Sunday, 29 January 2012

Sprogbox

Apart from watching my belly button slowly disappear, which I am finding shocking frankly, there has been little to keep me occupied these last couple of weeks. Despite being confirmed to work in January, work has been slow so I have been able to stay at home. This would normally be great as it would mean I could pop out to the odd museum or go for an antique mooch or find somewhere for a nice cake. However, this damn painful girdle has meant I've been pretty much confined to the not so great indoors. (Have I mentioned my painful girdle? . . . ) Life currently feels a bit like being in Prison but with less activities and nicer food.  Or worse still, I have turned into James Stewart in 'Rear Window'.

"Right now, his world has shrunk down to the size of his window". You said it sister!

Rear Window Trailer, Alfred Hitchcock

So, thank God for the odd distraction which comes with living in a City. There always seems to be something going on in the street outside my front window. The other night I couldn't sleep so got up at 2am and watched the Police for an hour who were definitely up to something juicy in the house opposite. You don't have 2 x Police Vans, 20 Policemen/women and 3 x Plain Clothes Officers going in and out of a house for an hour at 2am for nothing. It was great! Like watching The Bill Live. I never got to the bottom of what was actually happening but at least it killed an hour of my time.

So you can imagine my absolute delight when I had my own mystery to solve on Friday evening. The house I live in is split into 4 flats and 3 of us share a front door. Over the last couple of years we have twice been victims of hallway theft and had several bikes stolen from under our noses. The first time was when I was having my bedroom ceiling soundproofed (not as seedy as it sounds, I don't sleep in a gimp cell, my upstairs neighbours have wooden floor boards) and the workmen left the front door open for someone to walk straight into the hallway in broad daylight to nick our bikes. Then some may recall more recently the bikes we had got to replace the bikes that got stolen, got stolen and replaced by a kitten one night (I know, weird) after someone went out and didn't close the front door. So it's a bit of a problem. One of my friends said to me once after I'd had my 3rd handbag stolen on a night out, that getting robbed in London was a 'London Tax' and you have to accept people are always going to burgle you. I don't know if this is true or not or if I'm just unlucky but whatever the reason, it is exceedingly irritating.

Anyway, back to Friday night. My downstairs neighbour needed some Visitor Parking tickets for the next morning and wondered if anyone had any spares he could borrow. I said that I had some he could use but rather than waddle down in the darkness to put them through his front door (he has his own front door and letterbox separate to us), I would put them in an envelope and leave them poking out of the letter box I share with the 2 other neighbours. Within 3 minutes of me doing this, I heard someone take the tickets from the letterbox and assumed it was him. (I heard this as my front room is next to the shared front door and can unfortunately hear everything that goes on in the hallway). Then, about 10 minutes later, the downstairs neighbour emailed again saying "Great, let me know when I can collect the tickets". "Hang on", I thought, "someone has taken them already. And if it wasn't him, who was it?". This sent me into a rage. Had we, yet again, been the victim of an crime? Had someone been watching me put the tickets in the letterbox? I thought I was the only loser on my road with nothing better to do than stare out the window for hours. Did I suddenly have competition? Was the watcher ie me, being watched? *Shudder*

I phoned the downstairs neighbour immediately and told him what had happened, the tickets had been nicked! I had some more he could have however, he should come up to get them from me incase the thief struck again. Just as he came up to the front door, one of the other neighbour's came back from the pub so I told him what had happened. And  the 3 of us devised a plan. I would set a Boobytrap! I would leave another envelope in the letter box as bait, open my window shutters then watch out of my side window to catch the robber in action! I knew all those afternoons watching "Murder She Wrote" on Gold would come in handy eventually.

So, that's what I did. I laid a trap.


The note I left on the back of the second envelope. Pretty succinct I think.


My side window giving a perfect view of the culprit.

To say this was the most thrilling thing to happen to me in a long while was a complete understatement. I was so pumped up with adrenaline I would have hopped around the front room if my pelvis would have allowed. Instead I had to be content with sitting in the front room with the lights off, armed with a torch (to shine in their face through the window as a surprise form of attack/torture) and my camera (to get a photo of them for the Police).

So, I sat and waited. And waited a bit more. All in all, I waited almost in an hour. I needed the loo but there was no way I was going to leave my position and miss the burgler in action. Wee's, I decided, are for wimps. Then I got hungry. It was dinner time by now and The Wig was at the pub, so there was no chance of any food until I'd caught the criminal. My flat is by no means large, but as I can only move around at a snails pace at the moment it would have taken me far too long to waddle to the kitchen and back to grab the Snickers I knew was hidden from The Wig in the cheese drawer of the fridge.

However, while still siting in darkness I noticed on my Blackberry that I had received an email.  I thought I better open it and it turned out it was from the neighbour in the 4th Flat.

"Hi, I saw the 'For Flat A' envelope in our letterbox a while ago and took it down and posted it in his own mail box on the side of the wall. Hope that's ok. I just saw the second envelope in our front door and thought I best say something, haha! X"

Ha ha indeed . . . Mystery solved, all in a days time killing. Step aside Sherlock. . .

Another thing which is sort of keeping me from going insane (apart from solving crimes) is the post that I am currently receiving. Yesterday, The Wig and I had a parcel to collect from the Post Office and we had no idea what it was. I am due another Glossybox delivery soon (January's box) but I think that isn't due until next week. So after queueing up in the PO Sorting Office for nearly half an hour, I came home with the following package...




...from my brother in Australia! What a good and generous egg he is, and what a great idea for a gift!

I'd never heard of 'Sprogbox' before but I'm sure I'll be ordering from it myself at some point soon (we have 11 friends all having babies in the next 4 months). You can order gifts for a baby, or for a mum or for a dad! They have a really wide range of clothes, books, toiletries etc for all things maternity/birth related so its definitely worth checking out if you need to send a gift. Particularly if like me you are pelvically challenged and unable to leave the house and go to a shop.


Happy Browsing! xx 

Friday, 27 January 2012

A week of firsts.

When I was growing up, I remember my father often saying to me "I was brought up by Victorians you know!". He used to say this to me by way of an explanation as to why we often didn't understand each other. He was 39 when I was born ("I was made redundant the day you arrived!" was another of his catchphrases. This was used when confirming that the signs of me being a bad egg had been clear from day 1), which was relatively old to be a dad in the mid 70's. So as an older single father, he must have found bringing up a girl child a totally alien concept to him. Almost as alien as I found the experience of being brought up by someone who kept telling me he was brought by Victorians.


My Father's Maternal Grandparents, William and Selina Parry.
My Father's mother (my Grandmother) is the little girl on the left hand side.


My Father's Paternal Grandparents, William and Lillian* Trustrum.
*Lillian wasn't his real Grandmother, William had been married first of all to Lillian's sister Beatrice and they had 6 children together.  However, when Beatrice died in 1932, he married his sister in law Lillian! Scandal!

He wasn't really brought up by Victorians, he meant that, as a child, he spent a lot of time with his Grandparents, who were from the Victorian era, and that was maybe why some of his way's of looking at things were rather old fashioned for the futuristic world that was the 1980's. For example, bread and dripping sandwiches for tea after a roast dinner on a Sunday (I will NEVER make the bump eat these, not even as a punishment), if you had a cold you would get smothered in a thick layer of Vicks Vapour rub then had a vest stuck on top, my older brother once got told off for being in my bedroom while only wearing a pair of shorts (indecent) don't use too much loo roll, that sort of thing. The thing is, I understand why he was like that, he grew up on an almost different planet to me and there were obviously lots of great things about my Dad, but you have to understand, as a young girl, growing up in an all male household with a fairly eccentric father some of the things that all girls go through while growing up were made much harder by the divide between us. Things like obtaining your first bra for example.

My best friend at Primary School was a girl called Nicola. She was very tall, tanned, had jet black hair and a vicious looking inch long scar next to her left eye. (Her older sister had accidentally hit her round the face with a golf club when she was 2). She joined our little village school slightly later than the rest of us as she had been living in Kenya for the first few years of her life and stuck out like a sore thumb among the rest of us small and weedy 5 year old locals when she arrived at the school . I have no idea how her family ended up in the tiny village of Kelvedon Hatch, but nevertheless they did and the first time I ever clapped eyes on this swarthy Amazonian was on her first day as she tried to break Celia Petrie's arm in the school playground. Needless to say, I found her completely mesmerising and knew there was only one side to be on as far as a bully is concerned and that is not the side that gets it's arm put in a half nelson. So Nicola and I became pals. I say pals but I was always a bit in fear of her and her family thinking about it now. I was mostly in fear of their dog though which was an insane Dalmatian, imaginatively called Spot that never got taken for walks. They kept it in a tiny paved side area of their garden and every few weeks, in a desperate bid for freedom, it would jump the 6ft high fence and we would have to chase it round the village trying to capture it. I dreaded these times as the dog terrified the living crap out of me, but neither Nicola nor her family responded well to fear so I had no choice but to run around after the thing for hours at a time.

Anyway, one day when I was about 11 or 12, the subject of bra's got raised by Nicola. Apparently I needed one, but being a self conscious type of person I was rather hoping no one had noticed or at least have the manners not to mention it. However, Nicola didn't care much for people's feelings so insisted we take a trip to BHS in Romford on the train to buy me a bra. It was the most excruciating shopping trip I had ever been on. What size should I get? What colour? What material? I had no idea other than I knew I needed to get in and out of the underwear department as soon as I could. So I didn't get measured I just picked up the nearest bra to me and we ended up with a pale pink silky thing in a size 34A. And I am rather embarrassed to say that I was wearing a 34A until about 2 years ago. Basically I've probably been wearing the wrong size bra my whole life. Although not the same actual bra I would like to add. I only bought bigger sizes fairly recently as I couldn't stand The Wig laughing at me every time I took my top off.

However, yesterday I could not put off being fitted for a bra any longer. My new expanding chest would not allow it. So I bravely went to M+S on Oxford Street and got measured by Joan, for my first ever bra fitting. To say I was shocked by the size she said I was is an understatement. I actually thought she was taking the piss and laughed in her face  when she told me what size I needed to buy. I'm still not sure she wasn't taking the piss or blind as the bras really are ridiculous (The Wig and I can wear them as jaunty head gear when the chest deflates again) but at least I can finally cross off the list of things to do before I die "Have your first bra fitting". Well done me.

The second first that has occurred over the last few days is that an engineer we had booked to fit our new oven, actually turned up on time. And fitted the oven with no problems! Amazing. So if anyone ever needs a good reliable oven fitter, let me know. The only downside being that he did use the toilet, twice, but it was only for a number 1 as I listened at the door. Although, to confirm, I don't do this when friends come round. I don't want anyone to get scared.

Then on Tuesday I had my first cry down the phone of the year to the hospital. It was a cry of frustration and pain that I had tried to hold back, but alas, my pelvis would not allow. A rather nasty symptom of this pregnancy that I seem to have developed is PGP, or to give it it's amusing name in full, Pelvic Girdle Pain. The only way I can describe what it feels like would be that it's like being hit with a baseball bat betwixt the legs. Horrid. It seems to get worse when I walk around so I have developed a rather slow and ungainly waddle when I leave the house. A bit of Googling has led me to believe that it's fairly common but quite hard to treat without seeing a Physio or Osteopath. I HATE going to the Doctors or Hospital as I can't stand the attention/the probing/the questions and will always put it off for as long as possible. I had Pleurisy once and didn't know for a week as I refused to go to the Doctor. But this week the pain got so bad I had to concede defeat to the NHS which turned out as frustrating as I thought it might.

Monday
Me: Hello, the midwife said to call you as I have a pain in my pelvis and I want to come to your PGP Class on Thursday.
Voice on Phone: Ok.
Me: The leaflet she gave me said I need to be referred by a Dr or I can just put my name down with you, is that correct.
Voice on Phone: No.
Me: Ok. What shall I do then?
Voice on Phone: Just turn up to the Physio Ward at 2pm on Thursday and you can come in.
Me: Great! Thank you so much, see you then.
Voice on Phone: Yep. (*Click*)

Tuesday
Me: Hello. I'm sorry to bother you but I'm having real trouble walking and want to know if what I think is wrong with me, is actually what is wrong with me.
Maternity Helpline: Yes.
Me: I think I have PGP, walking is agony and it's starting to get me down. I fell like I've been hit with a baseball bat in the nether regions.
Maternity Helpline: Yes, that sounds like it. It's rather early for you to be having pains like that though so you need to see someone. It can be quite serious, you could end up on crutches.
Me: (*Snort!*) Crutches?! Jesus. Ok, well I'm going to the PGP class on Thursday.
Maternity Helpline: Who referred you?
Me: No one. I was told to just turn up.
Maternity Helpline: Really? Oh. They told us everyone had to be referred.
Me: What shall I do then? I don't want to waddle all the way to the hospital then not get in.
Maternity Helpline: If they told you to turn up, just turn up. I'm sure it will be fine.
Me: Ok, thank you.
Maternity Helpline: Good Luck! (*Click*)

Wednesday
Me: Hello, I wonder if you can help me as I'm getting mixed messages. I think I have PGP and would like to come to the class tomorrow and want to check that's ok before I make the journey to the hospital
PGP Hotline: Have you been referred?
Me: No, I was told on Monday that I should just turn up.
PGP Helpline: You can't.
Me: Pardon...
PGP Helpline: We are fully booked for tomorrow.
Me: But I was told on the phone I could just turn up?!
PGP Helpline: I don't know who told you that.
Me: (Starting to get stinging eyes) Your colleague. On the phone. On Monday.
PGP Helpline: I'm sorry, but that's not correct information. I can put you on the list for next week though?
Me: (*Sniff*)
PGP Helpline: Hello...?
Me: (*Sob*)...Ok....thank you...yes please.
PGP Helpline: Are you ok?
Me: No...I have to go now. Goodbye (*Waaaaaaaahhhhh*)

So another humiliation on the road towards the baby. Not only can't I walk properly, I have to wait another week until I get to see someone professional about it. I'll probably be crawling around on all fours by then just to make the humiliation extra humiliating.

Bravo for The Wig though, he has been very good at putting up with all my moaning this week and even ordered me a special fat lady pillow which I used for the first time last night.


Banana for scale. It didn't come free with the pillow.
This pillow is huge. You basically lay inside it and spoon it. I'm going to stick a picture of John Torode's face on it and practice kissing. I have a bit of a crush on him at the moment.

I think it will be very useful and it certainly is comfy however, being made of man made fibres it did get rather clammy in the night and I found it on the floor when I woke up this morning, but its definitely worth persevering with. At this moment in time, I don't really have that many options.

And last but not least, to top off a week of firsts, I learnt to knit! Sort of. I haven't done any knitting since I was a kid and certainly never knew how to cast on or change colours of wool, but good old Youtube finally came in handy for something this week and showed me how its done.



The Wig had very kindly bought me a knitting kit at Chrimbo which I  thought would be destined for a life at the back of the wardrobe, however, to take my mind off the agony of simply moving around I decided to crack it open to learn how to knit a scarf. I didn't quite get the measurements right and don't think I'll now have enough wool for a scarf, so it might have to be some sort of stripey blanket for the baby, but whatever it is, I am really pleased. I'm onto the second ball of wool already and I've only been knitting for 24 hours!

So all in all, a pretty tumultuous week but I'm still here to tell the tale, which is always a bonus. I shall look forward to updating you on the knitting as the stripy rectangle gets bigger.

Happy Weekends one and all xx

Monday, 23 January 2012

Glossybox

I'm pretty sure that at least 2 people have said to me in the last year or so "It's not expensive to have a baby. They don't really cost much until they go to school". However, this is turning out to be a bit of a massive lie. On Friday, to be organised, I thought I would devise an Excel Spreadsheet listing what we need to buy in preparation for the Baby Hare's arrival. I thought that since we are limited for space I would only go for absolute essentials. However, once you have bought the car seat (apparently the hospital wont let you take the baby home without having one), the buggy (apparently you have to take the baby outside for Vitamin D, it cant get Vitamin D from the glare off the telly), some sort of bed (it can't sleep on the floor), drawers (for it to put it's things in), bottles and sterilising stuff (in case it doesn't take to the highly nutritious free boob I'll be offering it) that's quite a lot of dough right there! Just on essentials! This doesn't even taken into account the optional items of Baby Carrier, Baby Bouncing Chair, Changing Table, Bathing stuff and Bath, Clothes, Monitor, Breast Pump (sweet jesus) etc etc etc. Although I guess bathing stuff and clothes should really be on the essential list too. Regardless, the list is endless.

So after I did the 'Excel Spreadsheet of Essential Items' I did another spreadsheet to budget for my new life as a non-working person. To say it was a shock is an understatement. I have had a job since I was 13 years old (which thinking about it now, was probably illegal), then when I left home at 18 I worked in a clothes Shop to pay for my University education and have worked in Advertising ever since. So the thought of not working is rather alien to me. Or more specificially, the thought of not earning my own money is rather alien to me, and since I'm now freelance I wont get any juicy maternity pay from an Employer. Bum. However, my new budget is not an impossibility it just means serious cutbacks. I'll probably be too tired to go anywhere / do anything / buy anything anyway until Baby Hare goes to school so I'm sure it will all work out. There's a very strong chance I'll be turning totally feral in May.

Despite the cutbacks though, one 'New Entry' treat has managed to sneak its way onto the spreadsheet, and that's the monthly 'Glossybox'. (No, this is not a euphemism). I read about Glossybox last week on one of the many spam emails I seem to receive every waking hour and while I don't usually sign up for anything I find in my spam, this seemed like a very good idea indeed.

You pay a monthly subscription fee of £10 (plus £2.95 postage) then each month you receive a box of cosmetics / toiletries to try out along with a money off voucher if you decide to buy any of the products It's all beautifully packaged and you don't need to waddle around the shops to get them! It gets delivered to straight to your door! The other great thing is that you can cancel your subscription at any time, you don't need to commit to a lengthy time frame, you can cancel it whenever you want to. You could, if you were a good friend, buy a 6 month subscription for someone as a gift. Or you could be a selfish old hag like me and just get it for yourself.

My first box arrived this morning and I don't think I could have been any happier, mainly because Glossybox combines two of my most favourite things:

1.) Post - I LOVE receiving it.
2.) Smellies - I LOVE them.


The Glossybox arrives.


The Glossybox within a box. I had sweaty palms by this stage.


Ribbon?! AND a sticker?! Oh. My. God. This is the best post ever!


Products! And not small either! I had a feeling that maybe the items would be sample sized, but I was wrong.

My box contained:

1 x Full size Blink + Go High Definition Mascara. Great timing as I'm about to run out of my current mascara.

1 x Smallish size Cargo Lip Gloss. This is probably my least favourite item as I don't really use lip gloss but I'll definitely be giving it a try.

1 x Medium size Deborah Lipmann Party Glitter Nail Varnish + a Nail Varnish Remover Mitt. The Remover was incredible, it got my old varnish off in a second, and the varnish gives a really even coverage. Hang on this sounds like an advert...its not. I'm just saying it was good.

1 x Small pot of MeMeMe Moisturising Facebase to go under your make up to even out the skin tones. This smells DELICIOUS and goes on a treat.

1 x Full size Rituals Mandarin + Mint Foaming Shower Gel. Again lovely smell although I haven't used it yet.

The Mascara and Shower Gel alone would cost you over £20 if you bought them from a shop so I definitely think its pretty good value. In this particular box I'm not familiar with any of the brands apart from Rituals, but I think that's the point. You can try and hopefully buy, products you wouldn't usually use. According to the website you get completely varied items each month and they do sometimes contain the more well known brands such as Abhana, Dermalogica, L'Oreal, Stila and Yves Saint Laurent!

So although the cutbacks are in place and we have lots of 'essential's to buy, I don't think £10 a month to spend on oneself is too awful and if all the beautifying items makes me look less haggard then The Wig will be benefiting too. Everyone's a winner.


Wednesday, 18 January 2012

Cow Casserole

If you do a Google search for the 'Most Depressing Place on Earth', it seems to be a toss up between the capital of Papua New Guinea and Baghdad. I however, beg to differ. The people who did the research into depressing places obviously have never visited my local Doctors Surgery.


The attention to detail on this sign really is second to none. I particularly like the information of afternoon opening times and the Emergency Telephone number. We lost 0181 numbers in the year 2000, 12 years ago. Let's hope I never have an emergency. 

I had the misfortune of going there this morning and it was so stressful I thought I was going to combust in the waiting room. Not only do you feel like you will come out significantly sicker than when you went in, you also feel like you could get embroiled into a fight at any moment. Todays stress inducing incident's involved a pair of screaming toddlers, a mother and daughter duo bullying the receptionist ("Come and get us when its our turn, we'll be outside having a fag" "But your name comes up on the screen when its your turn"' "What if I've got bad eyes and can't see the screen?", "Have you got bad eyes?", "No. Just come and get us") and a man on crutches pushing a young woman out of the line in the queue to check in. I didn't hang around long enough to hear the full gory details of what the woman was going to do to the man if she ever saw him again but needless to say he would need more than crutches when her and her mates had finished with him. Depressing. And very tense.

I know that no one goes to the Doctors for a good time but this place really takes the biscuit. I'm not blaming the people that work at the Surgery as they are just trying to do their jobs, but the place really does seem to attract the most unsavory characters. Its infinitely worse than the bar in Star Wars and the people are far more terrifying.

The week hasn't been all bad though, my dear old friend Daniel came round for dinner with some rather lovely blooms. What a nice young man. It's definitely worth getting split in half in May for all the flowers I've been getting lately.


Anyway, to celebrate the fact that Daniel, The Wig and I have all been doing so well at being Vegetarian' s this year (*cough*) we treated ourselves to a delicious Organic Cow Casserole with dumplings. This is VERY easy to make and great if you have people round for dinner as you can prepare it all before they arrive. It's also good to give people / kids who are a bit funny about vegetables as the longer you cook it, the more the vegetables disintegrate and they wont even know they are eating them! Crafty eh? I think you can buy packet mixes for this type of casserole but there really is no point, also they are probably packed with tonnes of salt and E numbers.

To make Cow Casserole with dumplings for 3 hungry vegetarians.


Shopping List:
Olive Oil
1 x pack of good quality diced beef
1 x Small Onion
1 x Garlic Clove
1 x Carrot
1 x Large Potato
1 x Large Mushroom
Salt + Pepper
500ml Beef Stock
1 x Glass of Red Wine
1 x Splash of Worcester Sauce
Dried mixed herbs
4oz Self Raising Flour
2 oz Atora Suet
Cold water


* Heat a little oil in a big pan, then add a finely chopped onion and a crushed garlic clove and soften.
* After a few minutes add a finely chopped carrot, and a large diced potato cook on a  low heat for 5 minutes.
(You could also add a chopped celery stick and / or leek here if you wanted to).
* Next chop up a large mushroom and add to the pan.
* Once the mushroom pieces have also softened remove everything from the pan and set aside.
* Add some more oil to the pan and sling in the diced beef, get the best you can stretch too.
* Brown the meat then once this is done return the softened vegetables to the pan and season.
* Pour in 500ml of Beef stock, one glass of red wine, a big splash of Worcester Sauce and some dried      herbs.
* Bring to a simmer, cover and leave for 1 hour and 10 minutes.
* While this is happening, mix 4oz of Self Raising Flour, with 2oz of Suet, a pinch of salt, some dried herbs and a splash water to make a dough.
* After 1 hour and 10 minutes separate the dough into equal balls and plop into the casserole for 20 minutes. Make sure you put the pan lid back on.
* After the dumplings have risen, serve the casserole and eat! We had it with peas and broccoli. Delicious.



(Terrible photos again... must try harder next time. It really was delicious despite the horrid pictures).

Monday, 16 January 2012

The Miserables

About 6 months ago I was on a shoot with my dear friend Peggy and we decided what a treat it would be to go to the theatre to see Les Miserables. Peggy was my first friend in the Advertising Industry when I got a job in a Production Company in Soho, and we have been friends ever since. Neither of us had ever seen Les Miserables despite walking past the theatre it's at for many years so we thought this would be a good option. Therefore, it was decided that Peggy and his wife (Mrs Peggy), The Wig, Me and another friend, Mrs Mole, would go together.  So finally, after a long wait and several hundred emails back and forth between us trying to organise a date, on Saturday night, we all went up West and took in a show. Incidentally, Mr Mole had declined the invitation saying he had previously seen the show and once was quite enough. At the time, I remember thinking what a silly old  grinch Mr Mole was but after approximately 17 seconds of the first half, I knew precisely what he meant.


Les Miserables, The Queens Theatre, London, W1


Les Mis, to give it it's shortened name, is a very famous and long running production based on the novel by Victor Hugo, a French Poet, playwright, novelist, essayist, visual artiststatesman  and exponent of the Romantic movement in France. Wow! What a busy guy! Other than that, none of us knew anything about the story which we decided would make it a more enjoyable spectacle. Luckily its quite an easy story to follow but what was much harder to cope with was the fact that everything was sung. There was no talking. Only singing. This might seem obvious to most people but it was not obvious to me when I booked the £65.00 (plus the £2.50 option to change the date if necessary) ticket fee. And this type of performance is definitely an acquired taste.


The first half was 90 minutes long, which seemed like a very long time to wait for an ice cream, but the second half turned out to be much more painful. Not only did we have to contend with numb bum cheeks (the seats were rather lacking in the padding department), we also had to listen to someone humming along to the music in the row behind (this produced the first round of giggling between The Wig and Mrs Mole into), but worst of all was the relentless hacking cough of the teenager sitting 3 seats to the left of me.


One of my many faults is my lack of sympathy for ill people, but this alongside another of my faults (extreme intolerance) makes for a nasty combination. This kid could have been coughing up a lung for all I knew, it certainly sounded like it, but if he was that ill he really should have got up and left the theatre. Or just stayed at home and looked up boobs on the Internet or whatever it is teenage boys do. I mean, how selfish can you get, spluttering all through a musical. It was relentless and no amount of perfectly aimed stink eye's and tuts from me made any difference. He didn't move from his seat, but just sat hacking away. It was revolting. Rather like sitting in a TB riddled pit I'd imagine. The Wig could sense my anger silently bubbling away, which he seemed to find somewhat amusing. But it wasn't until the sneezing fits started to the other side of us that The Wig finally exploded. Or he would have exploded had we not been in a theatre watching one of the characters sing their way through a very moving dying scene. Since he couldn't laugh out loud, The Wig had to keep it in, which produced a strange snuffling noise (like a choking pug) and some quite disturbing shoulder movements. But worse of all was the sweats. He was literally sweating the laughter out of his forehead like a sprinkler. Then the sight of him set me off, but because I too had to keep it in, I started crying uncontrollably. And couldn't stop. It was the most painful and embarrassing experience I've had in a long time. And the singing carried on and for what seemed like an eternity. 


I don't want this to sound like I didn't have a good time. I had a really good time, it just wasn't what I was expecting and was rather a lot of money to pay to get a stitch from suppressed laughter (and possibly contracting TB from a germ infested teenager), but it certainly wont put me off going to the theatre again. I'll just see something less 'singy' next time. It feels a bit mean for me to give a score to something like this as the theatre was lovely, the performance's were great, the costumes and scenery were all good, it just wasn't my cup of tea really, but you never know unless you try.  The Wig however scored it on the way home, giving Les Miserables 6 French Revolutions  out of a possible 10.  The low score was mainly due to his disappointment at realising that SuBo wasn't going to be in it singing 'I Dreamed a Dream'. So, I think if you love Musicals, you will really enjoy this, but if you don't love musicals, go and see The Woman in Black. Or stay at home and look at boobs on the internet.



Sunday, 15 January 2012

The Yoga Place

I don't know why, but it seems in life, if you are ever in a hurry to get somewhere, something will always get in the way to slow you down. If you are using the tube, it's usually someone with a hangover pulling the alarm and bringing the Central line to a halt. If you are on a bus, it's usually a passenger having a  row with the driver who then refuses to move the bus until the offending passenger has removed themselves from said bus. If you are on foot its usually the most irritating of all obstacles. A slow mover trying to walk and text on their phone simultaneously while completely blocking the pavement. And yesterday morning, while we were in the car, the something in my way was this milk float.




I have lived in London for almost 16 years and I don't think I have ever seen a milk float before. People in London go to the corner shop for milk. Or get it delivered in a Van by Ocado, usually driven by someone called Tim in the 'Onion' Van or Clive in the 'Sprout'. However, the one morning that I plucked up the courage to try a spot of Pregnancy Yoga, a thick frost had appeared all over the car which took an age to scrape off with my Lucky Voice Karaoke Membership Card. And when we finally got on the road, we got stuck behind the milk man who of course, was going exactly the same way as us. I half expected him to drive all the way to the Yoga Place and end up being the teacher of the class, but thankfully, we managed to over take him by London Fields. Yay! We overtook something! We never overtake anything.

So by the time I finally got to my destination, I was the most unrelaxed I have been in weeks. I hate being late, particularly if I am going somewhere new for the first time and particularly if I am to be doing something that terrifies me. There's no doubt that Yoga is good for you, physically and mentally, it's just that me and 'physical' pursuits don't really have a good track record. When I was very little I used to go to a dancing school which I loved.


Me in one of my snazzy dance school costumes. I vividly remember this day in 1981 as my dad drove me to a poppy field next to the M25 to take pictures for a Kodak photography Competition. 
He came 2nd. I think it was the jaunty bonnet that won it for us.

The Dance School was called the 'San-Marie Stage School' which sounds much grander than it was. We used to do our end of year shows at Warley Mental Hospital for all the patients, but I still loved it and one can't deny that it was good exercise. However, after my parents split up my trips to the school stopped, it wasn't really a priority, and that was pretty much when my interest in any form of physical exercise died. I actually met my best friend of the last 22 years at Secondary School whilst we were bunking off of a Cross Country lesson by hiding in adjoining shower cubicles.

But its not all about me anymore is it? Hence my getting up early yesterday morning, donning my best comfy clothes and getting very stressed behind a milk float on the way to Bethnal Green. I can't deny I was very anxious but I think its only natural to feel like that when trying something new.  Would I be wearing the right clothes? Would I need any special equipment? Would everyone know each other other already and be friends then all stare at me or pick on me or laugh at me as the new girl? Or my greatest fear of all, would I fart in front of everyone? I've heard this can happen during Yoga. However, I needn't have worried. I really enjoyed it!



Despite being on a pretty grotty stretch of road and having the sort of stairway behind this orange door that you might find an axe murderer standing at the top of, it was a very pleasant experience. The staff at The Yoga Place were very friendly and reassuring ( I think they could smell my fear) and the teacher of the class was lovely. As I was a bit late the only spot I could find was front row (cringe) in the corner, next to the slightly strange smelling yoga mats. I'm a very self conscious sort of person so the front row was really not ideal but I had no choice. There was at least 20 of us at varying stages of the 2nd trimester (months 4, 5 and 6) and it was impossible to tell how far along everyone was. Some of the ladies just looked like they had eaten a rather large portion of Bolognese whereas others ie me just looked tubby. I've been hiding my bump quite well so far but there's no where to hide in lycra and I felt very exposed. Was everyone judging my bump? Was I fatter than I should be at 5 months? I have no idea.  

Anyway, it cost £12.50 for an hour and half and the lesson comprised of gentle stretches to start, with some deep breathing and humming. At this point I thought some of the ladies night actually be in labour due to the level of noise they were emitting but I think this just meant they were relaxed and less self conscious than me. The breathing was followed by more rigorous stretching including my favorite move 'The Penguin Walk', finally finishing with 20 minutes of relaxation. The relaxation period precisely translates as 20 minutes of laying on the floor, with a pillow AND a blanket while the teacher talked you through relaxing your body from top to toe. She also started singing at one point. It was the most fun I've had on a Saturday morning for a very long time. Next week I am definitely going to get there early and hide at the back though. Only time will tell if its a useful thing to do but I think there's nothing to lose by giving it a go, particularly since one third of the lesson is spent asleep which is one of my all time top favorite things to do.

Friday, 13 January 2012

'Marilyn', Andre de Dienes

Despite me currently trying not to buy so many books (no more bookshelves left and quite frankly better things I could be spending my money on at the moment), I treated myself last week to a Taschen Box Set about Marilyn Monroe. I love books and one day hope to have a room just for all my books. In other words, a library. I definitely have too many books but can't seem to part with a single one of them. I have books that my grandparents bought me when I was a child, books that I bought to help me write my dissertation about Batman (I know I'll never read those again), Travel books, Interior Design books, Autobiographies, Biographies, Film Books, Art Books, books that I inherited after my father passed away that have been in our family for almost a century. To me they are part of my history and after photographs probably the next thing I would save in a fire. So in a nutshell, I really really love books.  And my new Taschen book is my new favorite.

It finally arrived yesterday (thanks Amazon) and at £17.49 was an absolute bargain. I justified the purchase by telling myself that it was 50p cheaper than the bottle of delicious Chardonnay that I wont be guzzling tonight so it sort of cancelled itself out. 'Marilyn' by Andre de Dienes comprises two books in a box, one a photography book and the other memoirs by de Dienes of his relationship with Marilyn.


'Marilyn', Andre de Dienes.


The memoirs book, presented as they were typed by de Dienes on his typewriter and containing some of the photos he describes along with other artifacts.

I can't profess to being a huge Marilyn fan but I did read one of my favorite books of all time a few years back, 'The Assassination of Marilyn Monroe' by Donald Wolfe. It's based on events surrounding her death, some people might call it a conspiracy theory, but by the end of the book I was totally convinced by it. It's a pretty chunky tome, but I remember reading it in a week and not being able to put it down, it was a real gripper! Most people are familiar with the theory that the Kennedy's had something to do with her demise but this book, in my opinion, seemed to prove it. As with most books about Marilyn it left you feeling really sad but this book is something quite different.

'Marilyn' is essentially a love story as the memoirs part is all about de Diens first meeting with the 19 year old Norma Jeane Baker and the first photography trip he took her on, her first paid trip as a model. He immediately fell in love with her and seemed to be in love with her for his entire life. He loved her before she was the most famous woman on the planet and before her struggle with prescription medication and alcohol. He fell in love with an innocent, carefree young girl, full of life and full of hope for her future. Its fascinating to get a glimpse of her like this rather than the exploited tragedy that she became.

I'd never heard of Andre de Dienes before I saw this book but it turns out that he is a bit of a photography legend. He grew up in Transylvania but at the age of 15, after the suicide of his mother (she threw herself down a well), he left his native country and travelled to Europe alone, mostly on foot! After finding himself in Tunisia, he bought his first camera  and began taking the photos that would change his life. After some time spent in Paris selling his photographs to the Associated Press Agency, he moved to New York and began work for Esquire, Vogue and Life. On his time off he travelled the country photographing the native Hopi, Navajo and Apache Indians. For many of the Indians this was their first encounter with a camera and some of the photos he took on these personal trips have been hugely overlooked as a record of American history. 

In the 1940's he broke away from fashion photography, moved to Hollywood and began to concentrate on his true passion. Nature and nudes! The rascal. While focusing on his private passion he freelanced for many of the Hollywood Studios and photographed some of the most famous film stars of the day (Brando, Tayor, Fonda, Astaire, Bergman etc etc). However it was while searching for a young model to photograph (hopefully nude) on a road trip he had planned that he found the aspiring Norma Jeane through a model agency. So, after 5 weeks driving through some of California's most stunning landscapes together, he not only returned home with some of the most beautiful photographs I have seen of Marilyn Monroe, but he also fell into a deep love that was to last his lifetime. 

All photographs by Andre de Dienes.
These 2 photographs were taken on the first road trip.





These photographs were taken at a slightly later date on another trip they took together. Note her hair has now changed to the blonde that was to become one of her trademarks.


This is my favorite picture from the book. 


These 2 photographs were taken at a later date still and show a more abstract direction from de Dienes, yet still drawing on his passion for nature.



Anyway a great book for anyone with an interest in Marilyn Monroe, Andre de Dienes, photography or just another book worm.



Thursday, 12 January 2012

"The Iron Lady"

When you can't do all the normal things that you used to do like, going to pubs, smoking the odd growler, occasionally chowing down on a dirty Noodle Express from the top of the road, it doesn't leave one many options to occupy ones time. So thank goodness again for the new cinema. I love films, having studied Film at Brunel University (*cough*), but even I have never been to the cinema 3 times in 3 weeks before. Until now.

Last night The Wig and I trotted back up to Mare Street to the Hackney Picture House, and what a juicy trip it turned out to be! Not only did we see our first celebrity of the year, Rupert Friend, (Google him) we also discovered that Michael Fassbender (might need to Google him too) is going to be there in a week or two for a Q+A session AND we got to watch "The Iron Lady".

I'd been really looking forward to seeing this film and it was great watching it from a lovely soft reclining seat, especially with my strides being a bit tight these days. Having grown up during the Thatcher era I was fascinated to learn a bit more about her from an adults perspective. I mean 'adult' in the loosest possible way. The film was based around Thatcher's struggle to deal with the death of her husband, Denis (magnificently played by Jim Broadbent) and comprised a mixture of imagined conversations with him and flashbacks of her life before and during her time as Prime Minister of the UK.

The Iron Lady Trailer

The late 70's and majority of the 80's was a pretty hectic time to say the least for British Politics. I must have watched a lot of John Cravens Newsround as a kid as I recalled all of the footage the film used in its flashback sequences (the Miners Strikes, Poll Tax Riots, The Brighton Bombing, the IRA bombings, The Falklands War). They certainly dealt with rioters differently in those days! To say it was brutal would be somewhat of an understatement I think. It's often easy to look back at the past through rose tinted spectacles but those were pretty dark days, and even though times are tough now, I think they were a lot tougher for a lot of the country back then. Although I did used to enjoy the odd power cut every now and then.

Not only were the performances marvelous and totally believable, the hair and make up was outstanding and the film takes you through a whole range of emotions. Parts of it are very funny, other parts are shocking and other parts were so moving I cried like a big damn baby. Since its not solely about Politics, but also Thatchers deterioration into old age, I still feel that I don't know much about her policies etc but I left the Cinema thinking that I definitely want to read more about her. Even if you don't agree with how she ran the country for eleven and a half years I think you have to admit that she is an amazing woman, I'm not sure if inspiration is the right word but definitely someone to be admired for her ambition and tenacity.

I was thinking about her again this morning and growing up in an environment where traditional gender roles were a bit mixed up must have had an effect on those of us who grew up in that era without us even realising it. The head of the Monarchy was and still is female, we had a female Prime Minister. Not to mention that fact that I was brought up by a male, in a male household which at the time was very unusual, particularly in the village where I grew up. I have never felt that my gender would be a reason for me not to do something or that I wouldn't have the same opportunities as the boys. I know this is a very lucky position to be in when so many women still live in a world where they are persecuted for just being female.  So despite all the political unrest perhaps growing up in the Thatcher years wasn't such a bad thing after all and perhaps I should be thankful to her in some small part for the way that I see the world in terms of being a girl.

And thats why I never talk about Politics. I don't really have a clue what I'm talking about. However, I know about March Hare ratings and I am going to rate this film 10 handbags out of a possible 10! I know thats a very high score indeed, but I really did enjoy this film particularly as I am still thinking about it today. The Wig however, only gave it 7 out of a possible 10 handbags. Not enough robots in it for him.

It's not all about the Cinema over in E8 at the moment though. Other, more productive pursuits are being under taken, more specifically 'Operation Baby Corner'. Until we can move, the baby will need to live in the corner of our bedroom so over the last few days we have been considering the (limited) options available.  We didn't really want to go too far down the line with buying too many things yet but we are already over the half way mark and really do need to start making decisions. I don't want to leave it until the last minute but I also didn't want to jinx anything. Its a very tricky business it seems!

Nevertheless, a change is gonna come, and its coming in the form of a new carpet to cover the lovely floorboards (sob). We have also ordered a chest of drawers as it takes 2 months to be made and are in the process of deciding what needs to be put into storage. Sadly it seems that a lot of my very important and essential things need to go . . .


Baby Corner Before.

Carpet to be fitted.
Desk, Chair, book and bookshelf to go into storage.
New chest of drawers to go into fireplace.
Bed to be moved over.
Crib to be bought and put in corner.


Lead toy collection to go into storage. I don't think lead is very good for modern babies. 


Goodbye Old Pelham Puppet. I shall miss you.


Adios Stationary kit. All correspondence will have to be shop bought from now on.


See you around Dressmakers dummy we found in the street 8 years ago. Yes, in the street. I'll miss the way I used to load you up with necklaces that I never wore.  Although the hats do come in handy on holidays.

I'm very much looking forward to the 'Baby Corner After' as I too am struggling too see how we are all going to fit in, but I do like a challenge and this is certainly going to be one of those. 

Monday, 9 January 2012

A look through The Jelly Window.

After the Meatfest that was Christmas 2011, The Wig and I have decided to be Semi-Vegetarians. I don't think 'Semi-Vegatarian' is an actual dietary term but what it means, in our house at least, is meat maybe once a week rather than almost every day. Not only do we think this will be better for our health, it will also be a lot cheaper. So far we have eaten some really delicious food and not missed meat at all. However, we did succumb to a delicious roast dinner yesterday when we visited The Wig's parents in Sussex.





We took his folks to The Bolney Stage, a pub that serves food in the village of Bolney, Sussex. It was quite off the beaten track which made it a nice change from hectic Hackney. The building dates from the 1500's and is a chock full of old beams and period features such as a huge open fireplace that divides the bar from one of the dining rooms. It was absolutely packed for Sunday lunch (a great sign) so I would suggest booking ahead if you were thinking of going. The staff were very friendly although perhaps run a bit ragged by the amount of customers they had (we had to ask to order our mains and then again for desserts) but that would be my only criticism. And I always have to have at least one.

The pictures I took were so awful I have decided not to post them as I fear they may have put The Bolney Stage out of business, which it does not deserve. The food was delicious. I had the roast beef followed by the sticky toffee pudding then felt fit to burst all the way home. Not a particularly pleasant  feeling but well worth the pain. I would rate The Bolney Stage a respectable 8 Yorkshire Puddings out of a possible 10. Definitely worth a visit.

Then this morning we had our second scan at the hospital, or a look through the 'Jelly Window' as we like to call it. With the first scan 2 months ago, I was so happy/relieved/shocked that it was an actual baby and not just a blow off that I didn't really think too much about the consequences of what we were looking at, but today I think I was a bit more anxious. We've definitely got used to the idea of our new life now whereas at the start I think we were trying to be quite cautious and not get too carried away with the idea.

Today was the Anomaly Scan which checks in more detail that all the babies internal organs are ok and its measurements are as they should be at this stage. Thankfully, everything looks tickety boo which is super news. Because its a more detailed poke around we had 20 minutes with the Sonographer as opposed to the 5 minutes we had previously, and it was so interesting! Most of the things on the screen looked like blobs to me but the Sonographer pointed out exactly what everything was, "that's its kidney's and its heart valves, and that's its nostrils and its lips etc etc". Fascinating, although it does feel a bit mean spying on the poor thing without it knowing. I hope it will not be too annoyed when it grows up. What an invasion of privacy!

The baby was not in a great position for having it's picture taken so we tried (and failed) to move it into a better position. At first the Sonographer tried moving it around from the outside with the jelly prober, then I had to lay on my side to try and wiggle it to a better position. When neither of those things worked I had to jump up and down and attempt to touch my toes (impossible). I have a feeling this is just the start of a very long line of undignified/humiliating things I will be asked to do over the next few months.

It's at this point during the pregnancy that you can find out if you will be having a blue one or a pink one and despite being adamant that we didn't want to know we very nearly cracked this morning and asked to find out. For us, there isn't any need to know the sex particularly since we wont be painting a nursery yet, (it doesn't have a nursery yet poor little thing), so I think its just pure curiosity/nosiness.  As long as its healthy and happy and doesn't kill me on exit I don't mind what we have. My friend told me recently that she knew someone who freaked out when she found out she was having a boy. Apparently she had to have counselling until the baby was born to get over the trauma of discovering there was a tiny penis growing inside her. Its reassuring to know that whatever happens, I know I'm not that bonkers.

On that note, here is an amazing link that my older brother sent me about conception to birth. If a baby carried on growing until birth at the rate it does in the first few weeks of life, it would be born weighting 1.5 tonnes. OUCH. Anyway, I hope you enjoy the link:

Conception to Birth vizualization


Saturday, 7 January 2012

"Dreams of a Life"

After 2 previous attempts and fails at trying to get tickets for Carol Morley's documentary, "Dreams of a Life", The Wig and I finally managed to see it on Thursday night at my new favorite place, The Hackney Picture House. (Or the HPH for lazy typers). Despite The Wig being very angry that it kept selling out I was actually very pleased as I guess this means that the HPH is proving to be a success, even in this crummy recession. Bravo HPH! People will always want to sit in a comfy seat and eat popcorn. (Although might I recommend buying Butterkist Cinema popcorn before arriving at the cinema as at £1.49 for a big bag it will save you approx £2 on the cinema own brand stuff.

I had read an article about "Dreams of a Life" a while back and remember thinking how awful the story was behind the documentary. Without giving too much away, in 2006 the decomposed body of a 40 year old woman, Joyce Vincent, was found in her flat that had been there for 3 years. No one had reported her missing and the TV and lights were still on. They had been on for 3 years! Its very hard to get your head around the tragedy of a story like this particularly in these days of mass communication, but the documentary proves that, unfortunately, it is possible. Carol Morley (the film maker) read about the story in the papers and set about trying to piece together Joyce's life in order to try and establish how she could vanish and no one notice. The documentary consists of reconstructed scenes played by an actress and interviews with friends and boyfriends to create a picture of Joyce's life. I found parts of it slightly self indulgent ie the reconstructed sections, but the interviews with the people who knew her were at times very moving. It was an interesting film as I didn't leave the cinema feeling like I thought I would if that makes sense. Its the sort of film that after watching it, you need to go to the pub and have a few drinks and cigarettes while you discuss it with someone. (I of course didn't do this, I went home and made a veggie stir fry but that doesn't mean you can't have fun. And a nice alcoholic drink. Delicious... ) It's a very thought provoking piece of work but not in the way that I was expecting, and I highly recommend everyone to try and see it*. Even if all you do is come away from the cinema and call someone you haven't spoken to for a while it will be worth it.

* Not recommended for a first date though.

Dreams of A Life Trailer

On a much more cheery note, despite us supposedly battening down the financial hatches for 2012, The Wig and I purchased another print yesterday from Nelly Duff, on Columbia Road.



Some of the artwork here is quite pricey, but mostly I think its quite reasonable. (Although framing is not included in the prices).We bought a couple of pictures from there last year one being "When We Had Cows" by Ian McDonnell.


It's a gold foil print on grey paper showing the anatomy of a cow and the different cuts of meat that come from it, all surrounded by a lovely border of cows teats squirting out milk. (Snigger). So imagine our happiness when we saw that Ian had printed a new one, "When We Had Pigs" showing the anatomy of pigs! We just simply had to have it.


The only problem we have now is a distinct lack of wall space to hang everything, so we may have to wait to hang the pig one (with border of curly pigs tails, not quite as funny), until we move. But it will definitely be worth the wait.

After Nelly Duff we popped into the Electricity Showrooms in Shoreditch for a fish finger sandwich. I used to come here fairly often when I lived with The Baboon (my Ex) on Great Eastern Street and it used to be a bit of a dump (from what my wine addled brain can recall). However, now its a pretty nice place. It looks like an old pub these days, rather than a dirty white room for drunks and serves a nice selection of food for lunch. We had 2 x Ginger Beers, 2 x Fish Fingers Sandwiches + 1 x Portion of chips which came to £20.50, not too bad I didn't think.



Fancy flashing peacock light on the way to the lav.


Terrible photo of the bar. Must get new camera.


Slightly dry sandwich.

My only complaint would be not enough Tartare sauce in the sarnie but thats a matter of personal taste / a craving. On the plus side, the staff were very nice and the chips were delicious.

I was rather hoping that today I could regale you with a, no doubt buttock cringing, tale of my first Pregnancy Yoga Class, but alas, I did not attend. I dont know if buttocks can actually cringe but I reckon mine could if they were forced to go to Yoga. As the weeks go by the reality is slowly dawning on me that in 4 months time, all being well, we are due to have someone very small and pink and possibly a bit noisy coming to live with us. Forever. Or at least until it goes to college or decides it hares us. Before this can happen though, the more terrifying prospect of me having to produce it from my nether regions is also dawning on me. Up until now I have tried not to dwell on this part of the equation too much as there really isn't much I can do about this now. As my friend said "It's got to come out one way or another and there's nothing you can do about it". Wise words. However, the other night, I plucked up the courage to watch "One Born Every Minute" as I thought it might be good research. Apart from bursting into tears when I met David Beckham several years ago on an Adidas shoot, this was probably the most stupid thing I have ever done. Being a highly squeamish individual I was mortified beyond belief. How this programme can be one of the most successful ever made is quite beyond me. Give me Countryfile any day of the week. Even Top Gear would be better and I hate Jeremy Clarkson, just ask the Wig. Anyway, the long and the short of it, is that I hyperventilated for around 27 minutes after getting half way through the episode and only calmed down after several distracting rounds of Solitaire on the Blackberry.

The next day, once I'd stopped crying and started breathing regularly again, I thought I really should man up. So we have joined an NCT class which starts in March (thank God The Wig is coming too) and I was also due to start Pregnancy Yoga in Bethnal Green today. For anyone that knows me they will know that Physical Movements of any sort are not really my thing. I wouldn't say I'm lazy, I just prefer sitting down. But apparently Yoga will put me in good stead for the horror of labour. I was pretty psyched up for it actually but unfortunately a rather odd pain developed in my hips yesterday afternoon so I thought I better not go. Another part of being pregnant which I had no idea about is all the weird little aches and pains you get. It makes sense if you think about it, that things will be moving around and stretching the further along you get with the pregnancy, but some of the weird aches are less than pleasant. The one I developed yesterday was so odd it has made walking only possible if I waddle by taking tiny steps. As you can imagine, I'm finding the whole thing highly embarrassing not to mention uncomfortable so I thought I'd better wait for it to ease up before I start trying to salute the sun or whatever it is that happens in Yoga. Shame.

Anyway, we have our 5 month (??!!)  scan on Monday at the hospital so I'll ask them about my waddling condition then. Hopefully they will say its nothing major and I can go to Yoga next Saturday. I can hardly wait . . .

Wednesday, 4 January 2012

Chase + Sorensen

I think I'm going to start carrying a Dictaphone around with me like my Dad used too. (On reflection, I've no idea why he did that). Every now and then I over hear such a ludicrous conversation that I can't quite believe my own ears. East London is rife for these kind of things. I know some of the things I write about could be viewed as ludicrous by some but at least I don't say it out loud.

Today's nugget involved Chaucer, Post Modernism, 1926 armchair design and Architecture. All in one sentence. Who knew it would be possible to be that pretentious that one could link these 4 subjects in one breath. What a load of old twoddle.  It was like listening to something from Nathan Barley and I would put money on the two walking cliches responsible to still be talking waffle while nursing their latte's in 2 hours time if I went back for an earwig. As I sat sarcastically snorting into my hot chocolate whilst rolling my eyes around so much there was a danger they were going to roll onto the floor, The Wig remarked that maybe I would prefer to only go to places where there were no other people. . . Rude.

Anyway, the location for this ridiculous conversation was a new(ish) 'place' on my road. I say its a 'place' as it is a furniture shop with a cafe inside. I'm not sure what the correct terminology is for such an establishment. A Furni-fe? A Ca-fiture Shop? Anyway, like all the other new things currently popping up in E8, I'm very excited about this place. Not because I want to buy any furniture but because I like drinking hot chocolate and eating things particularly if its within waddling distance of my front door.






Chase + Sorensen opened last autumn and sells Danish Furniture and home wares, along with Scandinavian type food. The interior of the 'place' reminds me rather of my Grandparents dining room, they loved a bit of Danish Rosewood. The idea at Chase + Sorenson is that you sit on the furniture that's for sale directly from the shop or from their website. This probably seemed like a good until I went in this afternoon and spilt my drink all over one of their vintage £255 coffee table's. Soz . . .

Today, as I haven't started back at work yet, I popped up the road for a spot of lunch. I really should have stayed home and sniffed something out from the back of the fridge to save a few quid, but what price can you put on a hot chocolate and a ham, cheese and Dijon mustard on sour dough open sandwich? £6. That's how much. Anyway, I'm glad I did as it was delicious! (Until I knocked it all over the table).


I don't know what sort of cheese they use, probably some fancy Scandinavian variety, but it was the best cheese I've had all year! And The Wig woofed his Smoked Mackerel and horseradish on rye down before you could say boo to a goose. Or something. 

So for any locals out there,  get yourself down there for a little smorgasbord and give these guys some support as it really is a very nice place. The only downside I have discovered is it does keep somewhat sporadic opening hours while they pop back to Denmark to buy more stock for the shop, but other than that it's a real little gem.

I'm sad to report though that after my wondrous lunch the day went somewhat downhill with an incident involving my lovely new sheepskin booties. I think God was getting me back for being a bitchy old crone to the two Chaucer Wally's. Basically the heavens opened up on me and it chucked it down all over me and my boots on way home. On their maiden voyage! So now, they are slightly soiled with rain marks however, it was a lesson learned and subsequently I have promised to never be rude about anyone ever again. For as long as I live. Forever and ever Amen. Or at least not whilst I'm wearing my delicious new furry footwear.