Wednesday, December 26, 2007

Christmas Around London

This month I have been mostly gadding about town, hence the lack of recent activity...


...the new St Pancras International station...




...helping out at my soon-to-be new place of work very early in the morning and marvelling at the calm and serenity...




...and coming across wierd and wonderful installations in the most unlikely places...


Friday, December 14, 2007

Gingerbread Man Frenzy...

Well, after the promise of my last post it has been rather quiet around here hasn't it? I can only apologise and blame frantic pre-holiday planning and faffing. Days have been getting shorter and time spent away from my house longer. Not a recipe for frequency of blogging I'm afraid.

I know you've all been losing sleep over the lack of these images so without further ado...

The men were a blinding success:

House got built... eventually...

Final pic will be taken in the daylight at the weekend to fully appreciate the wobbly-tiled roof splendiforousness.

Last Friday was the fabulous Sparkle the Dark Up late night opening at work... I was given the arduous task of leading the 'Decorate Your Own Gingerbread Man' workshop. Sexy singing was provided by the straining vocal chords of Gamine shown below and the Actionettes, an amateur 1960s style dance troupe in red shift dresses accented with white fur. Gorgeously naff!!

The gent who runs the public program at the Museum is an artist in his own right and came up with these card designs using only snowflake punchers and hole punch remnants... They make me so happy!!


Huge apologies for the quality of the pics - the camera was on low-res mode and I didn't realise until now. V frustrating!

Thursday, December 06, 2007

Great Ormond Street Inca Trail November 2007 - 3 of 3

and the Third...

Great Ormond Street Inca Trail November 2007 - 2 of 3

The second video from Peru!

Great Ormond Street Inca Trail November 2007 - 1 of 3

Here's the first video from my recent trip to Peru. Sorry about the bad quality of the sound, is a first attempt!

Wednesday, December 05, 2007

The great bake begins...

Sunday saw my first semi-bake of the season with frozen ready-made pastry and jarred mincemeat pies. More of a compilation than actual homemade pies but a move in the right direction.
Tuesday was the grand biscotti baking, pictures to follow shortly. After last year's over-egging, this year was much more firm, and sadly, therefore, verging on the inedibly crunchy side. I'm finding that they are only palatable with extraordinary amounts of desert wine. C'est la vie.
Last night was the gingerbread evening in aid of a colleague's leaving do on Friday. Icing will happen at work on the day as some kind of champagne fuelled extravaganza. I made enough dough to begin the foundations of a gingerbread house and some tree ornaments, both of which will be decorated and constructed at the weekend.
Don't say it very loudly, but I may just be starting to get into the holiday mood...

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Inca in Pics... I really should have kept a diary...

Freshly washed at the hotel on Day 1 of the trek...
Poised at KM82, the official start of the Inca Trail 
The long and winding path that rose up to lunch on Day 1...
... the top of which greeted us with a torrential downpour...
The start of Day 2 saw Mum taken off the mountain with a chronic chest infection and a pulled intercostal muscle...
... puffy eyed from upset and strife, I still manage some chocolate pudding at lunchtime...
Foliage: an excellent excuse to stop to admire and photograph. Most are slightly out of focus due mainly to a lack of oxygen and a pounding chest from the frickin mountains that refused to go flat for us.  
I worked various looks over the four days, from poised in orange cagoule, to a thermals/shorts combo that would frighten even the trendy London crowd, to a final 'get out of my way you recently showered tourists or I shall bare my stinky pits at you' Maccu Piccu stance.
An emotional and exhausted reunion at the Sun Gate before the skies cleared for a deliciously warm and toasty Maccu Piccu tour...

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Home Safe and Showered


Heathrow Terminal Four, Saturday 19 November 2007

On the Maccu Piccu train back to Cusco - sunburnt, tired and victorious!

Saturday, November 24, 2007

Safe and Sound in Peru

Hello Just a note to say I´m safely back.

Superlatives aside, it was the most challenging thing that i have ever done in my entire life, mentally, but physically, i´m delighted to say that i´ve escaped pretty unscathed.

We´ve walked 26 miles over 4 days at over 4000m altitude. Mum had to leave on day 2 and go back to base camp which was really hard for both of us - her lung infection from the previous week just wouldn´t shift and she couldn´t catch a breath which at that altitude with that kind of work wasjust not an option. She walked up to meet us at macu piccu yesterday for an emotional reunion which was excellent.

Myself, the memory of the endurance is fading fast but it was truly daunting on a daily basis. We walked for twelve hours a day for three days straight. Mum´s walking friend, Rob, twisted his anke on the second day and was hopalong rob for the rest of the walk - not cool for 2,500 inca ´steps´ down in the persistent rain: basically climbing down a vertical riverbed on a crutch.

The next day, I fainted at the top of a mountain requiring oxygen and the four doctors who were present (even at altitude I have docs fighting over me!) to get me vertcial again.Took the rest of the day to shake off the queasy head and then twisted my ankle ten minutes before camp. By that point, Rob and I were crying with laughter and delirious panic at theridiculousness of it all.

I´ve made a couple great friends and met many more wonderful people in the mixed bag of allsorts that made up our pack of 47 walkers. Mum was amazing. She walked her hardest and I´m so sorry that her nasty lungs prevented her from completing what I know for a fact she could have done.Her legs were brilliant, we had two days climbing and one nights camping then she had to endure waqlking all the way back to where we´d started and stay in a youth hostel by herselfuntil she could meet up with us again.

I´m trying to avoid the inevitable dramatic undertones, but it doesn´t quite stand up to explanations or descriptions. I am emotionally drained but delirious with achievement at the enormity of what I was capable of doing. I will bore you all silly with photos and the minifilms i shot on the Boy´s digital camera on my return, but for now, sending oodles of love and thanks to my dear dear friends who have been so supportive.

Thank you.

Friday, November 16, 2007

I LOVE ETSY: Does that make me crafty or nerdy???

The most fabulous pins above can be purchased for the bargain-tastic $3.50 from seller buttonempire here.

And the name of the fabulous pins??

The Dynamic Duo.

This has made my Friday.
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Tuesday, November 13, 2007

3 Days and Counting

The great packing quest has begun. This morning I purchased baby wipes, anti-bacterial gel and dry spray shampoo. I have blagged me some four sample pots of beauty-counter moisturisers and have stuffed the sleeping bag into its little sack.

In no uncertain terms, I have the fear.
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Monday, November 12, 2007


Proof if proof were need that our gorgeous platter has a multitude of uses...

Tapas starter platter for the Boy's birthday dinner...

Cheese and biscuit platter for the Boy's birthday party three days later....

Are you sensing a theme here too? 

Thursday, November 08, 2007

It's getting hot in here...

Check out that thermometer to the right! Only a week left to go to our trek and only £350 more to go to our target. Looks like we're going to get there with ease. Financially, I mean.

That mountain may be a different matter...

Sunday, November 04, 2007

The wonders of Japanese Wrapping techniques

My boss travels. Alot. He requires a lot of organisation. Recently this organisation has stretched to fifteen individuals from different organisations in Japan, India and London working together to ensure that, during his 48 hour window in the UK last week, the Indian Embassay processed a visa application that normally takes over two weeks.

On his return from Japan, he gave me this parcel.


In case you're wondering, the greaseproofed package in the can, in the straw, wrapped in rice paper, in the box, in the paper wrapped in ribbon contained...

...sugared and seasoned walnuts.


Thursday, November 01, 2007

Crafty Christmas

Just had a quick browse through my old posts looking for a picture of Columbia Road and am flabbergasted by the amount of crafting I got up to last year. You can tell I was a student, can't you?


Chutney, Marmalade

Christmas tree decorations

Gift Tags

Ginger cake

Good lord and little fishes... I've got a lot to live up to this year!

Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Crunchy *Country* Autumn in the Cities

Verulamium Park and St Albans Abbey, returning for the first time since the evening of the engagement. It was a glorious sunshine autumn and we sat on the grass eating takeaway pizza with scarves and sticky fingers.


Then on the Sunday to Hackney City Farm to sample the delights of the chickens, the largest pig in Europe (surprisingly underwhelming for such an accolade, or maybe I'm just used to American proportions of all things, including livestock) and delicious off-menu salad from the very child-friendly cafe.

Blissful heaven of a weekend.

Friday, October 26, 2007

Jack of All Trades...

Master of One...

It seems that I have now graduated from my eternal studentdom with a Masters in Arts Administration and Cultural Policy.

With Distinction.

Hand on heart...

This (left) wasn't quite my reaction, but it was close. Relief, a very much lower bank balance, and a masters.

Not bad for one years' work.

Image taken from my impromptu sesh with the wonderful Seamus at Sunday Shoots on Columbia Road, now forming the basis of the Boy's birthday present. Now aren't I generous?!

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

My glamorous glamorous life...

Matthew Williamson: Ten Years in Fashion opened yesterday at my place of work.
A BBC interview (imagine me, just left to camera) is viewable here and we hosted many a celeb and soapstar at the opening last night. Pictures to follow when the paparazzi get theirs online...*
*Needless to say, I spent the evening stood with a clip board at the door and failed to recognise anyone beyond Thandie Newton. I did, however, have very good hair.