London, Sydney, New York, Toronto... Tower Hamlets
Well, well, well. Only a month or so since I dropped by to witter about cooking and cocktails and hangovers and it's like a different life.
First of all, I'm going to be on the BBC World Service tonight! And possibly on Friday too! Details are here.
I've moved house, to a beautiful two-bedroom flat in Mile End with floor to ceiling bay window, unfeasibly large bathroom and lovely kitchen. I'm finally cooking on a gas cooker which makes me and my wok very happy, though we don't have a freezer so batch cooking is no longer an option. The trees in this area are beautiful - there's a grand old sycamore, a crabapple loaded with red fruit, holly bushes and lots of others I can't name. All very lovely and we're enjoying the chance to set up home together after years of renting furnished places. We're going to buy a sofa. It's all so very married.
What's also very married is changing my name. I resisted taking my husband's name for various reasons and have so far kept my maiden name, but have gradually become very keen on double-barrelling. I did some research and looks like I'm going to have to complete my name change by deed poll rather than via my marriage certificate which is pretty cool. Just as well, as I haven't a clue where the marriage certificate is and we famously put it in the bin on our wedding night. I'm tempted to add a few middle names in the process as it will cost the same amount and I'm unlikely to have another chance to do this... but all I've come up with are things like Burpy McBunface and Fat March, Hollow Legs, Huffy T, Aloysius Hero and such. Let the form filling begin!
I've made myself sick on cherries, gin and wine at a dinner party in Earl's Court, which was a rather grim way to end a fantastic night out, catching up with friends, friends of friends and new people who have since become friends. Thankfully, I survived the looooooong taxi journey home and was quite ladylike about the whole business in my own home. It's been a gin-heavy summer so far with lots of gin-sponsored events and excessive gin drinking in my own time; I haven't touched a drop of mother's ruin since.
I've had my parents sister visit me in Mile End and in typical hysterical fashion, had a very fun day. True East End pie, mash, jellied eels with mugs of tea on Roman Road then a bizarre attempt to drag an immensely heavy travel cot and antique Breville sandwich toaster home through the rain which almost saw the end of my dad and sister. Back at the flat, we had Chinese tea and uninspiring cakes from a chain bakery; mum demonstrated some Bollywood dancing she had seen in Trafalgar Square, turning out her barefeet like a ballerina imitating a limping crab while dad dismantled a wheelie suitcase of mine and used plastic bags, string and elastic bands to lash the travel cot to it.
Once the rain stopped, we crossed the road to wait for a bus that completely failed to arrive until mum remembered the polystyrene cup full of jellied eels she had left in my fridge. The second I got back on to the street with the eels, the bus arrived and I ended up running the length of the bendy bus while my mum dashed around on the other side, panicking and shouting "Throw it! Throw it!" while my dad and sister hauled the damned travel cot on board. Parents, eels, travel cot, parents and siblings got home safely. I went back to the flat with my nerves slightly frayed.
I've seen some interesting things at the Camden Fringe, and a beautiful, dreamy installation at Shoreditch Church.
I'm currently listening to old cassette tapes that have resurfaced because of the move. I made myself hoarse singing along to Judy Garland, Sarah Vaughan, Ella Fitzgerald, Frank Sinatra this morning and this afternoon, it's been 1997 all over my living room as I've played old favourites like Suede, Heather Nova, Drugstore, Beck, Luscious Jackson.
And that's all for now. How are you?