Sunday, 14 February 2016

Sunday Summary | Bottle of Cava to share? Jog right on.

Hello to you, FOQ!

Happy Gal-entine's Day to my gals, and Happy Pal-entine's Day to my manly-man-pals.

I'm deliberately not naming the Actual Day, since the Actual Day does not acknowledge me, or it mocks me. And I shall not be mocked.

This is an email I got on Friday night:

Oh, Mr Toby Carvery, you presumptuous, jug-eared buffoon.

And, oh, yeah, by the way, I'm single, thanks for asking (!)

I resent when companies assume details about our lives, as if we've all fallen off the same conveyor belt.

Such as in that poster for Davina McCall's new cookbook that boasts the strapline CARBS ARE BACK.

Back from where?! They never left me! Not all of us have been painstakingly depriving ourselves of carbs in order to turn into malnourished waifs. Seriously. This is why I avoid telly now. I do not want to be told how my life ought to be.

I have Pinterest for that.

But I digress.

The Toby Carvery's little faux-pas warrants at least a month's boycott from me (subject to terms, conditions and impromptu invitations from my Lovelies of course ... my convictions aren't that strong).

I'll have you know, I am my own Special Someone.

Well, I'm special, let's just go with that.


This week, I have mostly been ...


I say 'reading'. I've been toting it around with the intention of getting past the seventh page. But I'll get there.


Grey's Anatomy.

For Derek "Doctor McDreamy" Shepherd, mostly:

but also for the hug-averse genius that is Cristina Yang, the only truly tolerable character in the series thus far:

Oh and also:

Pitch Perfect 2

on the grounds of having spent Saturday morning ...


... a gorgeous, and 'totes emosh', a cappella rendition of this song with many of my Voicerox Lovelies (shout out to Charlie, Jos, Jess, Fern, AJ, Jenny, Dan, Alun, Martin, Debs, Diane and Kate):

aka Jos and Charlie's Theme Choon, which is probably why many of us in the Institution Known as Song Club (about which we do not speak except when we do) were all a bit wibbly of lip and moist of eyeball during rehearsal.

Also, it's a freakin' beautiful arrangement.

{*Hears "when you're down ... and troubled ...". Has feelings.*}
We've also just finished tackling How Sweet It Is ... which is growing on me in spite of that cheesy-as-Camembert niggling association I will always have with that song thanks to this clip from American Pie [visuals 'flipped' for copyright reasons]:

Our rendition is significantly less cringy. Promise.

Beginning ...

The Final Countdown

... to my last week -- MY LAST WEEK! -- of working in London. WOOHOO!

Farewell Proceedings commenced officially on Wednesday night with a little sojourn to Brasserie Zédel with my present/former present-former workmates, Clare, Eloise, Evie and Katerina.

I had a little time to kill before we met, so I wandered to Tottenham Court Road for a little mosey around Tiger, then caught the tube to Charing Cross and took as gentle an amble as one can take through the mean streets of the city, finding a moment's quiet and personal space in Trafalgar Square, of all places, not usually synonymous with quiet and personal space:

Incidentally, I'd like to clear up a few things pertaining to my oft-declared dislike of London. 

I don't dislike all of London.

I like the parks.
I like the huge bookshops.
I like the galleries when they're not overcrowded.
I like theatres, and shows.
I like Trafalgar Square when it's as it was, above.
I like Covent Garden.
I like the river, and the bridges over the river.
I like Gordon's Wine Bar, and I like Brasserie Zédel. And Bill's.

But these Likes are considerably outweighed by the Dislikes:

I dislike the commute, and the fact that what should be a straightforward and comparatively short journey from Surrey is daily riddled with issues. And the fact that I've been paying out thousands of pounds for years for this empirically sub-par service.
I dislike the overcrowding.
The Underground. I use it but I dislike it; always paranoid that the train will get stuck between stations, underground, with no light, no air and no phone signal. The Overground's not great either but at least you can see outside.
The almost-constant invasion of personal space, from the journey in to the streets of the city itself.
The blatant favouring of motorists over pedestrians (which I took most issue with while training, and trying to find a rare safe place to cross a road).
The fact that you can seldom see a road sign in Central London as they're too high up, and it's assumed you must know exactly where you are and where you're going.
The overpricing. £7 for a small glass of wine? Really? No, luv.
The arrogance, the snobbery of certain places.
The filth.
The smell.
The noise.
The fact that so many people travelling into the city abandon all their manners and civility and barge you in and out of the way with their rucksacks, their instrument cases, their elbows, their oversized suitcases ... because it really is all about them, and stuff everyone else. And I refuse to become one of those people. I'm already mardy enough and this blog is already too 'all about me'. Nobody wants more of that IRL.

... All right so perhaps these are more to do with people than the city itself per se but the city has cultivated these people, and I'd say these are more than valid reasons enough to head back to suburbia.

(And I'm sure you'll be glad when I have significantly less cause to complain.)


Right, back to the matter in hand!

We were a little early to our dinner booking, which was then pushed back by about 45 minutes while we waited for our table to be freed up, but all was well as we ensconced ourselves in the Bar Américain where they serve you cocktails at your seat, and there's even a tiny (tiny) bucket of spicy popcorn there to tide you over.

'Twas only polite, therefore, to order myself a cheeky something (on a school night, such slatternly behaviour) -- I opted for an Aviation (Gin, Lemon and a sultry little Maraschino at the bottom):

and when Evie arrived she went for a Hotsy-Totsy (Ginger Liqueur, Lillet Blanc, Vodka, Raspberries, Lemon).

We chased up this brief moment of extravagance with some rather lovely gift exchange -- us to Evie for her birthday, and my girls to me for my new-job-triumph (thank you very much for my excellent card, book of books, and chocolate goodness!) -- and eventually, around half eight we were shown to our table, and thus began an extremely Fun Food-Fest-with-Friends:

{Boeuf Bourguignon, zut alors!}
{Le jazz, c'est bon! | The band that started playing around 9.30pm} 
{Les profiteroles | oui, je suis un cochon ...}
{Les Charmants! | For the benefit of Ma QB, we have (l-r) 
Katerina, then, Eloise, Clare and Evie, the stripe-lets}
I shall miss all of you ladies when I'm out of town, but maybe, just maybe you can coax me back on a visitation basis ...

Pinterest Pin of the Week

Weekly Web Finds

{via here}
{via here}

Have good weeks, everyone -- I'm off to do t'ironing in front of CSI NY: there ya go, Mac Taylor is my unwitting Valentine:

{Hey! Step off, Danny Messer, he's mine}

and, like the V-Day pariah I am, I shall eat my Meal for One Hungry Singleton, my tub of Marvellous Salted Caramel and Sour Cherry ice cream:

and ready myself for my last-ever Monday working in Scumdon!

(Just in case it hasn't already been obvious how glad I'll be to escape the crapital.)

qb xx

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