Enroute to Stansted…

Letad arrives in an hour and a half (hurray) and I didn’t want to leave anything to chance so I gave myself two and a half hours to get to Stansted Airport (15 minutes from Venice to LAX, I know!)

So far it’s taken me an hour from leaving home to being onboard the Stansted Express and it’s 50 minutes to the airport so I think I might have been right to err on the side of caution.

My only worry is that my shoes (and therefore my feet) smell absolutely shocking. It’s humid and hours of standing barefoot in my navy French Sole ballet flats at Agnes b has resulted in a stench worse than Stilton (which I happen to love but don’t want to smell like). Still, Letad lives in France, perhaps he won’t notice…

Anyway, hurray for the weekend!

Oh my sole

I’m a big fan of sole – dover and lemon in particular. I order it whenever I see it but I’ve never tried cooking it. Well, after a foray to Morrisons yesterday evening where I found a lovely piece of Cornish lemon sole for £2 (living the dream) I thought I’d have a crack at it.

I decided to pan fry it in butter and so, following the rule of skin side down, off we went. A few minutes later, I turned it over… sans skin as skin had stuck to pan. Actually it was quite handy as it saved me dealing with the skin later so
was almost intentional. A few minutes more and the sole
was done.

The tricky thing with sole is avoiding an unpleasant mouthful of bones. Carefully flaking the tender white flesh from the inner skeleton, I tasted it and, having added capers, lemon juice and black pepper, it was delicious. I lifted out the spine and was left with about a spoonful of fish. Delicious indeed but not terribly substantial. Two minutes later, it was gone.

An interesting experiment but to be honest, I think I prefer ordering it in restaurants.

And so to the weekend…!

In anticipation…

It’s Thursday morning, far too early and I’m awake in anticipation of tomorrow. Hurry up Friday because Letad’s coming to London for the weekend!

It’s been eleven incredibly long days (yes, I’m counting) since we last saw each other and we’ve seriously spent about a hundred hours on Skype in that time but it’s not like being together in person. We both feel there’s no point being apart and are talking about how this is going to work for our future.

Weekend plans are vague. In fact I haven’t thought beyond meeting at Stansted airport but I think sharing memories would be a good theme as Letad is from London and has very special memories of the areas I’m getting to know. I think there might be a walk to the top of Primrose Hill required (and every May 5th from now on to celebrate our first kiss) and other than that, no planning necessary.

I suspect there are changes on the horizon. Neither of us are happy about the distance and life is too short. In fact, when I left LA it was with the attitude that life is too short not to be doing exactly what we want to be doing (see previous post The beginning and the end) and another leap of faith will soon be taken.

It is a leap year after all!

Bargain hunting

It’s the summer sales and the normally benign village-like Marylebone High Street has been invaded by sales stalkers. 

Gone are the lovely chatty Agnes b devotees who are willing, in fact, prefer to pay full price because they love the clothes and know they will last forever. Replacing them are the bargain-hungry, salivating sales stalkers who are incredibly rude and who might just be the nail in my coffin.

Answering the phone has become my worst nightmare as the rudeness has reached new levels of inconsideration. I am usually incredibly friendly and chatty (yes LA friends, you wouldn’t recognise me now) but my new, unimproved sales attitude is “Pay and get out” (so perhaps you would recognise me after all!).

As one customer disgruntedly announced that John Lewis stayed open till 8pm (as we kicked her out at 6pm) my somewhat direct response was ‘We’re not fucking John Lewis.” (Sorry Mum).

Luckily no one heard but I suspect my days are numbered!

A little taste of Venice

I was just syncing my US cell phone (which I haven’t used in about three months) and found a few photos which brought back memories of Venice. 

Windward Ave

I’m very excited about going to LA in a couple of months as Letad is coming too, hurray! I’m thinking a Bon Voy Birthday might be in order. Any excuse for a party!

Early morning walks through the canals

Despite my excitement however, I’m completely gutted that I’ll be in LA the day after Neil Diamond’s 40th anniversary at the Greek. Hmm, priorities. Perhaps I can change my flight…

LA’s fine, but it ain’t home no more

In the immortal words of Neil Diamond….

L.A.’s fine, the sun shines most the time
And the feeling is ‘lay back’
Palm trees grow, and rents are low
But you know I keep thinkin’ about
Making my way back

Who knew there was a Neil Diamond lyric page?

Come on England!

The football reached fever pitch as, after ninety minutes the score was nil all. England versus Italy in the Euro 2012 quarter final. The atmosphere at the Red Lion in Islington was tense, electric and loud. 

Starting to get tense…
There’s nothing like being in a pub in London to watch a pivotal game and last night’s nail biter was no exception.

With half an hour of extra time added and then down to a tie break, the crowd was cheering, groaning, shouting, swearing and ultimately quiet as England was defeated in the final moments, losing on penalties. It was a gripping match, tense to the last seconds and as I sat, part of a group who had long since stopped talking and were focused intently on the television screen, it struck me that patriotism doesn’t get much better. 

Not talking any more
The final whistle and the crowds poured silently on to the street. I didn’t linger to commiserate but jumped on the tube to beat the crowd. My phone buzzed repeatedly as texts from jubilant French colleagues came in and I headed home.

Not the result we wanted but an excellent game nonetheless.

The lady with 82 hats

This week I had an inspirational conversation with a lady with 82 hats. It started when I heard her say that her dentist had recently died and it was terribly inconvenient for everyone but he’d had fabulous teeth so that was good. It made me laugh and we’d started to chat.

We talked for a while about a variety of topics including the shocking news that the Electric Cinema in Notting Hill had burnt down (how lucky I went when I did A Weekend in Notting Hill). We exchanged ideas, talked about life and style and design and I was left with a feeling that she had truly lived her life. At 79 she was going for it and I was inspired.

I don’t think I’ve spent my life sitting on the fence so far and I’m not about to start now but it’s great to get a reminder from time to time, to put things in perspective. Life is definitely for living.

I hope I see the lady with 82 hats again but if I don’t… 
thank you!

Mange Toute

It’s been a glorious week of eating!

From Le Pain Quotidien, The Orangery, Jamie’s Italian, Cafe Seventy Nine, the Regent’s Park Garden Cafe, Lemonia and finally Brown’s in Covent Garden. I feel extremely fat but have enjoyed every delicious bite, every sip of wine and every moment with best friends.

It’s been a fantastic week and I shall miss my LA friends greatly as they leave London tomorrow and begin to head back to California. The good news is that I’ll be seeing them in two months and there are very exciting things happening in between, things which involve France so everything is good.

True friendships stand the test of time and distance and this is the best example of that. How lucky I am to have such good friends.



Chinny Chin Chin

I used to have a chin, I quite liked it. Sadly today it fell off. A weekend of passionate kissing with stubble (his not mine) and my chin was definitely a casualty from the weekend. 

In the hope that no one would notice, I didn’t mention it but a brilliant evening out with best friends resulted in some piss taking anyway. Luckily no one noticed the love bites (what am I, seventeen?) Thank god for long hair!

Hopefully it recovers soon…

Chin Update: Chin completely disintegrated after using half a tube of Savlon and has emerged as a brand new chin. How lucky is that?