Monday, 28 February 2011

London, it's not that bad!

London is a very confusing place. Half the time it drives me nuts as its so crowded and most people are incredibly rude or put their grubby shoes on the seats of public transport or talk really loud on their phones or have their headphones on too loud or drop litter or let their kids piss up the side of bus stops (True. I witnessed this on the weekend. Unbelieveable.....), but then the other half of the time, I think its excellent. And the part of me that thinks its excellent was very happy yesterday.

The Wig and I went to have lunch at a friends house near Bethnal Green yesterday which comprised a sausage roll starter (unconventional but strangely alluring), Lamb shanks and vegetables for a main and poached pears and lemon cream for dessert. Delicious. Anyway, since Bethnal Green is just up / down the road this was a perfect date. Having grown up in a village with a very limited bus service (I think it was 1 an hour until about 5pm, 6 days a week) I am always super impressed with the buses in London.  they are frequent, run late into the night, what more do you want from a bus?! We got the bus halfway, and then walked the rest, which I'm glad of since we saw some pretty little Spring flowers and it also enabled me to use the ladies facilities in The Museum of Childhood.

This is another place I have memories of visiting with my Aunt as a child and a couple of years ago, it had a lovely refurbishment (although some of the exhibits do still look a bit like they have been found in a skip....). So now it has nice toilets, a little cafe, a great shop (my marking system of museums is always based on the quality / range of items in the shop) and its FREE. Another great thing about London. Most of the Museums are free to get in. The Natural History Museum, The V+A, The Science Museum (I think), and after a little bit of traveling the world I know this is pretty unusual. So as much as I complain about the downsides of living in London, there are plenty of upsides too. You just need to know where to look. 

The Mirror of Lies

Its very hard to write blogs when Blogger doesn't work, but fingers crossed it works today, so here goes . . . 

The Wig left me yesterday. To go and have a driving lesson in Sussex. How could he?! We only get 2 days to spend together (we call it The Wig-end, get it? . . . . ) and not being able to spend those 2 days with each other really gets my goat. But rather than sit around moping I thought I would use the opportunity to go clothes shopping. After watching a brilliant documentary on Friday night about Alexander McQueen and Isabella Blow, I decided I needed to sort my 'look' out. During the last few years, I've been focusing so much on sorting my flat out that I've sort of let myself go a bit. I've been thinking about it more recently since working in a couple of different places and meeting new (younger) people and a couple of times I've wanted to scream, "My arse hasn't always been this wide you know, I was slim and groovy once! I haven't always had to wear muu muu's . . . I used to wear a catsuit!!". I know its sad but its how I feel I'm afraid. I really noticed it when we were in Sweden when we had the most unforgiving full length mirror in our hotel room. I couldn't  understand how during a short plane journey I could have turned into such a stumpy frump. I didn't even have any snacks on the plane! Then when I got home I realised what it was. The full length mirror I have at home is a like one of those fairground mirrors, it has been lying to me for some time and flattering me into believing I'm about 2 stone lighter and that my clothes look good. I hate that damn mirror now and if I wasn't so superstitious I'd sling it out of the window. That will teach me for buying a cheap one.

So, until I lose a few pounds, which lets face it is going to be extremely difficult considering my fry up / afternoon tea / pudding / Charbonel + Walker hot chocolate and Baileys addiction, I thought the least I could do was sort my clothes out. I used to really enjoy clothes shopping when I was younger but now it depresses me a bit as I have no idea what shops I'm meant to be in. Even though I'm in complete denial, I am really too old for Topshop, too poor for Cos and not tall enough for Gap I don't really know where else to go which is a problem if you are trying to establish your signature look. There was no way I was going to go to Oxford street (too much like going to work) Westfield Shepherds Bush (too far) Westfield Stratford (not actually built yet) so I thought I'd sniff around the new shops around St Pauls. St Paul's and the area just around it,  is one of my favorite places in London and now its been tarted up a bit its even better. When the sun is out it is a really spectacular place to hang out and have a coffee and just admire the architecture.

The new shopping centre, One New Change, opened last Autumn and is a really good place to go if you hate crowds and like polite shop assistants.  Every shop I went into had the friendliest staff I have ever experienced and everywhere was clean and it was actually not too depressing even though I still couldn't find any clothes to buy. I did buy a book though and some lovely green shoes which is a start. The Foyles there had the best Travel section I have seen in a while and there were loads of nice places to eat. Jamie Oliver’s new restaurant is in there too.

By the time I had finished sniffing around the shops, a lovely sun set was occurring and the Wig had returned to London (Thank God) and we decided to go the cinema. Another independent Cinema near us is the Richmix on Bethnal Green Road, opposite the new Shoreditch Tube Station, which not only has 3 screens, but it also has a bar and they have bands and DJ’s and stuff. Its quite expensive (£9 each) and the screens are quite small but I’d prefer to support the local businesses than go to somewhere like the Vue which is about £12. Yikes.

Anyway, we went to see ‘True Grit’ and it was AWESOME. The March Hare is issuing the first top mark ever. ‘True Grit’ gets 10 stetson’s out of a  possible 10 and I would recommend everyone to go and see it. I don’t want to say too much incase I spoil it but the performances are superb, particularly the lead girl in it, Hailee Steinfeld. Amazing. I want to go and see it again. Apparently, The Cohen brothers used 95% of the dialogue from the original film which fans of the first film will probably spot.

Friday, 25 February 2011

Spot the (crusty) dog

I had the sort of evening last night that only a Pret Egg and Tomato baguette and a Starbucks Mocha can cure the next day. Too many glasses of non descript white wine.

It began with an impromptu swifty after work at The Ship on Wardour Street. I have only been in there once before since it always used to be jam packed with cycle couriers. Not that I have anything against cycle couriers apart from the fact they are way too thin and they think traffic light signals don't apply to them . But these days the don't bung up The Ship which means its more accessible for tubbies like me to squeeze in. Its a fairly standard boozer, nothing fancy, the music can be a bit too loud for my sensitive old ears but they do have a good sized outside area roped off. Not only is this a bonus if you like the odd growler with your booze, but also it is a rather good place to stand and potentially spot famous people who sometimes stay at the Soho Hotel next door. Last night for example we saw Dave Grohl walking past. My drinking partner swore it was the lead singer from the red Hot Chilli Peppers, but it was definitely Gave Grohl. I'd recognise those teeth anywhere. I would rate The Ship 6 pork scratchings out of 10 if you need a quick drink and are in the area.

After that, I hot footed it in a black taxi (a rare treat these days) over to Clapton...Shudder... I have not been to Clapton for a few years since its an utter grot hole which has terrible memories for me. My ex boyfriend and I used to live there and one sunny Sunday our neighbours attacked us and beat my ex boyfriend up. It is because of this that I try to avoid the place wherever possible. However, The Wig and I were meeting some friends and they suggested Biddle Brothers. On the Lower Clapton Road . . . .gulp . . .

I was, however, pleasantly surprised when I arrived, but on reflection this may have had more to do with the fact I could escape the taxi rather than the fact that I had arrived at my destination. Soho to Clapton takes about 35 minutes in rush hour traffic which was ample time for the Taxi driver to tell me his life story and give me his views on the world. ("I was born in Greenwich and I'll die in Greenwich I'm never gonna f******g leave that place", "I've had 'em all in here, Boris Johnson, Ken Livingstone, and they're all f******g idiots", "If I see a woman standing on a street corner by a wall, I'll never give her a lift, they'll be 3 blokes waiting behind that wall to jump out and  f******g rob me", "Never get a mini cab, they're all drug dealers with no f******g insurance" etc etc).

Biddle Brothers is a pub in an old builders merchants which still retains the sign and exterior of the old business, rather like Dream Bags in Shoreditch and Parrots and Pelicans in Dalston. I can't decide if this is quite a cool thing or quite a tight / lazy thing. Anyway, the pub itself is very strange and was definitely worth a visit if you are in the area, even though it is in Clapton.. There was a Scottie dog sitting outside the door on arrival which was slightly crusty to the touch but his sweet disposition made up for that. There is also a painting of the dog on the wall of the pub, he's obvioulsy a bit of a crusty legend. My friend tried to covince me that it was a Banksey but I think this might have been a joke / lie.  Then inside the pub, sitting on a plastic ring by the bar, was a parrot. Yes, that's right. A parrot. These 2 specimens alone more than made up for the revolting slippery (?!) unisex toilets and the somewhat limited wine options.  "Yeh, we have wine. Do you want the red one or the white one".  Also, at about 9pm a little jazz band arrived and played live music. Jazz isn't really my thing but they were very good and I didn't get beaten up so all in all I would say it was a pretty successful evening. I would rate Biddle Brothers 6 crusty dogs out of 10, a good place to go if you are local but I probably wouldn't suggest a trip to E5 especially.

Wednesday, 23 February 2011

Fight or Flight

So, I've got myself a little job freelancing for a couple of weeks with an old Producer friend and I must say, it's the first time in a long while that I am enjoying work. I was worried that the longer time I had off, the harder it would be to get back into it, but, you know what, it's not too bad! Obviously, with a wedding to save up for and possible house purchases, I couldn't stay away from work forever. Also, that damn "lucky" carp scale that we have been carrying around for the last few days brought us exactly zero winnings on the lottery at the weekend. It went from looking like a beautiful shimmering piece of shell to looking like a grey, dry, curled up tramp toe nail clipping in approximately 2 hours and brought us no financial luck whatsoever.

My other worry about working again was to do with stress. When I quit my job last year, I was very stressed so am trying to not to get myself in too many stressful situations from now on. I think its something that people don't really talk much but I also think a lot of people have symptom's of stress without really knowing what is wrong with them. I spent a lot of last year inexplicably bursting into tears which was not only very inconvenient and embarrassing but also a sign that all was not well. But I kept pushing myself each day to go to work and keep going, until it got to the point where I was pretty much terrified about what each day would bring. The week that I handed my notice in was the peak of it, I kept thinking I was going to either be sick or go to the toilet (I know, horrid) and on one evening I couldn't even walk home from the station. The dear Wig had to come and collect me. It was terrifying, particularly as I didn't know what was happening to me. But now, I know it was stress and I was having panic attacks.

Life is very stressful a lot of the time, but if you can have some balance then its more manageable. I have always put myself under a lot of pressure and everything I have achieved in my life has pretty much been down to me. I worked my way through University to fund my degree, when I moved up to London and got my first job, I knew nobody in the industry, I have bought my own flat with no financial help from anyone but the pressure got to me last year when I realised I couldn't push myself if I wasn't happy. The scales of my life were out of balance so to speak. But just as I had put myself in that situation, I was the only one that could take myself out of it. And even though some people were not very happy about it, I felt I had no other choice. So, now I understand it all and find it very interesting how stress can have such an impact not only psychologically but also physically.

Just before Christmas I attended a 'Stress workshop' , I had no idea if I would get anything from it but went along anyway. The first interesting thing about it was that out of 17 people due to attend, only me and a freelance TV Producer turned up. This confirmed my thoughts that the media industry can be a pretty stressful environment! (Actually, a small non-English speaking lady turned up late but she didn't come back after the lunch break as she thought 'work shop' meant it was a shop for work and she was looking for a job...). I was asked what I hoped to get from the day and I said I was interested to learn about the physical symptoms I had been experiencing so that I could deal with them better and move forwards with my life. What they talked about, I found fascinating and since I have talked to other people about it, they have also (unless they were being kind) found it interesting too. This blog was never intended to be particularly serious and I have thought a lot about whether I should write about this but I think this is quite an interesting subject and might make sense to other people too.

Basically, I learned all about the Fight or Flight response. I will try to explain it the way it makes sense to me although it will be very basic. As cavemen/women we developed something in our brain as a survival instinct. If we felt threatened or under attack certain physical responses occurred. Our blood would rush to our muscles, to make us strong and ready to fight or run away. Blood would also drain from areas that the body did not believe to be essential at that particular time ie from our brains and from our stomachs. Then we would fight the lion or the bear of the pterodactyl, the blood would be restored to its original areas, the testosterone created would be used up through the fighting/running around and we would have a delicious lion/bear/dinosaur pie for tea cooked over an open fire under the stars. Delicious.

But in the modern world, while we don't get attacked by wild critters, we can still feel we are being 'attacked' when we are in any number of stressful situations. This fight or flight response is still inside of us and hasn't really developed even though the world around us has. When we are feeling stressed this response kicks in and our body tries to protect itself. The blood drains from our brains (so our minds go blank in stressful situations, or we stutter and can't speak) and it drains from our stomachs (so we feel sick, or need to go to the toilet, this is the brain saying to the stomach "we don't have the resources to digest that food properly, just get rid of it quick!"). But then all the blood that has moved to our muscles, making then tense up (and giving us bad backs and stiff necks etc) has no where to go. We never have the physical fight (maybe we should!) so it stays in the wrong place making us feel anxious and horrid. It's also why we can have trouble sleeping which I know can be a big problem, as our insides are all mixed up! This is why physical exercise can be so good for you if you are feeling stressed or worried or cant sleep, it restores your body back to normal as much as is possible in the absence of wild animals to wrestle.

So that's basically it. And now I understand this, it makes sense to me and I think it should be taught in schools. Knowing this will help me make different decision's, like what jobs to work on for example, and what situations to avoid, and hopefully mean that I'll never not be able to walk home from the station again. Life is definitely too short to feel stressed.

Tuesday, 22 February 2011

Scout Noise

Brown noise, according to some definitions, is a noise so awful that if you hear it, it causes such a reaction to the human body that you literally crap yourself.  I have luckily never been unfortunate enough to experience this revolting phenomenon, although today I came pretty close.  For when I alighted my train at Hackney Downs this morning to go to work ( yes, that's right, work), I made the fatal error of getting onto the carriage that was bursting with mud encrusted, wittering Scouts. Half term, yay . . . .

I reckon this motley bunch were between 10 and 12 years old as they were at the age that is impossible to pinpoint exactly. Some of them were large, lumbering and self conscious with fluffy top lips and some of them were tiny and high pitched. They were at the age where hormones can either make you or break you. But the noise was astounding. My journey from Hackney Downs to Liverpool street is only 10 minutes long but how they found the time to use so many words is beyond me. It was relentless, meaningless, painfully loud but on reflection, quite funny. By the end of the journey I didn't quite know whether I wanted to crap myself, get an ear transplant or spend the day following them around town on their excursion. They were mesmerizing in an unexplainable way.

Tubby Scout: " I'm going to have a KFC. It's finger lickin good".
Asian Scout: "You can't. You're not allowed".
Ginger Scout: " I can see the Gherkin!! That means we are nearly at Liverpool Street!!"
Tiny Scout: "There's a gherkin?? Where??!!"
Asian Scout: "It's a business centre idiot. It's full of lawyers".
Goofy Scout: "I've been in the gherkin".
Asian Scout: "Liar".
Tiny Scout: "Traffic lights!! Quick!! Take a picture!!"
Ginger Scout: "Its red. It needs to be green".
Tiny Scout:  "It was green . . . it must have changed..."
Asian Scout: "I got an RAF symbol earlier".
Ginger Scout:"An RAF symbol?? Lets see!!"
Asian Scout: "No".
Ginger Scout:"Please! Let me take a picture of your picture".
Asian Scout: " No. It wont count. It wont look right and it wont be 2 dimensional".
Ginger Scout: " . . . "
Tubby Scout: "When we get to the London Dungeon, I'll get a jail sign and a dungeon sign".
Ginger Scout: "We're here! We're at Liverpool Street!!"
Tubby Scout: "Don't tell Charlie! Lets leave him on the train!"
Tiny Scout: "Are we in Manchester?"
Asian Scout: " No. We are in Liverpool Street, idiot".

And with that, they were off, leaving a trail of mud, half eaten apples and bleeding ear holes in their wake.

This link has nothing to do with scouts but my friend sent it to me today and it made me laugh:

Monday, 21 February 2011

Double Birthday

When you get to my age and you get invited to two birthdays on one day, you know you will only have the stamina to make one of the celebrations but you also know you will try and kid yourself that you will go to both. I only managed to make one today. And now I'm sitting at home drinking as much water as I can and wanting to give myself a dead arm for having such little will power that I couldn't pace myself and celebrate 2 birthdays in one day.

The birthday I didn't make, was my upstairs neighbours 40th. I was really looking forward to it. He had hired the downstairs room at Dalston superstore and it sounded like it was destined to be a proper disco and I cant recall the last time I went to one of those. He works at The Social in Soho so it was bound to have some cracking music and it was going to be the night I thought we would get to know each other a bit better after 4 years of being neighbours. Unfortunately, he is now at his party up the road and I am watching the Antiques Roadshow on my sofa wondering where the Berocca is located.

The dilemma was, there was another birthday before hand. A birthday that involved a dark and cosy location with big food and delicious wine. This is a lethal combination for me. So, I ate and drank too much and fell into a food coma. Far too full to party.

On our way to Birthday Number 1, The Wig and I popped our heads into the new 'Art Gallery' on Platform 1 at Hackney Downs Station. I'm all for creativity and particularly like the fact someone is making use of dead space at the station, but this 'Art Gallery' is absolutely bloody awful. I think it might be some sort of wind up actually. It has the worst exhibitions in I have ever seen, for example, the current offering is entitled "Melanie Griffith's Knee". I don't even know what to say about it it's so bad. It has rendered me speechless which is quite unusual for me. Although on the positive side, it does give one somewhere to shelter from the wind and rain while waiting for the train to Liverpool Street.

Birthday 1 was being held at The Hawksmoor on Commercial Street which I have never been to before and I absolutely love going somewhere new for food.

21 of us were having lunch to celebrate the birthday of our dear friend Mr Marzi. 21 people is a lot to have in one group so it was decided we would all have the roast beef but it would be laid out on a table for us to help ourselves. This worked very well if you were assertive, but The Wig and I are always slow to get in on any buffet action and always seem to be at the end of the queue in these situations. Unfortunately, by the time we got to the table there were no spuds or gravy left, however the staff rectified this immediately and were very apologetic. One of them was an Aussie, which is our favorite type of person so we had no complaints whatsoever. The food overall was delicious although there was a strange charcoaly flavour to the beef which I was not expecting. However, I would definitely recommend this restaurant if you like meat and give the Hawksmoor 8 yorkshire puddings out of a possible 10. The only not so great aspect of the lunch was that one glass of wine was £9, and when you like to drink wine and do not have a job this can be a problem.

After lunch, we crossed the road and went to the Commercial Tavern for a swifty or two.

This was my first and will be my last minute. It was dark, played music that would make a dogs ear bleed and the service was painfully slow. I would not have believed it was possible to take 14 minutes to make one Bloody Mary had I not seen it with my own eyes. The only good thing about this place was that the wine did not cost £9 a glass.

Saturday, 19 February 2011

The Lucky Carp

I don't want to get my own hopes up, but I reckon spring might be on its way. Hackney isn't known for its abundance of fauna so its very easy to spot budding flowers among the dog droppings even with my dodgy eye sight. As I was skulking around E8 today, I spotted loads of little yellow crocuses / crocus' / croci  which I am taking as a sign from Mother Nature that she might start thawing us out soon. I really hope this is not a  false alarm, I'm fed up with wearing 8 jumpers just to go to buy toilet roll. I saw the tiny yellow flowers in London Fields, along the  Hackney Road and by the local Newsagent. This made me so happy I had to celebrate with a massive fry up at Hackney City Farm. Delicious as usual.

It is a bit odd to eat a pile of sausages and bacon within spitting distance of the huge pigs that live on the farm, but it's so damn tasty! The cafe at the farm does the best fry up in Hackney in my opinion, and I feel qualified to make this statement since I have eaten at least one local fry up a weekend for the last 5 years of my life. Its around £17 for 2 fry ups and a coffee each, which isn't the cheapest in the area but its definitely worth it since the quality of the food is so good. The only downside is that if you get there after about 11am, you might get your eardrums burst by all the kids that get taken there but if you go early its bliss. Hackney City Farm fry ups get 9 giant mushrooms out of a possible 10 although I'm not sure covering the mug of the mocha with chocolate powder was entirely necessary.

After the farm, and despite the drizzly air, The Wig and I took a little local stroll and popped into a couple of our favorite 'old stuff' shops. Unsurprisingly, we have ended up with some more items that we have to lube up and try to squeeze into my bulging flat.  But the logic is, if we don't get them now, we wont see them again and we will always regret it because we think about things like that and that annoys us and we are losers. Anyway, we are very happy with our items and always on the hunt for good storage solutions which all of these are. We bought a chest of drawers from Rospo on the Hackney Road which was not only extremely good value but the owner, Jacopo, delivered it to us for free. Top notch service.

We also bought a bedside drawer for The Wig and an old locker for the hall, both from The Dog and Wardrobe. The locker was in the sale so I don't feel too guilty about it, and both items got delivered this afternoon for a tenner so we are very happy indeed. The Wig was actually so happy with his new storage that he dusted it. I have never seen him dust anything before. In 4 and a bit years. I'm just saying...

We also popped into Fin and Flounder on Broadway Market since we were passing, and purchased a carp for our tea. They are such friendly guys in this shop and always have the freshest fish. Not only can they tell you exactly where the fish has come from but they can also suggest how to cook it and what to eat with it. I would definitely recommend buying something from here if you are in the area but get there early on a Saturday as they very often sell out by the afternoon. Today they had some locally caught crayfish from a local forager but by the time we had eaten breakfast and come back they were already all sold.

Today the chap in the shop told me that its tradition to keep a carp scale in your wallet for good luck as it brings you wealth. I have popped one in and bought a lottery ticket for tonight's draw. Either I am now destined to win a lot of money later this evening or it was a joke / lie and all I will end up with is a wiffy Delta card.

Bad Head Day

Woke up, got out of bed, dragged a comb across my head. Actually, I didn’t. My alarm woke me up at 5:45am, it ignited a hangover between my eyes and I pressed snooze for an extra precious 4 minutes. Then I got up and went to a shoot. It’s never a good idea to drink several large wines the night before a shoot but unfortunately, last night was my older brothers final evening in the UK before he and Frenchie jet out to Brazil via Mexico and Argentina so we had to drink booze and toast their holiday.

We had planned to take them for dinner at LMNT, a local restaurant which claims to be “London’s most eccentric dining room” , I would probably just say “it’s a bit weird but just up the road”. The interior has been decorated in a bizarre Egyptian style, with kama sutra emblazoned tiles in the toilets which one does not expect to see in the middle of Hackney. The food is always nice and it’s very reasonably priced. I would whole heartedly recommend an evening here and based on previous visits I would rate LMNT 8 mummified cats out of a possible 10.

The original plan was to walk to LMNT from mine, eat some nice food while looking at a fake sphinx and not simply to go out and guzzle alcohol which more often than not these days gives me a skull cracking pain the morning after. However, the plans changed and we ended up guzzling alcohol and having hangovers. I do, however, have a vague memory of eating noodles whilst sitting on my bed at around midnight, but I shall need clarification from The Wig as to whether this was real life or a chardonnay induced dream. We ended up taking our guests to The Book Club in Shoreditch. They have music, food, drinks and ping pong upstairs, and  downstairs they sometimes have bands and dancing. The Wig and I had our birthdays there last year and we both had a jolly old time. I think also on some Sundays they have little stalls inside selling home made stuff, although to be honest, this also could have been a dream. Best check their website for the cold hard facts.

So, feeling slightly fragile, I said goodbye to the older brother (Frenchie was still asleep), tried not to cry and then braved the cold and darkness to make my way to the shoot. Unfortunately I received the kind of text at 6am, that one in charge of organising a shoot never wants to receive, “Sorry, we are going to be late. Our vehicle got stuck in the yard. From the Caterers”. No sausage bap on arrival to the shoot?! What’s the point in going! Over 200 shoots in 14 years and this has never happened to me before. Just my luck it would happen when I feel rough as an old boot, and don’t look much better.  The only good thing about today was the little parting gift I received from Frenchie. A sweet little bottle of perfume in the shape of an apple, which I think  is from Paris. Ooh la la!. You press down the stalk and the perfume squirts out! Amazing. I’m going to miss those guys! But at least I'll smell nice.

Talking of work, here is a link to something I worked on just before Christmas. Yes, that is Adrien Brody. Swoon.....

Wednesday, 16 February 2011

HaPpY bIrThDaY bRoThEr!

After posting last nights blog, the following conversation took place:

March Hare: Well, that was a balls up.
The Wig: *silence*
MH: I said, that was a balls up!
TW: What?!
MH: Well, I wanted to ask the brother the question tonight.
TW: *silence*
MH: I was going to do a toast during dinner but got nervous. Then I was going to ask him when he'd ordered dessert. And then after the waiter had brought over the dessert with a candle in, which I had arranged, and we'd sung Happy Birthday, I was going to ask the question.
TW: He didn't order dessert.
MH: I know! So I thought when we got home and we had the special wine from Hunter Valley, I thought I could do a toast then and ask him the question then but you started showing him silly videos on youtube and the moment was spoilt.
TW: What question?
MH: The question! To see if he would give me away at our wedding!
TW: You already asked him.
MH: Pardon?
TW: You already asked him. Last week.
MH: *Silence apart from the sound of a brain slowly trying to kick start itself*
TW: You asked him last week when we went to The Folly and you got drunk. He said he would expect nothing less. Now go to sleep.


Anyway, today is a new day and we celebrate the older brothers birthday! Happy Birthday older brother! The celebrations began with The Wig and I singing Happy Birthday to him whilst carrying his presents and a candle stuck into an orange. The older brother is very healthy and would not have liked a traditional birthday cake. Also, we did not have one for him. He didn't say, but I could tell he was impressed by the ingenuity of the birthday orange . . . Then we popped out for a delicious coffee and a crispy bacon bap at Wiltons Cafe.

He has now gone to have lunch with his friend and I am currently working on a small shoot from the Hackney Office listening to my new 'mash up' CD for motivation. Mr Oizo and Tone Loc are an unusual collaberation but it is somehow keeping me going.

Tuesday, 15 February 2011

I'm alive!

I woke up today. Alive! The eyes are less itchy and pink, the nose has stopped dripping, I'm still coughing up weird stuff but after 3 days of hell, I think I'm on the mend. Thank god.

My older brother came back to Hackney today which was great since we have hardly spent any time together, and we had a little trip to 'Violet', one of the coffee shop's I found the other day. It was very cute inside as I suspected (and also as I could see through their window), and the service was super, however, if I am being honest, the coffee and cakes weren't amazing. Sorry Violet. The brother had a flat white with an orange and polenta cake and I had a mocha and a brownie. I obviously drunk the coffee and ate the cake although I would only rate both 5 coffee beans out of a possible 10.

In the evening however, we took the brother out for a birthday meal as it's his birthday tomorrow and had a delicious old time. We went to Bistrotheque, which is a cool bar / restaurant / cabaret place hidden away in Hackney. I went there for the first time when it opened about 6 years ago and then totally forgot about it, but The Wig suggested going there this evening and it was a triumph. Good call Wig!

Unfortunately The Wig went to the wrong place to meet us...snigger.... (that will teach you to read your emails...), but when he did finally find us we had a nice drink in the bar downstairs then went to the restaurant upstairs and ate steak tartare, pig leg, fish and chips, pig cheeks, guinea fowl, lemon tart and various wines. Burp. The service was ok, but the atmosphere, setting and food was great. I would score it 8 trotters out of a possible 10. A definite Hare recommend.

To top the night off, when we got home, I cracked open a bottle of dessert wine which we bought last year when we were in Hunter Valley with my brother. I have been saving it for when my brother was here so we could drink it together. It was delicious, although I find most wine delicious to be honest... I had hoped at some point this evening to ask my brother a question either at the meal or over the dessert wine, but somehow the opportunity never arose. And I am a bit embarrassed. Maybe I'll ask him tomorrow...

Monday, 14 February 2011

Crappy Valentines Day.

Still coughing up non descript items, still feeling sorry for myself, still not left the house so no adventures to report. Other than a lovely card and flower form a Secret Admirer.

Just about to have a delicious dinner of spatchcocked poussin with roasted beetroot's and butternut squash followed by lemon cheesecake which I wont be able to taste because of poxy Hong Kong FLUEY! Another day ruined. One is not amused.