Wednesday, 30 July 2014

the 28 stages of jeans shopping


I need new jeans. In itself, this should be a seemingly innocent, painfree and simple task. But, of course, we all know that it isn't. My mother once said that in life, there were certain things that were sent to try us. I can only imagine that she meant finding the perfect pair of jeans, because undoubtedly, that sits right up there at the top of the list. I'm putting it off for as long as possible, because inevitably, it will go something like this.

one : Right, today is the today, I will find the perfect pair of jeans!

two : oh my goodness, there are so many shops, I don’t know where to start…

three : why is it so loud in here? And why is everyone so skinny? 

four : where are the bloody jeans?!

five : Right, here we go. I can do this. Perfect jeans here we come!

six : Oh good grief. There are more jeans here than I can shake a stick it. Skinny, Super Skinny, Super Skinny and soft, cropped, ankle grazer, seven eighths, mom fit, boyfriend fit, slim boyfriend fit, girlfriend fit, wide leg, boot leg, relaxed leg…relaxed?! How can I be relaxed?

seven : Why are there so many leg lengths? Where are the ones for short people?! 

eight : Just calm down, you can do this.

nine : A ha! These look nice. And they are in my size. Excellent. No, wait. No. These are wrong. Very wrong. They have rips all down the back and zips at the ankle. Not quite what I am looking for.

ten : oh sod it. I will just try on every pair of jeans in the shop. One must be right.

eleven : Have these actually been made for children? I can’t even get these over my knees! 

twelve : Right, let’s try the next size up…let’s see how we get on….DEAR LORD, why are these so big?! You could fit two of me in here!

thirteen : Is this curtain fully closed?

fourteen : I might actually have to lie on the ground to get these on…

fifteen : Please don’t let the button burst…..!

sixteen : And I’m in! Oh, wait, I can’t do up the zip. 

seventeen : Nope, no….it’s not budging.


nineteen : Right. Right. This pair isn’t so bad. Let’s turn around….yes, these are okay…

twenty : Time for the squat challenge….ah….not only can you see what I had for breakfast, I think you can see what I had for lunch and dinner the day before.

twenty one : this is obviously NOT the place. Next shop here we come!

twenty two : repeat steps three to twenty one.

twenty three : repeat steps three to twenty one again.

twenty four : and again…

twenty five : and again…

twenty six : Oh sod this. I’m just going to have to live in my pajama bottoms. 

twenty seven : What would happen if I turned up for work in my pajama bottoms?

twenty eight : Home. With wine. And pajama bottoms. Thank goodness for an elasticated waistband.

Monday, 28 July 2014

walthamstow garden party

On Saturday, in scorching hot heat, Dan and I headed over to Walthamstow for the first day of the Barbican's Walthamstow Garden Party, set in Lloyd Park, with the beautiful backdrop of the William Morris Museum. Think of it like a mini Glastonbury, for East London, but without the camping, mud and the unfortunate things that go along with it.

In retrospect, the walk from Leytonstone through some of the shadier parts of East London might have been a step too far, but once we arrived, and we had a boost from some absolutely delicious pulled pork buns, the best mint chocolate chip ice-cream I've ever tasted (two scoops, clearly) and of course, a pint of cider (you can take the girl out of the West Country...) everything seemed a whole lot better.

We wandered around the bustling food market, bursting with food stands, from West Country ploughmans (spotted that one too late), the most chocolately chocolate brownies and the largest cakes you might have ever seen, there were plenty of options to refuel. A huge craft beet tent proved to be a star attraction, but my personal favourite was a wine van. Don't drink and drive people.

There were sports stands for families, from the funnest game of tennis you have ever seen, to a hula hooping competition. On each of the stages, there were amazing acts including the extremely flexible gentleman pictured. Considering I can hardly touch my toes, I was completely impressed.

And then of course, the highlight. On the main Barbican Music Stage, the Ukulele Orchestra of Great Britain wowed the crowds. If you have never heard of the Ukulele Orchestra of Great Britain (or the Ukes, as they are affectionately known), hop foot it over to YouTube right now. Dan and I have long been fans of this cheerful and hugely talented ukulele group, and have been desperate to see them for some time. They did not disappoint. The crowd were dancing away, joining in, singing, and the die-hard fans even bought their own ukuleles along. To put it simply, they were nothing short of amazing. If you ever have the opportunity to see them, you really, really must. And if it doesn't want to make you grab a ukulele, and strum along, well, then I don't know what to do.

Sunday, 27 July 2014

five lovely things

In the last few weeks, I feel like the world has just gone from bad to worse. The sheer tragedy of MH17 and the horrors of the Gaza conflict is just unbearable. To be perfectly honest, and perhaps this is naive of me, it makes me want to crawl back under my duvet and never leave. Although I can't, because it's too hot for a duvet. But let's be honest, if that's the most of my troubles, then I really don't think I'm doing too badly. So in spite of all the bad, bad and ever so sad news, I thought it was high time for another dose of five lovely things, because after all, there is still some good in the world, even if it seems a little trivial at this moment in time.

one : boden autumn collection
The Autumn catalogue landed on my doormat earlier in the week, and I cannot stop looking at it. Practically every page is folded at the corner of things that I most certainly want, nay, need, in my wardrobe. What is so lovely, is that there is a distinct London theme running through the collection, and makes me think that this city of mine, isn't so bad after all if I can wear a pretty jewel dress whilst I'm at it.

two : casa becci
Dan's mother, Heather, came to visit on Friday, and where else would we go than my favourite Italian, Casa Becci (and no, I don't just like it because of the name, although, this is clearly a bonus). I've spoken about Casa Becci before, and will for any awfully long time. It is a real gem of an Italian restaurant, and everything you would want from a traditional Italian affair. You would be forgiven for expecting to see a certain two dogs and a plate of spaghetti in the corner. Tucked away in Marylebone, this treat is so often overlooked for louder and brasher restaurants, and that's just fine for me. Relaxed and rustic, I would not change a thing. Apart from the group of seventy year old men who invited me and my friends for a little limoncello back when I went in November were not there this time around, and we all know that limoncello makes everything a little bit better. It certainly did on Friday!

three : scottie dogs
I could hardly not mention these cuties could I? The Scottie Dogs leading in each team at the opening ceremony of the Commonwealth games well and truly stole the show. Well, needless to say, I (probably along with everyone else who watched it) am well and truly a smitten kitten. Now all that's left to do is convince Dan that this is the dog for us. Which it is. Obviously.

four : british problems
Amongst the usual tripe that gets posted on Facebook (I also hold myself accountable for this - who doesn't want to know that the Bake Off is almost back?), someone posted this very funny list on 32 British Problems. My favourites? "Being unable to pay for something with the exact change without saying, 'I think that's right'", "I get more texts from Dominos, than any of my friends" and lastly, "I want the London look, but my front teeth touch".

five : building bridges
With the most unlikely of people. That's all.

Thursday, 24 July 2014

20 things I will never understand

one : people who wear sunglasses on the tube. Actually, let's just make that the tube, full-stop.

two : wearing leggings as trousers. Especially when said leggings are a little more see-through than perhaps what is strictly necessary.

three : Alexander Armstrong, of Armstrong & Miller, fame. Otherwise known as Xander. He presents a show called Pointless. Apt some might say.

four : mullets. Of the hair variety. I'm okay with the fish.

five : running. I've tried. I've really tried. I've even done a half marathon. But not only do I find the whole thing painfully painful, I also find it painfully dull. I think I will just stick with walking.

six : mismatched socks.

seven : celebrity couple names. Brangelina, Bennifer, TomKat, Kimye. The list goes on.

eight : cigarettes.

nine : mobile phones with the beeping keyboards. You know the sort. When someone sends a text, and every key is a beep. All the way back from Paris. That was a fun trip.

ten : jaegarmeister. I'm not even really sure that's how you spell it. Either way, correct spelling or not, it does not appeal.

eleven : The One Show

twelve : people who don't drink tea. I wouldn't trust them.

thirteen : on that note, people who don't like dogs. I wouldn't trust them either.

fourteen : Reptile houses. Shudder.

fifteen : fad diets. I'm talking the sort of diets where you eat only protein, then only eat vegetables,  or where you don't eat for two days at all and then eat whatever you like. Maybe this means I will never be a size eight, but I think I'm okay with that.

sixteen : cake pops. I think I would just prefer a decent slice of cake thanks.

seventeen : coloured mascara. Have we gone back to the eighties?

eighteen : clubs. I can get hot and sweaty, surrounded by fools on the central line,  and I get to listen to my own music whilst I'm at. None of this modern day noise. And I won't have a hangover the next day. Well, I might, but that is more to do with the wine consumed on the sofa, than too many shots the night before.

nineteen : Dawn O'Porter.

twenty : tomatoes. Little devils.

Disclaimer: I'm not entirely sure what me in a boat has to do with things I don't understand. Which is probably a good enough reason to use it. One thing I did know was that I didn't want twenty pictures of things I don't understand littering the blog. No siree!

Disclaimer 2: I realise that a good proportion of the things I don't understand make me sound like an old fuddy duddy. I'm okay with that.