Wednesday, 31 December 2008
Thursday, 25 December 2008
Sunday, 21 December 2008
Saturday, 20 December 2008
- Stayed for the first time in a fabulous modernist house in the Cotswolds (see photo of our living room!). View from the living room to die for. An on-site spa with two amazing swimming pools. It's roughing it in the country, but not as you know it.
- Swam outside (yes, outside) in the wonderful outdoor swimming pool. It was minus one degrees outside and it was just bliss.
- Had my first ever accident with George which was my fault. Entirely. Took me days to get over it. It involved him falling onto a stone floor while I turned away for a second. I know it's a rite of passage but that doesn't make me feel better, thanks.
- Drinking lovely English pink champagne for the first time. Yes, I know you thought you'd never see all those words together in the same sentence.
- Going to Cotswolds Wildlife Park and being chased by a goat. Lost a shoe. It's a long story and one which my dignity could not entertain disclosing.
- Went to Paris on my romantic one-day only date with lovely DH. We went for the first time to Le Train Bleu for lunch. I cannot recommend this restaurant enough. It sounds unpromising: a brasserie in a station. It is utterly incredible. Painted vaulted ceilings - and suddenly you're dining in the Sistine Chapel. Glamour central. Indulged in one two many 'Train Bleu' cocktails. Ever want to impress a new love? Take them here.
- Bought three scarves over the last two days. This is from the woman whose attitude is usually "cold, what cold?" - I have a new addiction to cashmere.
And those are just the highlights. And we have found a new home to rent. Works on our current house start in January at last so prepare yourself for some 'shouted at an electrician' or 'fell out over wallpaper' first times soon... Hope I can post again before Christmas, but if not... Happy Holidays to everyone. Love to all. x
Friday, 12 December 2008
- Mumsnet is my all time favourite website ever. It carried me through pregnancy (the 'due in September 2008' thread), it deals with all my child-rearing issues (the 'Parenting' thread) and makes me laugh out loud every single day (the 'Am I Being Unreasonable?' thread)
- It's a website for Mums, where we get together and chat. I have no idea who anyone else is, as we all have natty monikers. No of course I am not telling you mine, that would totally defeat the purpose.
- At Christmas every year, Mumsnet organises 'Secret Santa'. You can either be the giver or the receiver. It means that Mums who have had a hard year financially can receive presents for them or their kids from fellow Mumsnetters.
- I gave this year. For the first time. I sent a parcel off last week (it's all anonymous of course) to someone's family I had been matched with. Now I don't tell you this to make me sound like a lovely person, although of course I am.
And today I got my response on the 'thank you' thread. Here it is. "To the lovely lovely lovely person who has sent me ... today in the post, I cannot believe someone would be so kind and I thank you from the bottom of my heart. THANK YOU SO SO MUCH, you restored my faith in the human race!"
I actually cried.
Wednesday, 10 December 2008
However, real muffins are apparently Lancashire Oven Bottom muffins. These are bread rolls with a blackened ring on top. These delicacies are still only available from market stalls in Lancashire. These days, they apparently also make wholemeal ones as a gesture towards healthy eating, but as you may have guessed from yesterday's entry, there's really there's no place for such healthiness in Lancashire's lard and stodge diet in my view!
Monday, 8 December 2008
Sunday, 7 December 2008
Friday, 5 December 2008
Wednesday, 3 December 2008
Monday, 1 December 2008
- First time visit to L'étoile du Nord theatre, where my sister was performing in a play
- First time visit to Les Jardins du Luxembourg (which close at 5pm - is there a war on or something?)
- First time to the fabulous vintage shop across the road from the hotel from which was purchased my new hat: it's not real fur, right!? (see photo)
- First visit to Indian restaurant with lots of extended members of my family (including new partners of both my parents)
- Having a bath with George in a massive jacuzzi bath in the hotel.
My sister is an actress. I'd like to say that it's always a pleasure to see my sister in a play, but it's not actually true. True enough, she's always disconcertingly fantastic, and trust me, I'd say if this wasn't true. What's stressful is waiting beforehand - Is the play going to be awful? Will I have anything nice to say about it afterwards? Will other people like her? She's in a play about (get this) a man who is badly disfigured in a war, who has a face transplant and ends up in horror films. He dies at the end - sorry if you were going to see it, by the way. Didn't sound too promising, was brilliant. She is unrecognisable and I say that in a good way.
Friday, 28 November 2008
Thursday, 27 November 2008
Sunday, 23 November 2008
Friday, 21 November 2008
Monday, 17 November 2008
Tuesday, 11 November 2008
- I spend quite a lot of time on the internet. This does not mean that I am shopping for clothes on Net A Porter or planning my next holiday, oh no. It means that I am looking up the finer points of a difficult legal argument.
- Yes, I do spend quite a lot of time enquiring about the well-being of someone called George. He's my son, and yes, I do spend a disproportionate amount of time discussing the cuteness of said person.
- I do have quite a lot of sweets in my desk/bag/drawer. If you're having a low sugar moment, I will reliably have piece of chocolate somewhere to hand.
- I will never expect you to make tea for me, but if you're making one, mine's white with no sugar.
- I love what I do, but it's not always easy to believe that I do it well. Dropping in the odd 'you were brilliant in court today' will gain you unlimited Brownie points.
- I love this job. I hope you will too.
Sunday, 9 November 2008
Friday, 7 November 2008
Wednesday, 5 November 2008
Tuesday, 4 November 2008
Sunday, 2 November 2008
Friday, 31 October 2008
Thursday, 30 October 2008
- Arsenal and Spurs play football (soccer for Americans). You know, the type David Beckham plays (or used to, before he got all into developing his own perfume, wearing Calvin Klein underpants, living in LA and being a squeaky-voiced bona fide celebrity).
- I support Arsenal. I have a season ticket. They dress in red and white.
- Arsenal and Spurs fans HATE each other. The whole night consists of singing songs such as "Stand up if you hate Tottenham" and "Maybe next year, maybe next year, Tottenham in the top four [places in the league] maybe next year" (and these were just the polite ones). I love Arsenal songs. They've always got a funny new one. Arsenal have a striker called Adebayor. He's African - and hence black. When Steven Gerrard (Liverpool player) was having paternity issues about his latest offspring, the song went: "Adebayor's. Adebayor's. Gerrard's baby - it's Adebayor's." Genius. I digress.
- Arsenal v Spurs is always a fabulous occasion. The fans sing very loudly and when 60,000+ fans are singing, it makes for a good night.
Anyway. So Arsenal were winning 4 goals to 2 in the last minute of the game. Spurs had played terribly. Half the Spurs fans had left the ground. I was packing up to go home. Three points (for a win) were in the bag. The Spurs side then scored in the last minute and the score was 4 goals to 3. The Arsenal team literally fell apart and in injury time (time added on), Spurs scored again. For the first time ever - and this is not in my nature - I swore profusely and actually walked out of the ground before the final whistle in a strop. I stood outside muttering technical terms such as 'totally lost their shape'; 'totally inappropriate substitutions' until DH came to collect me. I almost cried on the way home and had to be consoled by the purchase of a warm pie. Who says it's just a game? I shall lamp anyone who says that to me today.
And the other first time? Well, got home to find a package addressed to me. Opened it to find a present from my lovely friend A. Opened it up and what is it? A tube of Estée Lauder Marzipan lipgloss. This will make sense if you have been reading the blog. For the first time, I shed a tear in the name of friendship. Who needs Arsenal when you have friends?
Monday, 27 October 2008
Sunday, 26 October 2008
Friday, 24 October 2008
Thursday, 23 October 2008
Tuesday, 21 October 2008
Sunday, 19 October 2008
Saturday, 18 October 2008
London is full of wonderful gallery spaces, so today, I decided that my first time should involve seeking a new one out. George loves galleries, as they are usually large enough to walk around in, he loves looking at new things and he always seems fascinated by new spaces. So this morning we perused the listings and realised that there was an exhibition of Richard Serra's sculptures at the Gagosian Gallery near Kings Cross. As arty-silly-interesting-specs as this may sound, pre-George, DH and I saw his sculptures exhibited at the Guggenheim in Bilbao and had been really blown away by them.
So off we went, in the autumn sun, and found this gallery, a mere 5-minute bus ride from our house. As we arrived we realised that lots of people were also heading for this tiny gallery; people arriving in taxis, people generally wearing black polo necks and interesting glasses (I know it's a cliché but it's true). Thank goodness George was wearing one of his coolest outfits, I thought.
Richard Serra's sculptures are very hard to describe. They are giant steel sculptures, 12 or 15 feet tall. They are large enough to walk in and for the most part, evoke feelings of discomfort and even panic as one walks inside them. One man emerging from one caught my eye and took a deep breath: "thank goodness for that", he said.
George of course took everything in his stride, walking around and inside the sculptures, staring at them occasionally. Some people smiled at him and others looked at me as if to say "Hey! A baby? Shouldn't he be at the park or something?" - but there's no accounting for people's prejudices...
Very highly recommended. Richard Serra, Gagosian Gallery at 6 Britannia Street, WC1X until December 20th.
Thursday, 16 October 2008
- On the pitch at the Oval, there are two small darker patches of grass. One is just in front of the Pavilion and the other close to the wicket. The first (larger) patch is where people who wish to have their ashes scattered at the ground come to rest. The groudndsmen are under strict instructions never to dig up the turf there. And the second (small) patch is where each and every one of the Oval's eleven cats have been buried. Again, they never dig that area up...
Wednesday, 15 October 2008
Tuesday, 14 October 2008
Monday, 13 October 2008
Friday, 10 October 2008
Today, for the first time, I am wearing my new eternity ring. It's called a Marguerita, it's the size of one of my fingernails and it sparkles like there is no tomorrow. No, it's not a diamond, it's an aquamarine.
This is a special first time, because I will be wearing it every day for the rest of my life. This ring was a present from my husband for having our son and is engraved with my son's name. I'm unofficially calling it The George Ring as a result. It got me thinking - how many material things in life do you really hang on to for life? Your home is likely to change, your clothes change, even once treasured items seem to fade in importance somehow.Even shoes fall apart (well, apart from my small collection of Pradas which will be with me for eternity - except that they're still in a box from the last move 2 years ago and still I can't find them).
Points for making me stare at my finger all day instead of concentrating on difficult technical evidence I was meant to be staring at today: 3.
Points for making me feel very lucky: 6.
Thursday, 9 October 2008
Today was the perfect day for this excursion. A bright, sunny autumn day with perfect skies. I got the train to Woolwich Arsenal (fell asleep on the train, and almost missed my stop, which almost usurped the subject of today's post by almost being the first time I did this, in general terms I'm just too organised to miss my stop).
Anyway. Reached Woolwich and got the lift to the top of the Greenwich Council Offices on the river, in advance of a meeting I had there. The view from the top is breath-taking: right down across the river, with a stunning view of the Dome, Canary Wharf, City Airport and most beautifully the Thames Barrier, which controls London from flooding. Actually I have no idea what it does so, mental note to self, I must check out its visitor centre sometime. It looks a bit like lots of tiny Sydney Opera Houses, floating on the water. Check it out for yourselves.
I spent about 20 minutes watching the planes take off and land from City Airport, just across the river from where I was. In order to avoid hitting tall buildings, they take off steeply and serve in a most unnerving manner. Stunning.
So: points for thinking 'London really is gorgeous' for once, instead of my usual 'Jeez! Why is London so busy? Why are people so rude? Why do the National Slow Walking Championships always take place when I am trying to get down a street quickly?' etc. : 8.
Points for being able to watch planes for a while without actually having to get in one (hurrah!): 7.
Wednesday, 8 October 2008
Tuesday, 7 October 2008
Thoroughly recommend it. Especially the men in uniforms.
I think it's time to create a rating system (out of ten, naturally). So:
Points for this 'first time' making me feel like a small child again: 9.
Points for this 'first time' being lots of other people's fantasy: 9
Monday, 6 October 2008
The concept is very simple - over the next year, I'm going to attempt to do, or try, something new every single day. I'll try to include photos when I can. Hopefully this will culminate in my husband making good his promise that our small family can go to live somewhere new for 3 to 6 months (all suggestions welcome) so that we can try something completely new every single day.
I'm not trying to life-defining or inspiring, I'm doing this just for me. Let me try to explain my own inspirations. First, there's that advert, you know, the one with the elderly lady who takes a helicopter ride for the first time? The tagline is "When was the last time you did something for the first time?" - it gets me everytime. Secondly, I'm inspired by one of oldest friends, Mel, who recently started a sassy and fabulous 'single gal in NY' blog which makes me laugh every morning. And finally - but most importantly, becoming a Mum. I promise that this isn't going to turn into one of these slushy blogs about how wonderful motherhood is. Becoming a Mum has made me somewhat sad about the things that I miss and I am determined to life to the full.
So here it is. I'm sure there will be occasions where my 'first times' will be very minor (new type of sandwich at lunch) but hopefully there will be all sorts of exciting ones too. No salacious first times either, I'm afraid.
And so for today - my first 'first time'. I've started and written my first blog. Here's to all the first times. And thanks to Jarvis Cocker for the name.