Sunday, 26 August 2012

The Coffee Set of Happiness

I didn't have a huge amount of downtime on my trip back to England - I was busy trying to squeeze in as many different meet-ups as possible, forming part of R&B's pre-wedding working party*, playing with cute babies and going to actual weddings.

But I did get a few hours here and there to hang out in my beloved Suffolk with my equally beloved friend A.

We went for a leisurely (and cake-filled) afternoon tea in Southwold.

We hung out next to the river with select beverages and select reading matter.

And, best of all, we paid a visit to a new vintage shop that just opened in Beccles. As has been well established, I'm a sucker for old shit. For flea markets, car boot sales, charity shops, and ebay finds.

Now I'm adding Vintage Mischief to the list. I did manage to just about remember that I don't actually live in England at the moment. So the beautiful mid-century sideboard, the floating shelf and the industrial-looking lamp were all out.

But there was one find I couldn't quite resist. I saw, I stroked, I murmured endearments.

And then, very tentatively. I asked the price....

... was pleasantly surprised to get change from £20 for a 4-cup coffee set, with pot, and merrily skipped away with a bunch of crockery I technically have no home for.

Luckily, A has offered to provide temporary sanctuary for The Coffee Set of Happiness.

Thanks A!

*so much fun - anyone else getting married soon? I hereby volunteer for any projects that involve no actual skill...

Wednesday, 22 August 2012

Just in case...

Just in case you ever wondered what it looks like to get all dressed up in your wedding finery, high heels, hair bits and bobs, and then clamber into the back of a Land Rover with bench seats to travel to said wedding down winding little country lanes at considerable speed...

It looks like this.

And also like this.

I highly recommend it.

It was an amazing day - beautiful weather, most of my favourite people in one room at the same time, a gorgeous bride and a seriously loved up groom - congratulations to R&B!

Monday, 20 August 2012


I've been a nomad for most of August, and will be again for much of September, as I'm heading back up to Toronto for a couple of weeks of intense work and hopefully some most excellent showbiz spots.

But while my September travels will be purely in the name of work and sleep deprivation, this month was all about fun. As well as my trip back to England to see beautiful new babies and watch lovely friends get hitched, I did a little California exploring.

A huge chunk of my holiday allowance gets used up on my visits home, but since I've been living here I've tried to make as many little jaunts as possible - to Vegas and the Hoover Dam, to Palm Springs, to San Diego and Santa Barbara - well, you get the picture.

My parents came out to see me at the end of July, and I managed to scrape together enough days off to head north to Yosemite with them. (Incidentally, my mother is the worst back-seat driver known to mankind. I was tempted to leave her in the crazy Swedish town where we stopped to eat smoked salmon open sandwiches a la Girl With the Dragon Tattoo. She loved that town so much I think it probably would have taken a couple of days of cooing over the giant Swedish crackers and the jars of pickled fish before she even noticed I'd gone.)

But yeah. I digress. Yosemite.

We saw A Bear.

In a Tree.


A black bear, to be precise. In an apple tree. I would regale you with pictures right now, but sadly my camera doesn't have a zoom lense just yet, and my pictures are basically of a big tree, quite far away, with a brown blob in it.

So instead, I shall regale you with facts.

Did you know that:

 - Black bears can actually be any colour from dark brown/black through to blonde?
 - They have a sense of smell multiple times better than that of a bloodhound?
 - They're really freaking good at climbing trees?

We also hired bikes to expore Yosemite Valley.

We all enjoyed that. Some of us more so than others.

 I have about a thousand more pictures I could share - Yosemite is absolutely stunning. We saw amazing wildlife (rattlesnake eating a mouse, anyone?), incredible rock formations and what would, in any other season, be mightily impressive waterfalls.

We swam in the river, hung out with some stoned Dutch dudes (my parents really clicked with them, it was both surreal and hilarious), visited some extremely large trees, and basically had a rather nice few days.

Thursday, 16 August 2012


I got back from another trip to England yesterday. More on that when I've processed everything, but for now, some notes from the journey.

 - Reading Fifty Shades of Grey on the tube can still make the person sitting opposite you on the Piccadilly line snigger.

 - When the fat guy sitting in the aisle seat rudely interrupts your conversation with his very nice wife to ask if you like sitting by the window, the correct answer is 'yes. Yes I do, thanks. That's why I requested a window seat.' The incorrect answer is 'um. I don't really mind.' That is how you will end up in an aisle seat getting your foot trampled on by mean BA air stewardesses. For ten straight hours.

 - Most customs guys at LAX are pretty lovely. Yesterday's one, however, took the time out to point at my visa picture and my passport picture, tell me I looked 'pretty cute' in the visa photo, and less cute (although he also said 'nothing like me' - which I guess is a compliment?) in the main passport pic. Thanks dude.

 - The one downside to watching about a million films a year is that when you get to the in-flight entertainment, the choice of unwatched fare is limited. So limited that on this journey, I stimulated my mind watching American Reunion. And A Little Bit of Heaven. No, I'm not proud of that.

- I travel a lot. I'm used to that bit when you get to arrivals and everyone there is being greeted by someone, and it's like that whole montage at the end of Love Actually, and then you walk through, and no-one notices. It doesn't usually bother me. Yesterday it sucked. Mainly, I think, because of the woman being greeted by a giant, fluffy St Bernard dog running around her in lunatic circles. I want a giant fluffy St Bernard.

On the plus side, I got to sleep in my lovely soft bed for the first time in nearly a month last night. For 12 straight hours. It was AMAZING.