Monday, April 27, 2009

Picnics and 'poles

What a glorious weekend we had. Blue skies and sunshine! We managed to take full advantage of it too.

Saturday was off to Kew Gardens for a picnic. I really don't think I can ever tire of being there. We met up with G's parents and family friends, so there were loads of laughs and good conversation. As an added bonus, there was also plenty of wine and champagne on the go. We even had a rather handsome male peacock keeping us company for a little while. He gave a fantastic display of his tail feathers at several points (mainly when idiots started sticking cameras in his face), which was amazing to see.

Yesterday, I managed to entice G into leaving the flat and taking a walk to Putney Heath and Wimbledon Common. We walked down to the Queensmere Lake and were delighted to see it completely teeming with tadpoles! I had forgotten just how cute they are. It brought back memories of when Mum and I would go to a pond near our house to collect frogspawn. We would bring them home and then hatch them in a fish tank. We'd return them to the pond once they got bigger and more likely to hop off!

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Monday, April 20, 2009

Green beginnings

These new little beings are bringing me much joy at the moment. I planted tomato, sweet pepper, basil and coriander seeds and only the sweet peppers have failed to materialise so far. I can't escape the happiness I feel when I see the first little shoots peeping through the soil, and I always forget just how fast they grow! I tidied out last year's (very dead) tomato plants from the balcony yesterday, as I am sure it will time to put them outside before I know it.

Good weekend on the whole. Visited the Darwin's Big Idea exhibition at the Natural History Museum on Saturday. We really must remember to go to these things before the final few days - it was heaving! It was well worth the slow trawl round though. Loads of good, interesting exhibits and I finally got to see Darwin's finches!

Yesterday, as well as balcony tidying, I started learning Spanish. I'm trying to get a good handle on the basics before we go to Peru. I also wanted to brush up on my language skills and give me something to work at over the next few months. It's really good fun! I'm using this and LiveMocha, which seem to work well together. It would be nice to have someone to learn with, but I'll have to be content chattering away to myself for now!

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Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Easter with the Rothschilds... again!

We had a lovely Easter weekend at G's parents. Easter Sunday was spent exploring Waddesdon Manor, another of the Rothschild's numerous homes. It has a fantastic collection of art and period furniture, as well as the most amazing wine cellar. Unfortunately, the weather wasn't all that great, so we didn't spend much time exploring the grounds. Last Easter we visited Ascott, so Easter at the Rothschild's is becoming a bit of a habit!

Have only been back to work two days and I am absolutely exhausted! Roll on the weekend!


Thursday, April 09, 2009

Playing the tourist and enjoying dessert

Having a nice relaxing day at home after playing the tourist since last Friday. I had a friend from Edinburgh visiting and she had last been to London a good few years ago. We had four packed days and managed to see most of the touristy things. I took her on a boat trip along the Thames on Saturday, as that's such a good way to see a lot of things and get some lovely photos. The weather has been fantastic too, which is always a bonus.

The highlight for me was doing a tour of The Globe Theatre. I've been to see a performance there, but it was nice to get the guided tour and just spend some time just looking at the Theatre, without concentrating on a performance. It really is an amazing place and I find it unbelieveable how unsupportive Southwark Council were to the whole idea.

Yesterday was G's birthday, so we went out for a nice meal last night. We decided on a Viennese restaurant in Sheen called Cafe Strudel. The food was excellent and I had no idea that Austrian wine was so good! For dessert, I had a layered pina colada (a layer of pineapple jam under a coconut mousse topped with caramel and crumble) , which is probably one of the loveliest things I've eaten in a while. We'll certainly go back there again.


Thursday, April 02, 2009

Hats and hooping

I always seems to be about three days behind in getting these entries written. I need to learn to write shorter posts I think!

G's parents came to visit this weekend and a good time was had by all. His Mum arrived on Saturday with a bottle of wine and a beautiful bunch of spring flowers from their garden, which got things off to a good start. They went off to an exhibition at Excel, leaving G and I to build one of our new CD/DVD towers. We were meant to be meeting at the V&A to go to the Hats exhibition, but in the end G's Mum and I decided to go on Sunday. On Saturday evening, we went out for a lovely meal at the Telegraph pub. It meant I was out of the house for Earth Hour, which felt like a slight cop-out!

On Sunday, G's Mum and I went to see "Hats: An Anthology by Stephen Jones" at the V&A. I adore hats and thoroughly enjoyed myself. I learned that there is a difference between millinery and hat-making. Millinery is more conceptual and one-off, whereas hat-making is your bog-standard factory produced top hat or baseball cap. There were some fantastic items on display including hats worn by Dita von Teese, Margot Fonteyne and the Queen.

This week has been a bit odd. I had a real low on Monday but I'm feeling ok at the moment. As retail therapy, I ordered a hula-hoop and hoopdance DVD as treat. One of my goals for this year is to learn hoopdance, so this is a good start. In typical London style, most of the classes seem to be in parts of London that aren't easy for me to get to, or clash with my ATS class. I'm honestly not sure if I have enough room at home to hoop properly but I can give it a try. Hopefully, I don't damage too much!

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