Monday, June 11, 2007

"Where have you been?"
Thursday 17 May 2007 Take It Home by These Horses at BAC. A fun evening which has unexpectedly led me to booming early 1990s dance music. I am also now a big fan of the Flashdance soundtrack. Full review here.

Saturday 19 May 2007 A long evening bar-hopping around London Bridge with Tash, Katy, Lucy and Ali and catching up on all the news: refurbishing flats, the medical training applications scandal, playing Darth Vader in the Star Wars exhibition, contraception, boyfriends, husbands, friends and enemies, the weather, the perfect bra and gin. Lots of gin. I don't remember eating at any point. In fact, I don't remember much of this evening at all, except how happy I felt when I crawled into bed.

Tuesday 22 May 2007 Londonist editorial meeting and a PR meeting in Shoreditch / Old Street. More bar-hopping but for entirely semi-professional reasons. We did not drink whisky which was unusual. And sobering.

Thursday 24 May 2007 More PR events, this time a lot of Pimms on the lawn that suddenly appeared on Trafalgar Square. It was very pretty and sunny and, oh my, isn't free Pimms rather lovely?

Friday 25 May 2007 Back to Shoreditch / Old Street for my first meeting for the Critical Writing Initiative. Lots of work to do and it's clear I'm not going to be allowed to just coast through this, but we had organic pizza by the yard and got to know each other as a group and naturally, we have a blog to keep us going.

Saturday 26 May 2007 I got locked into the Ladies toilet of the Hackney Empire with five strangers and we discussed "What is Non-art?" for an hour while being taped by an artist who was positioned outside the room. We piled into a nearby pub once the cameras were turned off and continued our Washroom Talk, then each got our payment which turned out to be a Smurf-coloured bar of laundry soap with a cunning key pattern pressed into the top. I love it. It smells of 1952. The full story of the Washroom Talk is here.

Sunday 27 May 2007 A very civilised vegetarian brunch with the wonderful Eleanor and Sarah in the wonderful Ottolenghi. It was raining. It was crowded. Sarah had been travelling in maddening loops and whirls around North London to join us, eventually giving up on the collapsed Northern Line and arriving stylishly though flustered in a cab. Then, replete with vegetarian goodness, I spent the afternoon with my parents, plotting our journey to France and exhausting myself with family gossip.

Tuesday 29 May 2007 We arrived in France and started our fortnight of ice-cream, coffee, beaches, moules and frites, cheese, pate, rillettes, Chinese rice porridge and medicinal soup, card games, chess, Scrabble, running along the seafront, buying more than we could carry in the local market and supermarkets, standing on chairs to complete our mosquito massacre, oysters, idle gossip, changing nappies, taking naps, birthday cake and... spending a lot of time with a very special little girl... Full Flickr set of photos here.

Sunday 10 June 2007 Our wedding anniversary. Hard to believe it's been a year - so much has happened, so much has yet to happen, I could happily marry that man again and often say so to him. We still had gift vouchers from the tottering pile of wedding presents and spent the last of them on a set of a kitchen knives in the shiny Habitat on King's Road and then shared a big platter in the Asmara restaurant in Brixton. There's something about this Eritrean restaurant which relaxes and unites us; we ate with our hands and scooped up thick stew and vegetables with torn off scraps of pancakes then lingered over the aromatic coffee that was served to us with the full ceremony, some incense and big bowl of freshly popped popcorn. We went home and lit the heart-shaped sparklers we had saved from a wedding card given to us last year and had a little sparkly moment together on the patio. A very happy anniversary.

Thursday 14 Jue 2007 To Artsadmin for Richard Deacon's Prototypes - a fun evening of model railways, real time train schedule re-enactments, train crashes that failed to crash ("OH MY GOD!"), dropped scripts and reluctantly autobiographical musings on watching trains pass through Southall from a fifth floor flat.

Friday 15 June 2007 Yet more PR events, this time a tasting tour of Borough Market which was so good, I almost wept. I love Borough Market and oh, god, this tour made me love it even more. We met the people running their stalls and tried wheatgrass juice, hand-dived scallops, wild samphire, the perfect parmegiano reggiano, white balsamic vineger, red wines that are better chilled, various Spanish hams including one made from a breed of pig rescued from extinction, Isle of Wight tomatoes in oil, honey infused with white truffles and... oh, lots of things, lots and lots of delicious, fascinating things. We finished the tour in Roast overlooking the market, sipping chilled muscadet and knocking back a few oysters.

And then after all that, I went home and enjoyed a very giggly and oddly literary late dinner with my husband in our local Thai restaurant, so close by we could see our front door. We eavesdropped on the couple next to us discussing their wedding plans and felt superior and nostalgic as well as rather overfed by the time we crossed the road to go home.

So. That's where I have been. Where did you go?