Wednesday, 28 August 2013

A working holiday

I had to work Bank Holiday Monday.

"Boo!", I hear you cry. "No fair. Poor Celia, trapped in the office hiding from the sunshine."*

I don't really deserve any sympathy, though. Because:

1. I'm squirrelling away lieu days for future adventures (seriously, it's trip-planning a-go-go round here)

2. I did manage to see my beloved S, who was over from Amsterdam, for brunch before I went into work. Veggie brunch no less, with smoothies and bubble and squeak and general good things.

She loves me taking pictures at brunch. Really she does. 

3. Working in a super quiet office is strangely therapeutic, and I actually got. shit. done. 

4. I just postponed the fun and games to Tuesday. 

I got lucky and blagged tickets to a screening of The Way, Way Back for my friend B and I. 

To be honest, it has Allison Janney in, so I probably would have been sold right from the beginning. (CJ! Who doesn't love CJ?) But still - it reminded me once again why being a teenager is a fucking bitch. And why being grown-up isn't always a huge amount easier.

It also reminded me why I love Sam Rockwell. There are many reasons why I love Sam Rockwell.

And then we got to go for German sausage and saukraut and Breton cider in Soho - without any queues, because the rest of the world was knackered/impoverished post-bank holiday. 

So yeah. As bank holidays go, no record breaking adventures, but not too shabby!

* Or alternatively, feel free to remind me that I usually work four-day weeks and that I'm not exactly a miner/ice fisherman/UN weapons inspector. That's fine too. 

Saturday, 17 August 2013

Top of the Lake

The Top of the Lake

I had big plans for my Friday off work. Then I made the fateful decision to watch the first episode of Top of the Lake on iplayer. 

Goodbye plans. Au revoir productivity. 4-mile run? Totally didn't go. 

I mean, it's not like I hadn't suspected I might enjoy it. There were some things tipping the balance in its favour before I'd even watched a second:

:: Elisabeth Moss. Aka The Best Thing Mad Men Has To Offer Except Don Draper. Aka the President's youngest daughter in the West Wing.

:: Jane Campion. Because she's weird and awesome and The Piano is a very unsettling film.

:: New Zealand. Because, hello. Have you seen Lord of the Rings?

Top of The Lake (NZ)

The thing is though - and I'm almost scared to admit this in Britain, c.2013 - I'm not really much of a crime drama kind of girl. Even skandi-crime. Yep, it all looks great, very nicely shot, I totally appreciate all the cool knitwear and the chance to learn some Danish, but it always just kinda reminds me of a really, really jazzed up version of Silent Witness. Or Inspector Morse. Or Taggart. 

Kid/adult disappears, is found dead. Policewoman/man with deep-rooted psychological problems investigates, gets too close to the case. Gets thrown off case/causes a rumpus. Steps in, saves the day. All potential suspects are investigated, weird facts uncovered, eventually we find out it was the creepy neighbour/jealous wife/greedy heir/local gangster.

And this - this is the same but also so totally different. Are you asking why? Good. Here's why:

:: Holly Hunter with waist-length grey hair, playing a creepy/charismatic kinda cult leader followed by sad lonely women.

:: The sad lonely women - one of them has had a very traumatic experience with an chimp called Brad. With whom she used to share a bed.

:: It's all just weird. Slightly off-kilter, slightly bizarre. There's the guy high on methadone who'll only let people speak in the present tense. There's Peter Mullan, flagellating himself at his mothers' grave. There are references to the Bible, and Paradise, and serpents. It's all veering towards Twin Peaks, in the best possible way.

:: The guy above? Standing next to Elisabeth Moss in a terrible hoodie and drop-crotch jeans? Shouldn't be hot. But so is. 

:: Episode 5? Gut-wrenchingly good final ten minutes, culminating in the perfect use of Bjork. Who, in weirdness terms, is clearly some kind of long-list soul-mate of Jane Campion.

One episode left to wrap up about a million loose threads - eek!

Wednesday, 14 August 2013


I didn't really know south London before I moved here. I'd always lived north, or east.

Plus I'd been away from London for two years, and London is a fast-moving city. Restaurants open and close, areas gentrify in the blink of an eye. Buildings get demolished and giant skyscrapers pop up on the skyline.

What that means, basically, is that every time I get a free weekend to venture out and about, it feels a bit like an adventure. Like I'm a tourist in the city I've lived in for most of my adult life. In a good way.

Last weekend was a quietly great one. A Friday night dinner here with cocktails and lamb and stinky cheese, with a housemate who not only tolerates me getting snap-happy over my food, she actively encourages it.

A lazy Saturday, and then a Sunday that involved veggie brunch and cute cats and girl chat. Then lots and lots of wandering, through Dulwich and Herne Hill and Brixton, with nowhere I had to be, no time constraints, no plan. No pressure.

I like London.

Friday, 2 August 2013

Sunshine and Greek food and All The Talking

Besty A and I have been mulling over our holiday options this year for EVER.

I kind of actually do mean that, with only a smidgen of exaggeration. Because this year marks our 20th friendiversary, or somesuch dodgy word. We were nine when we first met each other. Two decades of non-stop talking, several thousand 2+hour phone conversations and a few hundred in-jokes later, she's still the first person I call with good news. Or bad news. Or no news at all.

Or when I've bought something I'm not sure about. Or when I'm about to make a decision and it might not be a good one. And once, when I forgot my pin number.

So yeah. Anniversary trip. We talked about so many different options: Japan, South America, Cuba, Egypt, Jordan. At one point, when the finances were looking particularly grim, a tent next to a roundabout in Suffolk (to be fair, that would be a recreation of one of our first, actually pretty awesome holidays).

But, after all that, we're going to Greece. To Kefalonia, to be precise.

Because PRETTY.

Photo credit

Because it's in the budget, and it looks, well, like this.

Because we realised that actually, what we want to do on this trip is hang out with each other and eat yummy food and lounge around and read books.

Because neither of us have been to Greece much (A's been for Crete, I've been to Corfu a couple of times) so it's new to us both.

To keep on track for my 50 books a year target, I need to read eight books on this trip. All recommendations welcome!