Wednesday, 29 February 2012

What the Dickens?

Finally I get to write the post I have been meaning to for the last week! Though I will add in response to my musings over getting a bit fitter I said to Himself  ‘maybe I should take up running’ to which he snorted with laughter, partly because I can’t run properly, (basically as soon as I start it’s like all my limbs suddenly decide they need to go in different directions, not only to the one I want them to go in but also to each other!) but also because I always get lost. He pointed out that unless I only ran to the shops and the station he’d probably never see me again, which is harsh but fair. So yes for the time being I think other forms of exercise would be more sensible.

The very exciting things from last week was FINALLY being able to go and see ‘The Artist’, going to the ‘Dickens and London’ exhibition at the Museum of London and getting my new tooth!

Firstly the tooth is in, it's German and guarenteed not to break, believe me I have no intention of testing that claim out. It's a bit bigger than what was there before and distinctly whiter than the rest of my teeth which would have pissed me off big time if I had had to pay for it. The bill came in a £688 and all I had to find was the first £15 thank the lord for insurance. My emergency appointment on the 27th December cost £113 call out and £136 for treatment!?! As Himself pointed out, there was a very good reason that guy was busy fixing teeth during his Christmas holidays! 

You know what? I can eat properly again and that is all I care about right now :-)

On to The Artist!

I loved it! Personally I would have liked a few more of the dialogue screen shots to begin with as it was a bit hard to get the gist of who was who and whom of them was doing what at first but I was soon completely engrossed. Indeed to such a point that when there was a problem with the colour halfway through the film I didn’t even notice!

Thank you Cineworld for finally realising that this film that has been nominated for so many awards might just be worth showing.......

Saturday saw us up and off to London with our friend Murray for the Dickens exhibition. We had a very smooth tube journey for once (maybe they were looking after their own as Murray used to work for London Underground!) and arrived with over an hour before we were due to go into the exhibition. That meant I got to browse around the downstairs part of the museum which was closed to last time we visited. Victorian London onwards to the current day = BLISS! 
Here's a random selection of things that caught my eye.

Check out this purple hat!
and the zombie with the top hat and dog!

All to soon it was time for the Dickens exhibition, which we all enjoyed, even Himself who had gone under duress it has to be said. Murray and I ended up browsing round it together which was really useful for me as he is something of an expert having done Victorian novels for his degree and the novels of Charles Dickens for his MA.
The exhibition was more about life in London during the span of  Dickens lifetime rather than the man himself and was a fascinating insight into work, leisure, innovation, death and poverty. There were some fascinating photographs from the building of the railways and the underground system in London, and from the point of view of an art history student, who did a core course on Victorian artists, some wonderful, wonderful paintings.  I was mesmerised by ‘The Lord Gave and the Lord Taketh Away - Blessed be the Name of the Lord’ by Frank Holl purely because of the sheer raw emotion the artist had managed to capture in the face of the young man standing at the table. Just incredible when you think this is a huge painting and not a photograph quickly capturing an unguarded moment.Sorry no photo's as you weren't allowed cameras in there and the only image I could find on the internet is not clear.

We all boggled over the handwritten drafts from some of Dickens novels which were pretty much illegible. Tiny, tiny messy writing with lots and lots of scribbling out, how the hell the poor proof readers managed to type up a coherent novel from them is one of life’s mysteries!

At the end of the exhibition was a brilliant film by William Raban, which showed modern London from dusk until dawn. Set to a soundtrack of words from an essay Dickens wrote 150 years ago after walking the streets while suffering from insomnia. 

All in all well worth the visit.

After the museum we decamped to the Fox and Anchor by Smithfields Market for a pint and some much needed lunch. 

Now the prices we were expecting, this was central London after all, but the portions we were not. Himself had a steak and ale pie for £14.50, when it arrived it was in a 5 inch round pie dish with a large marrow bone in the middle, (a good ploy to not put as much filling in) and that was it! 
No veg, no mash, no nothing.
Just one measly 5 inch round pie for 14 and a half freaking quid!?!*&! It would have been an extra £4 for chips/mash and another £4 for veg.
 I had the fishfinger sandwich which came in at £11 and at least said it came with chips. The 'sandwich' was actually a breakfast (English) muffin so not exactly huge either, with a side of 5 chips, yes you read that right, a measly 5 chips, my gob was so well and truly smacked before I could form any kind of words the waitress was gone. 
Murray had the steak for £17.50 which was so thin you could have held it up and read a newspaper through it. Daylight bleeding robbery.

So people if you are ever in the vicinity of The Fox and Anchor by all means drink their delicious beer

 but give the food  WIDE berth if value for money is what you require.  

Tuesday, 28 February 2012

This is not the next post I was planning to write, that will follow shortly full of the usual photo’s and silliness I promise. It’s just I have all this going round in my head and decided to put it on paper so to speak. 

The end of last week I went to visit a friend in Rehab and not the sort of rehab that immediately springs to mind!
On the very same day that I had posted on Twitter ‘How can anyone be this tired and still be awake/alive’ as it turns out. Now the reason I was so damn tired was because I have been going to bed way too late, not getting any exercise at all, and eating crap. Same old same old.

My friend on the other hand is currently in a rehabilitation centre or ‘Enablement centre’ as they are now called for the foreseeable future because she caught something called Guillain–BarrĂ© Syndrome. She had a nasty cold that didn’t want to go away and then woke up to find she couldn’t move her legs. I can’t even begin to imagine how terrifying that must have been. She was rushed to hospital and there the paralysis spread throughout her whole body over the course of the day. When I saw her 3 weeks later, she was in a wheelchair with movement coming back to her arms and face but hardly any in her legs. In fact after 2 hours she couldn’t sit in the wheelchair any longer because it was too much effort to even sit up.

Now that gave me things to ponder over as I walked home:
a, Taking my general good health for granted.
b,The fact that I don’t look after myself better, in fact on the whole I actually abuse my system instead.

I know I need to lose weight. I have gone on about it  for a LONG while now but have I actually done anything about it? Have I bollocks! I am the lazy queen of excuses. I sit on my lardy arse in front of the TV eating, and thinking tomorrow/next week I shall start to eat better and exercise. I go to bed much too late and again every week I think this week I shall go to bed earlier but I never do, so yes I am bloody tired and 2 stone overweight but it’s my own fault.

On Saturday I got home to find my American friend Jennifer’s Mum had died. I have known and  loved her Mum for over 20 years. She used to greet me with the words ‘Here she is, my second daughter’ when I went to visit and give me a huge bear hug. She was a wonderful woman and she will be sorely missed. This dreadful sad news was not entirely unexpected though, for she was chronically & morbidly obese. This caused ulcerated legs that wouldn’t heal, made any kind of activity a painful exhausting effort and lead to 2 massive heart attacks and emergency heart bypass surgery. 
 Here was an otherwise ordinary woman who abused her body to the point that it gave out on her. In her case she suffered from chronic depression which was never treated because she couldn't afford the right medical insurance (good old U.S healthcare system) and eating became everything to her. She once said after being pleaded with to think of her health and the family she might leave behind, 
‘Don’t ask me to stop eating, it’s the only thing that makes me happy.’ How desperately heartbreaking. 

Whenever I see  people like that, be it on one of those shock value TV shows or out in the street. I think ‘how they can do that to themselves?, 'how they can let go so far?’ or ‘I would never let that happen to me’ but is that really so? Am I really so far away from it as I think I am? I have been steadily gaining weight for years now, I am lazy, I make all the same excuses. When do you get to the point where enough is enough? I also do take my body for granted. It gets me too and from work every day and where ever I might want to go at the weekend and I have never really thought beyond that. So no I don’t really look after it as I should. I love to eat and drink things that are bad for me and I don’t like to exercise, who’s to say I might not get to that point where I too just give up on any pretence of getting fit and slim and then it could be the case that my body just might give up on me too. 
Serious food for thought.

Friday, 24 February 2012

I'd like to thank my producer, my family, my dog etc.

I what has been an epic busy week, (more of that in a later post!) I have been given a blog award and tagged too.
Firstly thank you to Emma Bear Forever for giving me a Liebster award.

Secondly thank you to Elise at Foof&Faff for tagging me. The rules are:

1) You must post 11 random things about yourself;

2) Answer the questions the tagger set for you in their post;

3) Create 11 new questions for the people you tag to answer;

4) Go to their blog and tell them you've tagged them;

5) No stuff about 'you're tagged if you're reading this' - legitimately tag people.

So, 11 random things about me that I haven't already said in my blog

1. I can read roman numerals, something I needed in my previous life as a librarian. Not a very exciting skill but useful for being able to know what year an old tv show came out.

2. I always pour equal measure drinks out, no matter how drunk I am! By that I mean in one go, so no going back to the first glass and topping it up so it is the same level as the rest, I just seem to be able to divide the amount of liquid out evenly from the start. I have no idea why I have this skill but it is one of my proudest ones. 

3.I don't like rice, yuck, yuck yuck.

4.I haven't driven a car for 20 years. I never intended to leave it this long between vehicles and I do intend to buy a car day.

5.I am a big fan of yoghurt, I eat it every day and if a miss a day I start to crave, though not as much as if I go short on tea. It's not pretty if I don't have tea.

6. I have to do something when I watch tv (clear those filthy minds please!) so I sew or knit otherwise I can't keep still, I jiggle my legs as my mother puts it which used to drive her demented when I lived at home.

7. I hate horror films but will watch real life programmes with graphic crime scenes. Himself cannot get his head around that, he thinks it's mad, which it probably is. I also have no problem watching operations.

8.I have always wanted to be able to dance but I have two left feet and no sense of balance so sadly it's not to be.

9. I never have and never will understand the big attraction of reality tv.

10. I am claustrophobic and scared of spiders and both of these fears is down to my dear brother.

11.celery is the enemy, the salad of the devil and must be avoided at all costs.

Elise's questions are:

1.What's the best job you have ever had? 
working in a plant nursery that also had a small garden centre. I LOVED that job.

2. Your favourite item of clothing?
god that changes all the time when it comes to things I wear day to day. Otherwise it is my vintage dinner jacket and waistcoat (100 years old this year!)

3. If you could be anywhere, where would you be? (in life or location)
I would be in my lovely white Art Deco house by the sea.

4. Something you have always wanted but never got?
A lovely white Art Deco house by the sea.

5.The first movie you saw at the cinema?
I *think* it was Bambi or possibly The Jungle Book. We used to go to one of those Saturday morning cinema clubs as kids and they showed a lot of Disney stuff!

6. Your top played song on i-Tunes? 
not sure off the top of my head but it will be a song by Bowling for Soup!

7.The most practical/useful thing you own?
My handbag.

8.Would you rather be taller or shorter (if you HAD to chose!)?
Taller I guess, I like being tall.

9.Your longest standing hobby?
Gardening. I had my own patch from a very young age, I love it, it's how I unwind and de-stress.

10.If you had an hour to kill what would you do?
If I was out shop!, if I'm at home read.

11. The best thing that has happened to you so far this year?
Getting my tooth fixed is high up there!

1. Favourite flavour of ice cream?
2.What is you most beloved accessory?
3. If you were a cartoon character, who would you be and why?
4.What is your first memory?
5.What is your favourite website?
6.If you could go on holiday/vacation tomorrow where would you go?
7. What is your favourite time of year?
8.What was the last thing that made you jump out of your skin?
9. Where is your favourite place in the whole world?
10. Bread or potatoes?
11.If you could do it all again would you?

I tag :
dee dee's vintage retro delights

Pretty Little Jewels

spiffing sporadics of a vintage girl

Tickety Boo Tupney

Saturday, 18 February 2012

This week has been all about Brooches.

and so it has. It's been positively spring like this week which has meant by Tuesday I could get out of the millions of layers I have been wearing for work and breeze in in nothing more than a cardigan over a dress or blouse.
I honour of this fact I decided I should wear a few of the many, many brooches I have in my magpie stash and here they are.



Tuesday was also Valentine's Day. Now I like Valentine's Day. There seems to be a big backlash against it at the moment with people saying it's too commercialised, which is true, or why do we need just one day a year to show our special someone we love them? we should do it all year round, which is also true.
However I believe, like Christmas, that it is what you make of the day.
Himself and I spent 4 years living a long way away from each other so it used to be a time for us to send each other silly cards, messages and little gifts, then have an extra special weekend together afterwards. We still give each other two cards just because and our tradition now is to go to the cinema that night and have a bottle of fizz when we get in.
Himself also bought me a lovely bunch of orange roses on monday.

This year we went to see The Muppets, my choice. Himself wasn't overly keen but thankfully enjoyed it so all was well (after last years True Grit fiasco I was determined to choose better!) It was a fun film and I have to say it was worth every penny of the ticket money for the chickens version of 'C L Green's - Forget You' alone. I also heart Dave Grohl just a little bit more if that is at all possible for having a cameo in the film.

Yesterday I had a lovely afternoon of food, tea and crying with laughter with my best friends Jenny and Soo.
Soo has a big birthday coming up, (I am far too polite to say which one), so we have treated her to a mushroom forage on Hampstead Heath.This may seem like a strange gift but there are reasons for it and I'm happy to say she was thrilled with it. I am going as the plus one so there will be a blog after the event I'm sure!

In the evening Himself and I went to see one of his favourite comedians Richard Herring on his tour 'What is love, anyway?'. It was a great night, very funny and on top of that the venue served a particularly good Sauvignon Blanc, double win.
I wore one of my january sale Pearl Lowe dresses.

 See how one of the ribbons on the sleeve is undone?

 Himself tied that bow, not once but 3 times and each time it came undone. Sometimes I wonder how he manages to dress himself.

Look, look at my lovely tights! Now as anyone who knows me will tell you I am crap with tights/stockings. Seriously I just have to look at them in their packet and they ladder.
I often used to go out with 2 or 3 spare pairs in my bag and come home with only one pair left and they would inevitably have a hole in them.
So for many years now I have worn fishnets and only fishnets because they do seem to manage to last more than one evening in my company! I found these star print ones in the sale at Debenhams and wisely bought the last 3 pairs on the rack.

Monday, 13 February 2012

I Love Dolly Cool and It's all Helga's Fault!

Other than my charity shopping adventures I also had some rather wonderful post on Saturday.

Firstly The very talented Clare from Dolly Cool had put her latest designs on her website and I was about beside myself with excitement when I saw her octopus design. I knew I had to have one so I placed my order and he arrived on Saturday. As you can see I have a very similar t-shirt that I love.

He seems very happy to see the necklace and so was I.

I know I shall get a lot of wear out of him. Thank you Clare for a speedy delivery and also for being so darn clever!

My second parcel is all Helga's fault!
I was suffering serious frock envy for her delicious green lurex number see here.
So I got it into my head to hunt down a green dress of my own.........
It's nowhere near as stunning as Helga's


I liked the look of it so I decided to take a gamble.

The only downside was when it (finally) arrived it nearly knocked me flat with the smell of 'Febreze' which can only mean one thing, it's either 'Handwash only' or 'Dry clean only' and the previous owner couldn't be arsed to clean it so they gave it a damn good dose of Febreze instead to cover the fact!

Thankfully for me the dress was handwash only so I gave it a good soak and now it is ready to wear. :-)

Sunday, 12 February 2012

Who Cares About the Snow When There's Shopping to be Done?

So on Thursday night it snowed again. When I went to bed it was snowing very, very hard, this bothered me for two reasons. Firstly Himself was away and was due to travel home on Saturday and secondly my bestie Soo was due to come over for some quality girlie time round the charity shops. Thankfully it clearly stopped the minute I drew the curtains because when I got up in the morning there was only a couple of inches of snow to be seen.
This meant the roads were pretty clear come the weekend making travelling and shopping possible, Huzzah!

Soo, (who I must point out is never, never late!) arrived right on time as ever, despite having to hack ice off the inside as well as outside of her car!
We fortified with tea and gossip and then hit the shops.
Both of us found bargains and both of us were stunned to silence not once, but twice. The first time was by the dress below and the second by a woman wearing the most monstrous coat your minds could ever imagine. By the time I had recovered enough to find my camera she was gone. I am gutted I wasn't able to sneak a picture, not only to share with you, but just to remind myself of how truly terrible it was.
                                                          However behold 'THE' dress
I feel no need to say anything more about this frock.............

Instead will show you my bargains :-)

 These trousers are a win because they are very long and they were a bargainous £1. The downside is they are 'dry clean only'. However on checking the label and seeing that they are made from a wool mix with polyester lining I took the risk and stuck them in the wash today on a delicates cycle and as you can see they survived unscathed.

                                       Little fawn shrug,also £1. It's a bit bobbly but I can sort that.

Pressed glass jug for £2. I just really liked this. Possibly because my Nan used to have one similar that she used for serving custard. I could do the same, but as custard rarely makes it as far as anywhere other than straight into my mouth from the saucepan I will probably use it for flowers!

This little chap was 99p and I think it was the bowtie that sold him to me. I should have done a before and after shot, because he was seriously filthy dirty. This is the 'after', a damn good scrub with an old toothbrush and he is a completely different colour, as Himself said it does make you wonder where on earth he was kept to have been so very dirty........
Yet another glass bead necklace, at 49p it would have been rude not to!

A lovely lampshade for £2. Sadly it doesn't actually fit my bedside lampwhich is where I need a new lampshade but I'm sure I will find it another home!

Finally I spotted this black cat for my sister. I am saying nothing, other than I know she will love it!

After all that shopping we went for some much needed food. Soo ordered the soup of the day and I ordered a tuna melt. After an extraordinarly long wait for two such simple food items, our fayre finally arrived. I picked up my sandwich to find it was basically 2 bits of toast with warm tuna between them. I took it back to the counter and said
'excuse me, but I ordered a tuna melt and there is no cheese in it'  The man took my plate, and without a word disappeared into the kitchen!
  I sat down again and about 5 minutes later he reappeared with my plate, I got up to meet him and he said 'Sorry it doesn't come with cheese' then tried to hand the plate back to me. I was somewhat confused by this and replied
'but it's meant to be a tuna melt, a melt has cheese in it, in fact it's the cheese that makes a melt a melt'.
To which he replied 'Ok madam I'll get you some cheese added' and vanished yet again with my plate.
I have to say when I did finally get my tuna melt it was delicious, but seriously, has anyone ever come across a melt sandwich that doesn't have cheese in it??