Thursday, 31 May 2012

Moonrise Kingdom

Go see it. Just go. Put down your glass of wine/cup of tea/work/iphone game, and go. Go now.

You won't regret it (unless you're one of that small population who find Wes Anderson films so deeply irritating and self-consciously quirky they make you want to claw your eyes out wih a pencil. You should probably steer clear, because I'm guessing you quite enjoy having eyes).

Personally, I like Wes (we met once, which makes us practically BFFs). I even quite liked the Darjeeling Limited, which I know didn't have the greateest reception. But Moonrise Kingdom is, I think,  my favourite of his movies since the Royal Tenenbaums.

Ed Norton is awesome. Bruce Willis was surprisingly great too. And - actually, I just typed a whole bunch of stuff about the world that Anderson creates, how distinctive it is, blah blah blah. But you can see that for yourself (or read an actual film review by an actual film critic).

So. Yeah. Just go.

Sunday, 27 May 2012

Summertime songs

It's Memorial Day weekend (aka the borderline-official kick-off to summer) here in the US of A. And I hear tell from England that the unseasonable gloom has lifted, and there's a mini May heatwave going on.

It's made me think about music festivals, and picnics with Pimms, and long weekday evenings in pub gardens, and look forward to driving along Ventura Blvd in the sun, or hanging out on Zuma beach, or lazy lunches outdoors under striped awnings.

So I thought it was about time to compile a playlist of some of the songs that remind me of summertime, both in London town and California.

Here's the extended spotify playlist - and there's a condensed version of the list below.


1. Blur, Parklife

2. The Wave Pictures, Just Like a Drummer

3. Tom Petty, Free Fallin'

4. The xx, Crystallised

5. Neil Young, Harvest Moon

6. The Beach Boys, Wouldn't It Be Nice

7. The Kinks, Sunny Afternoon

8. Love, The Good Humour Man He Sees Everything

9. M83, Midnight City

10. The Magnetic Fields, California Girls

11. The Ramones, Rockaway Beach

12. Jack White, Blunderbuss 

Monday, 21 May 2012

Round here

I've never thought of myself as being particularly well-equpped for sunny climes.

I'm pale and freckly, and far from happy wandering around in a tiny bikini (by which I mean, you will NEVER see me wandering around in a tiny bikini).


Those yellow things? Fake lemons. I have no idea why.

Lately it's really felt summery here - perfect, cloudless days without the crazy, intense heat that comes into play later in the year.

So what better way to spend a Sunday afternoon than hanging out by the pool at the Roosevelt, surrounded by absurdly muscular men with multiple tattoos, and ridiculously attractive women in very, very small bathing suits?

*Out of shot - two LA visitors, and me, fully clad, in the shade, eating burgers and drinking mojitos, bitching about the best and worst of the many fake boobs on display, and wondering if any of those girl have been on The Hills.*

Wednesday, 16 May 2012


When I first moved here, and I was still in what was basically a state of shock that I'd made this huge move, left my life behind and relocated to a place where absolutely everything was unfamiliar, I remember I counted the days.

I've been here two days.

I've been here seven days.

It's been two weeks.

One month.

Three months.

Then, gradually, I started to feel more settled in LA. I moulded myself into some sort of routine. I explored. I welcomed visitors. I made new friends. I stopped counting.

On May 16th last year, my friend B waved off me, two very overpacked cases and a really ill-judged hat onto a flight bound for LAX. I had no idea whether I was making a huge mistake, whether I could stick it out.

Today is the first anniversary of my time living here. And it wasn't a mistake. Actually I think it might have been the best decision I ever made.

I miss my friends every day. But they're still my friends. I still talk to them as much as ever, I still know what's going on in their lives. My family have been to visit. They're coming again this summer.

And I know this isn't forever. One day, I'll be back in England, picking up the threads of my life there, and everything here in the West coast will start to seem very far away indeed.

So for now, I have lots of plans to make the most of another summer in this amazing city, take advantage of my independence, and explore as much of California as I can.

This occasion might call for cake...

Monday, 14 May 2012

Flea market finds - again

I've been waiting for a proper opportunity to play with my new camera (aka the love of my life) for weeks, and Sunday's trip to the Rose Bowl flea market finally gave me an excuse to get snap-happy.

It was a freakishly hot day, and the Rose Bowl is absolutely vast, so what started out as a serious price-comparison mission for mid-century sideboards soon turned into an excuse to drink lemonade and admire tea cups...

But I did manage to come away with a couple of happiness-inducing bits and bobs.

Who doesn't need a jigsaw puzzle/globe?

And while I managed to hold out on the extortionately priced tea cup and saucer sets above ($25. Really? Really?)  I did pick up another couple of pretty cups.

My photography skillz need some serious work, but these are certainly an upgrade from what I can produce with my phone camera, so I'm not too unhappy with my first efforts!

Saturday, 12 May 2012


It's been a pretty awesome week here in LA - flying visits from English friends, clear skies and a crazy number of opportunities to try out some new eateries.

All of them were great (I think you could eat out at a different place every night for a year in this city and still be dining incredibly well) - but A-Frame was, without doubt, the highlight.

All pictures from A-Frame

The space is super-simple and wooden - it feels a bit like a Swedish sauna, actually - in a good way. The service was the friendliest I've had since moving here (a waitress who actually recommends you order less now and see if you fancy a second dessert course afterwards? Hello!) And the food - oh dear god, the food.

We were on a shared table, and all my friend and I did in the time it took for our meal to arrive was stare fixedly at the people eating in front of us, because everything looked so freaking AMAZING.

The restaurant describes itself as 'modern picnic'-themed - which basically means you're eating from very prettily patterned tin plates, and everything comes designed for sharing.

There are loads of unusual flavour combinations - asparagus with kimchi puree? Pork chop with pickled spring onions? But our favourite weirdo dish of all was the banana bacon cream pie. Sprinkles of bacon on top, bacon baked into the pie crust. Should be so wrong. Tasted so, so right.

Who knew?

Wednesday, 9 May 2012


On days like this, I have to admit I really don't miss England that much at all...

That is a blue sky, people.

That is t-shirt weather.

That is iced coffee weather.

And that is also a new scarf - thanks for noticing. Yes, I think it's very pretty too - how kind of you to say so!


Sunday, 6 May 2012

This weekend...

... I have mostly been eating pie.

 Chocolate cream pie and chocolate banana cream pie, to be exact.


I was introduced to House of Pies in Los Feliz. As you can see, it was a miserable experience for everyone involved.

 Happy May bank holiday!