Tuesday, 31 August 2010

Denuded and Lighter Garden

Pete has come and removed the Virginia creeper, bringing some ivy down with it. The wall looks vile, and will until I manage to get some trellis on it. Meanwhile, in desperation, I have hung a few mirrors on it which look a bit mad. There's an interesting view into the deserted next door garden which is completely wild, but with some Chinese Trees of Heaven looming up which is probably a good thing.

Sunday, 29 August 2010

All is Revealed

OK, so the shop is owned by an ex actor called Christopher. It is only open Wedneday to Saturday from around 11.30 am and he only takes cash. If you are ever in the market for totally mad tiaras, this is the place for you. I shall keep going back for bits of bakelite, I suspect. Fun shop to look around. While I was purchasing, a young Japanese couple came in with a photographer. On the way out he handed Christopher his card. Seems you can hire a snapper by the day to do your holiday pics so you don't have to bother. Damn good idea.

Dorothy and Julian back last night from foreign parts. I purchased a bunch of flowers and a few groceries for them. They had a good time, despite the grim weather. Dorothy thinks I would love Tivoli because it's so kitsch.

These are possibly my favourites. They are rather clever - as well as being elasticated the buckles can be done up in two places, fitting most wrists.

This one is definitely eighties glitz. 'Dallas dowager' maybe?

I do love the flattened cube design. There are some clip on earrings to match which I may convert, or not.

Ill Gotten Gains

I really don't know why I am mentioning this, but had a wonderful time in Cecil Court, near Leicester Square, buying.

My friend Victoria had mentioned the place to me, so I hotfooted it over, and purchased:

Two bakelite cuffs, elasticated, one wide and one narrow

One diamante bakelite cuff (above)

One marvellous necklace with flat gold coloured 'cubes'.

One turquoise totally over-the-top necklace.

Then went home to admire my purchases. The diamante cuff will look perfect with black and my drag queen diamante specs.

Thursday, 26 August 2010


The Halifax ad on TV with the two vapid girls spilling coffee makes me want to throw a brick through the screen. I am becoming irascible.

Met the Chairman at work yesterday, who was most amused at the concept of my attending a balance clinic in the afternoon. Once there, I was thoroughly tested for an hour or two, everything normal until the final test, where water was poured into my ears, causing dizziness, which turned out to be much worse in the right ear than the left. Apparently the results are discussed with the consultant, after which I may hear further.

Quiet evening watching TV after all the excitement. Kooky very cross with the rain. I forced myself to stay up and watch Ultimate Big Brother, which was quite amusing, mainly because of John McCririck's exchange with the tree of temptation.

Monday, 23 August 2010

Life Goes On

It was a rather dull day yesterday with a little sun in the morning. Bought the papers and did a little cooking before subsiding with the papers. It rained in the evening and all night, much to the Kookster's irritation.

This morning, he started tormenting me from about 3am, jumping on me, mewing loudly and running over me. Later, when this had no effect, he raced rapidly and noisily all over the flat from room to room, until he finally forced me out of bed at 6.30am.

Spoke to Nibs yesterday. Her back is fairly awful, but she is otherwise OK and has a week off this week. I told her that our brother had left her a message on Facebook, which she doesn't look at much. Spoke briefly to Madeleine, whose nephew was staying with her. They were both heavily involved in watching Coach Trip on TV, a programme I confess I may have seen more than once.

I do hope Dorothy and Julian are having a good time in Copenhagen, and that the weather is a little better than it is here. Oh dear, just Googled it and it seems even worse, as the temperature is lower. Hope there's plenty to do indoors.

Sunday, 22 August 2010

Les Amis

I took a snap of the counter at Les Amis which gives you the feel of the place.

Dinner in SW6

Was invited to dinner by Victoria, with Audrey, her agent who has just retired, at Les Amis. We met at Vic's house and I had some difficulty in despatching two glasses of champagne. We had a lovely dinner as usual at Les Amis, accompanied by copious champagne. Vic was arrayed in the most astounding jewels, some of which can be seen on my snap: a huge diamante collar in three pieces; a large diamante cuff, and huge dangling earrings like peacock feathers, also diamante to the hilt. Not to mention two knuckleduster rings.

As we sat, a young woman at another table had recognised me, but I couldn't quite place her. Seems she was the director on ITV House Guest which I did a couple of years ago. She kept referring to my 'marvellous house', which was quite agreeable, considering what a tip it usually is.

After seeing the guy who owns 'Sensational' in the Elephant & Castle shopping centre there, I wonder which acquaintance I will bump into next at Les Amis. Small world.

Thursday, 19 August 2010

Quiet Life in SE1

The day improved a little with a visit to Selfridges to try the new Jo Malone scents. In fact the one I was most interested in was out of stock and I didn't like the others too much, so I came back for lunch and had a leisurely afternoon and evening.

Today, I paid my salary cheque in, collected a dress from the dressmaker, had coffee followed by a chat with the guy from Sensational who had just had a wonderful holiday in the Camargue staying with rich friends in a super house. Seems they really don't like the taxman in France. He told me that the tax people were inspecting the laundry bill for a local restaurant, tallying up the number of napkins laundered with the number of covers in order to charge maximum tax. The enraged owner got together with the rest of the village and the taxman was completely ostracised by everyone and had to leave the place in a hurry. Apparently, before he eventually left, if the taxman went to a local restaurant for a meal, all the other diners would move away from him to tables at the other end. Bars and shops closed suddenly as he arrived, and so on. So French, somehow.

Dorothy has a new suit and various pairs of shoes. Farewell company drinks tonight and packing tomorrow to spend a week at a conference abroad before starting the new job.

I am trying to think of an easy and delicious pudding to make as I am filling in at an SE1 dinner.

Wednesday, 18 August 2010


Didn't sleep well, so fed Kook this morning and returned to bed. Had tea and toast in bed later, then ran a bath.

As I was about to climb in, I saw a wasp on the wall over the bath. I went to the hall cupboard to find some spray, and a gloss tin of white paint fell and spilled all over my wonderful oak floor, into the bathroom floor, and basically, all over the place. Panic and disbelief. Then I rapidly found kitchen roll, loo roll etc etc and after spreading the paint further on my feet, managed to dab up most of it leaving huge white stains. I then remembered that the paint was water soluble so spread water all over the place and mopped up. Finally, the floor in the hall is a bit stained with white but I am sure this will wear off, but the bathroom floor has huge white patches because the tiles are tiny ceramic discs normally surrounded by grey grout but now by white paint. I may regrout the bathroom floor. Now I have had my bath and scrubbed the paint off myself.

Not a good start to the day. Wasp still on wall. That will teach me to think of killing things.

Tuesday, 17 August 2010

Cooking Again

Trying to use up some frozen chestnuts had the idea of frying chopped onions and garlic, adding sliced chorizo,then seasoning and adding stock, celery salt and parsley, chuck in the chestnuts and some cannellini beans and cook for a while. I thought I had invented this but in fact chestnut and chorizo soup made with celery and carrots added is well known in Spain. Added some tomato puree and it was delicious.

Back at work for a day, then I am on leave for the rest of the week while Romy goes off to Spain again. Pete is coming to dismantle my Virginia creeper next week, which will be a relief. Must think about purchasing some lattice to cover the wall until I put some creeping stuff up it. Preferably something which won't stick to the wall.

Dorothy seems to be losing 2lb a week, making me rather envious. Must make more of an effort.

Monday, 16 August 2010

Dancing Fred, Poulain Bread Pudding and Dull Days

Spoke to Dorothy whose last day at work went very well. Julian was due back on Sunday, it seems. I went to East Street on Sunday to purchase a paper and have a cuppa, and spied Dancing Fred, who did not see me. On the way back, passed the Strata building which had large snaps of local people displayed and was confronted by a huge snap of Dancing Fred. We can't keep not meeting like this. Fred is very photogenic, I must admit. He's called Dancing Fred because despite his years, he is very dapper, slim and an excellent dancer, an example to us all. He also smiles all the time, which helps.

Used up the last of my Poulain bread in making a bread pudding which I soaked in Lapsang tea rather than water. I did overspice it a bit, but it came out very well and I have sliced and frozen it to keep out of temptation.

Spoke to Nibby too yesterday. She now has her Oz citizenship and was taken out to lunch by friends, then given a party in the evening where people said good things about her and tried to persuade her to stay in Oz.

The weather continues to be very drab, unfortunately. This morning I had some fried quails eggs with bacon for breakfast. It is a shame that the whites are too transparent. I may have to poach the next lot if I don't hard boil them. I may try scrambled ones at some time.

Friday, 13 August 2010

Sister Act, Cream Tea and More Shopping

We took 80 punters to the matinee of Sister Act with Whoopi Goldberg. This was fantastic lighthearted fun and everyone enjoyed it.

The next day was spent at the office in the morning having a bad time with admin, but relieved by omitting lunch and leaving early for an afternoon tea at the Carnaby Restaurant in some hotel which turned out to be near the Palladium. Rosemary treated me, and everything was on one large plate, from finger sandwiches, to small warm scones with clotted cream and jam, lemon drizzle cake,fruit loaf, chocolate cake and a tiny panacotta topped with fruit. Oh, and tiny pieces of fruit: orange, kiwi, and strawberry. The helpings were small so not quite so excessive as it sounds, but enough to be quite filling, and they actually did Lapsang tea, so full marks.

After this we fell into the shops for a while then jumped into a cab home. We had intended to have a glass of cava at Lye Torng, but Dorothy rang and wanted to meet early for dinner, so we abandoned the idea.

Since there was a nearly two hour wait for a table at Brindisa, we opted instead for Applebee's and had fish soup followed by lots of different grilled fish with salad. We were very good, and finished up with a coffee. Dorothy is very busy, with a new job looming and conferences in between, so I was lucky to grab the chance of dinner. Julian is in Barcelona and expected back on Saturday.

I just wish the weather would improve since I would love to repeat my new-found experience of going up and down the river on a sunny day. Perhaps there will be an Indian summer in September.

Tuesday, 10 August 2010

Free Makeup

Went to John Lewis where I had a coffee and read my paper looking at the rather dismal weather outside.

After a glance around eveything, and being quite attracted by some curtain tie-backs in a whiteish string colour, I opted for a free makeup by a Clarins girl, who cunningly managed to make my face look un-made up. Purchasing a couple of things, and then some Clinique green stuff to reduce the colour in my red, spotty cheeks, I came back. I am now convinced after much Googling that the spots and red are a long term reaction to using mineral makeup powder. Each time I use it I have had lasting problems.

I met Romy for a late lunch in Lye Torng and we had a 'business' chat. I am having a lazy evening as usual. Forgot to buy milk so will have fruit cordial this evening. Must keep more instant or long life milk in the cupboard.

Sunday, 8 August 2010

Eventually I ended up lunching in solitary splendour in Toulouse-Lautrec where they thoughtfully provide books (below) for the sole diner. I started with a kind of tower of a small toasted bun covered in mushrooms, with a folded bacon rasher above, then topped with a perfect egg, a kind of mini breakfast. This was followed by trout with almonds, fondant potatoes and a mixed green salad which was excellent. I was tempted and had a small pudding of apples with ice cream, after which I staggered home, replete. Fortunately it was quite a hearty walk, so may have made up for the lunch a bit.

Nibby and East Street

Had a long chat with Nibby. Her citizenship ceremony is next Tuesday and her friends are putting on a party for her. We chatted about the garden. I had been thinking about Pete digging up the Virginia creeper which is now quite out of hand. The wall is a very ugly one though. Nibby suggested that I put up trellis all over the lower part and train some other plants up this. Sounds a good idea to me.

I went to East Street market, picked up a paper and went into a market cafe where the traders seem to assemble (above). The coffee was instant and foul, so if I go again it will be for tea.

Saturday, 7 August 2010

Market and Jackie's Party

Yesterday I went to borough market. There were huge crowds of tourists, but I eventually managed to purchase a small game pie and three dozen quail's eggs. I also bought some milk and some Poilane bread. Briefly greeted Richard and Mike at The Rake, who said they saw more of my son than me. Texted Dorothy, who was busy purchasing clothes. Lunch at Lye Torng then home for a brief rest.

It poured with rain during the afternoon and early evening. However I forced myself to get organised and set off for Jackie's party. She has a penthouse flat with marvellous views, and now the Strata building almost opposite, which certainly looks gigantic. There were a couple of new residents at the party.

People enjoyed the game pie and hard boiled eggs, and there was masses of food which people had brought including an enormous trifle. The weather had improved considerably, and I met some old acquaintances and chatted with a friend of Jackie's who lived in Switzerland who was with a very interesting surgeon, both from Iran originally. The surgeon told me he had been in Harley Street for 45 years but had never visited Madame Tussaud's. Jackie and I encouraged him to go. Someone told me there is a home catfeeding service but I immediately forgot the name. Oh well.

Back after 11.30 and straight to bed after grooming and giving treats to Kooky.

Thursday, 5 August 2010

More Tesco and dull days

Here's Kook dozing on the bed with one of his toys.

Spent at least half an hour in Tesco. The deputy manager passed me on to an assistant who was too busy to deal with the matter, so I returned after about 20 minutes when the guy finally arrived to sort things out. He had never sent anything off for analysis before and required help from me in spelling etc. At last I obtained a refund, and was told I might receive correspondance or calls from either Tesco or the manufacturers. Since Tesco was the name on the label they are obviously responsible at the end of the day. Anyway, we shall see...

The weather has been rather odd - colder and more dull, with a little rain and a bit of sun, but not enough to plan a day on the river, so I haven't done much.

Back to work for a day yesterday with Romy back from Spain. Next project is theatre matinee on Wednesday, and office next Thursday. Today is dull again.

Tuesday, 3 August 2010

Tesco's Scottish Porridge With Evil Thing Inside

Dear me! I had purchased the above porridge from Tesco's, and had all but finished it. I was shaking out the last serving today when I felt a clump inside. I shook it out and this weird thing came out, leaving a mouldy looking stain on the plastic in the corner of the pack. At first I thought it might be a small dead mouse, but now think that the thing they grind the porridge up in is conical in shape, and that what was sold to me in the porridge was a mouldy lump which had ascended from the bottom of said uncleaned hopper, as it is slightly conical. I have not so far become mortally ill, but will return this strange item to Tesco's, since I think Environmental Health probably doesn't exist any more, judging by some of the rubbish sold. Look before you eat!

A Few More Carnaval Snaps

These were rather difficult to do as people kept getting in front of me, but this is it.

carnaval 4

Finally realised by restarting the laptop it would get rid of my problem.

Monday, 2 August 2010

New Babe Coming to my House

Bloody thing won't work so can't get any more pics up.

Baby upstairs due in four weeks. Prospective papa looking for a new job and mama still working, but will go part time soon, which is just as well. Quite exciting really, a new baby in the house, though in another flat. Fortunately the nursery is on the top floor. Phew!

It has looked dull all day, but no rain, so I have been watering the plants and garden yet again. Did not have the energy to go out and buy some porridge, so will do that tomorrow. When coming back from Walworth Road I noticed a new Latino place in the railway arches by the new Strata building. May well investigate.

carnaval 3

carnaval 2

carnaval 1

Sunday, 1 August 2010


'Outside every thin woman there's a fat man trying to get in'. Quite funny quote I heard recently.

Anyway, there is a sunflower which has just opened in the garden. Must have come from some birdseed.

Today I ventured forth to the Walworth Road. Madeleine had been wearing some beige canvas pumps from M & S which I had also recently purchased. They were so comfortable I went in and bought the red ones. I was surprised to receive £8 change from the £10 I had proferred - seems they had been reduced from £10 to £2 recently. Great deal.

Found a paper and some crab claws in East Street market, then all the traffic was cleared so I would not get a bus back, so had lunch in a pub. Then the Carnaval procession came down the street, so took a few snaps. It was a long walk back home, and I fell asleep during the afternoon.