Sunday, 31 July 2016

Sunday Summary | She's out of reach and out of sight ...

Dear FOQ

Hope we're all well!

Me, I've been caramelising (cremating) onions. Later I'll do some ironing, maybe watch a film, with that fabled gin cocktail (thanks for the suggestions, Jill!) in one hand. Probably.

Life doesn't get any more riveting than this.

... Or does it?

This fortnight, I have mostly been ...


(and finally, finally finishing)

I've since picked up this beauty:

which I started reading a couple of years ago then stopped, for whatever reason, and am back into again. 

Flappers are my historical spirit birds.


... before I'd even finished the book!

{Well, that's a slightly extreme reaction there, Kev.}

But y'know what? The film, although pared down from the book in many ways, made a heck of a lot more sense than the book. There was too much inconsequential backstory in the book and I lost track of the characters (or, did not give a flying fig about a lot of them).

That said, Kevin Spacey is perhaps too much of a conventional 'dish' to be Quoyle, who in the book is a lumbering giant, self-conscious about his chin. (Although Spacey's eternally endearing anyway.) Also, harlot Cate Blanchett. I tell thee, she's a bit magical.

on iPlayer (catch-up). 

Because I have a real thing for coast and sea rescue documentaries.


... my beautiful best friend with a birthday party, which was over six months in the planning!

Mission ... accomplished!

Last Saturday afternoon, I secret-squirrelled my way over to Natalie's parents' house 

{... by kayak. Yes, I went by kayak. | No, not really, this was just en route.}
{Lela, poised to shout 'Surpriiiiiiise'}
and hid out, along with several others, primed and ready to surprise the gorgeous girl herself in honour of a significant birthday o' hers.

{The gazebos played host to a wonderful gallery of the gorgeous girl}

In attendance were family, friends, family friends, and at least three of us 'Hens' (albeit one via video message) – testament to the fabulous totem of fabulosity more typically known as our Natalie.

'Fraid I didn't actually take that many photos except of the birthday girl herself and a few blurry ones of her gorgeous kids hitting the daylights out of the piñata, but I think that's a good thing. There were actual people to chat to, excellent food and drink, and atmosphere to soak up!

{Birthday girl. And no, that's not her drink. Wine? Pah!}
{The lass and her lovely mum}
{Party people in the house gazebo! | With thanks to Lin and Den for the photo!}

{Spice Girls reunite for one triumphant hug-up | With thanks to Lin and Den for the photo}
{Magnificent birthday cake!}
{Magnificent birthday girl}
{Obligatory late-night selfie}

Massive well-done and thank you to Natalie's parents for a) managing to keep the party secret since January and b) letting me stay over. I managed not to break anything in the process of washing up the next morning, so that's a result in itself. 

(Big, big hello and virtual hug to lovely Lin, formerly secret and now out-and-proud Friend of Quirk/reader of this blog!)

And, very very early early Happy Birthday to Natalie, my Bestest. Let's do this again but with less panache, obvs, when the actual time comes. Loads of love, your Friday Night Facebook Friend.

The following day was no slackfest (OK, it sort of was ... I had to have a nap ...) – as Ma QB and I, with friends in tow, headed over to glorious Hever Castle where we were ... 


Tonbridge Rock Choir perform ... without Ma QB which just felt a little wrong somehow (not that it wasn't lovely to have you in the audience still rocking out, Ma, of course).

The set was great, with a lot more ensemble pieces than before (We Built This City was particularly fab), and the weather behaved itself just in time.

Brightening Brighton

... with the beautiful Foyles Goyls, just yesterday!

Nickname shoutouts to:

Pebble and

with love and selfies from Beano.

I'll leave you to work out who is who.

Most of these photos ended up on the Book of Face yesterday but here are the spruced up edits, for I now have a gorgeous new version of Photoshop Elements on the new computer and it's all clever and stuff.

I headed on down to Brighton early-ish as I wanted to get a little QB shopping done before the girls arrived. It's become a ritual now to head straight to this emporium of ephemera (mostly letter-press letters):

{QB's first port of call}
Yesterday's spoils: a turn-of-the century punctuation mark.

Tell me, retro Beyoncé, which punctuation mark do you think I purchased yesterday?

Well done, dear!

I also fit in a little bit of time to peruse the shop windows along Kensington Gardens ...

{Bert, purveyor of All the Flamingos}
{Anchors a-way hey, yes please! Who doesn't
love a nautical marquee light}
I then headed up to our agreed meeting place, by the clock tower, having been lured en route into sampling some velly, velly nice organic pork pie, and a cheese and onion pasty, which were being sold as part of a craft fair on the church lawn. After treating myself to a pasty for later, I got me a coffee and hung out in the seating area by the clock tower to wait for my girls ... but had to move hurriedly away once a rather nasty fight broke out between two young 'ladies' (I think they may have bunked finishing school, however) who were very possibly fuelled by some illicit substance or other. Egads.

People be trippin'.


I digress.

My girls appeared, siren-like, through the rain, shortly after one, and we, a merry band, wandered down t'road and over to the Pier, where we soon found ourselves trying to win giant Minions (and failing) ...

Eloise found her new calling — as an assassin.

 Evie managed to score herself a little friend (and possibly three wise-cracking orphans) ...

Swept away by the zeitgeist in Brighton, work wives Katerina and Eloise may have been married by Elvis ...

and we tested out a new selfie stick.
My new selfie stick.
Which I bought only for the purposes of this trip, let me clarify.

We ate lunch in the (ridiiiiiculously hot) Palm Court restaurant (where Miss Clarey and I ate last year). 

Much fish was devoured because it'd be wrong not to.
Many photos were taken for that self(ie) same reason.
Some of them, I even knew about at the time ... ahem!

{Lovely lovelies!}

{So pink! So pretty!}

{Don't leave your phone unattended round this lot!!! | Click on the photo to view in full splendour}

Not quite ready to brave the rides after the huge lunch, we wandered back towards town and wandered the Lanes, which were mad-busy (it being a warm Saturday in 'summer' an' all), and ended up in the grounds of the Pavilion (almost holding up a wedding as we did so, as the bridal car could not pass through the gates until Eloise had taken a photo of us all):

Slightly fatigued by our wanderings and a hint of impromptu shop-browsing, we settled for a short while in coffee joint Jolliffes (where the hospitality was ... er, ever so slightly proffered through gritted teeth since the cafe was due to shut, but the coffee itself was pretty good and revived us long enough for More. Flippin' Selfies):

{Random shot of a beautiful bookshop window display}
After coffee, we parted ways – Katerina, Eloise and Evie headed back towards London, and Clare and I headed back to the Pier. We had RIDES to brave, goshdarnit.

{Oh but first, had to take a shot of the Pavilion looking all regal ...}
{... and the Pier looking wonderfully busy still}
{... not to mention the West Pier which always warrants a photo}
The queue for the Booster (this ride, not for the faint-hearted or -stomached)

{via here}

which we were so up for riding, was too long (and no, we didn't chicken out, we just didn't fancy spending our remaining time in a line), so Clare and I hopped on board the Turbo roller-coaster

{via here}

before deciding we absolutely needed a turn on the (far better value for money time-wise) Waltzers. 

{original video footage found here}

Two turns, actually, since we were deprived of decent spins on the first turn.

Pretty sure we dislodged a few vital organs but hey. It was worth it.

We decided to finish off with something genteel.

Something like ...

... the log flume.

Soggy bottoms all round.

But such a good day and so lovely to catch up with the girls.

And the gossip.

Pinterest Pins of the Fortnight

One verbal ♦ one visual


Fortnightly Web Finds

  • Could we have a moment for this magnificent Superhumans ident from Channel 4, ahead of the Paralympics?

And while we're at it ...
  • The BBC's Olympic advert is pretty cool too. Love the gymnast sloth.

Oh, hang on, this one's not bad either:

  • The curse of 2016 claims another two legends:

Vivean Gray aka Mrs Mangel (OK, less of a curse since she was an admirable 92 years old)

Not gonna lie, Mrs Mangel's final scene juuuust made me tear up. Oh, nostalgia, for when Neighbours was good watchable.

Ken Barrie, the original voice of Postman Pat

{via here}

And finally ... I'm throwing another guess-the-lyrics quiz into the mix. Guess the song referenced in the title of this post, and win chocolate!

Until next time, stay groovesome.

qb xx

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