Monday, 27 April 2009

My favourite first time of the weekend has to have been my first visit to the National Film Theatre to watch a film. The Londoners amongst you will be saying "Sweetpea. How could you never have been to the NFT? It is a classic movie theatre, showing all manner of cool films. Where have you been hiding, Planet Odeon?" but the truth is that although I've been to the building a great number of times to meet friends for coffee or just to hang out, I'd never been to see a film.

But when I realised that they had a James Bond season on, I practically manhandled by DH out of the door, such was my excitement. Now, I have come to James Bond late in life. My Dad used to watch them and the blend of violence and the fact that the feminist movement never happened in the world of 007 used to put me right off. But now I think: what's not to love? Especially with the old ones? Sean Connery, rocket launches which look like an episode of the Clangers because the special effects are so bad, and a girl formula which goes something like this: There must be 3 girls. One at the start, who is in bed with James. She must die in the third frame. One who is vehemently anti-Bond. She must hate him, but then be overcome by him and his potent sexual attractiveness. And one who loves Bond and must end up with him in the final frame. And all on the big screen!

DH and I had a lovely evening, curled up on the comfy seats, watching Live and Let Die. Bet you didn't know that Roald Dahl wrote the screenplay for Live and Let Die. 007-tastic.

Friday, 24 April 2009

The most loyal of my readers will not have failed to notice that I am deeply cynical. I think it's a combination of (a) having parents who were active CND campaigners (that's anti-nuclear for those of you who have been living on another planet - or continent) who taught me to fundamentally distrust things said by people in power and (b) living in a big city like London where cynicism is the personality trait du jour. I love being cynical. It's part of me and trust me, I'll never be taken in by a scam... but anyway.

My reason for mentioning my favourite personality trait today is to tell you about my recent conversion to the benefits of physiotherapy. Now until recently I had physio on a par with Chinese medicine, fortune telling and osteopathy - that is, I had decided that as I had no idea what they entail, they were clearly just clap-trap, with no scientific basis whatsoever and moreover that they might even entail asking people to part with their cash when they were feeling a bit low in order to make them feel better about themselves rather than being a proper scientific thing. Maybe with physio it's because it involves massage and I thought it was just about relaxation or something.

However, I have well and truly been proven wrong here. Since I had George my right knee has decided that it no longer wishes to play ball and instead is painful and useless. So I was recommended physio and for the first time ever, I agreed to go. I was deeply cynical. In fact deeply doesn't really do it justice, I almost turned and left when I arrived at the physio place and saw a giant gym ball in the reception area, not to mention the natty football shorts they lay out for clients' use. However, apart from the fact that my physio is a most stunning Australian gent who knows all about football, what he does and recommends actually makes me feel better. My knee feels stronger. I've no longer 'lost control of it' (yes, that is actually the medical term for it). So apologies to all the physios of the world. You're clearly doing a sterling job.

Saturday, 18 April 2009

Back in London, where the sun continues to shine. I have a sick feeling in the pit of my stomach, but this is because my beloved Arsenal are playing in the semi-final of the FA Cup today and I have a feeling that I am going to go and watch them and they are going to lose. Anyway, this isn't my first time at a semi final or my first time at the new Wembley, so I need to move on.
Instead let me tell you about yesterday. Yesterday, DH and I had the immense joy of going posh furniture shopping. The avid readers of this blog will know that DH are currently, rather rashly you might think, doing up an old Salvation Army hall and turning it into a house. A rather massive house. And we came to the realisation that we move back into it in 3 months time and our tiny furniture just isn't going to cut it. So off we headed to lots of posh furniture shops. It was like being in a parallel universe.
Let me explain: a typical Friday for me goes something like this: get George up, have battle over what George wants to wear today, apply make up with one hand whilst stopping George from diving out of the window, go to work, work hard, come home, go to the park with George, clean up Play-Doh mess in the kitchen, glass of wine, bed.
Yesterday was: Get dressed in designer frock. Attend expensive Italian designer furniture store. Spend two hours discussing sofas and beds and ottomans (yes, exactly), lights, fabrics, you name it with someone called Tristan and another Italian man who waved his hands a lot. Spend indecent sum of money. Go to Bibendum (for the first time, natch!) and eat fabulous steak au poivre. Go to Harrods and spend almost two hours discussing hideously expensive dressing table, love seat etc. Fall into taxi. Very big glass of wine. Bed. Lovely.
But weird as this day was, I am now the proud owner of the loveliest sofa in the world. Well, I will be, three months down the line when Tristan has managed to persuade the Italian man to place the order and get it sent here. The Charles, it's called. Couldn't have thought of a better Italian name myself.

Sunday, 12 April 2009

Hello from sunny Cornwall, first timers! I've spent the last week in this beautiful region, doing lots of first time things: I've been to Mousehole (pronounced Mouzel apparently), Trereife Park (pronounced Treef) and St Michael's Mount (pronounced St. Michael's Mount)... But my favourite first time this week has been the discovery of Ken Eardley. Now I know that it's horribly naff for lawyers to pretend they know anything about art, or anything even vaguely creative. Don't even get me started on all those lawyers who claim that they 'love' and have a 'vast knowledge of' opera and spend vast sums on tickets to Royal Covent Garden tickets. Get with the programme: you're a lawyer. But anyway. I won't say I know anything about this man, or his work, but I loved him. Ken Eardley is a potter. He makes ceramics. And wandering around a little village one day I found some of his work in a gallery. A new lifelong love has begun, I feel it.

Tuesday, 7 April 2009

Hello from sunny Cornwall! Yes, I mean that ... it has been so sunny that I swam outside today and my face is a little browner. In the UK. In April. I know. Apparently the weather here is better than it is in Mallorca at the moment.

I am delighted to say that for the first time I am living the middle-class family holiday dream this week and there's nothing wrong with that, so get over it. Don't believe me? Get this: we are staying in a luxury self-catering apartment, in Cornwall, which clearly caters to middle class families just like me: pool, restaurant, babysitters on tap, cocktails brought to your apartment, DVD collection in your apartment, great views, five minutes walk to the sea, designer jewellery gift shop in the lobby. See? I told you. Middle class heaven. Only if I had a 4x4, a child called Jasper and a carbon footprint guilt-complex would I fit in more.

None of this is to knock the place, it's called The Cove at Lamorna and is genuinely wonderful; the staff are so friendly you can be sure it's not London, and swimming outside in April really does it for me. The caipirinhas also hit the spot...

Friday, 3 April 2009

So, on Monday this week for the first time ever, I went to a new QC ceremony. For those of you who have no idea what I am talking about, my husband was recently appointed Queen's Counsel (hence QC). It's an appointment which is made when you are pretty senior at the Bar and it means that you (a) are really quite clever (b) can command higher fees (c) are really showing off. You simply add the letters to the end of your name - so DH is now Darling Husband QC. If the Queen ever died or she simply handed over to Charles or William - please save us from this day - all QCs would automatically become KCs (Kings Counsel). Make sense?

The day itself is a veritable extravaganza. The outfit DH had to put on was really quite splendid (see photo, and yes that is my fabulous dress) - what you can't see from the photo are DH's black tights and patent leather shoes with buckles - pretty special. Ladies get to wear their own shoes apparently, so I am already starting to save up for some black Louboutins in case my time ever comes.

After an obligatory photo-session, we headed off the Westminster Hall in a massive Daimler, where I practised my royal wave at all the tourists leaning in the windows and trying to take photos of DH (who hates this sort of thing...). At Westminster, Jack Straw gave a speech about how wonderful the new QCs are but how they could not have done it without the love and support of their families (I'm warming to this man no end at the moment). They all had to 'solemnly declare' that they would do something (what this is appears to be lost in the mists of time) and DH was the only one who got it wrong... he solemnly 'swore' instead. Maybe this means he can be stripped of the status?

Then it was off to the Royal Courts of Justice for the main shebang. I think people would pay good money to watch this. We all sat in Court 4, and four judges presided, in all their gold finery and the-least-flattering-wigs-ever-made. Each new QC had to come up in turn and bow to them, then to the left and right, then to the back and then finally they are asked by the judges 'Do you move?' - to which they answer nothing, but simply bow again and leave the court. Was fascinated by this. Surely the answer was 'Yes, if the music's right' or even 'when?' but no. I had Mr. Bombastic's 'I like to move it, move it' in my head and it was almost painful trying to contain laughter as I watched all 104 new QCs being asked the question. Must do some research on what this actually means.

Wouldn't have missed it for the world though. Although the Gods did try. The Court of Appeal office had listed one of my cases at short notice on the same day, but with some skilful negotiating, this was moved to Tuesday. Just as well. It's not often you see your DH in a wig and tights (or at least, not in public.)