 03, 2007

New Year

Arrived back in London on Saturday evening to be met by a very tired M. He had been partying for pretty much 72 hours straight (give or take the hours spent at work). We hurried round Waitrose and retreated to our house and our new set of (recycled) arm chairs. Either side of a small table we sat, watching television and eating spaghetti bolognese.

New Year started with an enormous roast dinner with B and C at lunchtime. M cooked beef, roasted vegetables and potatoes roasted in goose fat. It was so rich that there was no need for any pudding, which was just as well, since I hadn't made any. We drank champagne and saved the cheese course for much later. Another friend arrived later but unfortunately our other two guests called in sick with food poisoning. And so we spent the evening talking and drinking, and then at just before midnight, we climbed Primrose Hill to watch the beginning of 2007 marked with fireworks all across the London skyline. It was cold and rather muddy, and we could barely reach three quarters of the way up the hill because of all the people, murky silhouettes and excited chatter. And at the stike of midnight, no-one knew exactly when where we were, but they knew, down by the London Eye, fireworks began to explode and it looked rather like the blitz must have done, but with rather less noise, destruction and loss of life. And we retreated, back to the house, when our fellow viewers started to let off fireworks of their own.

New Years Day was a much quieter affair (I wonder how many people have written that?). Thankfully, the BBC had saved some much better television for this glorious of hungover days and we watched films and a surprisingly good version of the Wind in the Willows, drinking leftover ginger beer and the remains of the cheese from the day before.

Long Time No Post

Am still no nearer to being back on line, so I will be sporadic at best. I think most of London has returned to work but I have been enjoying my week of shopping, washing, tidying and sorting.

So, first post of 2007. What do I hope that this year will bring? A better paid job, perhaps even if the industry I am supposedly qualified? A new house, perhaps even our own? Better weather, more money, a more stable and equal world? I wonder.

And hopefully a new computer so that I can actually write something useful instead of bashing out a few sentences whilst frantically checking two e-mail accounts.