Tuesday, 23 August 2011

Where to begin

Now I could begin where we left of - but somehow I think an unabridged version of the last 5 1/2 months would make pretty dull reading.

There have been some highs and lows. Some stuff that's taken up far too much time emotionally and personally - but isn't my business to make public on the web; and some truly great stuff too.

In this whistle stop tour of the last 5 months there's going to be highs, lows, culture, culinary trips & exercise... because even if the girl hasn't been blogging, she's still been exercising. (And has suddenly started referring to herself in the 3rd person... this must be stopped!)


- Meeper is going to have a baby - truly joyus news. And it's taken me so long to blog about it she's now due in 3 weeks.

- Disovered Tyninghame and The Linton, a truly lovely pub with great food.

- RF finally got her engagement ring, in the right size. This was a tough one to make, but I do think it looks so good on her.Luckily she thinks so too.

- Celebrated on the Tay with Pickle, Dotty and Zacky - a birthday was being had and despite snow covered ground we all made it. Even a cake made by Dotty!

- The bridesmaid dresses were found. Much to the relief of a v unstressed bride and 2 slightly hot and bothered bridesmaids. Trying on dresses can be hard work!

- met chgs stepmother and was soundly beaten at Ludo... no really, there were tactics and everything

- attended the 'see me' finalists lunch as my tweet on the subject of support was one of the final three. On hearing the other two I instantly knew that there was no way I should, or would, win. A very interesting day, with incredible views over the castle from the Apex Hotel in the Grassmarket.

- My rental flat was finished and a tenant was found, they are still in there and (fingers v much crossed), still happy.

- Mini holiday at Easdale, Seil Island and Ardfern. Truly lovely break, best bit being a RIB tour out to the whirlpool on the west and seeing Sea Eagles.
All was V good fun - lots of exploring and camping. Discovered that you cannot fit two people and a dog in the back of a Polo to sleep... and it might have been foolish to try.

- Celebrated all of the May birthdays with fancy cocktails and fun Mexican - a perfect combination. V good to see everyone after a very hectic few months.

- At this point I got a job interview. It was the first thing I had applied for, and a job I really wanted. Part-time, admin, for the charity I'd just attended the writers/tweeters lunch for....

- Drama & Art got married, and had a wedding on barge with Babyhead as a band. I have no idea how they made it all so perfect, but as a 'stranger' to most people there it was the most welcoming and wonderful wedding I can imagine. Also the chocolate cake was a complete killer. Drooling at the v thought.

- Walked out after my first interview in 10yrs to receive an email saying I was finally divorced. Timing is everything with these things. :-)

- The lovely Rock God and Professor invited me to dinner, confirmed that I was not alergic to Mango (despite years of assuming I was), and had a damn good catch-up. Baffie was beside herself with joy to see Rock God again... that dog is such a tart.

-I got the job! It would only another 2 months before one of my referees actually put in her reference.... but then I would start. It was a v long 8 weeks.

-36h trip to the island to look after all 3 boys on my own. They were spectacular. Wonderful, polite, kind. Also unruly and full of energy but that's what I'd hope for really. So good to see them all and have a lovely dinner with MaYa and Farmer at the end of it all. You know that when the COASTGUARD is one of your emergency contacts things have taken a small trip into the surreal.
First trip on a tiny plane - and it was marvellous. A bit like a flying lawnmower but such a good view!

- The Hen Do was had. 2 very happy bridesmaids are delighted it all came off without a hitch and can only hope that the bride enjoyed herself as much as seems to do. A happy, sober band can be seen below, we didn't always look quite as put together over the whole w/end:

- I had my first week at work. After an incredibly stressful first day (all my nerves, the induction was really well done) it's all gone really well. Good colleagues, good vibe and plenty of work to keep me busy. If only Baffie was allowed to sit under the table at my feet it would be perfect. But she's adjusting to the new routine really well.

-At the end of my first week Teech and HH got married. And it was an incredible venue. Blissful and wonderful. The sun shone, in a sun-burn type way. The photographer was a nice bloke. The hairdresser made it all easy (I was dreading that bit and I ended up loving it). And good planning by T & HH made it all run ridiculously smoothly.No dramas, no crises - all just lovely. Even came home with a car load of shopping :-) an unexpected bridesmaid perk ;-0

-Went to Brussels to then go to the Lokeren Festival. Just had a great time. Eurostar does make it easy. Then a fab B&B. Then North Alabama Allstar Duo who could open for anyone, just two talented blokes making good, good, music. Gabriel Rios - great band but the crowd weren't really in the mood for his music; Robert Plant and the band of Joy - that man has his own personal wind machine built in to his every move... to be that age and that cool simultaneously. Then Paolo Nutini played for about 90 min and was incredible, the out and out performance of the night - lots of singing and swaying at every turn.
A v chilled experience with a great crowd and amazing organization. Whole thing helped by finding the only pedi-cab at the end of the night and being cycled home rather than walking after 7h standing! That cycling dude was an angel. A very stinky angel.

- the party was excellent, but Chopper finally emigrated to Canada. The cake was incredible. And that amount of sugar almost makes me forget how much I miss her... almost. But luckily she's a creature of the internet and social media keeps me in touch with her life. Letters have turned into emails, but the contact is still there.

- I had the genuine honour of being invited to a living wake. It was a fun and heartfelt occasion that I was humbled to be a part of. Time was not kind to him and made his last months even harder than they ever could have imagined being but now he is wherever the energy that is within each of us goes. I hope he has a very good book at hand, a good friend at his ear and a lovely glass of wine by his side.

- Attended the funeral of a tiny, birdlike, woman who raised a family in less than perfect circumstances, and kept her intellectual curiosity until the very end; she showed me kindness and trust (even on first meeting) which I truly appreciated. A pleasure to have met her and a shock that she went when she did. She will be surrounded by happy cats and piles of books wherever she is now now.

Went to see Cooking History - at The Filmhouse. This was the story of military cooking from the First and Second world wars up to the Balkan conflicts and beyond. A strange mix of recipes, personal tales and perspectives. All made for an incredible piece that I would recommend. More documentary than entertainment.

Talk on Too Many People at the Science Festival - made so many notes, had so many points to make. Debated them all with the ever locquatious HH. Until a 70yr old has told you that "oral sex is the answer to population control", you haven't lived.

Beltane Fire Festival - a strange but oddly perfect mix of real hippies and real extroverts. The fire dancers completely stole the show. Definitely a fight between the seasons, and one worth celebrating.

Trip to the Natural History museum where we spent 3h running round like kids looking at everything. This was then followed by having the best kebab in London. A day of fabulously cultural contrasts.

Pub Quiz - just us 2, hmmmm, chg knows much but we still didn't make it into the top 1/2. It's a damn tough quiz. Although I like the challenge of aiming for a higher score.

On our last (of 2) days in Belgium went to the Mondrian Museum. This was brilliantly laid out chronologically in different rooms, but absolutely packed as it was a Saturday.

Dirt Exhibition at the Welcome Trust - fascinating stuff dirt. Both how we've represented it over the years, and how we've found out more about it. A well put together large exhibition delving into several eras and cultures.

See the final Harry Potter film in the cinema - not really cultural, but definitely the end of an era. Read the first book in 1998 and read them all as they came out, and seen all the films in the cinema so it only seemed right that one bored Saturday I completed the entire process. Not disappointed but not oscar worthy either.

Met Tigger and Badger at the Book Festival, just for a mooch. Went for coffee with Tigger and ended up being the framing/background for lots of filming of Joan Bakewell. Took all of my cool not to reach across and tell her she's bloody marvellous. Just sat having an entire 'natural' conversation whilst the camera moved around us.

Wind Up Bird Chronicle at Kings Theatre - a wonderful treat from Tigger who came up with Badger for the night. This is a play from a Murikami book. Now, with the greatest respect to the book, and the actors, my reaction at the end was WTF, no really WTF. Brilliant production, great lighting, sound, visuals, everything but the level of surreal and layers of the story/allegory/allusion/illusion were truly marvellous to watch. But the story was ... confusing. Damn lovely to go to the theatre though, then follow that with some Bristo Sq festival drinking and a quick crepe before home.

Nagoya - with Teech, a new sushi place near me... and nothing is near me. Good sushi, would be great take away, but not a place to sit. Too small and no ambience.
Roseleaf - possibly the greatest gastropub in existence. Doing what it does v v well.
Mamma India - indian tapas style dishes, revelation and revel in the food.
Pho Vietnam House - tiny vietnamese place behind Lothian Road, stunning but small menu
The Eagle - a London institution that is deserving of the crowds
The Herne - ah South London, quiet pub that takes dogs and does stonking food
Thai food at an incredible place in Soho...now if only I could remember the name ...
La Favorita - an oldie but a goodie. Great food and lots of energy in a relaxed atmosphere

and chg did some stunning cooking over this time. Cupcakes with toasted almond butter-cream icing were a particular delight.

- Had my first gym torturing personal training type session at the gym. Could barely walk for 3 days afterwards, but loved it! Whole body agony.
- actually ran 5K outside with Hilary. The worst run I have ever, ever done. Had to keep stopping and I never stop... just a pathetic and embarrassing attempt at a run. Pah.
- 5 mile run 44.03 and full weights session. Desperately trying to get back up to fitness after a time of cake & wine.
- 10k 54.35 hill 5 and full weights
- 8 mile run best ever time 1.15.12!!!! 21/04/2011
- Many 5 k runs, a 10k run outside round Peckham Rye.
Once I got up to 8 miles again, another crazy session with the gym instructor. Better than last time, but still evil the next day.
-9 mile run... getting there, getting there. Still love running a long way. So easy to forget how good it feels.
- a bit of cutting back with work and everything, but still running at least twice a week... honest

No comments: