Friday, 31 July 2009

Last night, for the first time, I saw Jude Law in the flesh, playing Hamlet in the Donmar Warehouse production of the play. My savvy friend S had managed to get seats in the front row of the stalls, and so we were within spitting (and definitely ogling) distance of the great man himself. Before the play started, we made a pact that if it were truly terrible, we would leave in the interval and go for dinner round the corner at Sheekey's - my favourite restaurant in the universe (well, OK, maybe it's in the top 5). However, within 5 minutes of the play starting, it was clear that we weren't going to be filling up on any of Sheekey's signature seafood dishes anytime soon. And this isn't just because of the general attractiveness of Mr. Law (who despite the gasps of the female audience members, is actually is a bit short, and is definitely balding) but because the production was just so excellent.

Afterwards, we sat dissecting it, and it's times like this that I am grateful for cultured friends. I managed "Hey, that was good wasn't it", whilst S said "I thought they could have thought a a bit harder about the Polonius-Ophelia family dynamic. Are they meant to be happy? Distant? Mad?" - she's fabulous, that girl.

The run is totally sold out, but beg, borrow or steal tickets. It's on at the Wyndhams Theatre and returns are available every day.

Thursday, 23 July 2009

Last weekend for the first time, DH, George and I went to see the new temporary pavilion at the Serpentine Gallery. For those of you who aren't au fait with this (and who are thinking great, how middle class and boring does that sound), each year the Serpentine Gallery in Hyde Park arranges for a (usually famous) architect to design and build a temporary summer pavilion. Come the end of the summer, it is all taken down and therefore it only exists for a limited amount of time. There's something really quite poignant (and remember, you are speaking to the Queen of Cynics here) about seeing a building you know for a fact you will never see again.

Last year's was designed by Frank Gehry and was simply stunning, so we headed out to see the new one, deisgned this year by SANAA, the Japanese architect firm. This one looks like a floating pool of water, and is filled with brightly coloured 'bunny chairs' as George christened them, as their backs look like two rabbit ears. I can't recommend a visit highly enough, especially as the Serpentine Gallery itself (next door) has a fab Jeff Koons exhibition on: all inflatable lobsters, pictures of glamour models and Popeye - yes, you couldn't make it up (but he obviously can). Mind you, walking around a gallery with a toddler, when the gallery is filled with inflatable toys which you can't touch isn't the easiest of tasks. The gallery attendants fixed George with a steely glare as we walked round, and I was most proud when he said as we left "Mummy, toys not for touching" within earshot of the particularly evil looking one.

Well worth a visit. The pavilion is there until 18 October.

Wednesday, 15 July 2009

Last week, I went shopping with my Mum for her wedding dress. I don't think I need to tell you that this is the first time I've ever done this: my Mum has been married before, but I certainly wasn't capable of accompanying her on a wedding outfit expedition on that occasion...

My beloved Mum gets married in the south of France on August 7th, to a very lovely and kind man called Geoff. It fills me with happiness just to anticipate this occasion: weddings are always full of joy and hope and good feelings, but when one your favourite people is doing it, the happiness really is special. So shopping for the wedding outfit was particularly poignant. In the middle of the first shop my sister and I soon realised that my lovely Mum doesn't realise how lovely she is - the first few dresses were treated to reactions such as "Oh no, that definitely won't suit me" and my personal favourite, "Oh, no, that's much too glamorous for me"... But needless to say that the outfit she chose (which I can't describe for obvious reasons) is wonderful, and what makes it glamorous, of course, is her.

There's something very odd about preparing for your own mother's wedding though. In many ways, it's probably a bit like your child getting married - I shall certainly breathe a secret sigh of relief that I now know she will be well looked after and loved in my absence. And I can't wait to stand next to her as she makes her vows. I'm so proud of her.

Monday, 13 July 2009

Last week for the first time, I went Dragon Boat racing. As I have the puniest arms in history, and zero stamina (I'm proud of these facts, don't feel sorry for me) I decided in advance that I should be the drummer, rather than being one of the paddlers. This decision, sadly, was taken without having actually seen the boat. In fact, the drummer sits high up on a chair at the front and beats out time - er, multiple falling off opportunities. So here's your summary:

  • There are ten paddlers and one drummer. The aim is to speed across the lake, the drummer beating time so that everyone in the team rows at the same time

  • There were 12 teams - all lawyers - so winning was clearly the name of the game

  • There were at least two lawyers in other teams that I wouldn't spit on if they were on fire, so my determination to win was ferocious.

We qualified fastest out of the heats and then it was down to 4 teams for the grand final. We were hilarious. As we waited on the start line, the umpire t0ld us we had a few minutes to go before the race started, so we could all practice our starts. No, we said. We are ready. And then we were off - me screaming 'Focus, focus!' and the others rowing like crazy. And you know what - we won. By 3 tenths of second. Fastest time of the day. This is us, sporting our gold medals. And I even made it back into central London in time to see Grace Jones in concert again. Lovely.

Tuesday, 7 July 2009

I've just returned from a really brilliant three days on the lovely island of Mallorca with my DH, sans child. There is simply no way that I am disclosing the name of the place where we stayed, because it is a small slice of heaven, and it is hard enough to get a room there at the best of times, and anywhere where they anticipate your need for a frozen strawberry daiquiri even when you didn't realise you actually needed one yet is a place worth keeping under wraps. Having been to Mallorca an unnatural amount of times already, my first times were few. But we did go, for the first time, to a really stunning new restaurant called Simply Fosh.

Simply Fosh is run by a chef called Marc Fosh, who is actually British but lives on Mallorca and cooks the most simple gorgeous food in extremely trendy surroundings - art installation? - got it. Located in an old convent - you got it. Posh ex pats fawning around - indeed. Marc Fosh himself welcoming you as you arrive - you guessed it. But despite all these attempts at uber-coolness, none of this can disguise the fact that it is a truly wonderful restaurant. My lemon cream dukka with rosewater sorbet sounded like a show-off-piece-de-2 star Michelin-resistance tat. It was in fact the best dessert I've ever had. And we got the last bus home, just to prove that we're not too posh after all.
Simply Fosh, at Hotel Convent de la Missio, Palma.

Wednesday, 1 July 2009

Hello my all-too-hot lovelies. For the first time ever, I have decided that I hate hot weather in London. Now, I know this means I am officially getting old. I have no desire to run off to the park and strip down to my underwear and sit in the sun (and I'll have you know that for someone who's 36 and has had a kid I look mighty fine in my underwear, so that's not why), and the truth is that there's nothing about central London and sun together, in the same place, which really works. This hatred also has nothing to do with the fact that I have to work in it, as I work in a fully air-conditioned office. it has everything to do with the fact that it is (don't check that, it is fully made up and may link you to a dodgy site). I also have a real issue with women who wear flip flops in central London. What? This isn't Ibiza, love. It's the mean streets. And your pasty feet look fat and swollen. And men who sport sunburn (and I don't care if you have been playing Wimbledon all week, mate) - what is that about? Attractive.

Anyway, I am off to Mallorca this weekend and the sunshine there will of course be excellent. But that is because there is (a) a beach (b) lots of outside cafes and (c) lots of outdoor pools, oh and also the fact that holidays + sun = good old time. London + sun = horrid sweaty mess. Urgh.