Blog Archives

Is that it? Am I done now?

Thursday, 21 September 2006

I have been on the road since last Tuesday and get back home tomorrow evening. I am tired and dispirited and longing, yes, longing to cook instead of eat out. Last weekend – a blessed island of relaxing in the midst of a conference and then a week in Liverpool – I even offered to cook at the chap’s. Not because there is anything wrong with his cooking, but just because I wanted to make some food. Law made a coffee cake recently and looking at the photo tonight made me drool and itch to get out the big mixing bowl.

So the recent quietness is due to this travelling lark. After working at a conference a mere hour’s commute from the chap’s for two days, we then took Friday off and wandered about London shopping. Saturday was various Open House London venues (which I can’t reveal until after I have posted and been guessed on Flickr’s Guess Where London group). I’d wanted to go to 2 Willow Road on the Sunday but the tours were fully booked and I thought I’d be off to Liverpool in the afternoon anyway. Except the train from Euston to Lime Street would have been 5 hours on the Sunday, when it takes 2 and a half on the Monday morning. Then someone at the Trust contacted me to say there had been a cancellation and would we still like to tour Willow Road. Naturally, we said yes and wandered over the Heath at a reasonable hour to look at 1930s modernism. No photos to upload, I’m afraid.

Monday morning and I was at the clients’ by 10am, having got the 07.13 up from Euston. First class, darling. When you factor in the complimentary breakfast and the extra room, this was a bargain at 45 quid single. Tomorrow, I get driven back to Devon by a collegue and have a few hours alone time with Séba before the chap arrives for the weekend. I miss my cat. And I worry about him all alone in a house tonight, with gales gusting around it. My poor precious brute.

ETA: Flickr photos of the Open House Weekend.

Not so innocent festival

Sunday, 6 August 2006

I just got back from London, having spent Saturday at the fruitstock festival organised by innocent. Lovely leisurely weekend kicking around town and home to the still base-1 tidy house. I did all my chores and settled in with a horror movie.

  • Rodents:
    Mice – 18 19
    Voles – 4
  • Birds:
    Sparrows – 3
    Dunnocks – 1
    Uncertain – 2
  • Other:
    Frogs – 1
    Unidentifiable remains – 2

Séba appeared around the corner of the sofa, eyes wide and dark, mouse hanging from his mouth.

Summer shoes

Monday, 31 July 2006

new shoesI got these today, since I’m off to two festivals within zones 1 & 2 (the free fruitstock in Regent’s Park and the rather less free Get Loaded in the Park in Clapham). Years of working outdoors makes me nervous about wearing flimsy shoes at festivals, but converse all-stars get all sweaty. So these cheap things are a compromise. Which rub my heels, but that can be fixed with tape.

London is way too sweaty at the moment, hence the need for new footwear. We were at a party at Cubana in Lower Marsh on Saturday night, very rapidly decamping to the street outside. At almost 1am, the humidity was still hugging us close, pricking at the skin and making you dream of cool rain. No such luck.

I’ve also discovered something rather smart. There are many ways to get from Devon to London. The megabus and megatrain are the cheapest but longest and least flexible. The 21 quid apex on the Waterloo train is good if you can get it, and Waterloo is rather handy if working in Westminster/Lambeth. But right now I’m going for the Paddington line – more expensive but barely over 2 hours and I’m going to Norf London anyway. And I just discovered that not only are two superadvancethingy singles cheaper than one saver return, but that you can – if lucky – get two first class singles for less than a standard saver return. More space, less children, getting into Paddington at the front of the train…


Wednesday, 5 July 2006

Sun is in the sky oh why oh why
Would I wanna be anywhere else?
LDN, Lily Allen

The London trip was pretty much everything you could want from a break. It was so stupidly hot that I got as far as the NFT bar from Waterloo station before stopping for beer (good beer, shady cool spot) and being joined by the Ladylark and the Marks Michalowski and Clapham. Lunch at Gabriel’s Wharf, although it was too hot to really eat much, then a lazy hour or two at the Anchor before going to Club Sabbath where we were joined by Tom and Jim. Thankfully when we left it had cooled enough to be able to bear the Northern Line.

Monday was lazy: wandering about Somerset House, cocktails at Guanabara, The Pipettes (plus 2 support acts – both good) at a sweltering King’s College. It’s been nearly two years since I saw them live and I was rather impressed by how much the act has been polished up. I dutifully grabbed a copy of the Pull Shapes single from HMV at lunch today.

Dance with me pretty boy tonight
Dance with me and we’ll be alright
Pull Shapes, The Pipettes

Right now I’m back home, trying to get the house up to base-1 tidy. This is partially because I keep meaning to employ a cleaning lady char so should have it at base-1 in order to say “this is what I’d be happy with”, and partially because the summer social thing has kicked in and I’ve got someone over for the weekend. Despite them knowing me (obviously) some residual urge to appear houseproud has taken possession of my brain. I hope it gives up soon.

A Commute Too Far

Thursday, 1 June 2006

Me: Er, I’m not going to be in at 9.
Boss: OK, why not?
Me: I’m not so much in St Thomas as…erm…Kentish Town?

I had a great day yesterday. True, I was up at about 5am in order to get the 6.40am train up to Waterloo but I then made it to both my appointments on time. Right out to Greenwich, then over to the City. I’d arranged to meet some friends for a couple of post-work beers in the Southwark Tavern at about 6pm which meant a quick walk over the Millennium bridge and past the Globe. Got there and had beer. Due to knowing I had a long journey, I sunk several pints quickly with the plan that this would enable me to sleep on the train and thus regain the lost hours from the morning. This was all good.

Was it too much to ask London Transport to behave all day? I left the pub with 20 minutes to do a 7 minute journey in. A journey I could have walked in 18 minutes. I then spent 10 minutes stuck at Southwark station (adding those minutes to the 4 minute Tube journey) and raced onto the Waterloo concourse 4 minutes after the last train of the night. A very helpful ticket advisor got me an excess fare ticket I could use this morning for tuppence ha’penny and I returned to the pub in order to blag a bed for the night. Not from the pub itself but from the friends. Obviously.

Naturally I wake an hour before the alarm because I always do when not at home (whereas in my own pit I can sleep through the alarm for an hour). I eventually make my desk at 2pm, looking sheepish and smelling of other people’s shampoo. I should, by all rights, be tired right now but no. I’m wide-eyed and restless.

Modern(ist) Life is Rubbish

Friday, 19 May 2006

Not really.

Back from another work-related trip to London. Luckily the tedium of long-distance commuting and meetings I could have done in my sleep was offset by an enjoyable trip to the Modernism exhibition at the V&A. It’s an exhaustive show, as well as exhausting. Ninety minutes or more of looking at things and debating the aims of the modernist movement, what we liked about it and why these utopian idealogical dreams failed both in general European terms and in spefic relation to Britain’s cities of tomorrow (which are the slums of today). We also discussed chairs, ballet and which car was Thierry Henri advertising in those va-va-voom adverts. That last one had nothing to do with the exhibition, just sprung out of nowhere. It’s the sort of show which suits wandering and discussing stuff.

I have discovered the one flaw in the relaxation of drinking laws in the UK. Since time is no longer rung in some pubs, you may find yourself realising it is nearly midnight and you need to get onto the Tube quick before it shuts down. Had a hotel room with a stunning view of the Post Office tower through a shell of a building being gutted and rebuilt, which seemed an entirely appropriate image to end an evening of modernism on. I did try to take a photo but it was feeble.

Back in Devon, I’ve switched hairdresser to one who actually listened to what I wanted and had a rare moment of buying music. I went in vaguely hoping for some Cory Branan and came out with Belle & Sebastian, The Magnetic Fields and British Sea Power. At least generically they are all similar and The Magnetic Fields album makes sense as I have been unable to stop singing I’m The Luckiest Guy on the Lower East Side since I first heard it. I was going to get Brenan because I also love The Prettiest Waitress in Memphis and in my brain – and my playlists – those two songs are linked.

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